That is management. Leadership also involves addressing unknown problems. It involves understanding what the rest of the organization does not, and then shoring up these organizational blind spots without alienating the organization's core values.
The ability to identify problems and address them in such a manner is known as organizational intelligence. The leader of the firm can demonstrate this trait and lead the firm to success, but in a large conglomerate one leader cannot do it all. The leader must develop organizational intelligence in order to help the entire company to take leadership roles, to identify issues and to solve them. Organizations are, after all, a series of connected feedback loops. The leader's role involves understanding these loops, and the people within them. This is where emotional intelligence comes into play. It has been determined in the education field that the higher the level of emotional intelligence in pupils, the higher they will perform on IQ tests as well. Thus, for the organization to demonstrate a high level of organizational intelligence, it would be beneficial that the organization build a high level of emotional intelligence. From a leadership perspective, this means building departments that work together rather than pass the buck; fostering positive relationships between senior managers rather than toxic ones; and inspiring workers to come together to solve common problems, rather than focusing myopically on their own individual goals.
There are some key signs of emotional intelligence in an organization: balancing human and financial sides; commitment to basic strategy; open communication; strong relationships; innovation and risk taking and a passion for continual improvement. All of these traits must be fostered at the leadership level. Another compelling case for including emotional intelligence in the standard leadership skill set is that many problems that meet with emotional resistance simply cannot be rationalized away. Rational arguments do not solve emotional problems. And many problems within an organization are emotional. Leaders need to recognize that employees make a personal commitment to the company and to their careers, but they also make a commitment to themselves, their families and their customers. When conflict emerges, it often takes on an emotional aspect. Organizations with a higher degree of emotional intelligence are able to identify this early and address it. Those with a low degree of emotional intelligence are doomed to ongoing conflict and negativity.
So how does a leader improve the organization's emotional intelligence? Improving one's cognitive intelligence is difficult, but there is evidence that individually and collectively, we can increase emotional intelligence. It is important for leaders to understand the process of utilizing emotional intelligence to achieve goals. There are several steps: assessing the individual, delivering assessments with care, gauge readiness, motivate, make the changes self-directed and focus on clear, manageable goals. From there preventing relapse into old, bad habits and giving performance feedback are essential. These steps will help to foster individual behaviors and from there, the positive behaviors will help to shape a stronger, more emotionally intelligent organization.
Leadership is a multi-faceted role, but critical to this role is the development of emotional intelligence, not just in the leader but in the entire organization. An emotionally intelligent organization is better prepared to respond to challenge -- any leader that fosters this trait in his or her organization will inevitably meet with more success.
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