Peter Drucker says that being a good executive happens in three stages: getting the knowledge you need, converting this knowledge into effective action, and then ensuring that the whole organization feels responsible and accountable.
He says that the way to get the knowledge you need is to:
Effective leaders find one priority (or two at the most) which are the most important at the time and focus on it. Then when they are done with that task they ask again what needs to be done instead of going right to the second task. Also effective executives focus on those tasks they are especially good at and delegate the rest. They also focus on the enterprise as a whole and not any one constituent or group.
The second stage is converting knowledge into effective actions. This includes:
Action plans create statements of intention, a way of checking results against expectations.
According to Daniel Goleman Emotional Intelligence distinguishes great leaders from merely good ones. He says that when a group of senior managers had the following key capabilities of emotional intelligence, their divisions outperformed earnings goals by 20%. These capabilities include:
Goleman says we are all born with certain levels of emotional intelligence, but we can strengthen these abilities through practice and persistence. The first three skills in emotional intelligence are self-management tools, while the last two are how people interact with others.
Goleman says that out of leaders with similar technical skills emotional intelligence was the skill that set them apart. It was their ability to deal and manage people, relate to them, create rapport with them, and motivate themselves as well as their employees that really created success.
It was also their knowledge of themselves, their values and what makes them tick as well as their ability to regulate strong emotions in a way that balances things out.
I do agree with the author that people skills are a key component of the effectiveness of a leader as I believe the hallmark of a good leader is drawing people into your vision.
So where are you on the emotional intelligence scale? Are there any of the five skills listed above that you need to work on? If so what steps can you take in order to enhance that skill?
Monica Thakrar has over 18 years experience in business focused mainly on strategy, change management, leadership development, training and coaching resulting in successful implementations of large scale transformation programs.