The post-downturn business environment is banking more on the efficacy of the leadership that would provide them the ways and means to garner more productivity at less expense, which is the only way to beat the recession blues. Accordingly, the mechanism of quality leadership is once again under the scanner, where all want to find out that X-factor which could be instrumental in bringing out the best in the leaders of the organizations, and which could be the constant source of employee motivation and increased productivity.
Accordingly this study explores the mechanism of Emotional Intelligence (EI), mechanism of human mind and servant leadership style, to ascertain whether EI truly contributes in the making of a great leader. Background: What is EI? According to Goleman (1995), emotional intelligence is the “capacity for recognizing our own feelings and those of others, for motivating ourselves and for managing emotions well in ourselves and in our relationships. ” Goleman speaks of five components as the key drivers of EI, which contains subsets of elements in them.
Thus the plain structure of EI stands like below:
Element 1: Self-Awareness 1a. Emotional awareness: Refers to the ability to recognize personal emotions and their effects 1b. Accurate self-assessment: Ability to assess personal strengths and weaknesses. 1c. Self confidence: A state of sureness about self-worth and capabilities. Element 2: Self regulation 2a. Self control: Ability to manage disruptive impulses. 2b. Trustworthiness: Maintaining standards of honesty and integrity. 2c. Conscientiousness: Ability to take responsibility for personal performance. 2d. Adaptability: Ability to be flexible in handling changes.
2e. Innovation: Having a mind open to ideas. Element 3: Motivation 3a. Achievement drive: The attitude to improve or to achieve a chosen standard of excellence. 3b. Commitment: Ability to align individual goals with goals of the group or organization. 3c. Initiative: Readiness to act on opportunities. 3d. Optimism: Persistence in pursuing goals despite obstacles and setbacks. Element 4: Empathy 4a. Service orientation: Ability to anticipate, recognize and meet customer’s needs. 4b. Developing others: Ability to underpin others developmental needs and to work on them. 4c.
Leveraging diversity: Cultivating opportunities through diverse people. 4d. Political awareness: Insight to understand a group’s emotional currents and power relationships. 4e. Understanding others: Insight to gauge others’ inner needs, driver and potentials. Element 5: Social Skills 5a. Influence: Ability to pursue effectively. 5b. Communication: Ability to send clear messages. 5c. Leadership: Ability to guide and inspire groups and people. 5d. Conflict management: Ability to effectively negotiate and resolve disagreements. 5e. Building bonds: Ability to nurture instrumental relationships. 5f.
Collaboration and cooperation: Ability to work with others to realize shared goals. 5g. Team capabilities: Creating group synergy in pursuing collective goals (Priest, 2005). The above set of components is learnable, claims Goleman (1998), thereby clearly demarcating it from IQ (Intelligence Quotient) by claiming it as an inherited trait. Alongside he also eliminates the effect of sex in acquiring the above set of behavior. Discussion Going by the above tenet of Goleman’s concept, one can see that EI looks like an effective solution to match or complement cognitive intelligence, if not covering up its deficiency.
Moreover, the nature of the elements involved in the making of EI in a person fairly hints at the fact that EI can act as a tool to sharpen the decision-making faculty, besides earning social and cultural competency, and a combination of the trio is what can be counted as the hallmark of a leader. From another perspective, it can be said that EI has a close link with intrinsic motivation of humans, which works as a prime driver of the innate desires of humans and eventually propels them into action to achieve such desires.
A brief review of the mechanism of human mind would explain the situation further. The core of motivation contains three elements like Consciousness, Inverted and Absent Qualia, which together cause various mental states, and there are six major identifiable states like 1. State of awareness: When one is aware of being in (Rosenthal, 1986). 2. Qualitative states: When one senses something out of something, like enjoying a meal or experiencing a pain. These are referred to as “qualia”, which are regarded as “intrinsic, private, ineffable monadic features of experience” (Dennet, 1990). 3.
Phenomenal states: It controls the spatial, temporal and conceptual organization of experience regarding the world and the person’s position in it. 4. What-it-is-like states: When ones associates a sense of experience with another experience, like if there is something that it is like to be in that state. 5. Access consciousness: When one deals with intra-mental relations, like one seeing something and ideating something, before deciding on something. 6. Narrative consciousness: It is the “stream of consciousness” of a person that generates series of thoughts from the “perspective of an actual or merely virtual self” (Dennett, 1991).
Therefore, it can be seen that qualia is actually a unique package of intrinsic and intricate experiences, with which humans decode all external signals and provide their feedback to them, and where the nature of experience governs the nature of feedback. For example, Mr. X likes tea and Mr. Y dislikes tea but they cannot defend their choices except saying that they simply like or dislike. This is because it is not possible to track down how qualia involve perceptual experience, physical sensations, reactions, various moods, etc. In this case, the difference in perception caused inverted qualia, where Mr.
X likes boiled eggs and Mr. Y dislikes that, where the response is coming solely from within and leaving both Mr. X and Mr. Y in search of a viable reason. This explains the mechanism of intrinsic motivation (Dennet, 1990). Absent qualia, another vital element of consciousness refers to the functional duplicates of the creatures that consciously perceive something (Dennet, 1990). According to absent qualia, if Mr. X likes boiled eggs and dislikes omelets, then his absolute clone would also like boiled eggs and dislike omelets, for which the clone would not need an intrinsic experiences.
The above review shows the supremacy of EI over IQ, since EI taps that intrinsic process of human mind to create a set of innate desires, while cognitive intelligence (IQ) mostly deals with processing them, where the degree of IQ can influence the conversion of ideas to action to some extent. Going by this idea, IQ arguably plays the second fiddle to EI. In a way this reminds the proverbial conflicts like mind over matter or heart over brain. However, the supremacy of heart over brain has long been recognized in the transformational leadership style, and especially after the arrival of its new avatar, servant leadership (Greenleaf, 1977).
A striking resemblance with the required elements of servant leadership and EI could settle the issue for once and all. According to its mentor Greenleaf (1977), servant leadership offers a 24/7 selfless service besides empowering all followers to the level of servant leader. In the process Greenleaf presents a set of 11 traits that an aspiring servant leader should possess. 1. Calling: Possessing an intrinsic desire to serve, and proving that through actions. 2. Listening: Possessing excellent listening skills and the ability to process the essence of others’ views. 3. Empathy: Possessing the ability to empathize.
4. Healing: Ability to facilitate others to give vent to their pent-up feelings. 5. Awareness: Knack of being aware of the events around to avoid getting misled by wrong information. 6. Persuasion: Ability to strongly persuade to get things done, instead of issuing orders. 7. Conceptualization: Ability to read situations. 8. Foresight: Ability to envision the future with the help of logic and wisdom. 9. Stewardship: Possessing the spirit to create servant leaders out of every follower by inspiring, guiding and grooming them with all possible virtues of servant leadership.
10. Growth: Possessing the attitude to getting driven by an innate desire to see the followers growing to the best of their potential. 11. Building Community: Ability to create a homely and bonhomie ambience in the workplace. Greenleaf (1977) too counts all of the above elements as learnable! Conclusion While there is a difference in format, yet the elements placed as bare essentials in both the lists of EI and servant leadership look all the same. This certainly leads to the conclusion that EI contains what it takes to be a great leader.
From the perspective of the mechanism of human mind, it clearly shows that EI reaches where IQ cannot, and in a way is capable creating the content (the set of desires) for IQ to process. Though it shows a complementing relationship between EI and IQ, yet it establishes its supremacy over IQ by being the initiator of action. It is here the old adage can be rearranged: “While action speaks louder than thoughts, thoughts make the way for actions”!
Denett, D. C. Quining qualia. In Mind and Cognition, W. Lycan (Ed), Oxford: Blackwell, 1990. 519-548. Dennett, D.C. Consciousness Explained. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1991. Goleman, Daniel. Emotional intelligence. New York: Bantam, 1995. Goleman, Daniel. Working with emotional intelligence. New York: Bantam, 1998. Greenleaf, Robert. Servant leadership: A journey into the nature of legitimate ower and greatness. Ramsay, NJ: Paulist Press, 1977. Priest, Jonathan. “Emotional Intelligence. ” 2005. 11 July 2009 <http://www. creative- writer. com/reports/EmotionalIntelligence. pdf> Rosenthal, D. Two concepts of consciousness. Philosophical Studies, 1986. 49:329-359.
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