What makes a leader?

What makes a leader?!

As per the author Daniel Goleman the following things are essential for a leader

1. Intelligent quotient (IQ)
2. Technical skills
3. Emotional intelligence

“IQ and technical skills are
important, but emotional
intelligence is the sine qua non
of leadership”

Among all, the author says Emotional Intelligence takes the prime importance in making as well as elevating a leader.

The five components of Emotional Intelligence are

1. Self Awareness
2. Self Regulation
3. Motivation
4. Empathy
5. Social Skill

The leadership capabilities of a person depends on the way he/she reads a situation, analyses it, responds to it. In order to make all these things happen in a lightning speed with utmost accuracy (apart from IQ and technical skills) one needs to have a strong Emotional Intelligence. Emotional Intelligence can be learned by anyone who has a minimum IQ and technical skills. How strong a person is at Emotional Intelligence is depend on how long and how regularly he/she practices it in real life.
One should have a strong endurance to learn Emotional intelligence practically. Application of the aspects of Emotional Intelligence in normal life will mostly yield good results. When the author conducted a research to evaluate the personal capabilities of certain leaders among some big and reputed global companies, Emotional Intelligence stood out twice as important as other skills.
Emotional Intelligence can’t be mastered in overnight. It needs a procedural approach, a strong practice and dedication to achieve it.
Emotional Intelligence is one quality which differentiates the great leaders from merely good leaders.

If used properly the practical application of Emotional Intelligence is very effective as well as very productive in real life.

1. Self Awareness
A construction company which has vast experience in Bridge construction bids for two projects, one is normal bridge project and another one is a metro rail project. Fortunately the company gets two projects but it has resources available for only one project. It does not have much time to procure new resources to do both projects. Now the CEO of the company has an option to accept any one of the two projects. If he chooses the bridge project, the company can easily complete it and remain profitable in the end. But it will never get another chance to grab a metro project. The future is bright for metro rail projects where as not much of bridge projects would be coming in near future and also competition is more in bidding for Bridge projects.
The CEO uses his Emotional Intelligence skill “Self awareness”. He thinks in advance, uses strategy
# The Company has enough experience in bridge projects, so even in future if any such projects come, the company has chances of winning the tender.
# If company does not grab metro rail project now, it would be very difficult to get such project in future as there is no experience for the company in such projects. As there will be plenty of Metro rail projects are coming in future, the company desperately need to work for at least in one Metro rail project so that it can use this experience to grab such projects in future. In other words it can increase its turnover in future.
The CEO is aware of the company’s prospects and he opts for Metro Rail Project.

2. Self Regulation
The company commenced the metro rail project. But things are not moving as expected and as planned. Everything is behind schedule. The shareholders are mounting pressure on CEO for choosing this project over another. CEO is getting tensioned. Project team is not responding properly to the top management. CEO is getting angry. He plans a visit to project site. First he thinks he would scold the project team for their poor project management. Later he uses his Emotional Intelligence and starts thinking on the lines of Self Regulation.
He calls the project team for a meeting. He openly & passionately inquires each & every department about the issues they are facing. The project team first fears CEO, but later when he approaches them with friendly gesture they start open up one by one. The root cause has been found. The govt. is not providing the work front in time. They are not responding to the requests of Project Manager. CEO meets the respective officials and comes to a mutual understanding. The project team is relieved. They got the work front. The problem is solved.

3. Motivation
One issue has been resolved but there is another issue. The project is lagging behind schedule up to 05 months. The project team is in dilemma. They are not sure whether they can pull it off or not. They admit the same to their CEO. He was about to leave, but sensing their ambiguity over catching up with the planned schedule, he delivers an inspirational speech. Then he asks the project team to aim for more than 10% margin in profit. He promises them that he will pay some part of the profit to them if they exceed 10% margin. He also asks them to send weekly progress reports in addition to monthly reports. He calls for proper coordination between all the dept. so that no dept. will lag behind. He stresses for team work by explaining its importance. The project team’s self-confidence doubles with the action of their CEO. With sustained enthusiasm the team achieves its target as per schedule.

4. Empathy
The project team is busy in completing the works as per schedule. One day project manager gets a call from his subordinate. The subordinate’s parents met with an accident. He is sobbing and requests the PM for leave. Project manager grants him leave. For a moment he thinks and uses his Emotional Intelligence. He makes a call to that subordinate and inquires about the condition of his parents. The subordinate replies they are injured and taken to a hospital. PM assures him his support in dealing with the tragedy, he asks him how long is the hospital and whether he has any vehicle with him. The subordinate replies the hospital is around 150km from here, he does not have any vehicle with him. PM immediately comforts him and arranges a vehicle by contacting site administrator. The subordinate conveys heart full thanks to PM.
The sub ordinate reaches the hospital in time and his parents are out of danger. He comes back and joins the work. After a month there is an important work in progress. People are working vigorously to complete the task. Day shift workers are released and night shift workers resumed their duty. As some employees are on leave there is no reliever for day shift Engineer. The Engineer is the same sub ordinate whom the PM helped earlier. Project Manager calls him and explains the situation, requests him if possible to stay for another three hours, explain the work to workers and leave. But the Engineer uses his Emotional Intelligence. He empathises with PM and assures him that he will stay till the task is completed. He stays entire night, completes the task successfully and leaves. The project achieves one of its mile stones.

5. Social Skill
Whenever there is a significant celebration in the project, the project manager never misses the opportunity to invite top police officials of that area. He makes sure that he personally greets them in their office or at home whenever there is a special occasion. Others used to make fun of this. But the PM never deviates from making friendly gestures and building good rapport with government officials and local reporters.
One day in night shift, a Transit mixer topples on road. No one gets injured but it disturbs the traffic. Site people inform this to project manager. The PM uses his social skills, gets complete details of the incident. As he has a good rapport with the higher police officials and local news reporters, He calls them and requests to not to make any major note of it. He informs them that no one is injured and the company will clear the area immediately. The officials assure that if the company clears everything before early morning, they will treat it as a minor incident. The news reporters also say the same.
The site team clears the area in no time. By morning everything is clean and clear. The project manager saves the company from a huge public outrage by using his social skills.

What makes a leader?!
IQ, Technical skills are basic needs to become a leader but to be a great leader one has to master his/her Emotional Intelligence skills which distinguishes great leaders from merely leaders.
The contribution of skills for a great leader as per our understanding:
IQ – 25%
Technical – 25%
Emotional Intelligence – 50%

Successful application of IQ, Technical skills and Emotional intelligence makes great leaders.


About raj

Civil Engineer
This entry was posted in Impressions, Opinion. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to What makes a leader?

  1. Amrit says:

    Well written. Liked the examples..

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