I think most of us wants to be an extraordinary leader, or wants to be led by one…
So, how does one become an extraordinary leader? Laura Garnett in Inc. identified seven things that you can do:
- Lead by example
- Empower your team and members
- Serve your team
- Know how to inspire and engage yourself in your work
- Be aware of your unconscious biases and welcome diversity.
- Be more curious, ask more questions.
- Always be thinking about your team structure and how to optimize it.
However, you also need specific skills to become an extraordinary leader.
What skills will help you to become an extraordinary leader?
Although a high IQ and technical skills are important traits to be a good leader, it is high emotional intelligence that puts you in a higher league…
Therefore, the most important skill you need to improve is your emotional intelligence. After all, emotional intelligence or EI is the ability to understand and manage your own emotions, and those of the people around you (Mindtools).
Daniel Goleman, an American psychologist who helped to make EI popular, asked a simple question in a Harvard Business Review Article: “What makes a leader?” Daniel reported in this article that divisions where senior managers had high EI capabilities outperformed other divisions, in the same company, by 20%.
That above result is extraordinary…
What are the most important emotional intelligence skills?
Now you should start thinking of improving your own EI. The most important EI skills1 are:
- Self-awareness – knowing one’s strengths and weaknesses, drives, values, and goals – and the impact that they have on others;
- Self-regulation – controlling or redirecting disruptive emotions and impulses;
- Motivation – be driven to achieve for the sake of achievement;
- Empathy – considering other’s feelings, especially when making decisions;
- Social skill – managing relationships to move people in desired directions.
I believe that every manager has the potential to become an extraordinary leader. However, if your superiors lack EI, or the culture of your organization does not allow for extraordinary things – well maybe, it’s time to go…
1 Goleman, D. 1996. What Makes a Leader? HBR’s 10 Must Read. On Emotional Intelligence, 2015, S. 1–21.