Leaders Are Aware and Care

It's amazing how many different theories, books, and systems there are to describe what it takes to be a good leader. I've read (and written about) quite a few but one that has withstood the test of time is emotional intelligence (EI), invented and written about by Daniel Goleman.

As Daniel and his fellow researchers proved, high IQ may be a prerequisite for leaders but a better test of whether they will succeed or fail is high EI.

EI has five components:
  1. self awareness
  2. self regulation
  3. motivation
  4. empathy
  5. social skills
The first three are all internal: being aware of how your emotions and actions effect others; being able to control your inappropriate reactions; and a drive to achieve that is beyond monetary and can withstand challenging times. 

The latter two are external: being able to read others' emotions and being able to build relationships.

I would go farther and say that leaders have to be aware and care. 

They have to be aware of—
  • how their actions, words, and emotions influence those around them;
  • what reactions are appropriate and what are not;
  • how others are reacting and feeling.
And if they care, they will then act accordingly and appropriately.

Without the awareness, even if they care, they will not be acting or reacting appropriately. With the awareness and without the caring...well, that could potentially lead to manipulation and evil.

Luckily, awareness can be honed but I'm not sure whether caring can.

What do you think? Can a leader be trained or is it something one's born with?

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