What Makes A Leader?





What Makes A Leader?


The article What Makes a Leader by Daniel Goleman highlights the need for emotional intelligence in leadership as being the overall requirement for effectiveness as compared to possession of intelligence quotient and technical skills. The author states that the requirement of being a leader is more art than it is a science (Goleman 2). Variations of personal styles in leaders occur from time to time and from one leader to another as expected. The distinguishable factor between them lies in the execution of their mandate and unique abilities towards the course. IQ and technical skills are relevant but the crucial element lies in emotional intelligence. It is critical to note that the former abilities act as the threshold requirements in any position of leadership while the latter becomes the indispensable ingredient in comparison. 

            In evaluation of emotional intelligence, competency models by psychologists are used to identify, train, and promote probable candidates of the leadership firmament. In a study carried out, leaders of well renowned companies and organizations participated in identification of the capabilities required. Successful applicants and leaders were interviewed and tested according to the parameters given and comparisons made. Among the qualities that were given high impetus, intellect and cognitive skills ranked highly (Goleman 3). Emotional intelligence outclassed them all by carrying the importance on twice fold as the two. The author gives the five components of the quality at work through self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skill. The author stresses on the need for all components to be in tandem in order to realize the full potential the capability possesses in an individual.

            In an in-depth look at the five different components, emotional intelligence offers a broad spectrum in understanding. Self-awareness reiterates on the need for one to distinguish personal strengths, emotions, weaknesses, drives and needs. Honesty and value evaluation incorporate the quality. Self-regulation involves the management of one’s emotions. They are natural but as the author says, they can be managed and channeled for positive and efficient use. Motivation enables a strong leader to achieve beyond personal and external expectations. The author says that it has to be embedded within. Empathy in the business field requires realization of considerations of other people’s feelings together with diverse factors before making intelligent decisions. Dann (8) supports the fact that social skills results in culmination of possessing other components of emotional intelligence. It requires directing people in the desired course without objection but with greater achievement as one. At the conclusion, the author states that emotional intelligence can be learnt over a period, but requires commitment and dedication, as it is not easy.


The article applies to my future job since it forms as a basic requirement for employment in any field and position. I have to integrate emotional intelligence in my line of duty in order to succeed and be resourceful. It also strengthens the need for practicability of my skills and abilities as compared to the theoretical knowledge I posses. Emotional intelligence will improve my self-awareness as concerns limiting my personal weaknesses, while building on my strengths and drives in the career. It will be important for me to develop self-regulation and distancing the emotional pressures as I deliver on my core roles. Motivation and empathy will be required through transfer of the job expectations along with personal goals and objectives within the workplace. Through emotional intelligence, I will improve on my social skills to complement the need for leadership and transfer of ideas.

Works Cited

Dann, Jill. Emotional Intelligence. London: Hodder Education, 2008. Print.

Goleman, Daniel. ”What Makes a Leader?” Harvard Business Review. 14 August 2006. Print. 

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