The majority of CEOs, Guest Posting executives and professionals are left-brained — analytical, linear, and focused. They are good with numbers, and in communication tend to listen to the actual word spoken, word-by-word, missing the nuances, the expressions, the tone of voice, i.e., the “other” 90% of verbal communication best AI tools.
Many have come up through the ranks with heavy backgrounds in business, finance and accounting and have had little time for liberal arts training or exposure. Professionals, in addition, have strong academic backgrounds, often having dedicated 16-24 years to their formal educations and post-graduate training. In the Western World, the left-brained orientation, degrees and credentials matter. But they are no longer enough.
The Need for Emotional Intelligence
What happens, for instance, when the brilliant CEO is alienating colleagues and driving away good employees? What happens when the well-educated mid-level executive is good with the bottom line, but low in leadership? What happens when the high IQ Regional Sales Director’s temper gets the best of him and he makes poor judgment calls? And what about the heavily-credentialed professional who can’t translate his hard-acquired and valuable knowledge to others because of his pedantic or abrasive communication style?
What happens is not good. What they need is to develop a set of competencies we call Emotional Intelligence, and it can be a hard sell.
Once you have someone actually in coaching for emotional intelligence, it sells itself. The individual (and their employer) see immediate positive results in every area of his or her life, and they don’t go backward. Once you’ve learned creativity or resilience, you can’t forget it. Momentum builds on successes. But getting there requires some hard data, in most cases, and some hard-hitting examples.
So here I will provide you with one. Who can argue with Warren Buffet, the second-richest man in the world?
What Made the Dynamic Duo So Rich?
Could it have been Emotional Intelligence? And what Dynamic Duo? William Gates, III, the world’s richest man, and Warren Buffet, the world’s second richest man, according to Forbes.
Clearly there’s plenty of brain power in these two gentleman, but that wasn’t all, nor was it academic education. Mr. Gates, after all, is a college dropout.
Actually he went on record in a speech at the University of Indiana about this matter.
“I want to clarify one thing,” he said, “which is that I’m actually not a college dropout. I’m on leave from Harvard, and I could go back any time I want to and finish that French class that I didn’t do, and they might even give me a degree.”
That having been said, smarts are good, but everyone at the executive and professional level has smarts. How are you going to stand out? How can you help your employees succeed, and get the edge so your business can profit?
We all sense there’s more to success than intelligence, and Warren Buffet has given us some insight because he often talks about how he got where he is – a self-made billionaire. Like many successful people, he’s quick to say it wasn’t because of IQ alone, or even primarily.
“To invest successfully over a lifetime,” he said in an interview, “does not require a stratospheric IQ, unusual business insights, or inside information. What’s needed is a sound intellectual framework for making decisions and the ability to keep emotions from corroding that framework.”
We see here the interface between emotions and intellect that is called “emotional intelligence.” The emotions can put asunder what the intellect has so wrought. Fortunately you can increase your EQ, while you generally cannot increase your IQ.
Buffet also evidences the interpersonal skills, integrity and compassion in his business dealings that characterize high EQ. His conduct during 9-11 with his own super-cat insurance crisis was exemplary; the memo he wrote to his employees was circulating the Internet. Something to his regional managers about — you keep doing your job, and let me worry about this. That’s my job.
Would you work for this man? I surely would. And he wouldn’t sell my stock right out from under me either.
He told a newspaper interviewer he was “disgusted” by corporate CEOs who tout their companies while selling shares. “These business leaders,” he said, “view shareholders as patsies, not partners.” He is notorious for never having sold a single share of Berkshire Hathaway.
When ‘Dumb’ Gets ‘Smart’
Buffet further says, “By periodically investing in an index fund, for example, the know-nothing investor can actually out-perform most investment professionals. Paradoxically, when ‘dumb’ money acknowledges its limitations, it ceases to be dumb.”
Buffet is talking about Emotional Intelligence and who would argue with the world’s second richest man. And don’t forget the part about “drop out” Bill Gates.
And for the academic professional, no one said it better than Shakespeare: “We know what we are, but know not what we may become.” Emotional Intelligence brings the balance, and positively affects not only success, but health and happiness.