Six steps to becoming a super leader.

Don’t dismiss emotional intelligence from being an exceptional leader.

When team members talk about you, what are they saying? If it’s something like “Joe’s great with the numbers, but he’s really not a people person,” then you are not living up to your full potential as a leader. Operational excellence is without a doubt an essential requirement for all leaders, but equally important is emotional intelligence – and dismissing emotional intelligence is holding you back from being an exceptional leader for your team and organisation.

Yet for many leaders, this critical area of leadership is often neglected. In fact, emotional intelligence – or EQ – is the area that 8 out of 10 leaders I coach need help improving their skills and refining their leadership.

EQ is the missing ingredient for super leadership

Before you start thinking that EQ is all a bit woo-woo, let’s get clear on why emotional intelligence is a critical success factor in leadership success. According to TalentSmart:

  • Emotional intelligence is the strongest predictor of performance out of 33 other important workplace skills
  • EQ explains 58% of success in all types of jobs
  • 90% of high performers are also high in emotional intelligence
  • People with high EQ make more money – an average of US$29,000 more per year
  • Every point increase in EQ adds US$1300 to an annual salary

Put simply, you just won’t reach your full potential as a leader if you can’t manage the emotional elements of doing business. But the great news is that EQ is a skill that can be learnt and developed with ongoing effort and commitment.

Blending operational excellence and EQ in practice

The best leadership performance comes when operational excellence is combined with top EQ skills. Here’s six ways that super leaders put this combination into practice:

  1. Great communications all levels
    Super leaders know that everyone in the organisation has something to contribute. They’ll regularly get out from behind their desk and talk to anyone in the office to get their opinions, not just the thoughts of direct reports and executive team members.
  2. Clear vision and strategic direction
    Super leaders understand that if you want your team to get behind and support your decisions, they need to know the reasons behind those decisions. Having a clear vision and being able to communicate that effectively is a key attribute of super leaders.
  3. True understanding of leadership team
    Super leaders recognise that everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses, and knows when to exploit people’s skills and when to push them with more challenging tasks.
  4. Know the things that influence success
    It’s easy to get caught up in distractions rather than what’s really important for your organisation. Super leaders can stay focused on the factors that matter for an organisation to reach its goals and know when to move on from failures.
  5. Actively reward and recognise good performers
    Unappreciated employees are unmotivated employees, and poor performers drag down the performance of everyone else. Super leaders take the time to make sure employees know the expectations of them and will give recognition to people performing well, without being afraid to have tough conversations with employees who aren’t up to scratch.
  6. Invest in people
    Super leaders know that the biggest asset any organisation has is its people. Accordingly, super leaders invest time in getting to truly know the people in their team and commit to providing them with fulfilling and rewarding work experiences.

If you want to take your leadership skills to the next level, People Make The Difference can help you with our training workshops, one-on-one coaching and Coach On Call services. To find out more, call us on 0412 333 415 or visit