Emotional Intelligence Business Case: Leadership Predictor and a Pathway to Success

“A leader’s intelligence has to have a strong emotional component. He/she has to have high levels of self-awareness, maturity and self-control. He/she must be able to withstand the heat, handle setbacks and when those lucky moments arise, enjoy success with equal part of joy and humility. No doubt emotional intelligence is more rare than book smarts, but my experience says it is actually more important in the making of a leader. You just can’t ignore it.”

– Jack Welch, Former Chairman of General Electric1

EIDI ChartEmotional Intelligence (EI or EQ) is what distinguishes the top performers from average performers. In an interview, Daniel Goleman, the guru of EQ, explained that EQ is 85% of what matters in the recruitment of top executive positions. In today’s labor market, IQ and technical skills are only considered to be indicators of threshold and entry level abilities.2

Research has provided clear evidence that emotionally intelligent leaders are more successful. Daniel Goleman estimated that 90% of the difference between a “good leader” and an “excellent leader” can be attributed to EQ.

At PepsiCo, for example, executives selected for EQ competencies far outperformed their colleagues.  Specifically, they outperform the revenue goal by as much as 15 to 20%. If their EQ abilities are weak, then they underperform by 15 to 20%.  The link between EQ and leadership was also clear at PepsiCo. In a pilot project, executives selected for EQ competencies far outperformed their colleagues, delivering:

  • 10% increase in productivity.
  • 87% decrease in executive turnover ($4m).
  • $3.75m added economic value.
  • over 1000% return on investment.3

Building emotional intelligence is not only a strong predictor of effective leadership but contributes to greater performance, productivity, and ultimately profitability.  What level of EI do you and your leaders possess?

Build ‘soft skills’ that lead to results, invest in developing your staff and your leadership potential at all levels of your organization. Individuals do not have to be in a leadership role to be a leader.  By investing in people, organizations can become more robust and sustainable.

“In hard times, the soft stuff often goes away. But emotional intelligence, it turns out, isn’t so soft. If emotional obliviousness jeopardizes your ability to perform, fend off aggressors, or be compassionate in a crisis, no amount of attention to the bottom line will protect your career. Emotional intelligence isn’t a luxury you can dispense with in tough times. It’s a basic tool that, deployed with finesse, is the key to professional success.”4

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Want to learn more about how EI can help your approach as a leader or within a team?
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Since the launch of the speakers group last year, our speakers have given keynotes and presented at successful events for Fortune 500 companies on topics ranging from harnessing the power of generational diversity, to valuing diversity, to the essence of emotional intelligence and diversity.  We connect high quality, reputable, and inspiring speakers with clients who are providing their talent, leadership and stakeholders with impactful and transformative diversity and leadership development events.

When you and your team are planning for upcoming development/training events, commemorative months, and ERG events, we can help your organization identify the right speakers or workshop presenters, and support impactful and transformational experiences for all.  Whether the organizational focus is on connecting diversity efforts to the business, leadership development, recruitment/talent acquisition, retention or engaging middle management, for example, we want to help support impactful, personal and transformational experiences for all.

1Welch, Jack. “Four E’s (a Jolly Good Fellow).” Wall Street Journal, January 23, 2004
2Bennis, Warren. “It Ain’t What You Know: As everybody knows. But there’s more to it than that.” NYTimes, October 25, 1998.
3McClelland, D.C. 1998. “Identifying competencies with behavioural event interviews.” Psychological Science, 9(5) 331 – 340
4Harvard Business Review, “Breakthrough Ideas for Tomorrow’s Business Agenda,” April 2003