Something critical is missed again and again in many organizations as they think about how to increase overall organizational effectiveness. Strategic excellence is almost always thought of as the key lever to increasing organizational effectiveness. Yet, as the authors of “From Good to Great” emphasize, when it comes to becoming great as an organization, people come first, strategy comes second. In essence, high performance organizations are dependent on high performance teams at all levels, across the breadth of the company. The high performance teams are in turn dependent upon the caliber of the individuals in the teams and organization in terms of effectiveness of leadership values, behaviors, practices and orientation. Each individual’s effectiveness in turn is ultimately dependent upon his or her level of self-awareness and personal development. It is important to note, however, that it is not the intellectual capacity of the individuals that makes the difference in increasing effectiveness for the individual, the team or the organization.
I have been working to help individuals, teams and organization to become more substantive and effective for more than three decades. In that time, I have never found one person, a single team or any organization that failed because of a lack of intellect. Every failure was due to a lack of emotional intelligence (EQ). The failures could always be traced to a lack of one or more of the following: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship management, or a lack of courage in one or more of seven distinct acts of courage (see Staub’s “The 7 Acts of Courage). Every time you as an individual increase your Emotional Quotient intelligence in one or more of the five areas mentioned above, you become more effective in not only professionally but also personally. If you are having trouble with this concept, then it may help to consider that increasing your EQ to enable your IQ is akin to increasing the operational performance of your computer by upgrading its software package. The so-called “soft stuff” (emotional intelligence, the heart) is what ultimately and fundamentally empowers the intellect.
Considering this, what is the status of your self-awareness, self-management, ability to read and understand others, to change your behaviors to better manage relationships, and where do you stand in your Courage Quotient (CQ)?
Are you upgrading your personal effectiveness by feeding your “heart” as well as your head?