Everyone in any sort of business knows a story about a highly intelligent, skilled executive who was promoted into a leadership position only to fail. We also know of someone with average intellectual abilities and technical skills who was promoted to excel beyond expectations. So what does this tell us about these leadership? It tells us that identifying the “right stuff” in a candidate for the job is more art than science.

What differentiates great leaders from good ones? According to Daniel Goleman, its not IQ or technical skills… its emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence, a group of five skills that enable the best leaders to maximize their own and their followers performance. It has been proved, when senior managers at one company had a critical mass of emotional intelligence capabilities, their units outperformed yearly earnings by 20%.

The Five Components of Emotional Intelligence

So now, are leaders born or made? We are all born with certain levels of EQ skills but we can strengthen these abilities through practice and feedback from co-workers and coaches. Though one thing is certain, emotional intelligence increases with age. Some people call it “maturity”.