A 1999 study by Patricia Pitcher validates the positive correlation between emotional intelligence and leadership. This study involves a company led by one CEO with high emotional intelligence and succeeded by a CEO without emotional intelligence. The first CEO with high emotional intelligence took over a medium-sized company and transformed it into a global corporation worth $20 billion dollars. Under the second CEO, the company was dead in three years.
The reason for the success of the first CEO was his inculcation of emotional intelligence traits that helped him attract and retain talent and investors. His accurate self assessment allowed him to surround himself with the right people; his emotional and inspiring traits allowed his enthusiasm to spread; his visionary, daring, intuitive and unpredictable qualities helped him to keep focused on the goal and avoid short-term gratification; his open-mindedness contributed to developing and retaining different kinds of people ensuring new ideas and fresh approaches to problem solving; and his empathy rallied people around him.
The second CEO, a technocrat, was in contrast analytical, uncompromising, and brilliant who centralized the decision-making processes and curtailed authority, but lacked emotional intelligence. This stifled visionary thinking, creativity, and innovation, causing the company’s death.
The qualities of a true leader are integrity, self-knowledge, enthusiasm, vision, purpose, pursuit of goals, and honesty; and these same qualities also describe the various facets of emotional intelligence.