Thoughts on Authentic Leadership
By John P. Schreitmueller
Time after time, session after session, the ingredient we observe as pivotal in authentic leadership is self-awareness. As the CEOs, business owners and professionals who are our clients work on increasing their sense of self-awareness, the results are always positive. Often, the results are nothing short of stunning. The leader’s abilities to combine self-awareness, active listening and emotional management are at the apex of contemporary leadership skills.
There are many volumes out there about emotional intelligence (EI). One, Emotional Intelligence 2.0, by Travis Bradberry, Ph.D. and Jean Greaves, Ph.D., is a particularly good read, moves quickly and places the most important aspects of emotional intelligence at the reader’s fingertips.
Emotional Intelligence 2.0 breaks down Self-Awareness, Self-Management, Social Awareness and Relationship Management, the primary EI components, through text and thoughtful charts and tables. Of additional value, the book offers feedback from participants in the author’s EI-related group and organizational encounters. Feedback highlights individuals who exhibit high EI scores (in the 90s) versus those whose scores are in the 60s or below. Participant names and situations are, of course, altered to preserve client confidentiality.
We highly recommend Emotional Intelligence 2.0 as a resource, and as reading to recommend to others. Authentic leadership requires emotional intelligence. When leaders have high self-awareness, they understand and notice what happens when their “buttons” are pushed. They know acting out of emotion is almost always an ineffective call. They know active listening is the optimal tool in bringing groups together. And they know EI enhances self-care, a critical tool in avoiding unnecessary stress.
Bradberry, T. & Greaves, J. (2009) Emotional intelligence 2.0. San Diego, CA: TalentSmart
Note: References provided in APA format
John P. Schreitmueller, PCC, ECP-BC, is CEO of Resolute Consulting Group LLC. His Atlanta-based practice specializes in executive, leadership, organizational, behavioral, career and transition coaching, counseling and consulting.