Emotional Intelligence and Leadership Development
Major General (Ret.) Maggart’s (chap. 2, this volume) view of leadership places emotion front and center: “Leadership is an emotional business that grips the heart, soul, and imagination of those being led.” Perhaps that is understandable, for, as Maj. Gen. Maggart also notes, “Combat is a signiﬁcant emotional event and leaders . . . must develop training programs that ensure no soldier is exposed to the horrors of war without ﬁrst experiencing them in a training environment.” The job of the military, especially during times of war, will clearly have a large emotional component. But what about the corporate soldiers and their leaders? The business environment, no matter how competitive, is not a battleﬁeld. Although business leaders do not have to lead their troops into physical battle, shrinking markets, globalization, recession, and heightened competition have caused leaders to engage in innovative strategies such as ﬂatter organization structures, quality circles, reengineering, self-managed teams, downsizing or rightsizing, outsourcing, and lean manufacturing. Each new initiative that represents major change in a company represents an opportunity to transform the company. To be successful in implementing and creating transformational change in a company requires leaders who recognize the emotional impact signiﬁcant change creates among organizational members and who understand how to minimize resistance to change. Business leaders must know how to generate excitement and a sense of opportunity associated
with change. The emotional business of leadership is illustrated by a case study of two team leaders responsible for new product development.