• Emotional Leadership

    Emotional Leadership

    Every human on the planet makes decisions emotionally first.  It is only after the emotional commitment that we then back up our decision with data.  This is why embracing emotional leadership is worth your time. Those that say otherwise will lie about other things too.

    The Brainstem

    Our brains are wired into a number of different areas, each responsible for an array of simple and complicated functions.

    The ‘lizard brain’ or Brainstem in the back of our head takes care of things like breathing and heart rate (it would suck having to think of that every second of the day!).

    The Cerebrum

    The Cerebrum is the largest part of our brain and is split into two hemispheres which are made up of various parts.  The Neocortex (or newest brain – sometimes referred to as the ‘left brain’) houses our intellectual intelligence.  It is where we use logic.  This is where language is centered.

    Another part of our Cerebrum is sometimes called the right brain.  This is where the magic all happens!  I call it magic because this is the part of the brain that houses our emotional intelligence. This is where all our decisions are made.  Our ability to be creative.  This part of our brain has no capacity for language.  This is also the part of the brain that is late to fully develop in humans.  Women in their mid-twenties.  Men in their mid-thirties (some would argue that in some men, it never develops…. ).

    Emotional Leadership

    Sadly, amongst leaders, just the mere mention of the words EQ or emotional intelligence, causes many people to roll their eyes and say something stupid like: “Enough with the EQ bullshit already!”  Sadly, those are also the managers with the:

    1. Worst employee engagement scores in their industries.
    2. Highest employee churn.
    3. Lowest productivity.
    4. Worst customer satisfaction ratings.
    5. Worst revenue and profit growth.


    Coincidence?  Nope.

    These cave dweller managers have probably not yet experienced full development of their frontal lobe.  They typically spend all their time talking about KPI’s, trends, spreadsheets, databases and refer to people as FTE’s.  Not that data isn’t important, however, the way to move data in a positive direction is to engage the hearts as well as the minds of people.  And… the only way to do that is to engage your team emotionally.  Showing people that you really care about values, culture and their wellbeing.  In other words, developing your EQ and in doing so, shaking the dust off the frontal lobe.

    This can’t be faked.  Eventually, a leader with low EQ will be found out.  Find a way or get professional help to leave your childhood baggage behind once and for all.  Emotional leadership is the most important ‘App’ you have in your toolkit.  The organizations that are knocking it out of the park today, are the ones that have emotional leadership figured out.

    The others? Well, they will continue to trim budgets and compete on costs with emerging economies that are willing to work for a fraction of what people want to be paid.

    Robert Murray is a Vancouver, BC based Business Strategy Consultant, partner at Incrementa Consulting Inc., #1 Best Selling Author, and International Keynote Speaker. For further advice, insight and inspiration on how to unlock your inner leader, follow Robert on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

    The audio version of Bob’s #1 best seller It’s Already Inside is now available on Audible.

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