Emotional Intelligence: The gap between mediocrity and high performance

Star performers are distinguished by their emotional competence; they are found to be comfortable in their own skin and with other people and to have rich emotional lives. Overall, the star performers’ happiness index is higher and contagious with team members. On the flip side, those in roles of leadership with lower emotional intelligence can be bland, often critical, oblivious to their blind spots, condescending, and inhibited. This is not a recipe for sustainable performance!

Technical skills and IQ account for only one-third of performance based on the research of 200 companies, as per a study by Daniel Goleman, a world-renowned emotional intelligence matter expert.

Goleman shares that top performers are 12 times more productive than those with a bottom level of performance and 85% more productive than the average performer. Emotional intelligence (EI) can no longer be ignored the hiring of talent.

Front-line impact: Emotional intelligence, for one company, resulted in a net revenue increase of $2.5 million and 63% less turnover based on hiring people with higher emotional intelligence. Year-over-year turnover cost reduced and the net revenue number increased, which is a win-win for the organization.

Team coherence: Teams led by an emotionally competent team leader positively impact and drive the enhanced performance of the team and individuals. Teams with strong EI scores for all their members move more readily into change, rigorous debate, and decision making followed by effective action.

CEO Succession: CEO candidates must have an EI well above the average. For example, an average score in one assessment is 100. CEO candidates need at least 118 to 120, ideally 125 to 130. Why is EI so important in a CEO Succession/Search? One valid reason is that the board needs a CEO coming into the job with well-developed team leadership, independence, interpersonal skills, stress management, flexibility, decision making, and leadership.

We advocate that the internal CEO succession plan starts well before the time that a board needs to decide who the next CEO is. EI can change with focused attention and relevant practices. Changes of 18 points were noticed, on average, in a team of four internal successors over six months, team members self-reporting their performance was seen to be more effective, and collaboration and coordination improved overall. Internal potential candidates, with a two- to three-year development runway, are more ready to be considered as viable candidates.

Board of Directors: Members of the board with cross-functional expertise and a high EI make for a productive and performing board. Why? They focus on the business of doing the right thing and set aside their personal needs. They are more apt to proactively seek diversity of perspective, frame questions and inquiries from a strategic standpoint, and be more accountable for self and others.

If you are in a quandary about the performance of teams, individuals, and the board, it makes sense to explore EI as the catalyst for sustainable and relevant change.

Deedee Myers

Deedee Myers

Deedee Myers is founder and CEO of DDJ Myers, Ltd. and co-founder of the Advancing Leadership Institute. For the past 20 years, she has been passionate about establishing and developing ... Web: www.ddjmyers.com Details