Why effective leaders need organizational intelligence

If you’re a leader who’s been able to turn a company around or achieve tremendous growth, you might think you can have the same results anywhere. But that’s not necessarily the case. We see it all the time – a successful president/CEO/coach gets recruited to a struggling organization with high hopes, only to fall short of expectations.

Oftentimes in these situations, what the leader lacks is organizational intelligence (OQ). None of our organizations operate the same way. We have different personalities to contend with, different expectations from our board members, members/customers, and other stakeholders. Leaders must recognize the organizational differences and know how to maneuver them to be effective.

A recent Harvard Business Review article outlines the five competencies of strong OQ:

  1. Send messages that reinforce strategy – and minimize other messaging: A key component of leadership is incentivizing employees to do the work needed to achieve organizational goals. How you communicate those goals and employees’ contribution to them is critical. Find ways to reward behaviors that get your team closer to the end-line and constantly reinforce the notion that one person’s success is good for the entire group.


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