Social Equity, Environment, & Development

S.E.E.D. Mission Statement: SEED nurtures and challenges interested, curious and compassionate students to grapple with today's major social issues and, in turn, produces empowered leaders.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Summary of Daniel Goleman's "What Makes a Leader?"

As recommended by my Head of School, I am currently reading HBR's 10 MUST READS: ON LEADERSHIP. I just finished the first of ten: "What Makes a Leader?" While most of the research came from studying corporations and financial institutions, the findings certainly can be extrapolated to other areas, such as education. I think that Goleman's thesis- that EI is more important than IQ AND that it can be taught- has rippling effects into how we might think about teaching and assessing students. That being said, this is only a summary of his ideas:


Goleman states that while IQ gets you in the door, it is emotional intelligence, EI, that is the greatest factor for leadership. IQ and technical skills "are the entry level requirements for positions.... [whereas] EI is the sine qua non of leadership. "(p.1) He breaks down EI into 5 categories: Self-Awareness, Self-Regulation, Motivation, Empathy and Social Skills. While EI is important for all levels, it becomes increasingly important at higher levels of management. Most importantly, Goleman believes that EI, through deliberate practice and feedback, can be learned. Being mindful, we can view "on-the-job interactions as opportunities to practice. (p.9)"

5 components:


1. SELF-AWARENESS.
-You know your limits but challenge yourself
-"The decisions of self-aware people mesh with their values; consequently, they often find work to be energizing." (p.10)
-"frank in admitting to failure... [often possessing a] self-depracating sense of humor." (p. 10)
-because "they have have a firm grasp of their capabilities... they know...when to ask for help. And the risks they take on the job are calculated." (p.11)


2. SELF-REGULATION
-'People who are in control of their feelings and impulses- that is, people who are reasonable- are able to create an environment of trust and fairness." (p.12)
-"Self regulation... enhances integrity... Many of the bad things that happen in companies are a function of impulsive behavior." (p.13)
-unfortunately, "their considered responses are taken as a lack of passion." (p.14)


3. MOTIVATION
-"Driven to achieve beyond expectations." (p.14) Goleman makes a key point that to achievement for the sake of achievement is different from greed or a hunger for power. Motivated people just want to improve.
-these people "seek out creative challenges, love to learn, and take great pride in a job well done. They also display an unflagging energy to do things better...restless with the status quo...they are eager to explore new approaches to their work." (p.14)
-"People who are driven to do better also want a way of tracking progress." (p.15)


4. EMPATHY
-"...thoughtfully considering employees feelings- along with other factors- in the process of making intelligent decisions." (p.16)
-we need empathy because of "at least three things: the increasing use of teams; the rapid pace of globalization; and the growing need to retain talent." (p.17)


5. SOCIAL SKILL
-"...friendliness with a purpose: omving people in the direction you desire."
-it is important to build "rapport" with as many people in your campany as possible because, for change to happen, you will need advocates in all arenas
-"The leader's task is to get work done through other people, and social skill makes that possible."

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