Leadership Intelligence in the 21st Century World
Leadership as a notion can be both contested and complex. It's not solely about having a title or holding a position but includes one having the ability to lead and handle the situation. They can influence others and are accountable to a team or organization. In the way leadership isn't noted as an easy task, intelligence is not an easy notion to distill. Intelligence can be viewed as being able to view the world from a range of perspectives (Ronthy, 2014; Gage & Smith, 2016). While the conversation of intelligence and leadership has been short, it offers a useful base to examine leadership intelligence. Individuals achieve successful intelligence by acknowledging and capitalizing on strengths and correcting or counterbalance their weaknesses (Riggio, Murphy & Pirozzolo, 2001). Leadership is a phenomenon where leaders try to motivate followers to attainment, dedication, and commitment of organizational goals (Morton, 2012).
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Social intelligence is the ability to manage and understand individuals (Gage & Smith, 2016; Riggio, 2010). Personal characteristic qualities grounded in a leader and based on the need for them to fix problems in multifaceted social areas can be placed under the social intelligence label. Socially intelligent leaders can vary responses in accordance with demands and dynamic situations (Riggio et al., 2001). For example, a leader's social intelligence can be how others are read and approached to get the best connection. Thus, social intelligence mirrors the skill to engage in four fundamentally behavioral and cognitive procedures that include "social awareness, social acumen, response selection, and response enactment" (Riggio et al., 2001, p.39).
It’s leaders who make choices based on knowledge, information, and experience in the belief that positive outcomes will occur (Gage & Smith, 2016). Without social intelligence, the potential to predict effectiveness in leadership is diminished. Communication amongst leaders will also decrease while problems and lack of problem-solving increase. To be effective, a leader should not lack social intelligence or its team will fail to comprehend what is required or needed to succeed.
In a world defined by change, leaders must locate inner security with the mystery to this being in a leader’s spiritual intelligence (Ronthy, 2014; Gage & Smith, 2016). Another factor in effective leadership is spiritual intelligence. This can be defined as the ability to use spiritual data to answer everyday issues (Gage & Smith, 2016). In other words, building and keeping a spiritual relationship where unrelenting favor is attracted and overflows into one's life. This form of leadership has been demonstrated by leaders such as Mandela and Gandhi. This also includes one having morals and knowing right from wrong. Spiritual intelligence in leadership will predict the effectiveness and distinguish leaders when one integrates and prioritizes this form of intelligence into their work. It's about holding a direction and being able to fix oneself of all resentments, and more ourselves whole.
Spiritual intelligence inspires people in leading followers. The evolution of this form of intelligence in the workplace favors leadership styles and the way leaders characterize their followers and the organization (Fry, 2003; Siswanti, Khairuddin & Halim, 2018). Leaders with spiritual intelligence don’t want to do things that may bring harm to themselves or others and has holistic tendencies. This can be used in relation to work satisfaction, work peaks, and a leader's success in guarding the organization (Siswanti et al., 2018).
Without spiritual intelligence, a leader will lack empathy for others including their team. They will also not be concerned about doing what is right or beneficial for the organization, but instead, focus solely on their wants and needs. By lacking some type of spirituality, leaders can become selfish, uncaring, and heartless to the work required and the individuals doing the work. This can also make those around and secondary to them suffer.
This form of leadership involves the ability to understand, regulate, and recognize emotions (Morton, 2012). People who possess this intelligence understand other's emotions in addition to their own. Emotional intelligence can also be linked to specific traits, competences or abilities and often considered a required skill for effective leadership. Since leaders can have major impacts on a company and its employees, its crucial that leadership is ethical and shows emotional intelligence (Morton, 2012).
Other abilities related to emotional intelligence include motivation, self-awareness, and self-regulation and building relationships (Morton, 2012). Individuals who possess this intelligence can use these abilities to handle relationships with family, co-workers, peers, followers, and leaders. More so, individuals can build this skill through leadership development curriculum and self-studies. An emotional intelligence leader has the ability to motivate ideal performance via resonance or stimulate the best out of followers (Goleman, Boyatzis & McKee, 2002; Morton, 2012).
Many individuals have worked with a toxic leader. Without emotional intelligence, a leader will lack many traits that can affect their team. When poor leadership weakens a follower's emotional base, dissonance will occur. This type of negative emotional leader will impede a follower's ability to work and excel (Morton, 2012). Simply put, emotional intelligence leadership can help others to shine while low emotional leadership hinders the skills and talents of followers. Therefore, a thinking leader will demonstrate skills and competencies related to emotional intelligence.
Many times leaders guide followers and create emotional connections with whom they are leading. This understanding level of their emotions allows leaders to bring and cultivate relationships with followers. Higher emotional intelligence doers know the worth of collaboration together instead of competition. This intelligence becomes more significant the higher up one climbs the management ladder (Wigglesworth, 2006).
Rational intelligence can be defined as the ability to critically think, analyze situations, and solved problems (Ronthy, 2014; Gage & Smith, 2016). The use of this intelligence benefits stakeholders and the company concerning job satisfaction, motivation, relationships, and transformation. It's about being a leader with the heart, brain, and soul. Furthermore, to be an effective leader, one must make logical and rational decisions.
The leader-rational intelligence relationship is greatly researched subject as organizations value intelligence as leadership pre-cursors. Common sense decrees rational intelligence can foresee suitability for leadership ideas and influence leadership selection and effectiveness (Gage & Smith, 2016). This intelligence is learned from an individual's development and childhood and it follows onward from the basic intelligence that one's been born with. More so, rational intelligence is utilized by managers as being task-focused, whereas leaders highlight other bits of intelligence (Ronthy, 2014; Gage & Smith, 2016).
Without rational intelligence, a leader cannot think or lead clearly. More so, the organization will have to deal with a leader’s unreasonable and illogical behavior. Lacking this form of intelligence can also contribute to employee conflict as they will have a leader that can't bring resolution to a problem.
In conclusion, leadership is a phenomenon where leaders try to motivate followers to attainment, dedication, and commitment of organizational goals (Morton, 2012). Personal characteristic qualities grounded in a leader and based on the need for them to fix problems in multifaceted social areas can be placed under the social intelligence label. Without social intelligence, the potential to predict effectiveness in leadership is diminished. ). Another factor in effective leadership is spiritual intelligence. In other words, building and keeping a spiritual relationship. Leaders with spiritual intelligence don't want to do things that may bring harm to themselves or others and has holistic tendencies.
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Emotional intelligence can be linked to specific traits, competences or abilities and often considered a required skill for effective leadership. People who possess this intelligence understand other's emotions in addition to their own. Emotional intelligence leadership can help others to shine while low emotional leadership hinders the skills and talents of followers. Lastly, rational intelligence is learned from an individual's development and childhood and it follows onward from the basic intelligence that one's been born with. Lacking any one of these four intelligence hinders a leader from being able to view the world from several viewpoints.
Developing multiple intelligences is a must if one wants to access the highest stages of development and become mature leaders that are ready for the challenges they should face (Wigglesworth, 2006).
Gage, T., & Smith, C. (2016). Leadership intelligence: Unlocking the potential for school leadership effectiveness. South African Journal of Education, 36(4), 1–9. https://doi-org.southuniversity.libproxy.edmc.edu/10.15700/saje.v36n4a1328
Morton, W. (2012). Everything You Need to Know About Emotional Intelligence & Leadership. [Newmarket, Ont.]: BrainMass Inc. Retrieved from https://search-ebscohost-com.southuniversity.libproxy.edmc.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=529753&site=eds-live
Riggio, R. E., Murphy, S. E., & Pirozzolo, F. J. (2001). Multiple Intelligences and Leadership. Mahwah, N.J.: Psychology Press. Retrieved from https://search-ebscohost-com.southuniversity.libproxy.edmc.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=63053&site=eds-live
Siswanti, D. N., Khairuddin, R., & Halim, F. (2018). The Effect of Spiritual Intelligence, Emotion and Social Competence to the Leadership Competence. Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 1028, 012193. doi:10.1088/1742-6596/1028/1/012193
Wigglesworth, C. (2006). Why spiritual intelligence is essential to mature leadership. Integral Leadership Review, 6(3), 1-17.
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