Last week Sonoma Leadership Systems launched its first full day workshop on Emotional Intelligence in San Francisco. One of the first questions that Dr. Holly Seaton asked was that participants think of a person whom they admire and write five things about that person that caused them to feel that way. Do the same exercise (it only takes a few minutes) and you may be as surprised as we were at the results. None of the examples were about technical skills. They were all about Interpersonal Skills. The groundwork was being laid at this EISA (Emotional Intelligence Skills Assessment) workshop about the importance of leaders demonstrating emotional and social intelligence. Backed up by participants’ viewing their 360 results from their assessment resulted in a rich discussion. Holly led us through the meaning and interpretations of the scores. There is no doubt that leaders who are conscious of the impact of their emotional intelligence upon others have an extraordinary opportunity to influence others positively. Along the way, they enhance their interpersonal skills and the potential to be a most admired leader.
The whole world watched this week as one by one 33 miners were extracted safely from the mine in Chile. It was a joyous ending to a 69-day ordeal that riveted the world. Watching this incredible series of events, one is struck by the resilience of the miners and by the way in which they bonded together and supported one another. We will learn more details at some point, but it was clear that strong leadership was what pulled them through this incredible life threatening event. We learned that the men had innate leadership skills that were put to the test. One was the humorist, one the medic, another optimist and one their religious mentor. Researchers, psychologists, writers, reporters and the general population are eager to hear more details. However, one thing is certain in this “down under” leadership experience. The miners experience and The Leadership Challenge® research proves, “leadership is a set of skills and practices that are available to all of us, not just a few charismatic men and women.” Kouzes and Posner challenge the myth that “leadership is something that is found at the highest levels of an organization.” In this case, the miners discovered theirs at the bottom of a mine shaft. Congratulations!