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My goodness, I’ve seen it so many times over the past two decades. Across all industries a similar dynamic tends to set up. It’s completely logical. Leaders and executives get promoted to the next level because of their ability to get results. Their work-product displays substantial competence and a secure grasp of the organization’s pursuits. They tend to exceed expectations with reasonable consistency. So they are understandably rewarded with expanded organizational responsibility. And then the blind spot becomes apparent.
You probably already know where I’m going with this, because you too have seen it. This blind spot often either stalls or derails the executive career sometimes to the point of failure (including the failure of others). This blind spot is all about hitting the results (getting it done, getting it right) but missing the power of relationships. Again, this is common.
Some who occupy executive/leadership positions are often considered the “smartest” men and women in the room yet they sometimes lack the emotional intelligence necessary to succeed. The organizations who employ them recognize that something must be done. Even when these organizations do not utter the words, “emotional intelligence” they are instinctively recognizing the need for more relational dexterity and touch from their achievers.
I’ve noticed that what is crazymaking for the achievement-prone executive stems from their belief that results are king. They just know it. They then start to get signals that results (which are vital) are not enough in their expanded world, further up the organizational chart. This is tough to reconcile. What has long been viewed as an excellent and necessary thing (results), is now not the ultimate thing. This is paradigm-rocking stuff.
Avoiding the executive career taken too early and its accompanying high residual costs is one good reason to try to arrest this, but it is not the only benefit of shining the light on the blind spot. Quite plainly, another powerful reason to get the right eyes for this threat is the honorable pursuit of increased rewards, enhanced productivity, Team achievement and frankly, considerably more fun. Healthy leadership produces many fruits, yet over the years I’ve experienced numerous leaders and executives wondering when the fun would begin in their own leadership experience.
The good news is a blind spot can develop into a sweet spot. Emotional intelligence strategies are learnable, implementable and an unbeatable aspect of leadership and organizational success.
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