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STRATEGIC LEADERSHIP - Essay Example

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STRATEGIC LEADERSHIP
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18 March 2012
Strategic Leadership
Introduction
The latter half of the 20th century witnessed the rapid surge in interest toward the effects of gender and emotional intelligence on leadership styles. …
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Download file to see previous pages At the beginning of the 20th century, IQ tests had been considered as the most valid measure of individual intelligence and potential to achieve success in life (Mandell & Pherwani 2003). However, IQ could not reflect the emotional and situational factors of leadership success (Mandell & Pherwani 2003). Today, research of how emotional intelligence and gender affect leadership styles is gaining momentum in organization studies and industrial psychology. More often than not, emotionally intelligent leaders are believed to possess an inherent capacity to perform better and transform the organization. Gender is claimed to predetermine the choice of particular leadership style. However, both assumptions have their strengths and limitations.
Emotional intelligence and leadership styles
That emotional intelligence (EI) and leadership style create a cohesive relationship has been widely documented. The body of empirical and theoretical literature examining the effects of EI on leadership style constantly expands. Emotionally intelligent leaders are generally considered to be happier than their non-emotional colleagues (Gardner & Stough 2002). Emotionally intelligent leaders are associated with greater workplace and organizational commitments and are believed to have emotions needed to improve the quality of decision making in organizations (Gardner & Stough 2002). Emotions have the potential to boost enthusiasm in followers and contribute to the development of sustained interpersonal relationships (Gardner & Stough 2002). These are the most popular claims highlighting the relationship between leaders and their emotions; but is everything as good as it seems?
Generally, researchers recognize that EI does affect leadership styles. Of particular importance is the relationship between EI and transformational leadership (Mandell & Pherwani 2003). Really, transformational leaders usually display a greater extent of emotions than non-transformational leaders, and this fact has far-reaching implications for the effectiveness of their leadership decisions. EI enables transformational leaders to develop and articulate enthusiasm for the vision and mission (Mandell & Pherwani 2003). Emotions contribute to the development of charisma in leaders (Mandell & Pherwani 2003). Emotional leaders have better opportunities to develop trust and commitment among their followers. It is no wonder that EI is mainly associated with transformations and transformational leadership styles. Leaders who score high on emotional intelligence scale usually display better emotional recognition and expression that non-emotional leaders (Gardner & Stough 2002). They can easily identify their feelings and express these feelings to others. EI leaders have a capacity to incorporate their emotions in decision making and use these emotions for the benefit of their organization. In other words, emotionally intelligent leaders can use their emotions to direct and guide their cognition (Gardner & Stough 2002). Emotional intelligence greatly influences leadership style, because emotionally intelligent leaders can read other people’s emotions, identify and interpret them; more often than not, it is transformational leaders that accomplish this emotional job (Gardner & Stough 2002). Emotionally intelligent leaders also possess good emotional control and can manage their own and others’ positive and negative emotions (Gardner & Stough 2002). The main question is in whether the EI-leadership relationship is strong and what theoretical models (if any) can ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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