William D. Oldham, LPC Owner, Northwest Counseling, Inc.

William D. Oldham, LPC
Owner, Northwest Counseling, Inc.

Executive leadership functions under a misnomer that how smart you are will predict how successful you are. There are many examples of very smart people who succeed. In fact it takes a threshold of intelligence just to get through school, especially a Masters Degree, and acquire a leadership position. It is not their GPA that predicts success as a leader. What separates leaders from their merely intelligent counterparts is their ability to influence others.

Influencing others is a process of accessing and motivating the emotionally wrapped personalities of the people in our organization.

“… intellect alone will not make a leader; leaders execute a vision by motivating, guiding, inspiring, listening, persuading …. As Albert Einstein cautioned, ‘We should take care not to make the intellect our god. It has, of course, powerful muscles, but it has no personality. It cannot lead, it can only serve.'” 

Goleman, Daniel; Boyatzis, Richard E.; McKee, Annie (2004-02-26). Primal Leadership: Learning to Lead With Emotional Intelligence (p. 27). Harvard Business Review Press. Kindle Edition. 

Without the ability to influence others the strength of our intelligence is wasted lifting weights in the gym but never exercising leadership, motivating and freeing people to perform to their maximum ability. When people do not perform at their max, the organization suffers and does not reach its maximum profitability.

If a leader is able to communicate empathy, attunement, develop organizational awareness, exert influence, become an inspiration, achieve teamwork and develop others, she will greatly improve her chances of personal and organizational success. Her team will want to work with her. A bond will form so that the team will achieve far more than if they worked in a dissonant fragmented group. Harvard Business Review’s 10 Must Reads on Collaboration,  “Social Intelligence and the Biology of Leadership” Goleman et. al. First eBook Edition: April 2013