Inside business: Tell your boss to grow up

The age of the overbearing employer is over, writes Roger Trapp

TOMORROW, the Industrial Society marks the beginning of what it is calling Leadership Week with the publication of a survey demonstrating that the old ideas of leadership are on their way out.

According to Ian Lawson, the organisation's director of leadership, the report shows that "the writing is on the wall" for command-and-control style leadership. Instead, people in all walks of life want leaders who can treat them as human beings.

Such findings are hardly new to Daniel Goleman, the man who has almost single-handedly put emotional intelligence into the thinking manager's lexicon. Dr Goleman - who was in London last week for the publication of the paperback version of his book Working with Emotional Intelligence (Bloomsbury) - writes in a recent Harvard Business Review article that, in a study he carried out, nearly 90 per cent of the difference between star performers and average ones in senior leadership positions was "attributable to emotional intelligence factors rather than cognitive abilities".

But what is emotional intelligence? In contrast to cognitive intelligence, or IQ, it broadly corresponds to the sort of things that the respondents to the Industrial Society research were looking for in their leaders. Looked at in more detail, it has five key components: self-awareness, or the ability to recognise and understand your moods, emotions and drives as well their effect on others; self-regulation, or the ability to control or re-direct disruptive impulses and moods; motivation, a passion to work for reasons that go beyond money and status; empathy, the ability to understand the emotional make-up of others; and social skill, proficiency in managing relationships and building networks. Organisations have long recognised the importance of the last of these, but it is only now that they are seeing the need to tackle all the aspects of the concept.

That said, though, there are signs that certain organisations are making the effort to make up for lost time. Dr Goleman, who wrote his first book Emotional Intelligence with the aim of alerting educators to the need to develop the quality among schoolchildren, says he has been amazed at the interest among business people. He has been so inundated with requests for help that he has teamed up with the Hay management consultancy to meet demand.

But, once he delved into the business area, he discovered what he calls "a golden vein" of material collected by companies to discover what makes people successful in organisations. All the studies offer conclusive support for the emotional intelligence theory, he says.

"IQ and technical skill still determine what profession you can enter, not how well you can do in it," he adds.

Such thinking is behind the adage that success in life is more about who you know rather than what you know. Since that implies a sort of "old boy network", it might be more accurate to talk in terms of applying what you know. At any rate, Dr Goleman believes the difference is that what was once implicit is now explicit. Business people have "a basis for arguing that this does matter and using it in a more efficient way".

However, there is a paradox. Just as society is now more open about the concept of emotional intelligence, it seems that workers are becoming less skilled in it. Dr Goleman put this down to children in developed countries being the "unintended victims" of two trends. The first is technological - the availability of PCs is making it possible to spend hours a day not communicating face-to-face with others. The second is economical - the growing tendency for both parents to work and the resulting reduction in free time in families. He says his theory is backed up by evidence from managers who say that young people are unable to collaborate, have trouble with feedback and find it hard to interact with colleagues.

The result, he says, is that companies will have to take on the position of schools. Challenging as that might be for them, it is not as bad as it could be, since Dr Goleman has insisted that emotional intelligence can be learned - in other circles it is called "maturing".

Perhaps the biggest challenge for the concept lies in the fact that it is starting to be introduced into business schools. For surely nobody has been more convinced of the supremacy of cognitive intelligence over everything else than the analysis-mad MBA.

`Smart Moves', page 3

Life and Style
The Google Doodle celebrating the start of the first day of autumn, 2014.
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Sport
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
football
News
Former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin, left, with her daughter, Bristol
newsShe's 'proud' of eldest daughter, who 'punched host in the face'
PROMOTED VIDEO
Sport
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
rugby
News
i100
News
A cabin crew member photographed the devastation after one flight
news
Life and Style
Carol O'Brien, whose son Rob suffered many years of depression
healthOne mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
Life and Style
food + drink
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
News
Rob Merrick's Lobby Journalists were playing Ed Balls' Labour Party MPs. The match is an annual event which takes place ahead of the opening of the party conference
newsRob Merrick insistes 'Ed will be hurting much more than me'
Voices
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
News
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Life and Style
healthFor Pure-O OCD sufferers this is a reality they live in
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Trainee / Experienced Recruitment Consultants

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 ...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Soho

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40000: SThree: As a Recruitment Consultant, y...

Trainee Recruitment Consultants - Banking & Finance

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

Quantitative Risk Manager

Up to £80000: Saxton Leigh: My client, a large commodities broker, is looking ...

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments