Effective leadership is built upon strong character, emotional intelligence, cognitive intelligence, and subject-matter expertise. In my workshops and talks on leadership I often use the analogy of the structure of a house where character is the foundation, emotional intelligence (EQ) is the framework, IQ gives leadership its function, and expertise provides leadership with curb appeal.
Character is foundational because people will follow only when they see positive character traits such as integrity, transparency, and vulnerability. EQ is the strength or framework because leadership requires relationships and relationships are the result of EQ behaviors and skills. IQ gives leadership its function, much like a plumbing system or electrical system makes a house work, because IQ lets the leader use character and EQ effectively. Expertise gives leadership its appeal because it lets the leader relate effectively with those that are carrying out the tasks.
In the leadership articles that I write for PolymerOhio Manufacturing Services’ blog, I have a series that describes this “structure” of leadership. The series then describes further each of the four elements – character, emotional intelligence, cognitive intelligence, and subject-matter expertise – and how they build into effective leadership.