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Emotional Intelligence 3

Emotional Intelligence

Summary of the article, ‘What makes a leader?’ by Daniel Goleman

Daniel Goleman in his article What makes a leader? outlines the importance of emotional intelligence as an important quality for any leadership position. He goes ahead to explain how one can tell if someone has high emotional intelligence which he does by taking each element of emotional intelligence in turn:

Self awareness

According to Goleman self awareness means that one has a deeper understanding of one’s emotions, strengths, weaknesses, needs and drives. The person will also be able to speak about his emotions and how they affect his performance, will be honest and will not accept a challenge greater that his strength.

Self regulation

This is being in control of one’s feelings, knowing what to say and what not to say and how to act even when highly irritated. These people are therefore trusted and are fair in their decisions which will create an environment that will encourage productivity. These individuals are competitive and are of high integrity.


This quality demonstrates in the drive to achieve or succeed. These people are not driven by external factors like a huge salary, but an inward desire to perform. Such people accept new challenges, are ready to learn and are proud of their achievements. They always track their achievements and remain optimistic even in difficult situations.

This is demonstrated in the ability to have the employees’ feelings at heart. Goleman points out that the need for leaders to practice empathy is driven by three major reasons: the increase use of teams, the rapid globalization and the growing need to retain talent.

Social skill

In this context, social skill means being friendly but with a purpose. People with this skill can easily convince others to join in their way of thinking and therefore provide leadership that is acceptable by all. They understand that no leader can succeed on his own.


Goleman D. (2004). What Makes a Leader? Harvard Business Review.