In the Harvard Business Review
article "Leadership That Gets Results," Daniel Goleman cites research
which shows that up to 30% of a company's financial results are
the climate of the organization.
And what is the major factor
that drives the climate of an organization? It's
the leader. In Primal Leadership: Realizing the Power of
Emotional Intelligence, Goleman states that roughly 50-70% of how
employees perceive their organization's climate is attributable to the
actions and behaviors of their leader.
12 Major Causes of
A leader creates the environment
that determines people's moods at the office and their mood, in turn,
affects their productivity and level of engagement.
When we move the curtain
a bit, we can see clearly that a leader's bad mood is a source
– an emotional contagion that
eventually spreads across people to entire units.
We can learn a
thing or two from leadership in the military. Imagine the effect
on troop morale and energy that an "overwhelmed," "anxious,"
"worried" or "irate" leader would have. And how about a leader
who is plagued by uncertainty? "Indecision," as H.A.Hopf puts
it, "is contagious. It transmits itself to others." It can
become debilitating and habit-forming in an organization, as
people take their cues from the leader's state of mind.
So how do you work on attaining
emotionally intelligent leadership behaviors that breed success in
yourself and others? Here are a few other suggestions to consider that
can improve your and your team's performance:
1. Model Meeting Behavior
Take a hard look at your
behavior in meetings, which are often "cauldrons of emotion." Do you
model the way by setting a positive tone right from the start? Or do you
impose your own "pace" based on how you feel at the moment? Aim for a
calm, relaxed mood and a consistent,
2. Look For Good In Others
Long before leadership books
were in vogue, Andre Malraux, French novelist and statesman, reminded us
that one of the central objectives of a
leader is to make others aware of the greatness that lies in them.
Be known in your organization as someone who is always on the lookout
for what is right with people. It engenders good will and is good for
3. Read The Climate
Do you have a good
reading of the climate of your unit or organization? Can you
accurately sense what the emotional atmosphere is? Is it
upbeat? Is it
energized? Is it down or dejected? Do people seem slightly
apprehensive and somewhat cautious in your presence? Can you ask
a trusted acolyte if the atmosphere changes when you are away?
4. Be Pleasant and Cooperative
If you are an emergent leader,
and working on having a pleasant personality is not a priority for you,
consider putting some effort into cultivating this prized quality. It is
almost impossible to have executive presence without it. Be cooperative,
for example, sharing ideas and shortcuts. This is another example of how
mood affects productivity.
5. Manage the Emotions of Change
Be particularly mindful of how
you manage emotions if
your organization is undergoing change
– how you handle emotions during
these crucial times can help or hinder the change process. It's a known
fact that if the
resistance to change is emotional, it is the hardest form of
resistance to overcome. As
the leader handling a change initiative, don't avoid the emotions
that accompany the change process. Set the mood and manage the emotions
– or they will manage you.
8 Common Errors Leaders Make
the leader, you have in your hand the switch that can control the
intensity of engagement of the people who do the work in your
organization. It's like being a director in a movie: "The first work of
the director is to set a mood so that the actor's work can take place"
(William Friedkin, American movie and television director/producer.) A
upbeat mood metaphorically oxygenates the blood of followers
a transfusion into the corporate arteries. It may be one of the most
potent contributions you can make as a leader.