The Importance of Emotional Intelligence for a Leader


       Emotional intelligence appears to be a distinguishing feature of successful leaders. We hear of leaders who defy conventional wisdom and logic and are successful anyway because they went with their feelings rather than pure logic.
       Jacques (1996) pointed out that industrial era thinking marginalized the entire domain of relational practice including emotions, nurturing, and empathy. Furthermore, in the 21st century, relational skill will be increasingly important for effectively organizing but these skills are not typically found in an industrial workplace.   To relate and nurture implies an emotional connection to another person. It implies that we acknowledge and value their feelings. Cooper and Sawaf (1996) state, “Emotional intelligence is the ability to sense, understand, and effectively apply the power and acumen of emotions as a source of human energy, information, connection, and influence” (p.xiii).
        In addition, Bass (1990, p. 111) cites research that confirms that emotional expresivity, emotional sensitivity, and emotional control are important social skills for a modern leader. Factor this in with Jacques (1996) and Cooper and Sawaf (1996) and it becomes obvious that emotional intelligence is important to success in the 21st century.

References

Bass, B. M., & Stogdill, R. M. (1990). Bass & Stogdill’s handbook of leadership : Theory, research, and managerial applications ( 3rd ed.). New York: Free Press.

Cooper, R., & Sawaf, A. (1996). Executive EQ: Emotional intelligence in leadership and organizations. New York: The Berkley Publishing Group.

Jacques, R. (1996). Manufacturing the employee: Management knowledge from the 19th to 21st centuries. London: Sage Publications.

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Newt’s Statement of the Proposed Mosque Near Ground Zero


In my opinion, Newt Gingrich is an articulate, insightful political commentator and professor of American history. He has made an astute statement regarding proposed mosque near “ground zero” in New York City and it deserves repitition. You may find it fruitful to visit Gingrich’s website at www.newt.org .

Statement on the Proposed “Cordoba House” Mosque near Ground Zero

By: Newt Gingrich

http://www.newt.org/newt-direct/newt-gingrich-statement-proposed-mosqueislamic-community-center-near-ground-zero

July 21, 2010 6:00 pm

There should be no mosque near Ground Zero in New York so long as there are no churches or synagogues in Saudi Arabia. The time for double standards that allow Islamists to behave aggressively toward us while they demand our weakness and submission is  over.

The proposed “Cordoba House” overlooking the World Trade Center site where a group of jihadists killed over 3000 Americans and destroyed one of our  most famous landmarks – is a test of the timidity, passivity  and historic ignorance of American elites. For example, most of them don’t understand that “Cordoba House” is a deliberately insulting term. It refers to Cordoba, Spain – the capital of Muslim conquerors who symbolized their victory over the Christian Spaniards by transforming a church there into the world’s third-largest mosque complex.

Today, some of the Mosque’s  backers insist this term is being used to “symbolize interfaith cooperation” when, in fact, every Islamist in the  world recognizes Cordoba as a symbol of Islamic conquest. It is a sign of their contempt for Americans and their confidence in our historic ignorance that they would deliberately insult  us this way. Those Islamists and their apologists who argue for “religious toleration” are arrogantly dishonest. They ignore the fact that more than 100 mosques already exist in New York City. Meanwhile, there are no churches or synagogues in all of Saudi Arabia. In fact no Christian or Jew can even enter Mecca.  And they lecture us about  tolerance. If the people behind the Cordoba House were serious about religious toleration, they would be imploring the Saudis, as fellow Muslims, to immediately open up Mecca to all and immediately announce their intention to allow non-Muslim houses of worship in the  Kingdom. They should be asked by the news media if they would be willing to lead
such a campaign.

We have not been able to rebuild the World Trade Center in nine years. Now we are being told a 13 story, $100 million megamosque will be built  within a year overlooking the site of the m ost devastating surprise attack in American history.

Finally where is the money coming from? The people behind the Cordoba House refuse to reveal all their funding sources. America is experiencing an Islamist cultural-political offensive designed to undermine and destroy our civilization. Sadly, too many of our elites are the willing apologists for those who would destroy them if they could.

No mosque.

No self deception.

No surrender.

The time to take a stand is now – at this site on this issue.

Click here to download a copy of Gingrich’s statement.

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Our Relationship with an Employer


The characteristics of the Federalist citizen are fairly descriptive of my work relationship.  In order to elaborate as to why, I will look at the essence of the Federalist citizen  as presented by Jacques (1996):  The Federalist citizen was a master craftsman that entered wage work as a means to another end, that considered dependence on the organization a debased state, that believed sub-ordination to be un-American, that made complete products and was paid for outcomes, that believed in the omni-competence of the average person, that considered it a perquisite and basic criterion of adult participation in society to speak one’s truth knowledgeably, and that unified the roles of business person and politician, domestic and paid worker, and producer and consumer.

 Jacques (1996) states that the modern professional has “…roots stretching back to the middle ages,” and “whose authority is grounded in specific occupational knowledge” (p. 89). As an industry certified information systems professional, I satisfy Jacques’ definition.  While I am not omni-competent, I am multi-competent in my field and am expected to speak truth knowledgably.  Like most professionals I know, I find it difficult to accept low level sub-ordination and am more loyal to my profession than to any particular company.  This is in stark contrast to the industrial employee who is characterized as being the good, permanent employee, resigned to a specific task at a fixed wage, the sub-ordinate, the ignorant, childlike, encoded self.  As a result, my work relationship clearly has more in common with the Federalist citizen than the industrial employee.

Reference:

Jacques, R. (1996). Manufacturing the employee: Management knowledge from the 19th to 21st centuries. London: Sage Publications.

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The Federalist Reality and the Industrial Reality


I was reading Roy Jacques’, Manufacturing the employee: Management knowledge from the 19th to 21st centuries, a fascinating and intellectually stimulating discussion of the evolution of the modern “employee” and the realities of a Federalist reality verses an Industrial reality.  Each reality was a product of its time; they were manifestations of the nation’s political, economic, and social condition. Consider the Federalist reality era of 1790 to 1870. America was emancipated from Great Britain, began its individual economic existence as a sovereign nation. In the initial stage of this era, the country had no significant manufacturing capacity. Consequently, it seems important that the Federalist be self-sufficient and operates in their autonomous sphere. Jacques points out that the Federalist was omni-competent and “…had the knowledge to effectively deal with the problems of society” (p.39). The Federalist citizen was a “highly unified self’ (p.29); he was the right person for the times.

As the nation gained political and economic stature the population and manufacturing capacity increased. The Civil War appears to be a major turning point for the nation, which marked the end of Federalism and the beginning of the Industrial reality of 1870 to 1920. Increased industrialization of the North due to the Civil War created an economy that could mass-produce consumer goods. This, in turn, diminished the need of individual self-sufficiency. It also marked the beginning of a strong centralized Federal government, the incarnation of the United States as a major world government, and a melding of capital and labor.

Jacques states, “The staple roles of the Federalist work – owner-operators and workers – were disappearing. New roles appeared – managers, employees and capitalists – which could not be understood in Federalist terms’ (p.63). The Federalists liked to leave things alone but Industrialists were people of action and wanted to make things happen. The most important thing, in my opinion, is that the nation could not sustain its rapid economic growth and consumer sophistication in a Federalist reality. The ethos of the nation changed and with it came the Industrial reality.

I personally prefer the Industrial reality because provided a firm foundation on which the American Dream was established. While I like the idea of omni-competence, it simply does not provide an adequate framework for maximizing human resources or supporting sophisticated manufacturing endeavors.

Reference:

Jacques, R. (1996). Manufacturing the employee: Management knowledge from the 19th to 21st centuries. London: Sage Publications.

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Globalization is “Nice” – or is it?


Recently I was asked to comment on a quote made by Jimmy Carter regarding globalization. Carter stated, “Globalization, as defined by rich people like us, is a very nice thing…you are talking about the Internet, you are talking about cell phones, you are talking about computers.This doesn’t affect two-thirds of the people of the world.”

My initial reaction to Carter’s quote is to regard it as a fallacious statement largely based on his parochial perspective. When I deconstruct the statement I need to point out that globalization per se is not necessarily considered to be a “very nice thing” for many people both rich and poor. Mr. Carter makes a bold sweeping statement that has no basis in fact. Furthermore, insinuating that the Internet, cell phones, and computers are a product of globalization is patently false. Having the privilege of being involved in the technologies that made these products possible enable me to distinctly remember that the retail consumer versions of these products were largely created in the United States after which they rapidly spread into what was then identified as an “international market.” Carter’s statement is ambiguous in that it insinuates that these high-tech products are a manifestation of globalization. The ubiquitousness of computers, cell phones, and the Internet may be influenced by globalization but we should not infer that they are a result of it.

Carter states that globalization does not affect two-thirds of the people in the world is another ambiguous statement that implies that the majority of the people in the world either are unaffected by or cannot participate in fruits of globalization. I admit that there is some probability that many people in the world may not directly enjoy the benefits of globalization but I am unaware of many, if any, countries that are unaffected by it.
Lewis (1999) states, “As the globalization of business brings executives more frequently together, there is a growing realization that if we examine concepts and values, we can take almost nothing for granted” (p.11). In a global economy, we cannot take for granted concepts as fundamental as a contract, business ethics, trust, fiduciary responsibility, and leadership skills. Addressing these concepts on an international basis is intriguing but I doubt if many people would say it was “nice.” The inexpensive retail consumer electronic products and services may seem nice but we should not use that as a basis to infer that globalization in and of itself in nice.

Globalization is a marvelously complex interactive process melding economies, people, and cultures into a phenomenon that I believe we have yet to fully understand.

Reference:
Lewis, R.D. (1999).When Cultures Collide: Managing successfully across cultures. Nicholas Brealy Publishing Co., London

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Importance of Educating Yourself


The more you know, the more you will grow. Information is the greatest resource you have as you work toward creating a better life. Facts help to increase your confidence, break down fear, and inspire you to action. Learn all there is to know about what you want and you will never be without the drive and energy you need to make it happen.
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Blunders of Past Leaders are Ignored by Obama


Our political leaders, especially the President, badly need a refresher course on successful leader behavior.  I have been disturbed by the appearance of Obama trying to please everyone he meets, foreign heads of state in particular.  History has consistently shown that strong, dignified leaders earn the respect of their followers and peers while achieving success in their organization goals.  Barak Obama appears to be oblivious to this fact as he continues to exude narcissistic behavior and blunder through his tenure as president, seemingly to never be cognizant of the blunders of his predecessors.

The point is clearly noted in Michael Ledeen’s (2000) Machiavelli on Modern Leadership:   

Among other blunders, they invariably give the wrong answer to one of Machiavelli’s basic questions:  Is it better to be more loved than feared, or more feared than loved?  Western leaders from John Major and Bill Clinton to Newt Gingrich, Silvio Berlusconi, and Benjamin Netanyahu have desperately sought love from both friends and foes, to the ruin of their domestic and international enterprises.  Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, Lee Kwan Yu, Bill Gates, and Pope Paul II knew better, and reshaped the world. (P. xiv)

In addition to this excellent point, there are other observations Machiavelli posits that apply to the President and his close retinue:

When it comes to international affairs the bare bones fact are: 

  • Our challengers, whether a new team in a sport’s league, Japanese companies making cheaper and better automobiles, the Russian leaders, or a Middle-Eastern government, “. . .will not be charmed by sweet reasonableness, for they seek domination over us.  If you’re going to be a leader, you must make a simple choice:  either dominate or be dominated. (p. 16.)
  • “Worse still, when you find a leader who acts [in these ways], you can be sure that he’s making other big mistakes as well, because the proper use of power is such a central ingredient in any good organization.” (p. 31)

Reference:

Ledeen, M.A. (2000). Machiavelli on Modern Leadership: Why Machiavelli’s iron rules are as timely and important today as five centuries ago. St. Martin’s Press, New York, 2000.

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