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Sunday, June 16, 2013

Developing Transformational Leadership and Emotional Intelligence to Create Firm Performance



Leadership is the ability to draw people to higher levels of personal performance and development. Without the ability to understand other people it will be difficult to raise their performance to new levels. Transformational leadership and emotional intelligence can work together to create stronger organizational performance based upon the ability to understand oneself and the social group they are working with. The development of transformational leadership skills along with emotional intelligence is a worthwhile endeavor for higher levels of personal and group influence. 

Organizational leaders with high levels of emotional intelligence create stronger organizational performance. According to Jandaghi et. al. (2009), successful organizations contain higher levels of transformational leadership within their ranks. Understanding how transformational leadership and emotional intelligence combine to create higher group performance is important for choosing and developing future company executives.

Transformational leadership describes a leader’s ability to connect with employee’s self-identity and project that into visions that enhance group performance. The trait can be defined as the ability to create mechanisms wherein leadership and followers work together to develop enhanced levels of morale and motivation (Bass & Avolio, 1994). This type of leader is uses clearly defined visions and charismatic approaches to achieve goals.  

Emotional intelligence is a significant predictor of performance success. The concept of emotional intelligence entails the ability to be self-aware, self-managed, self-motivated, have empathy and utilize social skills. Research highlights the concept that emotional intelligence and transformational leadership are associated (Esfahani & Soflu, 2013). It is through this self-awareness that such leaders can better understand themselves to better manage their environments. 

There is a connection between awareness of oneself and the awareness of the environment. Transformational leaders and emotionally intelligent leaders are associated with each other in terms of traits (Mandell & Pherwani, 2003). This means that the traits seem to work with and influence each other to create stronger leadership approaches.  Traits overlap and manifest themselves in positive group influence. 

Does emotional awareness create group awareness? Available research seems to support the concept that understanding oneself (emotional intelligence) helps leaders to understand others perceptions of themselves (self-identity/group identity) to create a dynamic combination of skills that push groups to perform at higher levels to achieve clearly defined personal and organizational goals. 

Such leaders understand that goals that do not have much meaning for employees are unlikely to be fulfilled. Employees will simply be dragged along because the work does not conform to their self-identity or the nature of how they see themselves within their wider social networks. Transformational leaders understand how these social mechanisms operate in order to create enhanced levels of financial performance. It is difficult to understand social structure and its motivating mechanisms unless one has first conquered their inner emotional understandings of self.  To master the self allows the mastery of groups and in turn enhance financial performance. Social and financial aspects are associated concepts that rest in the development of group performance. It takes many hands to build something worthwhile.

Bass, B. & Avolio, B. (Eds.) (1994). Improving organizational effectiveness through transformational leadership. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications

Esfahani, N. & Soflu, H. (2013). Emotional intelligence and transformational leadership in physical education managers. Cypriot Journal of Educational Sciences, 8 (1). 

Jandaghi, G. et. al. (2009). Comparing transformational leadership in successful and unsuccessful companies. International Journal of Social Sciences, 4 (3). 

Mandell, B. & Pherwani, S. (2003). Relationship between emotional intelligence and transformational leadership style: a gender comparison. Journal of Business & Psychology, 17 (3).

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