Critical Thinking Assignment

1 January 2017

In the article “The Emotional Intelligence of Leaders”, Goleman (1998) believed that “emotional intelligence” is paramount in leaders of modern organizations; even more important than actual skills related to their job functions. Since we are hardwired to feel, the author stated that it is impossible to separate our emotions when we go to work. He articulated the importance of self-awareness in leaders.

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Goleman suggested that “selfawareness is essential to realistic self-assessment” (22), and self-awareness also leads to self-confidence which is essential for leaders. However, unlike regular intelligence that we are born with and cannot be change d, the author explained several ways successful leaders can utilize emotion and develop their emotional intelligence. He noted that leaders often lose their jobs if they cannot lead or adapt to changes; both of these reasons are directly related to emotions. His research in U. S. hildren discovered a positive correlation between one’s ability and success in controlling his or her emotions, particularly impulses, early on in childhood and his or her future academic success.

Furthermore, Goleman pointed out that optimism is a vital emotional trait in leadership. It allowed optimists to handle rejections and motivating others when there are setbacks in the organization. The author suggested that even though emotional intelligence is important; it has actually declined because we are spending less time in developing it in recent years.

The advent of digital communication and the accompanied technologies means we are using less time to interact with one another on a more personal level, he asserted. Moreover, Goleman concluded that leaders Critical Thinking 3 cannot be effective unless they understand emotions and utilize them to their advantage, especially in the modern fast changing organizational environment. Summary of McCrimmon In the article “Thought Leadership: a Radical Departure fromTraditional, Positional Leadership”, McCrimmon (2005) presented a new leadership pproached he termed “thought leadership. ” (1065) He defined thought leadership as “championing of new ideas. ” (1066)

McCrimmon used a myriad of examples in different organizational environment to point out theusefulness of thought leaders and one of his main points which is thought leaders are not necessarily managers thus no managerial skills are even required. Take it one step further, the author explained that thought leaders do not even have to be in the same company, let alone inside the company’s leadership structure.

Since every person has the opportunity to become athought leader, McCrimmon noted, this type of leadership is not controlled within any existing leadership positions and no appointment is necessary. He indicated that thought leadership is neither not top-down nor bottom-up; it has no particular directions within the organizational structure. The author pointed out that these thought leaders can arise from anywhere, anytime in an organization. McCrimmon used Martin Luther King as an example to show that thought leaders can even be dead and continue to have effect.

McCrimmon explained the key features of thought leadership which mostly centered on situation around innovation and new ideas; therefore, technical skills of the leaders are more important actual interpersonal skills they possess. He claimed that “emotional intelligence is not essential for thought leadership” (1068). McCrimmon explained that the willingness or the urge champion new ideas is not learned while traditional leadership skills that can be learned. The author concluded that thought leadership best described what really transpire in organizations that depends on new ideas or innovations.

Discussion Characteristics of any leader in any modern organizations mightinclude intelligence, confidence, optimism, inspiration, proficiency, and communication. Goleman (1998) included many of these traits in his article and explained how emotion intelligence relates to them. However, although McCrimmon (2005) provided a myriad of examples of thought leadership in different industries, he failed to link thought leadership to the common characteristics one usually associated with leaders; therefore, I prefer Goleman’s approach and his discourse on emotional intelligence.

In this discussion, I will point out why Goleman’s discussion is more convincing in modern organizational environment. First, Goleman correctly asserted that emotion is part of being human thus cannot be separated out at workplace. Having understood the reality that emotions do exist in the workplace, we can better understand the Critical Thinking 5 relationships between our emotions and emotional intelligence. This created the basis of which one can develop emotional intelligence and utilize it to lead others.

While every leader should possess basic level of intelligence and basic competency in their related field, not every leader have mastered their emotions or have sufficiently developed their emotional intelligence. Since many of the leadership traits often go together, understanding the relationship between them can help leaders make improvement. For example, a confident leader is often optimistic or an inspired leader is often a great communicator. Goleman’s explanation of how one start with self- awareness to self-assessment, then self-assessment leads to self-confidence is an example of how these traits develop together.

In the course of my employment, I have the opportunity to interact with several government agencies. Within those highly structured agencies, I can clearly observe that leaders with higher emotional intelligence are more effective in getting positive results. People in leadership positions that have lower emotional intelligence are less likely to deliver positive outcomes even though they are fully competent in their job. Secondly, Goleman also correctly pointed out the effect of digital communication and related technologies have on our emotional intelligence. In my work, I was provided with a wide choice of communication methods.

However, I often prefer digital communications such as emails and instant messages. While these methods may seem more convenient, there are also less personal. Therefore, it is likely that I can go without talking to an actual person for hours at a time. This is my personal example where the opportunities to develop emotional intelligence can be limited by modern communication technologies. Furthermore, Goleman suggested ways to increase leaders’ emotional intelligence while traditional intelligence cannot be readily increased. This part of the article is particular useful to both current and prospective leaders.

It provided insight that people can turn into action to improve themselves. On the other hand, although McCrimmon’s examples of thought leadership were useful in explaining what thought leadership is; it did little to convey how thought leaders came to be. Because he suggested that this type of leaders can be anyone from anywhere, it is difficult to identify in the present time. Many of the author’s examples can only be identified after the fact. The example of Martin Luther King is particularly interesting because Dr. King is undoubtedly a thought leader; however, I would assert that Dr.

King possesses great emotional intelligence before he became a thought leader. I would suggest that without emotional intelligence and exceptional interpersonal skills, Dr. King might not be as effective in delivering his message. While I concede that organizations where innovations are integral, there are a lots of thoughts leaders. However, thought leaders are actually necessary for those organizations. People that work with or within these organizations often possesses those specialized skills, creative approaches Critical Thinking 7 and even the right personalities for them to become thought leaders.

Since the qualities of thought leaders cannot be developed, thought leaders can only be identified and not developed. McCrimmon’s article did not provide readers with adequate information on how to become effective thought leaders or for organization how to acquire thought leaders. In conclusion, both emotional intelligence and thought leaderships are relatively modern concepts in management that provide unique insights. While emotions play an important part in our lives, the unique quality of thought leadership should not be easily discount; especially when innovations and new ideas are important in many modern organizations.

Goleman (1998), in this article explains with illustrations how leadership should be construed and how one’s emotions play a huge role towards an effective style of leadership. The way you feel the type of person you are and the actions you take are essential in leadership skills. Leaders in top positions in various organizations have great credentials to show for it but like Goleman pointed out, there are some that lead mainly on what they have studied, that is, their technical expertise. Hence, they are not open to emotionally leading that organization.

Our emotions are who we are, they are imbedded in us. Goleman, goes further to give in-depth illustrations as to how the human brain is linked to what feelings we feel, be it happy or sad, regret or anger. Thinking your actions through before voicing them out has a lot to do with our emotions. Our thinking faculty and the emotional part of our brain (known as the amygdale) work side by side and these two are essential for an effective leadership style, they cannot work single handedly. We learn that through the amygdale, emotional decisions can be eliminated by paying attention to our feelings.

Self awareness allows our decision making come from our core values; making a decision that will affect the goals we are making for our tomorrow is a typical example of self confidence. Leaders that have made an impact on their employees have done so because they do not act on impulses and they can handle their emotions when they have a negative or positive feeling to convey. Pessimists are reluctant to change what they cannot see but optimists go for it, regardless of the obstacles they have come across or the obstacles they will come across.

Goleman stresses that leaders should have this as a vital part of their day to day motivational ability. In the study mentioned by Goleman on motivating others, the end results are rooted in the emotions of the group of sales people. The optimists were more persevering and that led to succeeding in their goals. Employees feed their emotions off of their leaders/managers reactions to occurrences in the work place. Some individuals who are in leadership positions care solely about them and their own successes and companies are run to the ground by such leaders.

A group of people in an organization, who get no support from their managers during and after a task delegated to them, will feel let down and disrespected and these concerns are usually not voiced out to their managers. One the other hand, managers who show support, create a more conducive environment for everyone to work in, making employees more receptive to coaching and development. Positive emotion begets positive emotion. A leader, who has a positive attitude, even in the most daring situations, exudes that emotion to his employees and one who doesn’t creates a negative and uptight environment.

Goleman goes on to explain that emotions have no barriers when it comes to being contagious; it flows from manager to employee or employee to employee. The way a leader settles disputes should be done in manner that show cases employees’ best ability. In Goleman’s illustration about the three levels of team performance, he emphasizes that a group coming together with a positive mindset can outdo that one individual that has been tagged by the organization as the best. Goleman describes this kind of team as a superlative team.

From the famous study at Stanford University, he points out that the emotional intelligence starts from a young age into adulthood. With this knowledge, children stand a better chance of emotional intelligence as they grow older. You can use what you have learned in childhood to create a positive impact on a negative pattern you come across in your adulthood. It does not happen automatically, it takes a conscious effort from the parties involved. Efforts have to be made and the willingness to achieve the goal they have set is essential.

Before sky scrapers and office buildings around the world, people earned a living from home and people were more in tune with their emotions. Wherever you are, your emotions are with you. Goleman concluded with the notion that leaders should be willing to take out time to teach employees to channel their emotions in positive directions. This will lead to exceptional development for the employees and also for the organization. Summary 2 McCrimmon, M. (2005, January) Thought leadership: a radical departure from traditional, positional leadership.

Management Decision, 43 (7/8), 1064-1070 McCrimmon (2005) in this article proposes to convey his take on the best form of leadership. The successes of organizations are from thought leadership and he goes ahead to compare it with shared leadership with a concentration on their differences and not their similarities. His explanation of thought leadership boils down to how much leverage we have over the ideas that we think of on a daily basis. Basically, your position doesn’t make you a leader. He illustrates thought leadership by using examples in several different organizations and life styles.

There is no one way of becoming a leader and you don’t need a superior to tell you how much of a leader you can be. From his examples, these individuals had skills that they did not know they had till they were able to share that skill with someone else or a group of people. This isn’t always the case, he points out. There are situations where thought leadership has been turned down within organizations but those ideas where useful outside of that organization. In his key characteristics of thought leadership, there is no process to how it should come about.

An associate can let a vice president know that she has thought of a new idea to better the development of an organization. This might either work in or against her favor. Once the idea has been shared, she either stands a chance of moving up within that company or handing the baton to someone higher in rank. There is no structure for thought leadership. An individual working in ‘Company A’ can be a thought leader for ‘Company B’ without ‘Company B’ having inkling as to who the idea came from. McCrimmon gives a true example using internet developers.

We use information off the web, not considering who created it, or where the information was derived. He mentions Martin Luther King and Churchill, both of whom, even after death have effects on society and the decisions that are made today. Thought leadership is not about team members in a board room, it’s a global group of people/organizations. Emotional intelligence, he says, is not necessary for thought leadership. You do not have to be a people person but are able to come up with genius ideas. In the long run, it’s the idea you can come up with that counts, not how long you can hold a conversation.

Traditional leaders learn their way of leadership, whereas thought leaders come up with their own original ideas and when it boils down to it; classroom thought leadership stands no chance against thought leadership. Thought leadership cannot be coached or forced on anyone. Rewards are granted to people who are in compliance with what they have been told to do, on the other hand, you cannot tell a thought leader what to do or how to change her thoughts. McCrimmon goes on to conclude that though leadership is the back bone of organizations with innovative ideas, unlike shared leadership. Discussion

I found the Goleman article an interesting read. He had so many real life situations that I can personally relate to. I truly believe our emotions play a big part in our everyday lives, especially when it comes to our jobs. I always hear, “leave your personal problems outside of the work place; we have a business to run here. ” How about an employee who just lost a family member, how is she supposed to work with that? Leaders in so many organizations these days are so involved with themselves and how they are going to make that bonus. I worked for a manager who did not care about the feelings of his employees.

He would yell all day and when the job was done, he would not recognize the effort that was made. Goleman describes this as having a lack of empathy. There was no willingness from any member of my team to keep doing better because there was no encouragement whatsoever. While every leader may claim to have the basic understanding of how to lead a team, not everyone knows how to do so emotionally.

Training or coaching without emotion will not lead to an excellent sales or service team. Goleman states that emotionally intelligent leaders have huge opportunities to make n impact in the life of their employees. The digital world is causing less interaction amongst people. I have an opportunity to call and speak with another associate or better still, ask a question but I always find myself sending an email, avoiding the interaction. He mentions parents as well and that is so true. I consciously turn off my phone as soon as I come home and anyone that has to reach me know they can by calling my home phone. I don’t want to be so involved with checking my email when I should be playing with my son and spending time with my family.

I enjoyed the part of the article about emotional intelligence. I am working on that and definitely sharing with my colleagues. After reading the McCrimmon article, my take away is that thought leadership is definitely any organization that wants to keep growing should strive to encourage harness and personal development. The revolutionary nature of thought leadership is what pushes us beyond our comfort zone or status quo; it’s that concept that says there is always room for improvement and that we should always challenge ourselves to continue to come up with better and efficient ways to do things.

Most firms or organizations often encourage their people to come up with better ways of doing things, it’s usually top down, take marching orders and execute without questions, do not challenge the authority. I know that I have been in those kinds of organizations where I tried to recommend positive changes but I was told to concentrate on my job the way I was trained. The article pointed out that thought leadership could come from different levels in the organization or even outside the organization.

And usually the ideas or the products that comes out of thought leadership are compelling and its easy for other to the value in it, and may will quickly adopt doing things the same way. Thought leadership should not be confused with management style or system. It’s simply based on the power of ideas to transform the way we think ideas for new product, new ways of delivering better services and better ways for organizations to prosper.

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