What Makes a Successful Leader - IdeaShape

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What Makes a Successful Leader Summary Findings from a Study on Leadership, Emotional Intelligence, and Personality Type First of Three Reports

By Sharon L. Richmond, Pam Fox Rollin, and Julie M. Brown June 28, 2004

What elements of leadership do executives, managers, and consultants consider most important to success? Do leaders value Emotional Intelligence competencies as highly as traditional leadership competencies? How do perspectives on leadership vary by job level, experience, personality type, and gender? In our work with coaching and consulting clients, we found ourselves discussing Emotional Intelligence (“EI”) almost daily, and these conversations left us wanting data-based answers to these questions. Our review of existing studies found a strong correlation between business performance and EI, but no information on how leaders themselves view elements of EI relative to other aspects of leadership. We initiated exploratory research with 265 leaders: one-third executives, another third directors or managers, and the rest primarily business owners and consultants. This report offers the first of three sets of findings from our investigation into Emotional Intelligence, leadership, and personality type. We asked participants to choose the five most and least valued leadership competencies from a list of twenty, which included items that reflect both Emotional Intelligence and general leadership competencies. This study finds that leaders consider Emotional Intelligence competencies (such as Relationship Building and Adaptability) more important to leadership

Copyright 2004. Sharon L. Richmond, Pam Fox Rollin, and Julie M. Brown Research information at http://www.ideashape.com/leadership-research.htm

success than traditional leadership competencies (such as Planning and Financial Acumen). We analyzed participants' views of leadership and EI by four variables: job classification/level in organization; years of leadership experience; personality type, as measured by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) ®1; and gender. Major Findings Striking Agreement Participants in this study were asked to evaluate a set of standard leadership competencies, including both Emotional Intelligence competencies, such as relationship-building and self-awareness, and non-Emotional Intelligence leadership competencies, such as execution and financial acumen. u

Vision topped the list of critical leadership competencies – across nearly all levels, experience, and personality types. Also ranked in the top five are Strategic Thinking, Relationship Building, Execution, and People Development. Our respondents, then, view successful leadership as a combination of Emotional Intelligence and non-EI skills.

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Emotional Intelligence competencies are viewed as essential to successful leadership, especially the complex competencies of Vision, Relationship Building and People Development.

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Of the remaining items, leaders rated all the EI competencies– including Adaptability, Optimism, Empathy, and Self-awareness – as more important than all other general leadership competencies presented.

Overall findings are summarized in the chart on the next page. In interpreting these findings, please note that the segment of our research described in this paper focuses on the subset of Daniel Goleman’s EI competencies indicated in bold in the following chart. We chose this subset to focus our questions on a manageable and understandable set of competencies. Our third report, scheduled for October 2004, will include data on the full set of competencies he describes. We selected Goleman’s model for our research because of its broad familiarity to corporate leaders, and to training and development professionals.

1

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and MBTI are registered trademarks of CPP, Inc.

Copyright 2004. Sharon L. Richmond, Pam Fox Rollin, and Julie M. Brown Research information at http://www.ideashape.com/leadership-research.htm

Findings: What’s Important to Successful Leadership All Respondents (n=265) Leadership competencies, by Frequency of Selection (Emotional Intelligence items in bold) Five Most 1. Frequently 2. Selected 3. 4. 5. Middle 10 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. Five Least 16. Frequently 17. Selected 18. 19. 20.

Vision2 Strategic Thinking Relationship Building Execution People Development Achievement Drive Adaptability Self-Awareness Initiative Teamwork Change Leadership Optimism Empathy Conflict Management External Market Orientation Planning Analytical Capability Global Perspective Functional/Technical Expertise Financial Acumen

% leaders listing in Top 5 56% 51% 47% 42% 38% 36% 34% 28% 26% 25% 23% 21% 16% 15% 12% 12% 9% 7% 6% 3%

Some Notable Differences We did find, however, that differences in job classification and level, leadership experience, personality type, and gender reveal important distinctions regarding the competencies seen as crucial to successful leadership.

2

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Experienced leaders rated certain competencies somewhat differently than leaders at earlier stages in their careers. For example, the more experienced the leader, the more value placed on Change Leadership and Optimism and the less value placed on Execution.

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Women and men ranked items quite similarly, with just a few differences. Women rated Strategic Thinking and Relationship Building more highly than did men, who rated Achievement Drive more highly.

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While participants from all job levels valued EI competencies, they varied in which ones they consider important. For example, of all job levels, far more Executives (34%) valued Optimism as a leadership competencyy than did Managers/Directors (14%), Founder/ Owners (18%), or Consultants (13%). At the same time, far fewer Executives (31%) valued Relationship Building than did Managers/Directors or Consultants (50-70%).

Vision is also referred to in Goleman’s work as Inspiration (Primal Leadership, © 2002) or Leadership (The Emotionally Intelligent Workplace, © 2001).

Copyright 2004. Sharon L. Richmond, Pam Fox Rollin, and Julie M. Brown Research information at http://www.ideashape.com/leadership-research.htm

The following chart illustrates some of the differences in how leadership competencies were valued by people of different job classifications/levels.

What's Important to Successful Leadership? Selected Data, by Job Level/Classification* 57% 49% 62%

ion

V is

77% 52% 48%

St

eg r at

h Ac

ic

T

e em ie v

59%

ing

k hin

43%

Executives (n=90) Mgrs/Directors (n=87) Founder/Owner (n=39) Consultants (n=30)

40% 36% 38%

ive Dr t n

29% 34%

sm

mi

ti Op

14% 18% 13% 31%

d

la Re

tio

ns

hip

Te

Se

lf -A

il Bu

w am

r wa

en

53% 49%

ing

or

es

k

s

67% 29% 24% 26% 13% 27% 24% 31% 40%

* Percentages reflect the number of people of each job level who identified that competency as one of the top five for successful leadership. The ratings do NOT reflect the capabilities of these people. u

Leaders of different personality types rate the competencies notably differently. Our findings largely affirmed thoughtful descriptions of the MBTI types. For example, we anticipated that leaders with Feeling Judging (FJ) preferences – those whose personality descriptions most closely match Goleman and colleagues’ descriptions of emotionally intelligent leaders – might rank the core EI competencies highly, and this proved true. Participants with FJ preferences selected Adaptability, Self-Awareness and Empathy more often than did other leaders. While FJ and TJ leaders (Thinking Judging, the most frequent types found at management levels)

Copyright 2004. Sharon L. Richmond, Pam Fox Rollin, and Julie M. Brown Research information at http://www.ideashape.com/leadership-research.htm

placed equally high value on Vision, Relationship Building, and Developing People, FJ leaders also highly valued Adaptability, while TJ leaders highly valued Achievement Drive. Thinking Perceiving (TP) leaders valued Achievement Drive and Initiative more highly than other pairings, but placed much lower value on Teamwork and Self-Awareness. Relationship Building was ranked as the most important competency by Feeling Perceivers (FP). Some interesting differences were found when we looked at “whole types,” which refers to the full four-letter name describing MBTI personality types. This chart highlights some of the interesting differences between five types.

What's Important to Successful Leadership? Selected Data, for Five MBTI Types* 60% V is

45% 43%

ion

g ate Str

ic T

45%

g k in

47%

25%

on

33%

op Pe

e pm

nt

40% 43%

a Ad

Te

lf Se

36% 39% 39%

ing

hi

- Aw

w am

n ar e

31%

or k

25%

13%

s

INTP (n=23)

50% 59% 60%

35%

33% 20%

es

48%

ENFJ (n=18)

ity bil pta

ns

ISTJ (n=20)

53%

39% 27% 24%

d uil pB

ENTJ (n=45) ESTJ (n=17)

36%

l

io lat Re

51%

39%

30% e lo ev D e

57%

39%

ut i

c Exe

56% 60%

29% h in

76%

22%

30%

35%

28%

* Percentages reflect the number of participants of that type who identified that competency as one of the top five for successful leadership. The ratings do NOT reflect the capabilities of people of those types. This graph shows data for five of the sixteen MBTI types included in our research. Copyright 2004. Sharon L. Richmond, Pam Fox Rollin, and Julie M. Brown Research information at http://www.ideashape.com/leadership-research.htm

Major Implications u

Individual leaders can increase their potential for success by mastering the most highly valued competencies, including building relationships, developing people, thinking strategically, offering vision, executing work, taking initiative, and fostering teamwork.

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To excel at these highly-ranked competencies, leaders also need to focus on the EI “building block” competencies of Self-Awareness, Empathy, and Adaptability. Leaders expect successful peers to excel in the complex capabilities of inspiring and developing others. EI research shows that these complex competencies depend on solid skills in the EI basics, such as self-awareness and empathy. This study shows that leaders may underestimate the importance of the basics.

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When seeking to influence others, leaders should be aware of differences that may affect what they value in leadership. Executives, peers, and team members may define effective leadership differently. These expectations varied substantially, in our research, by personality type, job classification/level in organization, and gender.

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When assessing individual/organizational development needs, or when engaging in succession planning efforts, leaders should be aware of personal blind spots or stereotypes they may hold. To the extent that executives view their own strength profiles as especially desirable, they may overlook high potential leaders with different and perhaps complementary strengths.

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To engage leaders in their own skill-building, coaches and consultants can frame development needs in a type-specific manner. For example, to encourage NT leaders to take time to learn how to lead change more effectively, emphasize the link to strategic objectives; to attract SJ leaders into change leadership programs, stress the link to building important relationships.

These implications are relevant to several audiences: u u

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Leaders who want to develop their own emotional intelligence and lead their teams to high performance; Executives, managers, HR/OD professionals who want to design career paths, succession planning, leadership training, and coaching programs that enable best performance from leaders of different personality types; Consultants, coaches, and trainers who help leaders assess their competencies and develop their performance, and Theorists and researchers in emotional intelligence, leadership, and personality type.

Copyright 2004. Sharon L. Richmond, Pam Fox Rollin, and Julie M. Brown Research information at http://www.ideashape.com/leadership-research.htm

The second release of findings from this study addresses how leaders define, develop, and rate their Emotional Intelligence. A summary of this report is available from http://www.ideashape.com/leadership-research.htm . The third release of findings, projected for October 2004, will address how leaders of various personality types rate themselves across a range of EI dimensions. This report will define four leadership factors that emerged from statistical analyses of our findings and that relate to or extend current literature on leadership and EI. For more detail on the methodology, analyses, and findings from this first release, or to discuss implications of these findings for your organization, please contact one of the authors. We greatly appreciate the people who have informed and encouraged us in this work. In particular, we thank our 265 study participants for making time to complete the survey. Tracy Zhou, PhD, Bob Boozer, PhD, and Heather Myers, MA, provided able statistical consultation and analysis. We also thank the many colleagues who have provided us with their thoughtful feedback during the development of these papers. Authors Sharon L. Richmond, MBA For nearly 20 years, Sharon has helped executives build the culture, structure, leadership, and capabilities crucial to their organization’s success. Her firm, Richmond & Associates Consulting, specializes in building high-performance leadership teams and agile, competitive organizations. She has consulted with senior-level leaders at Cisco Systems, DHL, Pacific Gas & Electric Company, Roche, and Sun Microsystems as well as with executive teams at early-stage companies and non profit organizations. Sharon is a senior facilitator in the Interpersonal Dynamics program at Stanford Business School and has taught through their Executive Education program. Ms. Richmond earned her MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business and her BA from Duke University. She currently chairs the Western Region of the Association for Psychological Type. Contact: [email protected], 650-856-8687 Pam Fox Rollin, MBA Pam works with executives and senior teams to create work cultures that inspire and deliver high performance and grow top performers into extraordinary leaders. She founded IdeaShape Coaching & Consulting, which provides leadership programs, professional coaching, custom 360s, in-depth assessments, and organizational consulting. Clients include Autodesk, Accenture, Charles Schwab, and Blue Shield, and a variety of technology companies and professional service firms. She also coaches MBAs and facilitates programs at Stanford University's Graduate School of Copyright 2004. Sharon L. Richmond, Pam Fox Rollin, and Julie M. Brown Research information at http://www.ideashape.com/leadership-research.htm

Business. Additionally, Pam is frequently invited to speak on leadership, personality, and top performance at corporate events and conferences. Ms. Rollin earned her MBA from Stanford University and her BA in Organization Studies from the University of California, Davis. Contact: [email protected], 408-245-2600 Julie M. Brown, MBA, MPH Ms. Brown is the principal of Julie M. Brown and Associates, which provides management consulting services in the areas of operational performance improvement and leadership development. Ms. Brown uses her experience as a former hospital CEO to support clients navigating the whitewaters of organizational change. Her expertise includes strategic planning, business plan development, project implementation, team building and human resource development. Past clients include Kaiser Permanente, the Federal Home Loan Bank, UC Berkeley, ARAMARK, The Children’s Health Partnership and the University Medical Center-Tucson. Ms. Brown earned Master’s degrees in Business and Public Health, as well as Bachelors degrees in Psychology and Social Welfare from UC Berkeley. Contact: [email protected], 650-571-6690 Julie, Pam, and Sharon are each qualified and deeply knowledgeable in assessments including the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator ® and EQ-i ®.

Copyright 2004. Sharon L. Richmond, Pam Fox Rollin, and Julie M. Brown Research information at http://www.ideashape.com/leadership-research.htm

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What Makes a Successful Leader - IdeaShape

What Makes a Successful Leader Summary Findings from a Study on Leadership, Emotional Intelligence, and Personality Type First of Three Reports By Sh...

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