The majority of the unresolved problems in business, particularly in technology companies, are to due to interpersonal conflicts or intrapersonal emotional issues. For example, one of my best friends recently left as an executive of a failing company after the CEO ordered 360 degree evaluations for everyone — and then didn't participate. In my own career as an entrepreneur and executive, all of my largest failures were due to a lack of emotional rather than cognitive intelligence.
In Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman helped redefine what it means to be smart. He asserted that EQ (a combination of self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and interpersonal skills) is more important than IQ in corporate success — and subsequent research backs this up. In Developing Management Skills, David Whetten (my dad!) and Kim Cameron summarize this research.
"A study of UC Berkeley Ph.D.'s over 40 years found that EQ was four times more powerful than IQ in predicting who achieved success in their field--even for hard scientists. A McBer study comparing outstanding managers with average managers found that 90 percent of the difference was accounted for by EQ. In a worldwide study of what companies were looking for in hiring new employees, 67 percent of the most desired attributes were EQ competencies. In a study of highly emotional intelligent partners in a consulting firm ... the high EQ partners contributed more than twice as much revenue to the company as did the low EQ partners."
Unlike IQ, EQ can be developed and improved over time; it is largely a learned set of competencies. Most executives learn it the hard way, by racking up "gray hair" through surviving painful failures and stressful conflicts. While I originally started a company to get rich and prove my self-importance, once I strapped myself in for the drunken rocket ship ride that followed inexorably after my first round of investment, the real value came from the blast furnace flames that burned off so many of the layers of my self-deception. I remember one VC saying that "entrepreneurs are like fighter pilots — you have to be willing to let them crash multi-million dollar vehicles in order to train them."
While million dollar mistakes are certainly powerful learning tools — and I am humbly grateful to the investors who let me make all of mine! — they aren't necessarily the most efficient or joyful way to go about it. Coaching provides a faster, more efficient, and much less painful path to developing EQ, and the success and fulfillment that naturally flow from it.
You can get a rough, free, and quick estimate of your EQ with this quick test. For a few dollars and 35-40 minutes, you can get a much more accurate and detailed assessment of your EQ with this complete test.
Core Coaching teaches you how to turn emotional challenges in to opportunities to develop higher EQ — one of the most highly leveraged activities you can invest in. It also helps you avoid the potential devastation that can come from our Blind Spots.