In the ditty “Heart” from
The emotion you specifically need to encourage and develop is that which has a positive impact on what you are trying to achieve. Here are some of the traits that can make a difference:
As with the other types of traits, these relate to what a leader must do. Without the drive — the desire to see the goal done — it will be difficult to make any progress. Similarly, tenacity keeps you at the difficult tasks when the going gets tough. Loyalty is a bond among you and all the people with whom you are working. Empathy lets you better understand where your team members are emotionally and how you can support their efforts. Without trust, people can never really bond and work well together. Without courage — not simply the lack of fear, but the willingness to keep going even in the face of it — no one can accomplish anything of note.
At the same time, expressing emotion cannot mean carrying your heart on your sleeve. You need the ability to proceed toward your goal without experiencing emotional trauma at the hint of a setback. When people spend significant amounts of time baring their feelings for all around, it can be dishonest if the real motivation is to curry attention and become the center for a personal drama.
It is a peculiarity of our culture that people in charge are expected to be cold and steely, able to proceed in an almost inhuman fashion no matter what the circumstances. That's not leadership; it's being an android, and it's unhealthy for you and for the people with whom you work.
When people normally consider feelings, they do so in isolation and focus completely on themselves. After all, what are emotions but human experience? The difference in focusing on leadership is that the feelings in question are not a sole issue of experience. Leaders must harness these emotions and use them as a way to further advance their goals and principles. When you spend your time reacting, you aren't acting and you aren't achieving.
If intelligence for a leader is about putting your mind to doing things effectively, then emotion for a leader is about putting your heart — in a smart way — to the tasks at hand. Use those feelings to fuel what you need to do and to connect you to the others who are going with you. Develop an emotional intelligence. The more you do, the more you will recognize it in others. When you begin to realize how important and useful emotional intelligence is, you'll know that it's rare and valuable.