What makes a good manager (leader) – Part 3

NOTE: Continuing this series…

I left off my last post with the equation that [vision] + [E.Q.] yields CEO/senior manager material. 

I’ve addressed the idea of vision in my previous posts, but now want to focus on how E.Q. fits into this equation.

According to wikipedia:

Emotional intelligence (EI) or emotional quotient (EQ) is the ability of individuals to recognize their own and other people’s emotions, to discriminate between different feelings and label them appropriately, and to use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior.

To clarify, I am talking about a very specific type of E.Q., which I will deem “business E.Q.” (henceforth many times in this post, I will just refer to it as E.Q. for short because all of this is in the context of ‘business’).

This is an important distinction because people can have “high E.Q.” but not necessarily specifically “business E.Q.”  Example:  someone who throws great parties in school, is well-liked by their peers, & has charisma because they navigate the interpersonal waters of relationships well – that person may very well have high E.Q.

But you can have high E.Q. but not necessarily high “business E.Q.”  Therefore, it’s important to make the distinction that in the context of business, there is an I.Q. component to the E.Q. matrix.  That’s where “vision” comes from.

Vision requires intelligence because it requires foresight to things that have not yet occurred, or the ability to put together strategies to create a reality that has not yet occurred.

Tying back to the difference between a more general E.Q. & business E.Q. – it’s this “vision” component that is a fundamental concept & differentiator, because it directly relates to how E.Q. is executed in the context of business.

Again, going back to our above example of the great party-thrower in school, this person may have high E.Q. because she is (i) fun to hang out with in the moment ; (ii) understands peoples’ emotions & adjusts accordingly so is widely-liked by many different types of people ; (iii) finally also has a high ability to regulate her own emotions, which makes her someone that rarely makes people uncomfortable.

The above definitely is high E.Q. …

But E.Q. in the context of business leadership requires vision – and that means that you’re not always in the present moment. And in order to get the company to a future reality that has not yet come to pass, it means having to utilize E.Q. to understand the various people around you in the company: their psychologies, their motivations – and then use E.Q. to push everyone on the journey to get to the vision that many times only you see.

The above is not always a “party” (meaning not always “fun”) and that’s the reason I chose that example of a great party-thrower…

E.Q. in the context of a more general social dynamic can be very much about “being in the moment.”  Business, and especially creating increasing future value for an enterprise, is about the future.

Important:  most people DON’T see the future.  That’s why most people AREN’T leaders/CEO’s/senior managers.  That’s why most people view the CEO/senior manager position as “easier” than their job: ‘all that guy does is make decisions after listening to people, hell, I could do that‘ – no, you most likely can’t.  It seems easy in theory, but is infinitely complex in execution & practice.

So the E.Q. component of leadership in the context of business is really about utilizing social skills to drive your people toward a vision that will result in increased company value.

You can’t always just do what’s the highest E.Q. (happiest-making) decision for the individual you are addressing in that particular moment because business is not all about the current moment.  It’s not a party, where everyone is your guest & you’re trying to make everyone be comfortable and have fun.

No, business is about driving toward future goals, it’s about creating a sustainable entity that will increasingly create ever-more value for shareholders, and most importantly for customers.

Business is about the future because it requires vision to imagine a future before said future has come to pass.

But E.Q. are the tools you need to guide the ship & its people on the journey to getting to that vision – to realizing that future.

That’s why the most important skill for success in business leaders is people management.  And “people management” is a synonym for CEO/senior managers.  And as defined above, the reactants that catalyze to output ‘people management’ are [vision] + [E.Q.].


You need to be inspirational to help your troops stay motivated when they themselves don’t have the ability to see the future that will come to pass.

You need to balance carrot & stick motivational techniques, dependent on what is effective for the individual troops who are under your purview.

You gotta be able to recruit and hire fantastic talent & then retain them throughout the highs and the lows that are inevitable in business.

And you have to have “internal vision” – and know what you yourself are either (i) weak in ; (ii) or that you don’t have the time to deal with on a daily basis…so then use your social skills to attract hires & architect your team around the things that you yourself need to plug…and realize that you personally can’t become amazing at all skills & understand what needs to be done to plug those deficiencies in yourself & others already in the company.

Vision is the ability to see the future, but you don’t get to that future unless you have the E.Q to attract, hire, inspire, motivate, and retain the people who can help you get there.

Success & failure in business is directly proportional to the ability of teams of people to work together.

E.Q. can collectively be thought of as the tools that you need to create the team & make your decisions in regard to the team – ones that allow you to ultimately realize the value of your company, which was originally only seen in your mind’s eye because at that time, it was only “vision.”

What makes a good manager (leader) – Part 3

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