The Leadership Series: Emotional & Social Intelligence

Are You a Socially Intelligent Leader?

○ ○ ○ Leadership Manifesto: Codifying Accountability (beta)

MISCELLANEOUS WRITINGS | 2013 EDITION | VOLUME 17

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Yes. We're talking about Brain Science. Yes. We're talking about learnable nuggets from the much-trumpeted success of Southwest Airlines, for example. And the leadership vision and style that made it possible. Yes. We're talking about the Applied Art of Listening, Understanding & Building Trust, the biology of empathy as it relates to Highly Effective Leadership, organizations' business performance, and even individual effectiveness.

No. We're not talking about theory here even if admittedly, we're keeping the bar very high.

A leader is a stable, tenacious, strategically oriented and highly accountable and disciplined executor, servant and enabler of vision, great ideas, great potential, quality, people and service in a way that ensures sustainability and continued success.


To understand this definition—and herein is the Breakthrough Idea for March 2013see in its entirety, the award-winning 2012 documentary Jaglavak, Prince of Insects for free on Hulu.

A person is a leader because they readily seize initiative and resourcefully resolve to tackle complicated challenges, intimidating, and commonly avoided problems while remaining courageous and wise enough to strategically “quit”, scale down or abort a project or mission.


A person is a leader because as a strategically oriented visionary and lifelong learner who is humble and pragmatic, they bring agility, context, risk management, critical and creative thinking, active listening, excellent communication, networking, human relations and negotiation skills; problem sensitivity, observational skills and an eclectic array of problem-solving skills that include the self-discipline to resist micro-managing and delegate tasks to those more capable.

A person is a leader because they absolutely believe in, and consistently demonstrate Respect and Dignity for ALL individuals in the organization or those under their command without Fear, Favoritism, Amnesia, Prejudice, Trickery/Sabotage, Gimmickry/Cowardice and other Manipulative Malice.

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A person is a leader because their ethical compass, the linchpin of which is fair-mindedness, is crystal clear whatever the context, and importantly, non-negotiable. And therefore, free of corrupt influence. A good leader therefore hires not only for skill but also for attitude so as to maintain an a*shole-free and hence, productive work culture that is more than a breath of fresh air, as is the culture of Google.


A person is a leader because whether they are formally in a position of power or not, they foster, advance and passionately execute with good foresight strong ideas that serve the public good, solidify organizational success and cohesion and enhance individual effectiveness in a way that motivates, and is worthy of emulation. And they never feel threatened by another's rise.

A person is a leader because they appreciate that the exemplification of good judgment begins with the courage and self-discipline to do what is right and ethical no matter how unpopular; to protect and serve by refraining from illicit pleasures that involve dehumanizing (i.e., celebrating, encouraging, applauding or tolerating the tearing down of some/one, for the benefit of) others. Indeed, a good leader understands that failure in this regard, diminishes them.

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A person is a leader because they view their existence as a calling: to serve, deliver and over-deliver value while enabling others (in the tribe, organization or those under their command) to be as great as they humanly can.

A person is a leader because they are so driven by productivity, efficient use of time and resources and powerful results that they are “close enough to relate to others, but far enough ahead to motivate”. And it is for this reason that whatever the context, a good leader is unconcerned with, influenced, or intimidated by the status quo, popularity, so-called “superiors”, survivalism, careerism, political correctness, or a FoMO (fear of missing out) syndrome.

A person is a leader because as a fearless, highly accountable and disciplined disruptor, trendsetter or trailblazer, he or she DOES NOT subscribe to mediocrity. Their façade-free, 'just the facts, ma'am' disposition wins and builds trust, itself a rare and hard currency in the marketplace of Machiavellian (office) politics and/or business competition.

A person is a leader because he/she is a tireless embodiment of true excellence, tenacity and accountability. And in order to be the change agent they are, they must be prepared to deal with C.R.A.P. This is what makes a leader dare greatly, despite the odds. And finally...

A person is a leader because their readily verifiable actions, body of work and character speak louder than the biased commendation of friend, self proclamations, or bitter accusation of foes. And they thrive on sacrifice and patience that is rare in an age of inattention, knowing that “inventing and pioneering require the willingness to be misunderstood for long periods of time”.

So the question then, is, will you be a Leader/Builder, or a cynic interfering with others' self-determination and potential, as Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos rhetorically asks? Continue where other change agents hang out, and thanks for engaging.

○ ○ ○Breakthrough Ideas for March 2013

(Previous Iteration) (Follow the Dove)

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