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    Gisele is a Certified Executive Coach working with leaders seeking to enhance their leadership presence. See her profile.

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    A balancing act!

    If you are a CEO, you may not want to read this, but you will be glad if you do.  A recent study on Emotional intelligence tracked half a million senior executives, managers and employees across industries in six continents.  They found that EI scores  rise with titles.  The higher up the ladder, starting from the bottom up, the better the scores.  So far, so good. But there is a spin to this.  The EI climb seems to peak at middle managers.  They are the ones with the highest EI scores, still according to this study.  After that, the scores seem to take a dive.

    Do I hear a roar from middle managers?

    However, what happened to all that talent?  Is it not like your 2008 Bordeau and your golf swing?  is it not supposed to get better with time?

    In fairness to CEOs out there, most were at one time or other a middle manager and they were very good at it, for the most part, and this is how they ended up CEO.  So what happened for the score to change?

    Many things happen on the way to the top. For starters, what others expect of you change.  Once you are there, it is all about performance.  Of course it was also on your way up but with many more components.  Performance at the top tends to be like air on Everest; priceless, urgent and vital.  Anything else takes a back seat.  Then, it gets very lonely, very quickly. Once you make it there, you tend to have access to fewer people.  You only deal with the key players.   So, you get cut off from the organization’s pulse. You are not getting the feedback you used to get and they are not benefiting from your input as much.

    You have to rely on your team to connect with their teams, but do they?  There are no positions in an organization which do not require strong Emotional Intelligence skills.  I suspect that if CEOs score lower on EI it is likely that they no longer practice it as much, and possibly because it is not expected of them as much. They have not lost it, they simply are not reaching as many people as they used to and are not using it anymore.  At least this is what I would like to think.

    The danger is to lose sight of the fact that performance occurs through people.  If you have the talent and ability to do so, don’t stop.  Pass it on to your team who must pass it on to the organization.  This is like the olympic torch.  You must pass it on to keep it alive.

    How you lead yourself, and others, matters.

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