The great 21st Century challenge for all executives is balance. How to deal with demands of change, competition, globalisation, technology with the affairs of people and family life is like walking a tight-rope.
It goes to the very core of who you are (your character and lifestyle purpose) with the functional glamour or addiction of what you do (your job and career ambitions). We need to fundamentally rethink our approach to life and learning.
The major reasons are the social, economic and political changes embracing every aspect of your personal and working lives. Communism has fallen. China is awakening. E-Commerce and worldwide networks mean you can do business in a borderless economy. Brainpower industries are flourishing. New economic powerhouses develop almost overnight and change is not just constant but exponential.
Newer technological miracles drive fiercer competition, and greater customer demands and expectations. This means that flexibility and responsiveness to innovation and change must be rapid. This is why you need to rethink learning and your intellectual capital needs to keep pace with rapid change in other areas.
At Century Management, we acknowledge the work of Daniel Goleman, the psychologist and author of Emotional Intelligence that has sold more than three million copies. He argues that the human competencies like self-discipline, persistence and empathy are better indicators of life success than IQ and that you ignore the decline in these competencies at your peril. Our view of intelligence and learning is far too narrow. IQ is not destiny.
Following ground breaking research, Goleman shows the factors at work when people of high IQ flounder and those of modest IQ do surprisingly well. These factors add up to a different way of being smart which he calls ’emotional intelligence’ As Goleman demonstrates, the personal costs of deficits in Emotional Intelligence can range from problems in marriage and parenting to poor physical health. New research shows that chronic anger and anxiety creates as great a physical risk as chain smoking.
I have found that business owners ‘get mad’ and ‘personalise’ stupidity at work on a regular basis. Outbursts of anger can set things back months, even years, in terms of emotional safety and morale. You must learn this Emotional Intelligence.
What is Emotional Intelligence? Emotional Intelligence is knowing what you are feeling and being able to handle those feelings without having them swamp you. It’s performing at your best, being creative and handling relationships effectively.
It has five component parts:
1. Self-Awareness : Knowing your feelings as you have them.
2. Managing Moods: Soothing anxiety, cheering yourself up, handling
3. Motivation: Hope and optimism in the face of setbacks and
4. Empathy: Reading unstated emotional moods.
5. Social Skills: Managing emotions in relationships.
We encourage you to work on learning Emotional Intelligence. Your life may depend on it. Your lifestyle certainly will. For Irish men, me included, this is a big challenge I suspect, but we must try to improve it.
I believe that Irish women are naturally more emotionally intelligent than Irish men.
The only truly intelligent person of the 21st Century will be the one who learns how to learn, and then relearns. It is ‘learning innovation’ in practice. In all of human history this same degree of ‘relearning’ has never been necessary before. Today it is essential. You must relearn or die.