Philosophy is one of my hidden loves! And, so throughout the years I have sought to study the teachings of the great philosophers and sages. Naturally, one of my must-read and must-study giants of history is Confucius.
And, over the years, I have learned much from his teachings and thoughts: “Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without!” And when I work with senior civil servants and public sector leaders, I often quote this: “Go before the people with your example, and be laborious in their affairs!” And I encourage people in my workshops and seminars: “The mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools.” And these days, as I listen to what’s going on in the political halls of power all across the globe, I am reminded: “Without feelings of respect, what is there to distinguish men from beasts?”
And so, I have the greatest respect for Confucius who lived many thousands of years ago, and whose sayings are...
By Dr. Marcus Mottley
I keep getting asked why is emotional intelligence important. As a matter of fact, this question mostly comes from people who are already in leadership positions. They claim that they have worked hard to get to their management positions and all of a sudden they are being told that being smart, knowledgeable, technically qualified and highly intelligent is not enough. They are now being told that they also need to be ‘emotionally intelligent’. Most of them go, “Huh?”
Well… I understand how they feel. And yes… the world is changing… and as such, the requirements are changing.
Companies no longer need (or want) authoritarian leaders who give orders and expect to be immediately and unchallengingly obeyed. Companies no longer want leaders to be just experts at counting or building widgets.
Companies want leaders who can build positive working relationships with board members, senior managers, direct reports,...
Here is a short, powerful video about a quick method on how to control your emotions and not get hijacked or side tracked.
Key take away: Focus on your goals when confronted with emotions that may take you off your path and sidetrack you.
By Dr. Marcus Mottley
IQ and technical skills are important for nearly any business application, but these are only the prerequisites that get you into leadership and management.
According to Daniel Goleman, it’s not that IQ and technical skills are irrelevant. They do matter, but…they are the entry-level requirements for executive positions. And most people in leadership do possess above average IQ and high levels of technical skills in their areas of expertise.
However, a leader who excels in emotional intelligence will often be more effective because they already have the primary skill sets that the job requires. In addition to that, they possess a deeper understanding of themselves, their team, and how their thoughts and actions impact success.
Leaders with high EQ make better decisions – free from bias, technically sound, based on data, and based on their knowledge, expertise and understanding of people, organizational, historical, social and...
By Dr. Marcus M. Mottley
A manager kept complaining that his emotional competence declined every day just after lunch. He said he felt lethargic, cranky and was easily annoyed. He couldn’t process or think straight and that making decisions at that time was very difficult for him.
When I asked whether he meant after he ate lunch or if he meant that it was related to that specific time of day he indicated that it was after he had eaten.
After asking him a few more questions, I immediately recommended that he see his doctor urgently. It turned out that he was in the early stages of diabetes!
In his case, the relationship between food and subsequent feelings had a clear connection.
For other people, the relationships between food, feelings and emotions are not so clear. As a matter of fact most people do not link any of their ‘bad’ feelings or emotions to the food they eat. Why did I select ‘bad’ feelings? Well because most of us know which foods make us...
By Marcus M. Mottley, Ph.D.
Some said it couldn’t be done. Those people said it was absolutely impossible for a human to run a mile in under 4 minutes… and so for years and years very few people even thought about going below 4 minutes… Why? Because they didn’t think it was possible. As a matter of fact – many athletes, coaches and pundits knew it was impossible! For many in the sporting world, that was a fundamental and accepted belief – back then!
Until a 25 year old runner proved all the non-believers wrong.
In 1954, Roger Bannister smashed the world record for the mile, running it in exactly 3 minutes and 59 seconds.
And very soon after that somebody else did it…. And then… just about everybody was doing it. In fact, Roger Bannister only held that record for 46 days, and today thousands of runners have run 4 minute miles. Can’t run the 4-minute mile… forget the Olympics...
Remember the “Miracle on the Hudson”? Well I think that the real ‘Miracle’ was the pilot of the aircraft Flight 1549, who ‘decided’ to land the aircraft in the middle of the Hudson River? Well, yes, he was the leader on that airplane. But it was not his leadership of people that was important here. It was his ability to make a clear headed decision under what must have been a very stressful, life threatening (for him and over 150 passengers and crew), scary, anxiety producing experience. Imagine the feelings and the emotions that must have been percolating through him. Yet, miraculously, he was able to skillfully land the plane and save many lives that day.
In addition to his obvious skill as an experienced pilot, landing Flight 1549 must have taken some other key skill sets: A skill set to control his emotions and not let them impact his actions and behaviors; Another obvious skill set was the ability to think and process clearly and make...
The idea of Positive Leadership has been getting a lot of attention lately because of global political dynamics and because of the notion that many emerging political leaders are embracing what I would call negative models of leadership.
According to University of Michigan Management Professor Kim S. Cameron, “Positive leadership refers to the implementation of multiple positive practices that help individuals and organizations achieve their highest potential, flourish at work, experience elevating energy and achieve levels of effectiveness difficult to attain otherwise.”
The interest in Positive Leadership principles builds on the popularity of topics like optimism, happiness, emotional and social intelligence, empathy and work-life balance. Growing focus on Positive Psychology and emerging research in neuropsychology have served to breathe life into old notions of leadership where the emphasis is no longer on authority but on engaging and optimizing relationships with...