KAMPALA – Leadership is about emotional intelligence. Management is taught, while leadership is experienced. Emotional intelligence can be the game changer to high performance and personal leadership. Emotional intelligence is the Sine Qua Non of leadership.
Visionary Leadership is defined by Goleman as the ability to take charge and inspire followers with a compelling vision. Best used when changes require a new vision or when a clean direction is needed. Visionary leaders are known for their strong emotional intelligence which distinguishes them from others.
A visionary leader truly understands the big picture and sets a long-term path for the Institution. It is critical that the vision is well communicated and explained to the followers so that they pick momentum and run with it. When people feel good they work their best.
Emotional intelligence fosters visionariness. Emotional Intelligence is the level of your ability to understand other people, what motivates them and how to work cooperatively with them. Effective leadership requires the ability to understand who people are, why they do what they do and how to inspire them to be the best version of themselves. It is the foundation of leadership, balances flexibility with toughness, vision with passion, compassion with justice.
A leader ought to be intentional in understanding the team this guides you better on how to communicate well with them on the vision and secure a buy in. You can only efficiently and effectively lead people you know. When I was a CEO of Uganda Law Society I team led a young work force and I labored to understand them day in day out. It was never easy but I learnt each team player is different in personality and character. Quickly discovered that each comprehends the vision differently.
A visionary leader uses empathy and emotion to communicate and sell the point vision. Emotional intelligence in leadership is comprised of empathy, social skills, self-awareness, self-regulation and motivation. The emotionally intelligent leader is more likely to successfully manage many relationships in crisis. Managing conflict and inspiring others is easier for those leaders who can connect on a deeper lever via emotional quotient leaders with high emotional quotient known themselves. It is about managing your emotions to achieve the best possible outcomes.
The ability to accurately perceive your own and others emotions as a leader is critical for effectiveness. The five attributes of emotional quotient include self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy for others and social skills. Those with high emotional quotient are able to easily build relationships, possess personal integrity, inspire have excellent communication skills and other positive traits hence effective visionary leadership.
A great visionary leader must exercise strong emotional intelligence as she communicates and markets the vision to inspire others. This will enable the vision not be misconstrued, diluted or mis-understood while cascading downwards. When team players understand you, they work better.
The advantages of visionary leadership include having a clear overall goal that everyone is working towards, temporary setbacks do not deter the team from achieving the goal, there is team’s energy to rely on by the leader, allows the visionary leader to be proactive and often sees challenges, allows valuing innovation, creativity and teams there in all arears, the risk reward trade-off is clear, no fear of taking risks, workers achievements are highly valued, and inspires unity and getting everyone on board.
As a parent/mother I am a visionary leader in my home/family and I have vision for each child and believe in who they ought to be in future. As I educate them emphasize their need to excel in certain subjects geared towards a specific career path.
On the contrary sometimes the visionary leaders’ emphasis on the future makes him lose sight of the present, there is less emphasis on the smaller details that impact the day to day operations, sometimes the vision limiting new ideas.
Without emotional intelligence, a person can have the best training in the world, an inclusive, analytical mind, and an endless supply of smart ideas, but he/she still won’t make a great visionary leader – says Daniel Goleman. Emotional intelligence is the only way to attain success as a leader. Leaders with high emotional intelligence find ways to respect emotions, be authentic, and hold others (and themselves) accountable.
The author, Ms. Joyce Nalunga Birimumaaso is a Senior Advocate & Member LCT