Is Emotional Intelligence a Key Attribute of Quality leadership?
There is need for quality leadership in order to have great accomplishments. Quality leadership is a combination of many factors including honesty, straightforwardness, result orientation, self control, attentiveness, enthusiasm, a sense of urgency, being empathetic, approachability, firmness, transparency, organisational skills, consistency, being realistic, being optimistic, and as many more others as there are successful leaders. At the turn of the 19th century Charles Darwin mentioned the importance of emotional expression for survival, citing cognitive aspects such as memory and problem-solving. The term emotional intelligence features in the writings of Payne's (1985) while studying emotion. Emotional Intelligence is seen as a variety of competencies and skills that lead to successful leadership performance. Emotional Intelligence in one sense refers to the ability to make use of sources of information to understand the social environment. This ability is seen to manifest itself in certain behaviours. In another sense it is looked at in reference to certain traits that help a person to recognise what needs to be done in order to lead others in the accomplishment of goals. This is opposed to the long held view that it is only intelligence quotient tests that can reveal one’s capacity. It is certainly a big question to know whether emotional intelligence is a key attribute of quality leadership. Quality leadership is very much needed in the world and more so in Africa because the continent has faced a number of administrative and governance problems, some of which have been attributed to poor leadership. Considering the factors attributed to quality leadership, there seems to be a correlation between emotional intelligence and quality leadership. This is substantiated by interviewing professionals and scholars in a variety of leadership positions, plus digging into existing scholarly works to discover current debates on the subject. It looks at models, theories, concepts on emotional intelligence and attempts to show their relevance and application. It concludes with a report of whether there is a relationship or not between the two variables while making recommendations on how the two aspects complement each other in bringing about effective leadership and good governance.