What is Intelligent Leadership and Why Should You Care?

March 20, 2022

Intelligent leadership is the best way to navigate the challenges of the modern business landscape. Learn how this leadership format works and why it matters.

Overview: Intelligent leadership is a style of leadership that uses emotional intelligence, empathy, and self-awareness to facilitate the development of the workforce, and through it, the success of the organization. Intelligent leaders understand the role of leadership coaching and succession in the long-term success of their organizations.

Intelligent leadership is a unique combination of leadership competencies that allows organizations to succeed in today’s high-stress, high-expectations business environment by leveraging the power of their human capital. 

Intelligent leaders understand that the real causes of success or failure are always people. And they predicate their leadership upon this mantra. 

Powerful leadership is human-focused. 

Expanding the Definition of Intelligent Leadership

Although intelligent leadership consists of a combination of inner and outer-core competencies that create a seamless whole, self-awareness and emotional intelligence are two of its central elements. 

In contrast with the leadership paradigm of the industrial age, intelligent leadership does away with rigid, top-down leadership structures built around authority. It favors horizontal hierarchies and seeks to meet the needs of the employee to ensure satisfaction, engagement, and motivation. 

Intelligent leadership seeks to encourage employees to reach their full potential. As the basic building blocks of teams and organizations, only engaged, aligned, and motivated employees can help companies fulfill their potential. 

The Role of Emotional Intelligence

To harness the power of human capital, intelligent leadership is profoundly human-focused. And to treat the workforce as the most valuable resource, leaders need to be emotionally intelligent. 

If we define emotional intelligence as the ability to recognize and control emotions while handling interactions with empathy and maturity, it becomes clear that without this leadership competency, there can be no intelligent, post-industrial leadership. 

When we break down emotional intelligence, a complex outer-core competency, we get a handful of inner-core competencies that accurately define what it takes to be an intelligent leader. 

  • Self-awareness. Self-aware people recognize their emotions and understand the impact of these emotions. Self-awareness is the key to self-confidence and the cornerstone of emotional intelligence. 
  • Self-regulation. To keep emotions in check and adhere to rigorous standards of integrity and honesty, one needs to be capable of self-management and self-regulation.
  • Empathy. Intelligent leaders can consider an issue from the perspective of another party. Empathy is the ability to be aware of someone else’s concerns, fears, needs, wants, and perspectives. 
  • Motivation. To achieve any goal, a person needs to have initiative, drive, and commitment. These elements make up motivation, this all-powerful emotional tendency that allows us to accomplish great things.  
  • Social skills. To effect change, intelligent leaders have to persuade effectively and build meaningful relationships. To achieve that, they must be master communicators who can listen and cooperate toward achieving a common goal. 

Why Should You Care About Intelligent Leadership? 

Intelligent leadership is the science of managing your workforce and optimizing its individual and collective talents and skills to serve your organizational purpose. 

Given the challenges and pressures of the post-industrial business environment, intelligent leadership is your best bet to achieve sustainable success. You can ignore it. But if you fail to serve your workforce, it, too, will fail to serve the purpose of your organization. 

Intelligent leadership is the motor of organizational success. 

Bad leadership has far-reaching consequences. And no success-bound organization can afford to deal with these consequences while being competitive. The causes of bad leadership are many. 

  • The lack of emotional intelligence renders leaders incapable of optimally managing their workforce. 
  • The inability to create engagement and focus leads to high employee turnover. 
  • The mismanagement of the workforce may result in toxic company culture, further undermining productivity and employee retention. 
  • Micromanagement creates frustration and disengagement. 
  • Poor communication opens the door to lack of efficiency, misunderstandings, frustration, and employee disengagement. 

Intelligent Leadership and Leadership Coaching

It is a tragedy to lose an inspirational leader under whose management an organization thrives. Intelligent leadership recognizes the need for succession planning and values leadership coaching as an organic component of this process. 

Transparency, fairness, and alignment are the core principles of successful leadership succession. Intelligent leadership incorporates these principles. By being employee-focused, it also helps in identifying high-potential members of the workforce who may grow into the leaders of the future. 

Intelligent leaders do not seek to accomplish the greatest deeds. Instead, such leaders help others achieve great things. Servant leaders are the only reasonable answer to the challenges the post-industrial age throws at us. 

To learn more about how you can join the IL Movement as a coach, or how you can benefit from bringing IL Solutions to your organization, contact us today

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