In Ego vs EQ, Jen Shirkani shares strategies for using emotional intelligence (EQ) as a primary prevention tool to avoid career derailment. The executive leadership failure rate is high: two in five CEO’s fail in the first 18 months on the job and two thirds of business’ will disappear just a decade after founding.
This book teaches you how to identify the most common reasons for leadership ineffectiveness, including the cascading consequences they create, and learn tools to prevent them.
Drawing on real-life anecdotes from the author’s 20 years of coaching and consulting, Ego vs EQ provides research and case study examples in an easy-to-understand, practical format and is ideal for anyone currently in an executive leadership role, including business owners, or those wanting to become a dynamic future leader.
©2013 JEN Shirkani (P)2014 Gildan Media LLC
Entertaining, Applicable, Necessary
understanding the pitfalls of a pace setting leader and thinking, "Do you have cameras watching me?!?"
I listen to books at 3x speed. Her wit, sense of humor, and personality jumped out my earphones.
I binge listened to the book in a single day and then reached out to her on Monday for 1:1 C-level coaching. Where were you 14 years ago when I started my company!
"Best emotional intelligence guide for leaders"
If any group prove difficult to engage with the ideas of emotional intelligence (EI) it is the most senior leaders who have already achieved a level of success. They are successful so why should EI matter to them? Yes at the same time staff ask why those same leaders often fail to display the behaviours they expect of others.
This remarkable, stand out book in the field of EI addresses this issue directly. Jen's long experience retold though stories designed to help leaders reflect on their own behaviour and impact bring the ideas of EI to life in a leadership context. Far too often leaders complete emotional intelligence diagnostics and are left asking the question "so what am I supposed to do with this?". Ego Vs EQ answers that question with practical, applicable advice for uncovering blind spots and then the skills that can be developed though deliberate practice to learn new more effective behaviours.
Why should leaders read and apply these lessons? Because research has proven time and time again that developing EI leads to greater performance and higher levels of success.
As there is already a detailed review here I will just add a few of the stand out elements for me:
- Leaders behaviour is always being watched and commented on by followers. Fair or not the leaders behaviour is in the public eye and being judged. Leaders must consider what messages others will take from this behaviour and recognise others will copy and see these as the behavioural norms for the organisation. Are these the values the leader and organisation want to promote?
- Making use of feedback you neither like and that is delivered poorly. Either way it's all feedback and leaders could benefit from seeking out feedback from those least likely to agree with them. For those interested in this area I'd also recommend the excellent http://www.amazon.com/Thanks-Feedback-Science-Receiving-Well/dp/0670014664 which looks at this subject in more detail.
- Failing to let go of control. This is a pattern that, like Jen, I j have seen derail leaders time and time again. As a leader it is most often no longer our job to be the technical expert, solve all the problems or meddle in the detail or 'how' that job gets done. Learning to step back and trust others to do the job we may have once done ourselves is the behaviour to practice in this area. Someone believed in you once, it's time to give others that same level of belief.
- A unique (in my experience) and crucial point raised by Jen is the danger of falling back into old behaviours. The point is made to beautifully illustrate that emotional intelligence is a set of behaviours we must continually practice and renew. If we slip back to old 'command and control' or cold logic only based behaviours we risk leaving others disillusioned, let down and the situation can be made worse than before. Where many other books, courses and diagnostics on EI seem standalone and discreet interventions Jen is clear that this is an ongoing life skill.
What makes this book stand out above others in the field is that it has been written with emotional intelligence rather than the more cognitive approach of others. The stories are designed to keep the leadership ego feeling safe and valued while allowing enough space for reflection on the leaders own behaviour. The dawning of insight allows the leader to consider the impact they may be having and respond in a new way. Jen's ability to craft such a book makes this the best practical emotional intelligence guide in the field.
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