I’ve been assessing salespeople, in both leadership and quota-carrying positions, since 2001 and the longer I do it, the more value I place on emotional intelligence (EQ).  The sheer abilities that flow from a high EQ are in greatest demand today.  The Millennial generation thrives on EQ leadership which will drive its importance even higher.

What are the keys to EQ?  This post from TTI provides great insight into the entire topic.  A couple traits to consider:

1. Possess self-awareness

Before someone can be effective interacting with others, they need to have a conscious knowledge of their own character, feelings, motives, and desires. The “feelings” part of this equation is very important. When those feelings are not positive, having the ability to control emotions is paramount to managing interactions successfully. When a person is self-aware and able to employ self-regulation under stress, they tend to have more successful outcomes (and less regret).

Personally, I believe all EQ flows out of self-awareness; without it, the person is unable to access the other traits.  Also, my experience has been that they cannot course correct their own behavior which leads to difficulties with others.

7. Act calm under pressure

Everyone deals with some form of stress in their daily lives. No one is immune to stress. Yet, some people seem to be cool and calm in virtually all situations while others seem to be frazzled at the slightest distraction. Those who keep their cool have developed the skill of learning to manage stress when the pressure rises.

Doing so is not always easy and sometimes a person may have to bite their tongue hard to stop from saying something they’d later regret. But those that do, tend to get through stressful situations much easier than those who haven’t developed this skill. The more times a person can successfully navigate through a pressure-filled situation, the easier it becomes to do so the next time they find themselves in the same situation.

This is no small ability.  Calmness is infectious even in highly stressful situations.  The ability to stay calm in those situations is one of the hallmarks of great leadership.

As they say, read the entire thing.

We’re at an interesting place in our country’s generational gap.  The large Baby Boomer generation is flowing out of the workplace daily while the largest generation, Millennials, are ascendant.  However, before we turn the leadership keys over to the Millennials, there is a generation with something to say…Gen X.

Gen X now accounts for 51% of leadership roles globally according to this CNBC article.  In fact:

With an average of 20 years of workplace experience, they (Gen X) are primed to quickly assume nearly all top executive roles.

Now isn’t that interesting?  The forgotten generation will be in charge so what does that mean for everyone?  Here are some highlights from the article:

…Gen X is the most connected generation. Nielsen found that Gen Xers use social media 40 minutes more each week than millennials. They were also more likely than millennials to stay on their phones at the dinner table and spend more time on every type of device — phone, computer, or tablet. And, as it turns out, Gen X is bringing this connectivity to work.

…they also show a mastery of conventional leadership skills more on par with leaders of the baby boomer generation. That includes identifying and developing new talent at their organizations and driving the execution of business strategies to bring new ideas to reality.

And the one that I think is the pièces de résistance:

Gen X leaders’ strength for working with and through others is enabling them to shape the future of work and generate faster innovation by getting people working together to solve customers’ and their organization’s issues.

The ability to leverage people while increasing reactionary speed is going to be the hallmark of successful leadership in this rapidly disruptive work world.  Markets are moving fast, new technology is disruptive and employees are focused on personal development over loyalty.  This trifecta plays directly into the strengths of the Gen X leaders.

The finer point to this topic is understanding what type of a leader the person will be.  How will they communicate?  What drives their decision making?  What are their natural leadership aptitudes?  These topics, whether dealing with Gen X or any generation, are crucial to understanding their leadership style.

We can help by providing a detailed report on your leaders’ attributes.

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From CollegeRecruiter.com:

Generation Y a/k/a Millennials promise to:

  1. Hold only productive meetings. Hallelujah!
  2. Shorten the workday by focusing on productivity.
  3. Bring back administrative assistants — even if Gen Y pays for them out-of-pocket and even if they’re virtual.
  4. Redefine retirement by taking multiple mini-retirements.
  5. They’ll find real mentors by teaching older workers about technology and in return be guided through office politics.
  6. Put human back into human resources.
  7. Promote people to management based on their managerial skills, not their seniority.
  8. Continue to value what their parents have to offer because Gen Y respects their parents and their parents respect their Gen Y children.
  9. Trade off potential raises and promotions for higher starting salaries.
  10. Re-invent the performance reviews by increasing their frequency from semi-annual or even annual to on-the-spot.

I’m with them on number 1 and 2.