The True Colors key to successful leadership in business


There are hundreds if not thousands of books on the subject of leadership, making it possible for those who are called to lead or choose to lead to access many resources on the subject.

If you look up the definition of Leadership you are likely to find something like the following:

lead•er•ship [lee-der-ship] noun
The position or function of a leader; a person who guides or directs a group

While this definition describes the meaning of leadership, it doesn’t really help to explain how to become a successful leader.

If you want to stand out as a leader, a good place to begin is by listening. Any organization’s best assets are its people, and if you are ready to help the team to achieve its goals, you can start gathering information on how to move things along just by paying attention to what employees are saying.  Leaders who are great listeners are often terrific at uncovering and putting in place strategies and plans that have a big impact. 

Richard Branson

If you are like me, you have had the opportunity or misfortune to work with many different leaders and will agree that leaders are as diverse as any other group of people, and they have their own style and ways of doing things. I know leaders that:

  • are diplomatic and participating, they build on individual strengths to overcome crisis and conflict;
  • have a style based on their logistical abilities making them someone who can stabilize and consolidate those they lead;
  • offer their team a strategically centered approach that identifies the ways and means to achieve a well-defined goal;
  • are tacticians, able to maneuver quickly to get immediate results.

If a leader isn’t emotionally intelligent, long term success is harder to maintain

From my perspective as a True Colors Facilitator and a Professional Coach, the key to successful leadership in business is heavily dependent on a combination of subject matter education/experience, general management skills and personal and social competence.

In a recent Financial Post article, Ray Williams writes

Researchers for the past century have investigated the determinants of career success. While intelligence has been the most consistent factor in determining job success, the definition of intelligence has expanded to include emotional intelligence.”

What is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional Intelligence (EI) is a catch phrase for Personal Competence which includes self-awareness and self-management; and Social Competence which includes social awareness and relationship management.

To be self-aware means you have the ability to accurately perceive your own emotions in the moment and understand your tendencies across situations. Self- Awareness includes staying on top of your typical reactions to specific events, challenges, and even people.

Being able to manage one-self means you have the ability to use your awareness of your emotions to stay flexible and direct your behavior positively. Self-Management is what happens when you act or do not act.

Socially aware individuals have the ability to accurately pick up on emotions in other people and understand what is really going on with them. They are able to perceive what others may be feeling, even though they don’t feel the same way.

The ability to manage relationships requires an individual to successfully use the other three EI skills to manage their interactions with others. Relationship Management is the bond you create with others over time and is the result of how your understand people how you treat them and the history you share.

I don’t know a leader who doesn’t strive to be successful, but I do know that all leaders aren’t emotionally intelligent.

If you want to improve your emotional intelligence there are a number of really good books on the subject including The Emotional Intelligence Quick Book by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves.

You can also participate in a True Colors workshop; because they too help participants improve their Emotional Intelligence (Personal and Social Competence).

All True Colors Workshops take participants through a facilitated journey designed to grow self-awareness, improve self-management and embrace diversity which is integral to Social Competence.

Gillian Andries, is a Life and Career Coach and a Certified True Colors facilitator  – Take a look at our True Colors Workshop options, then contact her to discuss your specific needs.