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May29
Leaders With Low Personal Intelligences

I was struck by Hal Halladay’s  post … Business As Usual Fails for Lay and Skilling … about Enron executives Kenneth L. Lay and Jeffrey K. Skilling  and I was surprised to read about their blatant problems of creativity.gifpower, money, and prestige. It was especially interesting to see how they’d lapsed from skilled and confident leaders to a dangerous pinnacle of corporate greed…. Everywhere we see stories of their intelligence profile … and it’s part of that story I would like to highlight here … to suggest how these two leaders showed incredibly low profiles in two critical leadership intelligences that Dr. Howard Gardner called personal intelligences:

Imagine how higher introspective intelligence… where moral judgment lies … and higher interpersonal intelligence … where their care, compassion and respect for other people lies…could have written a noble legacy for Enron Leaders….

Interview questions can predict leaders who lack personal intelligences. These two leaders failed the following smart skills, and while they could have jumpstarted their brains and rewired for more personal intelligence they chose to ignore this growth:

1. Approachability – Do others come to you for advice and for fun?
2. Caring About Direct Reports – Do you develop and grow from direct reports?
3. Compassion – Would others at work describe you as compassionate when in need?
4. Customer Focus – Would customers rate you “high” in all feedbacks?
5. Managing Diversity – Do you value and promote differences and learn from all?
6. Ethics and Values – Would your practices be valued by others as ethical?
7. Informing – Do you let others know details daily to keep them informed?
8. Integrity and Trust- Can you be trusted with confidential information?  
9. Interpersonal Savvy—Do you enjoy others and mix well with peers?
10. Listening – Do others speak and feel heard because of you?
11. Managerial Courage—Do you take risks and act for the good of all?
12. Patience – Would others describe you as patient in most cases?
13. Peer Relationships – Would peers rank your relationships with them as high?
15. Self-Knowledge- Do you describe yourself in ways that others describe you?
16. Understanding Others—Are you described by peers and leaders as an understanding person?

How about your personal intelligences…?

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5 Comments/Trackbacks




Nice follow-up Ellen. Great analysis and good reference for evaluating oneself and prospective hires.

BTW - Aren't you off to Ireland soon?

Thanks Hal... your words actually inspired that two-bits and it was really fun to think about and write how we might prevent so much loss of humanity in future.... About Ireland.... My senior VP...Robyn McMaster... and I leave soon for two weeks there to lead a brain conference on MITA brain based practices for medical faculty... Latest I heard is that a car is waiting at my hotel ... to be driven daily to this conference...by me... on the wrong side of the road...and that likely promises another blog on the brain ...if the car gets my head there at all...

» Smart Skills for a Project Manager's Success from BrainBasedBusiness
Anthony Mersino asked - over at EQ4PM - What makes project managers successful?Along with Anthony, I too am interested in the question of what makes project managers successful. I’d like to add a few words to Anthony’s challenging question ... [Read More]

» Ask Women - Ask Men - Get Goods! from BrainBasedBusiness
Ask a woman and a man at work today… What’s up? … and begin to see what scientists saw in the 1960’s. Men’s brains come hardwired for faster aggression … according to Cambridge researcher, Simon Baron-Cohen. Women... [Read More]

» The Tale of men's and Women's Brains from BrainBasedBusiness
Men’s brains come hardwired for faster aggression … according to Cambridge researcher, Simon Baron-Cohen. Women, on the other hand,  tend to show more indirect kinds of aggression such as exclusion and gossip. Do you agree? Check out ... [Read More]

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