How to write a leadership essay for college or university student?



Leadership can be defined as the ability of an individual or a group of individuals to guide and influence other individuals or members of an organization (Heifetz, 2010, 1). In the modern world, leadership skills are very significant for both professional and personal development. Leadership is one of the crucial functions in an organization which help the business or an individual to maximize effectiveness and efficiency to realize the set goals. Individuals require good leadership skills at all levels, i.e. at the personal level, social level and at the professional level. Good leadership is very critical to run the business or even an organization. Mostly, in the organizations, the management emphasizes decision-making skills. This is an aspect of leadership whereby the decision must be made on time and must be smart to bring positive outcomes in an organization (Heifetz, 2010, 1).

Emotional intelligence is critical to leadership

Emotional intelligence can be regarded as an emotional quotient. This is the ability of an individual to distinguish their own emotions and those of others, determine the feelings and identify them appropriately. The concept of emotional intelligence is fundamental to an organization to succeed. The individuals at the top level should be able to determine their emotional information as well as those from other members of the same organization. In an organization, every individual incline to have different levels of emotional intelligence. Being a leader especially those at top level management, they ought to have higher emotional intelligence (Goleman, 2012, 16).

Recent studies recommend that emotional intelligence is vital in determining the success of the leaders as compared to many other ways of measuring this include traditional methods of measuring management skills or information. An individual with intelligence quotient or emotional intelligence that is average may not be able to practice techniques of skill building for few hours on a daily basis and be able to reach the genius level after a few years (Mayer & Salovey, 2011, 41). There is need to recognize the fact that emotional intelligence is a skillset that is learned, every individual can improve his or her emotional knowledge and utilize it as an essential resource in making long-term, positive impact and satisfaction in any line of leadership. Whereas some people are geared towards being emotionally tuned, those who are not, can still rise and learn the necessary skills needed to excel in this area. Leaders, especially in the organizations, need to improve understanding and self-awareness of their response and reactions as far as emotional intelligence is concerned to the circumstances. Leaders should learn to sense the feelings of other readers and members and be able to respond to the events in an emotionally appropriate manner. An individual with emotional intelligence that is high knows how to act in response to the situations, and such a leader should do it in the right way, at the right time and with the right person (Goleman, 2012, 19).

Emotional intelligence in the workplace is critical, leaders who can control their emotions are better placed to inspire other employees as well as their performance on the job. By helping your leadership team to foster emotional intelligence, will let them transform from the way they respond to feelings, experience and the situations. Through self-regulation and self-awareness, leaders can understand their own emotions as well as the emotions of other people. It is also good to note that social awareness and relationship management aims at recognizing the ability of people around you and thought that, one could apply that understanding to the relationship that you have with others. According to Daniel Goleman, the traditional intelligence is not determined by who succeeds and who fails at work (Goleman, 2012, 24). It is firmly believed that, those people who are aware of their emotions and manage their interactions with other people who are better placed from professional success.

Emotional intelligence in leadership

Leadership that is successful is about effective in three main ways, which include: self, leading others and leading the company or organization. For the case of the leading person, those leaders who are successful appreciate the fact that they are not perfect. Such leaders are aware of their strong points, and weak points and endeavour continued improvement. For those leaders who are self-aware can work towards overcoming their weaknesses either through learning new skills or through personal development, this can also be done by empowering others as well as utilizing their skills (Goleman, 2013, 37). In this case, motivation is very crucial. When leaders have goals to work towards and when they set high standards means that they are aiming at achieving the best at both personal and organizational level. As far as leading others concept in leadership, leaders recognize the fact they need other people to achieve the objectives of the organization or even personal objectives. Leadership means nothing without followership, and leaders need to unravel the potentiality with others because being personally motivated is not enough without other people playing a part in the attainment of the objectives. This means identifying what matters to other people, their motivations, and the relationship between these motivations and the organization objectives. Successful leaders understand that they need to be flexible and should read, understand and accommodate others. They need to spend time with various teams. Lastly, under leading the organizations, successful leaders know how to enthuse others, leadership is a matter of remaining visionary by having a bigger picture of the organization undertakings. Good leaders are those who held them and the organization accountable to the set goals. In an organization, the goal is what is essential but not the personal gain or success. It is always good for the leaders to build a strong bond with the stakeholders, partners, board, investors, customers and even competitors (Goleman, 2013, 39).

The bedrock of Emotional Intelligence

The fundamental of high emotional intelligence is the self-awareness. For one to be a successful leader, he or she must understand his or her motivations and behaviors before an understanding of others. Lacking self-awareness can impede your ability to reason and apply some technical capabilities. Sometimes our emotions may hijack our ability to motivate, in this case, the most affected part of the brains is the cognitive system (Mayer & Salovey, 2011, 41).

Elements of Emotional Intelligence

For the natural understanding of emotional intelligence competencies that required for effective leadership, it is always good to determine where you stand concerning the features below. First, you need to consider the component of self-assessment which is defined as the ability to recognize one’s own emotions, drivers, values, strengths and weaknesses and getting to know the impact they have on others. Without having a reflection, it is not possible to understand who we are and where we have come from. This will also help us understand certain decisions are made, the areas we are good at and where we lack certain aspects in our leadership, for one to reach the most significant potential, it is always good to know who you are and understanding the good and the bad. This is critical in improving oneself with time. The second element that is important as far as emotional intelligence is concerned is self-regulation which can also be referred to as discipline. This is all about controlling and focusing our own disruptive emotions and be able to espouse to change situations to keep the team moving in the best direction and line with the set goals. Leaders are required to treat themselves with dignity, calm and must always remain courageous. When one takes on the roles in leadership, there is no possibility of you getting panic when the things are not moving on as expected.

Critique of emotional intelligence

Several studies have given or described the positive side of emotional intelligence particularly in the line of leadership, and it is always good to analyse the criticisms of the concept of emotional intelligence, this will enable leaders to gain a detailed understanding of the whole phenomenon (Goleman, 2012, 34). One of the key criticisms of the theory of emotional intelligence is some models which are based on specific assumptions of emotional intelligence. Based on the psychology, there are distinct methods of gauging the knowledge of human being, and the most known way is psychometrics. This is a measure of definitive cognitive abilities which include the intelligence quotient as well as some measurements that are based on academic approaches. There are those psychologists who recognize a factor which is based on the general intelligence (Mayer & Salovey, 2011, 23). The assumption, in this case, is, most of the intelligence quotient tests measure specific cognitive processes, e.g. quick decision making, cognitive processes and ability to retrieve the general knowledge. The two concepts recount closely with the idea of emotional intelligence, and some of the scholars argue that emotional intelligence quotient is purely the concepts of general information. Defining and determining knowledge is contentious and undoubtedly leads to some of the problems of making the emotion intelligence recognize as a legitimate form of intelligence (Hackman, 2009, 10).

Some individuals have criticized the concept of emotional intelligence as a method of accurate information. This is since some psychologists are unable to define what comprises knowledge itself. This vital issue which is hotly contested can be considered as a critical semantic which can play a crucial role in coming up with psychological theories of emotional intelligence. This may be of no relevance to those people using the concept of intelligence quotient. This may matter a lot since, before the development of the theories of emotional intelligence, the wide-ranging world of psychology had defined and created certain theoretical distinctions between certain attitudes, emotional states, habits, personality traits, skills, and abilities. Due to the development of the theories of emotional intelligence, this has led in some differences within this field. This is because many concepts and qualities are combined into this concept or rather the aspect of emotional intelligence (Hackman, 2009, 12).

A three-year study conducted about Amadori, who is a supplier of McDonalds’ in Erope , which is a leading company in Italian agro-food sector, measures the relationship between emotional intelligence, organizational management, individual performance and the organizational performance. According to this study, it was found that 47% of the variation in the performance of the managers, while 76% of variation was found regarding the emotional intelligence (Goleman, 2012, 21).

Another popular criticism of emotional intelligence is on whether this concept can provide the correct predictions on the individual success, even though most models suggest that they do offer distinct predictive values. In this case, some of the predictive values within emotional intelligence may generate predictions that are accurate. Based on this critic, they may predict things that are not based on the candid idea of emotional intelligence. When it comes to the criticism of emotional intelligence regarding its measurements, it is straightforward to see why it is highly criticized. This is for the reasons discussed above. Some of the models of emotional intelligence, for instance, the Ability Model requires a comparative analysis be done between an individual and others who are under consideration using a familiar pattern of skills (Mckenna, 2013, 29). Some of the critics argue that this is a conformity measure rather than the actual ability on a personal basis. The ability model is still criticized for other vital reasons; it is criticized for considering the ratio of knowledge instead of the strength, hence rendering this model as a form of not actual intelligence. The Trait Model and some other models are also criticized for measuring the personal traits and general knowledge instead of instead using emotional intelligence as a measure (Mckenna, 2013, 29). Some critiques categorize the use of emotional intelligence when leading the needs of the business or corporation; they sometimes disregard the possible stresses or disturbances that are related to human psychology. It is always good to appreciate and recognize the general psychological state or the use of emotional intelligence in various aspects of the lifetime.

A personality disorder is regarded as a cluster of mental disorders that are categorized under the generally accepted standards of the behaviours that are not productive, and cognition exhibited in various contexts and inner experience. Personality disorders are all about human being deviating from the generally accepted standards of human behavior. This concept can affect significantly the emotional intelligence of a human being in various aspect of life be it in personal development or an organization. Personality disorders involve alterations from the accepted customs of human behavior. Some of these behaviours can be managed successfully and can be regarded as symptomatic of emotional agony and can be enervating (Mckenna, 2013, 45).

Strategic leadership challenges in an organization.

In an organization strategic leadership is different from the administration, because the administration is general while the strategic direction is all about important management in an organization. There are various challenges faced by the strategic leadership in every organization, which include: pressure that is relentless from the shareholders to make high profits in every financial year (Davies, 2011, 19). This will make the strategic management to keep on redefining strategies more often to hit the set targets by the organization. The second challenge faced by the top-level management in an organization has increased the complexity of the organization, for instance when coming up with specific products and services, several processes are involved. These processes might be complex. The other challenge faced by strategic leadership is the difficulty that is included in obtaining the required organization resources, this is because most of the organization resources are engaged and for every organization to perform the best, it might need additional resources.

To overcome these challenges, strategic leaders need to be oriented strategically. This is by clearly working or leading In line with the vision and mission of the organization. Also, the top-level leaders need to translate the laid down strategies into action. This can be done by identifying the projects that need to be undertaken by the organization to move from the current state of the company to the projected state (Davies, 2011, 19). Lastly, to solve these challenges, managers need to develop the strategic competencies, this will help in understanding the whole idea of the organization performance and execution of the allocated tasks to the staff within the organization.


Effective conflict resolution

For the emotional intelligence to be useful, there is a need to have a balanced approach to handling things and especially in an organization. Leaders are required to have skills, especially when it comes to matters regarding conflict resolution. Leaders are also needed to be courageous, mainly when handling sensitive issues within the organization. It is required of them to be emotionally intelligent.

Active listening skills

Leaders are required to have excellent learning skills. This will be vital as far as communication within and outside the organization is concerned. Having active listening skills will help in improving emotional intelligence. For the leaders who are autocratic, they ought to have authoritative approaches of listening to their subordinates’ staff, by allowing them to participate actively and by looking to their ideas.

Emotional recognition

            Leaders really need to recognize the potentiality with their subordinates, they need to consider their emotions and feelings towards certain aspects of the organization performance. It is not a good thing for the leaders who assume the emotions of other members as this may affect their performance to greater heights. Recognition of other people’s emotions is helpful as it creates understanding among leaders and members within an organization


Studies that have been conducted regarding emotional intelligence in leadership have proved and shown that this concept is vital for the organization performance. The aim of this is to show that the concept of emotional intelligence is crucial for the success of leadership. Based on the in-depth study and analysis on emotional intelligence and leadership in an organization perspective it shows that emotional intelligence is vital as it help in creating individual self-awareness, improvement of employee’s self-satisfaction, improvement of the organizational performance, reduction of stress and the productivity of employees goes up. This is important as it help the organization its objectives. These results are endorsed by the example of Amadori, which is one of the organizations in Italy which deals with the supply of agro-food. After analysing and assessing the statement critically, it can be concluded that emotional intelligence has its advantages and disadvantages in an organization and at personal level, but if managed properly, it can produce the best results.


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