The Rapid Evolution Blog Blasts Off With A Salute To Colonel Potter

Welcome to the Rapid Evolution blog! With a mixture of pointers on leadership, professional development, and strategy, illustrated by current events now and again, I hope to earn your loyal readership as the weeks and months unfold. Please check out the Rapid Evolution website to learn more about my background, and the difference our consulting, training, and coaching services can make to you and your business.

With the recent passing of actor Harry Morgan, I’m thinking today about the leadership lessons I learned from watching his character, Colonel Sherman Tecumseh Potter, in action on the television series M*A*S*H. Charged with inspiring a team of stressed-out doctors and support staff in a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital during the Korean War, Colonel Potter was known for his love of horses, off-the-wall curses (“horse hockey,” anyone?) and a transparent commitment to his people and his patients. That authenticity and devotion to his team helped him to serve as an exceptional leader who motivated and inspired a mix of drafted misfits and career military into peak performance when it counted.

What Daniel Goleman has since written about as emotional intelligence, Colonel Potter had in spades. I’m a big believer in emotional intelligence. A simple definition of emotional intelligence is to know and manage yourself, understand others, and manage your relationships with others. In The Emotionally Intelligent Workplace, Cherniss and Goleman have identified the key competencies of Star Performers, defined as someone in the top 10% of performance. Star Performers typically have a good balance of 9 or 10 competencies across the four areas of emotional intelligence, including things such as self-confidence (knowing yourself), having emotional self-awareness (managing yourself), empathy (understanding others), and developing others (managing your relationships with others). No matter how you make your living, the evidence is in that people who understand themselves and others, and proactively manage themselves and their relationships with others, are more successful in their work.

The exciting thing about emotional intelligence is that unlike what we think of as traditional IQ, or “intellectual quotient,” which is fixed, your EQ, or “emotional quotient,” can be developed. Over the next several weeks, I’ll share pointers that can help you enhance your emotional intelligence competencies in ways that will make a measurable difference to you and those around you.

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