We all make decisions every day that shape, enrich, or even detract from our lives and, in most cases, the lives of others. That is the essence of leadership. So regardless of the title in your job description, you are a leader and the sooner that you embrace that, the sooner you will unlock the foundation needed to reach your fullest potential.

Once you see yourself as a leader, you will begin to realize how much influence you have on your future and the future of those around you. That is a significant power to have and as we all know, with great power comes great responsibility. You must own your leadership abilities and learn to be more aware, mindful, and ready to adapt in order to be truly impactful.

So, how do great leaders stay ahead?  They embrace the importance of Leadership Intelligence (LI or LQ). Leadership Intelligence is the ability to motivate, drive results, inspire, and be viewed as the go-to person for innovative and progressive strategies. Your LQ is dependent on several competencies however your level of emotional intelligence (EI or EQ) may just be the most significant. and several other competencies.  You cannot have a strong LQ without a strong EQ.

You may be thinking, “Sure, unlocking my potential is great but how is emotional intelligence going to translate into success?” I’m glad you asked.

According to a recent study by Talent Smart, people with high EQ’s make an average of $29,000 per year more than people with low EQs. On average, every point increase in emotional intelligence adds $1,300 to an annual salary.

Actually, studies show that those who score highly for EI have better salaries across all industries than their less emotionally intelligent peers. And, when we add the other components of leadership intelligence to EQ, the statistics above can become even more profound. So, what do we need to add to EQ to have a strong LQ?


Continual Learning

Confidence and Patience

Time Management & Dependability

Risk Taking

Adaptability to Change


When I have worked with a leader who was struggling, I have seen the direct impact of how the failure to demonstrate one or many of these skills contributes to their underperformance.  You WILL face challenges as a leader, regardless of how experienced you are and how high your LQ score is.  However, as I work with executives through my Executive Coaching program, I have seen leaders with high LQ find better balance, satisfaction, and effectiveness while navigating those challenges.

Read next week’s article for an in-depth discovery of each of the seven critical competencies essential for Leadership Intelligence.