For an inspiring illustration of EI in action, have you heard the story of Navy commander D. Michael Abrashoff? Abrashoff was given command of the USS Benfold. He says: “All I ever wanted to do in the Navy was to command a ship. I don’t care if I ever get promoted again. That attitude has enabled me to do the right things for my people instead of doing the right things for my career.”
Abrashoff recognized that when Navy officers succumb to career pressures they make poor choices for their people. The new commander decided to simply care for his crew in novel ways, such as finding time to periodically talk to every sailor on his ship (over 300 men!). He responded to their needs without following standard procedure. (When he learned that credit-card debt, not housing, was hurting his crew he brought financial counselors aboard.) Abrashhoff risked his career to follow his own inner voice and he revitalized not only his ship but the entire Navy
You can read more about his inspiring story in this fastcompany article.