How does emotional intelligence development fit in a highly successful, fast-paced industrial/manufacturing business? Quad/Graphics is committed to maintaining their people-centered culture — so EQ is a vital asset for their leaders.


quad logoQuad/Graphics ( is a highly innovative printing company; established in 1971 in Wisconsin, the company now has 12,000 employees. The mission is “We are a value driven company committed to our clients, employee owners, shareholders, communities and the environment.” In the words of Sue Barrett, Manager Quad/Education, “the company was founded on the value of strong work relationships as a means to break down walls, build & maintain trust and simply do what’s right for our customers and co workers.” As a result, the company is committed to leaders living the company values — rather than “teaching” a culture, the company believes culture grows from the way its people live each day. Which is probably one reason they were in the 2007 “Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For.”


To assist in this process of continuously building a thriving culture, QG brought Deborah Monroe, one of Six Seconds’ Advanced Practitioners, to introduce emotional intelligence. Sue Barrett became certified in the Six Seconds Emotional Intelligence Assessment (SEI) to support the ongoing development of EQ. Barrett describes the EQ program as a process: “It is not an intervention as much as a path. This path is to provide senior leaders with the time and knowledge to ‘repurpose’ their daily actions in alignment with our values and way of doing business. EQ provided a natural fit for this goal.”


quadThe results are beginning to show. Barrett says, “What I am seeing and hearing to date are concrete examples of situations where participants actually applied what was covered in our SEI Leadership session. For example, a group of managers was having a heated discussion surrounding a complex situation. As voices raised, one member stated the emotion he was feeling and how it was blocking him from discussing the issue further with any clarity of thought. He asked if the group would consider a 15 minute break before they proceeded. Some of the participants were taken back; this was not typical behavior from this individual. They consented to a break, revisited the situation and generated a solution. Had this break not be called out, the decision may have been based on inaccurate information and/or taken much longer to determine.”

As in most businesses, Quad Graphics leaders are constantly challenged to make quick, accurate decisions without a clear “right answer”; EQ is helping leaders navigate this maze to maintain QG’s outstanding performance.

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