“…for leadership positions, emotional intelligence is more important than cognitive intelligence” – John Mackey, CEO – Whole Foods – Inc Magazine – July 2009
Here’s an excerpt:
Q: What traits should I look for when hiring for a leadership position?
A: My philosophy about this has definitely evolved over the years. I understand people a lot better today than I did 30 years ago. Back then, I was more impressed with people who were very articulate. In many companies, the person who talks the best usually gets the job. I got snowed by a few of those people over the years. I still think communication is important, but I don’t think there’s always a correlation between being a great communicator and other virtues that make for a great leader.
That’s why the first thing you should look at is character. I look for somebody who has classic virtues such as integrity, honesty, courage, love, and wisdom. Someone who is hard-working, candid, and ambitious, while still showing humility. I also look for people who have a high degree of emotional intelligence — a high capacity for caring. I think for leadership positions, emotional intelligence is more important than cognitive intelligence. People with emotional intelligence usually have a lot of cognitive intelligence, but that’s not always true the other way around.