“…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.

More on John Mackey of Whole Foods on Hiring Leaders, Management Trends Article – Inc. Article.

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Joshua Freedman

Joshua is one of the world’s preeminent experts on developing emotional intelligence to create positive change. With warmth and authenticity, he translates leading-edge science into practical, applicable terms that improve the quality of relationships to unlock enduring success. Joshua leads the world’s largest network of emotional intelligence practitioners and researchers.
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