The Emotional Intelligence Livestream #16


Vital Leadership: Research for High Performing Leaders

Unveiling new research showing how emotional intelligence fuels leadership performance

People interested in EQ know that emotional intelligence is essential for leadership — but how, exactly, are they linked? We’ll unveil this new research showing, for the first time, how specific EQ skills and leadership capabilities are linked… revealing a path to grow stronger leadership that WORKS in the current times. 

The research analyzes over 1000 leaders from 70 countries over the last 18 months, correlating emotional intelligence with the drivers of leadership vitality. We’ll explore the link between the “Vital Signs Drivers” and leadership outcomes — and the effect of emotional intelligence on these factors. Since 2007 the Vitality study ( has tracked changing trends on emotional intelligence in the workplace; the 2020 installment drills into individual leadership effectiveness and the role of emotional intelligence – particularly in terms of strengthening trust and building capacity for change.

The 2020 Leadership Vitality Research is here:


The VITALITY research began with a conversation in 2006 when we were working on Six Seconds’ branding. Dan Caine, part of the team helping us with this project, pointed out that organizational leaders were rarely talking about EQ, but they clearly needed it. He asked: What are the words THEY are using to describe their issues?

TO answer, we began the study to understand how business leaders perceive the value of emotions and emotional intelligence. In past findings, we learned that 65-70% of the issues leaders worry about are on the people side, and that leadership — especially people-leadership, is one of the most pressing issues.

So, in 2019 we launched this chapter of the study to drill into leadership — and how a leader can use emotional intelligence to get results. Before I share any of the data, I’d like to welcome our panelists and ask each of you to introduce yourself with a short answer to this question:

Opening Question: When you think about Leadership Vitality — what’s a metaphor that captures the essence of this concept?


Tom Procicchiani MBA, Design Engineer – Six Seconds. Tom leads the research and development at Six Seconds and manages the team responsible for the systems, platforms and the EQ assessments published by Six Seconds. Tom is the coauthor and designer of numerous custom assessment tools including the TSI, EQFIT, SEI LTC, and many more. He is also the co-author of major research studies including, State of the Heart, Workplace Vitality and other academic research publications. Tom is also a musician and founder of the Thomas Ross Band.

Avril Kidd is a Certified EQ Facilitator & Owner of EQ in Action – a Six Seconds’ Preferred Partner in Umhlanga, South Africa. After 20 years in corporate leadership, Avril became a consultant and coach to empower people to make more effective decisions, connect and communicate better and become more successful. She hosts EQ Workshops and Six Seconds’ EQ Certifications in South Africa and leads coaching and training interventions in companies around Africa.

Joseph Al Haddad is the Leadership Development Manager at Sidra Medicine, Qatar. For over a decade, he’s supported leadership excellence in multiple industries such as aviation, healthcare, banking and telecom. He is certified in NeuroLinguistic (NLP) Coaching, Emotional Intelligence, Team Vital Signs and Leadership Vital Signs Assessor (Six Seconds). In addition to Crucial Conversations Training (Vital Smarts) at Sidra Medicine.
IG @joea_h, linkedin: Joseph AlHaddad 

Giuliano Bottelli is a Certified EQ Facilitator and the Founder & CEO of DUAL – a Six Seconds Preferred Partner in Milano and Marsala (Sicily), Italy. DUAL is the first communication agency in Italy that makes marketing, communication, and events effectively grow and evolve through connection, cleverness, and EQ models/tools developed together with Six Seconds. All his 25 professionals are constantly trained with EQ and asked to be part of the process of practicing emotional skills for business. Giuliano has a family farm where they produce salami to sustain Italian traditions and an educational project for families that offers primary and secondary school, a sport center, and a modern music academy.
Twitter: @naimed  Instagram: giuliano.bottelli

Jayne Morrison is the Regional Director of Six Seconds Middle East, Africa & India and is a Master Trainer for EQ Certifications.  Jayne comes from the hospitality sector and brings 25 years of operational leadership experience along with extensive expertise in consulting, coaching, and the design and delivery of powerful, scalable learning and development programs. She is author of the “At the Heart of Service” programs, co-author of “At the Heart of Team Performance”,  “the Brain Profiler Workshop”, and both the EQ Consultant and EQ Advanced Trainer certification programs. 

Moderator: Joshua Freedman, cofounder and CEO, The Six Seconds Emotional Intelligence Network, working since 1997 toward a world with more EQ. Josh is a Master Certified Coach and author of the best-selling At the Heart of Leadership 

Key questions

  • The first question we explored in the research is: Do the Vital Signs Drivers actually matter for leadership results? You can see in this slide, the answer is Yes. What’s an observation you’d like to make about this finding?

  • The second step of the study was to see if individual emotional intelligence scores were predictive of individual Leadership Vitality — again, the answer is Yes!
    What have you seen in terms of how EQ skills affect leadership?
  • Third, we asked: Which aspects of Leadership Vitality are most important in  this sample… and then which aspects of emotional intelligence were most linked to those aspects of Leadership Vitality.
    You can see here the answer is: CHANGE is the most important Driver… and the EQ Competency of Exercise Optimism is the biggest predictor of CHANGE capability.
    • Why do you suppose that is? Avril
    • How does that fit with your experience of leadership? Avril
    • What’s one way you might use this insight with your clients?
    • How does this change your understanding of these models?
  • To go a step further, we also found the TRUST is highly correlated with CHANGE… and, we found that scores on TRUST are actually predictive of EXERCISE OPTIMISM — forming a kind of virtuous cycle.
    • If you  think about leaders who are good at building Trust — why would  that support them to Exercise Optimism?
    • How can you use this finding?


  • FINALLY, in addition to the leadership outcomes we’ve been discussing, we also looked at the personal performance outcomes measured by SEI — wellbeing, quality of life, relationships & effectiveness. Here’s what we found:
    • Leadership Vitality predicts Personal Performance; Trust is the key factor: R2=.34
    • Emotional intelligence predicts Personal Performance; Key factors are competencies called Pursue Noble Goal, Engage Intrinsic Motivation, and Exercise Optimism (R2 from .2 to .46).
    • In the Brain Talents, Resilience is the highest predictor; R2=.46
      • Do any of these surprise you?
      • What can you do with this data?
  • In conclusion  — what’s one key take away from the new research?

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