Emotional intelligence is a competitive advantage in business
By Steve Jagler , Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, April 1, 2017
|Mr. Jim Runde, author of|
“Unequaled: Tips for Building a Successful Career
Through Emotional Intelligence”
Over his 42-year career as an adviser and investment banker on Wall Street, Jim Runde has seen corporate management teams and schemes of every imaginable style and structure.
However, after more than four decades at Morgan Stanley he has come to one key realization: The best business leaders have high IQs and are capable not only of making intelligent strategic decisions; they also have finely honed emotional intelligence, and they build leadership teams of people with equally high emotional quotients, or EQs.
Runde, who grew up in Sparta in a family of 10 children and graduated from Marquette University, is the author of a new book, titled, “Unequaled: Tips for Building a Successful Career Through Emotional Intelligence.”
The book’s core intended audience is the young professional seeking advice about how to develop and use emotional intelligence for career advancement. However, Runde’s theories and observations can easily be reverse-engineered to provide insights about how company leaders can use emotional intelligence to build effective teams by hiring and developing their key performers for growth.
Jagler: Manage your reputational risks (another Journal-Sentinel article by the author)
Runde says a highly developed EQ is a strategic, competitive advantage in business.
I asked Runde to share the hallmarks of leaders who have finely honed EQs and use them to build strong leadership teams of people with the same capacities.
Solid “soft” skills. “The ‘hard’ skills can be more easily measured … a grade-point average, a degree, an IQ,” Runde says. “We need to make sure that we put some effort with the people we are hiring to measure their soft skills, their people skills, before we hire them.”
Adaptability. “The rate of change in the world today is greater than ever,” Runde says. “Do the people we hire have the willingness and ability to change? Are they adaptable to new roles and new technologies?”
Collaboration. “Today, things are global and culturally diverse. Being collaborative is a huge asset. All of us are smarter than one of us,” Runde says, holding up all five fingers on his right hand, but only the index finger on his left hand. Citing legendary Green Bay Packers Coach Vince Lombardi, Runde adds, “Individual commitment to group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.”
Empathy. “Get people on your team who can create empathy, so the client or customers will like them or trust them enough to tell them their problem or their need,” Runde says. “Empathy is understanding what others are feeling because you have experienced it yourself or you can put yourself in their shoes. Empathy allows you to build trust with your clients.”
Resourcefulness. “People with high EQs are able to find mentors more easily. Emotional intelligence is important to finding good mentors, and that’s important for longevity,” Runde says.
Persuasion. “People with high EQs have the ability to persuade others, and that’s important,” Runde says.
Leadership. “There’s a big difference between being a manager and being a leader. You manage a herd of cows. You lead people,” Runde says. “Command and control don’t work anymore, particularly with millennials. Turnover is so disruptive and expensive. Strong teams have the right composition, chemistry and continuity. People join great organizations, and they leave bad bosses. People want engagement.”
A recent survey of U.S. human resource managers by OfficeTeam validated Runde’s theories: The staffing firm found that 95% believe it’s important for employees to have a high EQ.
“The value of emotional intelligence in the workplace shouldn’t be underestimated – it’s vital to companies and teams,” said Brandi Britton, a district president for OfficeTeam. “When organizations take EQ into consideration when hiring and also help existing staff improve in this area, the result is more adaptable, collaborative and empathetic employees.”
Steve Jagler is the business editor of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. C-Level stands for high-ranking executives, typically those with “chief” in their titles. Send C-Level column ideas to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Follow these links for other AIM blog articles written about Mr. Runde:
- Mr. James Runde's new book "Unequaled"
- Mr. Jim Runde visits AIM class in 2017
- Mr. Runde published in Harvard Business Review
James “Jim” Runde
Career: 42 years as an adviser and investment banker at Morgan Stanley in New York City
Expertise: Strategic and financial advice to global transport companies
Affiliation: Serves on the board of The Kroger Co.
Education: Bachelor’s degree in engineering, Marquette University; five years as nuclear engineer in the U.S. Navy; master’s in business, George Washington University.
Current residence: Boca Grande, Fla.
Hometown: Sparta, Wis.
Family: Wife, Barbara; three grown children
Best advice ever received: "The desire to win is useless without the desire to prepare."
Favorite movie: “American Graffiti”
Favorite musical group: The Beach Boys
Favorite Wisconsin restaurant: Lake Park Bistro