Optimising financial processes

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Do We Need Leaders With Higher EQ?

I have had a manically busy couple of weeks holding down my day job and running workshops at 3 different conferences in different locations.

Shared Services & Outsourcing Week in London, Credit Matters (O2C) in Krakow and APA Conference (P2P) in Birmingham (UK not Alabama).

There is a poetic symmetry in these 3 communities.

Both the workshop interactive discussions and the broader debates at the conferences got me thinking. This coincided with the latest edition of Management Today that landed in my inbox.

EQ (emotional intelligence) is our superpower.

We can be the smartest person in the room (IQ), but without EQ, we CANNOT deliver on stakeholder expectations and our own broader aspirations in complex, geographically dispersed organizations.

To add some texture to this, in the workshop on the phenomenon that is the Global Process Owner (GPO), there ws an active debate to answer the question “What are the key personal traits, qualities, skills, aptitudes or capabilities needed to be an effective GPO?”. I would argue that this is relevant for ANY leadership role . . . The conclusions illustrate the priority of EQ as a core competence;

“Leadership, Change Management, Process Understanding, Big picture understanding and vision, Stakeholder management at all levels, Communication, Collaboration, Project management, Openness, unbiased and objective, Tolerance, Curiosity, Accountability / Ownership (for both good and bad!), Solution oriented, Resilience, Credibility, Adaptability, Approachable, Stamina/perseverance, Consultancy skills, Customer centricity, Ability to unlearn and relearn, Ability to define and implement governance structures that work, Understand and communicate the “WHY?”, Culturally sensitive . . .”

Sir Cary Cooper, the professor of organisational psychology and health at Manchester Business School, writes about the need for greater EQ to address a number of business issues, not least workplace stress.

He writes “line managers with good EQ know how to get the best out of their employees and be able to recognise when somebody is not coping well and proactively help them.”

“We tend to promote and recruit people to managerial roles based on their technical skills, not their people skills. So managers often don’t have much EQ or good social intelligence. We need to recruit people where there’s parity between their people skills and their technical skills and promote people on that basis,” he says.

From his research, in any company, roughly 40% have naturally good people skills, 40% are trainable and the final 20% shouldn’t be put in charge of people.

Leadership at all levels is about EQ.

Let’s start watering THAT plant . . . .

You can read Sir Cary Cooper’s article in Management today here . . .

Thanks for reading . . .