Leadership Potential Model


Recent research has illustrated that the most important qualities of the effective leader are not a disconnected set of skills or knowledge that they possess.  Rather, they relate to the four intellects that are often not often openly discussed or sometimes even valued:

Emotional intelligence

Emotions and feelings play a much bigger role in delivering a service than is sometimes recognised in a rationally orientated management world.  The ability to recognise own and others' emotions and the impact that these emotions have on internal and external customer relationships is critical.  Behaviours that demonstrate emotional intelligence include:
• Understanding customers' feelings
• Listening
• Being open and empathic
• Sharing feelings
• Appreciating others

Emotional intelligence can have a direct financial impact. When researchers in the US studied the emotional intelligence of general practitioners, they discovered that those G.P.s with lowest level of empathy were more likely to have been sued by their patients.  Emotional intelligence relates to internal customers too ? colleagues, bosses and team members.  Often the quality of a relationship with the external customer is determined by how well internal groups work together.  This requires each group to be in line with each other and the needs of the customer.

Customer Intelligence

This involves:
• Business expertise/competence
• Thinking ahead strategically
• Planning to meet customer demands
• Developing customer driven processes
• Taking opportunities to improve services to the customer

Leaders with customer intelligence anticipate customer demands and translate this knowledge into operational processes which deliver successfully to the customer. They are pro-active in managing customer expectations and ensure that their businesses are customer friendly. 
When Stelios Heji Ioannou established his business, Easyjet, he  aimed to provide a low cost, no frills style which anticipated a growing trend towards inexpensive travel. His model has been extended into other areas such as car rental and the internet where he has stripped out complicated and expensive business procedures.  He has made it easy for customers to do business with his organization whilst still making money.

EQ (emotional intelligence) and CQ (customer intelligence) help the leader to focus on developing customer relationships and deliver high standards of service day in and day out.

Two other components of leadership look at the inner resources of the leader. Spiritual and political intelligence are focused more internally ? spiritual intelligence on self and political intelligence on reading the political situation within the organization.

Spiritual intelligence

The term 'spiritual intelligence' was coined by Dana Zoher who observed that in these rapidly changing times, it was important to have a personal anchor through ones values and contribution, combined with a willingness to be receptive to new ideas and information.

Leaders with spiritual intelligence display a high degree of self confidence and self awareness which enables.  They have clearly thought through:
• Their life and purpose
• Their role purpose & contribution
• Their value to 'the world'
• How they can personally grow and develop self awareness

This spirituality provides inner strength and helps create a personal vision.  Often quoted business people such as author and guru Stephen Covey and Body Shop founder, Anita Rodick display spiritual intelligence through a clear set of personal values and beliefs which drive their actions.

Political intelligence

In a customer service environment leaders need to be aware of how to influence others within the organization to serve the customer and ensure the highest priority for the customer.  Every organization is political but the word also carries other negative connotations such as self-seeking manipulation, which lead managers to shy away from its existence.

Political intelligence as we define it involves:
• Being aware of power bases
• Recognising levers of influence
• Developing strategies for influence
• Understanding sources of power

Together these four intelligences add up to the components that drive leadership and customer success.

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