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Emotional Intelligence and The Modern Leader

December 13, 2017
Stuart Hardy Monthly Insights

This month, Stuart Hardy Director of Executive Education explores the importance of emotional intelligence as a newly sought-after leadership trait to take on tech-led challenges. 


Emotional intelligence is on the modern business leader’s personal map like never before. Once something that was to be left at home, emotions, are the new ‘must have’ accessory for the empathetic leader in today’s complex, collaborative world. The emergence of AI and machine-learning makes emotional intelligence even more important, and like most transformational technologies, it is both exciting and scary. It’s exciting to consider all the ways our lives will be enhanced, from organising our days to diagnosing medical conditions. But what impact will it have on the social and emotional interactions that Mother Nature depends on?

As this world of electronic cognition grows, what are the human being’s intrinsic qualities that will set us apart from the machines – our emotions?

A very clever machine may be able to diagnose complex business problems and recommend actions to improve an organization, particularly if recommendations are driven by the assimilation of data.  However, will they ever replace the human leader’s capacity to align opinion, promote engagement, deal with internal and external politics, or identify smart talent? 

As well as the capacity to make mistakes, it’s these emotionally driven capabilities that will become more and more sought-after in years to come. Skill-sets including influencing, interpersonal understanding, collaboration, and empathy are going to become differentiators as artificial intelligence and machine-learning assume the mind-numbing, data -crunching tasks of the future.

Sadly, these human-oriented skills have generally been neglected in recent years in favour of process-orientated education and training. However, savvy modern leaders are ramping up and awakening basic human interpersonal skill-sets, as tech-led challenges scour the business world. 

The dawn of the sensitive, emotional leadership is here, and followers around the world will be eternally grateful!


About the author

Stuart Hardy describes himself as a ‘Human Engineer’, and is Director of Executive Education at the Berlin School. His primary focus is to ensure that the latest thinking and innovations from high performance business are integrated into Berlin School’s creative development programs. Writing from his home in Staffordshire or during a twelve-hour flight to Brazil, Stuart brings us his monthly reflections on leading teams, practicing innovation, and generating value in the changing world of creative business.


Julie Hough

Content Strategist
Berlin School of Creative Leadership
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