Sunday, January 2, 2011

Multiple Intelligences and Leadership Effectiveness

Intelligence Theories
Wex Wexler is known as the father of intelligence and his belief was that only two forms of intelligence existed; verbal and performance or nonverbal (Chopra & Kanji, 2010). Sternberg (1997) equates intelligence to mental self-management. Gardner (2004) introduced the idea of multiple intelligences in 1983 and defines intellectual competence as problem solving skills that elicit the potential for new knowledge acquisition. The Multiple Intelligences (MI) theory posits that all human beings possess at least eight forms of intelligence: logical-mathmatical, musical, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, naturalist, interpersonal, and intrapersonal (Gardner, 2004). Sternberg (1997) posits three inclusive domains of intelligence in Triarchic Theory. The domains include componential (academic), experiential (creative), and, contextual (street smart). Within the three domains there exist six steps: goal formation, research, strategizing, tactics, creativity, and, implementation (Howard, 2006).
Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence is the ability to manage one’s own emotions and to read effectively the emotions of others, and interact with them successfully. The emotional task of a leader is a primal function. Understanding the important role of emotions creates resonant leaders with emotional intelligence (Goleman, Boyatzis, & Mckee, 2003).  The emotional stability of a leader lends to creating a positive culture, which becomes the foundation for positive emotions, moods, and feelings. A healthy, positive attitude goes a long way in contributing to high motivation, satisfaction, and performanceEmotional intelligence comprises of self-awareness, self-regulation, self-motivation, empathy for others, and interpersonal and social skills (Nahavandi, 2002). Emotional intelligence is a strong requirement of effective leadership. Goleman, Boyatzis, and McKee (2003) state emotional intelligence is a critical leadership competency. Simply stated, emotional intelligence is the ability to handle emotions and external relationships with success. The foundation of emotional intelligence lies in social intelligence with strong ties to both interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligences. Emotional intelligence connects the processes of thinking and feeling to create a depth of understanding to have the ability to read oneself and to read others. A neuroscientist and pioneer of emotional intelligence, Paul Donald Maclean, (1990) introduced the theory of the ‘triune brain’ that examines and explains the evolution of the brain in an attempt to reconcile rational and primal behaviors (Chopra & Kanji, 2010). The three parts of the brain are separate, yet interdependent and intertwined. The cerebral cortex is responsible for higher thinking skills, the limbic system includes the hippocampus, hypothalamus and the amygdala that gives rise to emotions and instincts. The brain stem and cerebellum controls autonomic functions and is thought to control more primal functions. Emotional intelligence is thought to be a more effective gauge and predictor of intellect and excellence than general intelligence. Emotional intelligence is said to determine the emotional management of self, managing relationships and social interactions, human potential, teamwork and leadership effectiveness, performance outcomes, organizational development, stress reduction, educational development, political and economic life, and creativity and the innovative processes (Chopra & Kanji, 2010). The emotional intelligence of leaders create the organizational climate and leaders with high levels of emotional intelligence create organizations where employees are loyal and emotionally invested (Momeni, 2009).
Spiritual Intelligence
Spiritual intelligence includes the abilities to think outside the box, live beyond the ego, and access more powerful energies that exist beyond our physical grasp. Spiritual intelligence is a relatively new concept that is being touted as a new leadership paradigm having the potential to change the foundational beliefs of leadership practice in business (Zohar, 2005). The 12 principles of spiritual intelligence are as follows: self-awareness, spontaneity, being vision- and value-led, holism, compassion, celebration of diversity, field independence, humility, asking fundamental “why?” questions, ability to reframe, positive use of adversity, and a sense of vocation (Zohar, 2005). Chinese leaders invoke spiritual intelligence to create highly effective outcomes through incorporating spiritual intelligence (Lynton & Thorgersen, 2009). Several practices of spiritual intelligence in the workplace are employees who are hardworking, they love and are passionate at what they do, and they know and employ their values, they respect their cultural roots, and they gain energy and enjoy doing good (Lynton & Thorgersen, 2009). Research has shown that effective leaders express spiritual intelligence by believing a deep interconnectedness to something larger, which creates the desire to give back to their communities and to other people (Lynton & Thorgerson, 2009). Individuals and leaders who possess spiritual intelligence act with high morals, ethics and values, which feed into the creation and foundation of cultural and corporate values. “If you fail to honor your people, they will fail to honor you; it is said of a good leader that when the work is done, the aim fulfilled, the people will say, “we did this ourselves”” (Lao Tzu, n.d.).
Leadership Effectiveness
Leadership and intelligence are both multidimensional constructs. Effective leaders think strategically, are grounded ethically, and are masters of the change process (Clawson, 2006). Yukl (2006) terms effective leaders as those who have a pattern of behavior suitable to the situation and that are focused on task objectives and relationships. Avolio and Yammarino (2002) suggest four domains of enhanced leadership effectiveness, which include innovation, humor, organizational citizenship and cohesion. “Extensive research has shown that leaders who exhibit positive leadership behaviors – such as intellectual stimulation, individualized consideration, inspirational motivation, and idealized influence – achieve greater employee performance, effort, satisfaction, and organizational effectiveness” (Barbuto & Burback, 2006). Effective leadership is said to be a combination of the match between the leader and the leadership situation (Nahavandi, 2002).
Self actualized leadership can take the genre of leadership in new directions. Leadership studies have widened the scope to include multiple forms of intelligence. Empirical research supports that leaders have a huge impact on business. Traditional IQ tests are not predictive of all intellectual abilities, performance, or leadership effectiveness (Sternberg, 1997) and there is a need for more research probing alternate forms of intelligence. Gardner (1983) discusses multiple intelligences and specifically cites two personal intelligences: intrapersonal (understanding oneself), and interpersonal (understanding others). The instrument of leadership is the embodiment of self. Leadership development is self-development and learning to play yourself results in a better leader (Kouzes, 2003). Performance outcomes are largely believed to be due to leadership effectiveness. Organizations have not been willing or able to inculcate positively the conclusions of prior studies in this area. Emotional intelligence is said to be a strong requisite and indicator for effective leadership (Barbuto & Burbach, 2006). Zohar (2005) posits that visionary leadership comprises three types of capital: material (rational intelligence), social (emotional intelligence), and spiritual (spiritual intelligence). Spiritual intelligence is the foundation supporting the top two tiers.
Kouzes (2003) discusses contagion and leadership and that when in a group environment an “emotional soup” is created with each adding his or her own flavor. People take emotional cues from the top and the domino effect ripples downward creating the emotional climate. Positive affect has been suggested to be more effective than negative affect and leadership affect may influence leadership effectiveness (Damen, 2008). 
Understanding the important role of emotions creates resonant leaders with emotional intelligence (Goleman, Boyatzis, & Mckee, 2003).  The emotional stability of a leader lends to creating a positive culture, which becomes the foundation for positive emotions, moods, and feelings that lead to organizational optimism (Goleman, Boyatzis, & McKee, 2003). Research has revealed that positive leadership that encompasses characteristics such as intellectual stimulation and inspirational motivation create an environment that produces more effective outcomes (Barbuto & Burback 2006).
There is a deficit of authentic leaders and there are a limited number of studies that pairs spiritual and emotional intelligence as contributing to positive, effective leadership. Performance outcomes are largely believed to be due to leadership effectiveness. Leaders who use multiple levels of consciousness and intellect can transcend to higher levels of effective leadership (Young, 2002).  Zohar (2005) posits that visionary leadership comprises three types of capital: material (rational intelligence), social (emotional intelligence), and spiritual (spiritual intelligence).
The goal of this study is to integrate  research outcomes into the field of leadership to improve the architecture of leadership to contribute to the body of knowledge to intervene and develop current and future leaders through considering the importance of multiple intelligences factoring into the equation of leadership (specifically emotional and spiritual) .
The instrument of leadership is the embodiment of self. Leadership development is self development (Kouzes, 2003). The concept of “whole” leadership encourages leaders to use emotions, spiritual depth, both head and heart to make difficult decisions that will be founded on core values (Dotlich, Cairo & Rhinesmith, 2009).

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Stress of the Load

Ok, today, I am just giving it "off the cuff". No brilliant strategies, methods, theories, hypotheses, research questions.......just stuffy noses, diapers, potty training, house that needs cleaning, food that should be prepared for dinner. Yesterday, I just escaped to the movies and it was glorious. No phone calls, no yelling of mommy, commeeer!, no disciplining, no cleaning up, no feeding, no reading, no papers to write, no e-mails, nothing, just me with a big soda in a dark theatre. It was blissful!

I will confess, the stress as of late has been closing in on me!!!! We sold our home back in 2005 and never re-purchased. We just finished a lease and did not want to re-sign and so we have just packed up and moved to a temporary place while we put together a new game plan.....ok, I will say the word, strategy. We need a new strategy and I have drawn up a few different business plans to pursue. We have a contracting business in the construction industry, I am also a MonaVie distributor which I am working over a long-term plan to realize real financial success with this, however, the moving in the midst of kids and class was a HORRIBLE decision. It caused great distress and I am struggling with some internal turmoil and trying to exhale. It happens to the best of us I know......we can't have the rainbow without the rain.....

My way of dealing with this was to a) get away from it all for a couple of hours, which I did....b) pray and ask for peace and direction, keep praying......c) re-focus on the things that are truly important to me like the relationships with my children/family. I rank moving underneath the stress of losing someone you love. I once had a c-section in the midst of a class during my MBA and came back to finish the class with flying colors and that was easier than moving an entire household in the midst of a class and regular life activities and working etc.....

We all struggle, we all have difficulty adjusting, we all have stress. I am working to handle it with integrity, however, I do occasionally feel like the teapot with boiling water and there is a crack in the body of the teapot and the boiling water is leaking out and burning myself and others. Living in a place that is temporary and not knowing the direction in which we are going feels unsettling. So I must look inside myself to determine how being settled would help my mental and emotional state.

I am going to try to imagine and envision the perfect state of harmony in my life, what it looks like, what it feels like, and adjust my expectations and goals so that I may now pursue bringing those things into fruition.

Keeping it honest and keeping it real.

I will focus on the things I have completed and what I do well and remind myself to celebrate my personal wins and not to focus on the lack or chaos in my life. Work in progress.....

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Research Methodologies: Quantitative or Qualitative?

There has been a long-time debate among researchers about the superiority of one method over another while many hold the opinion that one precedes the other and they work in concert. Poggenpoel, Myburgh, Van Der Linde (2001) compare and contrast the two methodologies. “The quantitative paradigm is based on positivism which takes scientific explanation to be nomothetic (i.e. based on universal laws.) Its main aims are to objectively measure the social world, to test hypotheses and to predict and control human behavior. In contrast, the qualitative paradigm stems from an antipositivistic, interpretive approach, is idiographic, thus holistic in nature, and the main aim is to understand social life and the meaning that people attach to everyday life” (Poggenpoel, 2001, p. 2). From this researcher’s view it seems that while both are important to the process of knowledge expansion and contribution, qualitative strikes more of an organic, grass-roots note while quantitative is more a result of hard facts rather than soft data, more mechanical, but that must first be rooted in the ground before numbers can be assigned. It seems rather like things cannot be quantified until they are first qualified. The end result of all research is the development of theories regardless of the process. Theories are extrapolated out of the data and the method whether qualitative or quantitative. “A theory refers to a set of concepts; definitions, assumptions and principles interrelated to each other” (Poggenpoel et. al., 2001, p. 4). The word “assumptions” is completely open to individual interpretation which seems to be some of the argument against qualitative methods because they are open to bias, assumptions, and interpretation. Clearly, when they are each taken apart and viewed by the sum of their parts, they each are open to the same potential hazards. The two methods are not in opposition of one another; instead they complement one another and become two parts of a whole, establishing a greater depth and breadth to results and findings establishing stronger theories for application and practice.

Poggenpoel, M., Myburgh, C.P.H., & Van Der Linde, C.H. (2001). Qualitative research strategies as prerequisite for quantitative strategies. Education; Winter 2001, Vol. 122, Iss. 2. Retrieved May 7, 2009 from EBSCOhost Database.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Organizational Structures

While structural blends or hybrids tend to compose roughly a third of all organizational structures, there is still evidence within the whole to suggest pockets of centralization and decentralization or even hybrids within hybrids that exist. To centralize, decentralize, or perhaps create a hybrid. The following is quite a great analogy. “One thing that business, institutions, governments and key individuals will have to realize is spiders and starfish may look alike, but starfish have a miraculous quality to them. Cut off the leg of a spider, and you have a seven-legged creature on your hands; cut off its head and you have a dead spider. But cut off the arm of a starfish and it will grow a new one. Not only that, but the severed arm can grow an entirely new body. Starfish can achieve this feat because, unlike spiders, they are decentralized; every major organ is replicated across each arm” (Beckstrom and Brafman , 2008 as cited by Seeds & Khade, 2008).

Seeds and Khade (2008) displayed a chart breaking down the statistics on organizations that were centralized (31%) vs. decentralized (38%) vs. hybrids (31%), and the split was roughly thirds (, p. 4). They believe, however, that the best organizational structure lies in decentralization. When looking closely at hybrids, supposedly the best of both worlds, one could look at e-bay as an example operating with a centralized corporate hub where all major decisions and ideas occur and a decentralized customer approach for which they are famous (Seeds & Khade, 2008). The question of organizational structure is organization and industry-specific in that what works best for some does not create a “one-size-fits-all” to be extrapolated outward to all organizations.

Seeds. D. & Khade, A.S. (2008). Transforming a multi-national corporation from a centralized organization to a decentralized organization. International Journal of Business Strategy, Vol. 8, No. 3. Retrieved March 20, 2009 from EBSCOhost Database.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Integrity of Leadership Starts with the Individual

In attempts to answer why executives continue their bent path of organizational destruction even when there are strong leadership development programs in place points directly to individual character; their moral excellence. “The responsibility for organizational integrity must start with the organization’s framework and end with individual accountability” and although raider’s of the organizational ark should “swap their pin stripes for horizontal stripes….legislation alone will not correct corruption” (Barnett, 2002). There is no measure of character with which to grade potential employees and many times strength is determined (or evident to on-lookers) only when fully emerged in hot water. Many organizations have written ethics codes and comply with the legalese of the governmental policies without real “buy in” or understanding by those inside the organization. “We can’t be forced to choose between integrity and profits; rather we must strengthen the relationship between financial performance and social responsibility” (Barnett, 2002). Organizations are learning that their integrity is an evolutional process cultivated through leadership, culture, and values-driven programs. Bureaucratic compliance renders formal peripheral responses but meaningful change comes from within and it happens in informal ways that are organically grown from seed, carefully tended, fertilized, and nurtured. “Doing what is right always come down to the individual. It begins with the most basic leadership skills, supported by the organizational framework. It ends with no less than creating a new corporate culture, by communicating the fundamental principles that the company stands for through stories of leaders doing the right thing” (Barnett, 2002).

Barnett, R. (2002). Character-centered leadership. Leader Values. Retrieved March 25, 2009 from

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Politics of Crime and Corruption

The politics of crime and corruption are flourishing under the globalization regime creating greater landscapes in which to infiltrate and carry out vulpine efforts. If I may answer this generally speaking because as each of these constructs poses the potential for severe damage, it seems that crime and corruption is the most insidious of the three. The puppetmasters of crime and corruption attempt organizational takeovers internally and externally for the root purposes of greed and control and to increase the growing criminal economy. They launder money, evade taxes, practice rogue-banking, cover-up illegal profits and siphon the life out of every legal act. The headlining policy is “don’t ask, don’t tell”. “Law may often be part of the problem of corruption. Too many laws, often by excessive formalism, and vexatious procedures help create corruption (by forcing people to get around them) and weaken attempts to control it. Law diffuses responsibility; investigations and punishment over-dramatize; and the need to distinguish between the legal and illegal creates artificial dichotomies between behavior” (Fitzsimons, 2002). The perpetrators of corruption become trapped in the deviance of rationalization and denial, often capitalizing on “the inherent complexity, ambiguity, and dynamism that pervade organizations” (Anand et. al., 2005, p. 3). The corruption is organizationally generationalized by socializing newcomers into the corrupt practices so as to perpetuate the criminal/corrupt activities. As CEO, my stand to end these activities and behaviors would be simpler to close the organization and to begin again, however, to work with the existing issues at hand to thwart future attempts of corruption and dislodge the current foothold my focus would begin with prevention as an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The first step would be to adopt and enforce a new code of ethics and the following four activities will be helpful in creating an environment of prevention: foster awareness among employees; use performance evaluations that go beyond numbers; nurture an ethical environment; and, top management needs to serve as ethical role models (Anand et. al., 2005). In addition to these prior actions, reversing deeply embedded rationalization and socialization is a hugely difficult challenge that may involve public exposure and the involvement of external change agents to be the impetus in recognizing the imperative of change.
Anand, V., Ashforth, B.E. & Joshi, M. (2005). Business as usual: the acceptance and perpetuation of corruption in organizations. Academy of Management Executive; Vol. 19, No. 4. Retrieved March 24, 2009 from
Fitzsimons, P. (2002). The politics of corruption in the 21st century. White paper. Retrieved March 24, 2009 from

Leadership Development Strategies

“Creating a global structure provides no benefit unless the team can take advantage of the synergies that exist” (Marr, 2007, p. 3). Organizational effectiveness is built through people and globalization is bringing together people of multiple cultures. Taking advantage of the best that each culture has to offer includes talent scouting for what each region already has at their disposal in regards to existing intellectual capital through its people. When globalization strategies are being put in place, there should be a talent development / leadership training program that can be pipelined out that is flexible enough to fit the needs of each culture and have the component of empowerment. Organization leaders who have already gone through cultural education and training for the region where they are to be deployed should go ahead of the companies infrastructure to begin forging relationships and looking for local talent. Talent development and leadership training should begin at this time to lay the foundation for the organization’s move and this then creates a structure whereby other locals can come in and become involved in the program designated by the organization where they can become involved in talent development and leadership training.
Marr, J.A. (2007). Globalizing the OD function – meeting global and regional needs. Organization Development Journal; Winter 2007, Vol. 25, Iss. 4. Retrieved April 1, 2009 from EBSCOhost Database.