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 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 performance. Emotional 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 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 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 et.al., 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).