Episode 30


David Burnham has been a researcher for over 40 years on superior leadership in industry, academia, and governments around the world. He was one of the first thought leaders who called for a new style of leadership, including the necessity of emotional intelligence (EQ).

The rest of the world eventually picked up the message about the importance of EQ, but David’s research of hundreds of thousands of leaders shows that EQ is simply not enough to turn an average leader into a great leader. In fact, leadership training that focuses on EQ can actually have a detrimental effect if the other components of superior leadership are not taught as well.

David and Jesse discuss five aspects of what David calls Interactive Leadership:

  • Overall long-term focus on impact vs. short-term focus on competition or being liked
  • Delegating authority for planning and decisions vs. Delegating responsibility for task
  • Flexible thinking vs. black-and-white thinking
  • Creating the “we” vs. leading as “me”
  • Purpose-driven vs. visionary/charismatic

To emphasize that the thought patterns are actually more important than the actions, and that the impact focus is primary, Jesse typically refers to this concept as impact thinking.

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For the transcript of this episode: EL 30: Why Emotional Intelligence (EQ) Isn’t Enough for Superior Leadership | with David Burnham