Definitions of Leadership: From Cohort Model to Emotional Intelligence

William Woods Business

The cohort model for William Wood’s MBA in Entrepreneurial Leadership program offered at multiple locations in Missouri allows students to build relationships and engage in ways that prove helpful beyond the classroom. As students learn technical skills that usher development of smart business strategies, cohorts offer a setting that allows students to build emotional intelligence by working with others.

The importance of emotional intelligence is not a new concept in business. Daniel Goleman’s “What Makes a Leader” debates the importance of attributes such as self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills when it comes to leadership.

In a recent Forbes interview, Goleman said, “studies conducted by companies evaluating their own executives have proven that the top ten percent of performers displayed superior competencies in emotional intelligence.”

While one can certainly find many definitions of leadership, ranging from college textbooks to paperbacks written by some of the most influential thinkers, it is perhaps one’s own definition of leadership that upholds most merit.

Nonetheless, we naturally look to words of those who inspire us before we arrive at our own conclusions.

Take these thoughtful ideas about leadership:

“As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.” —Bill Gates

“Leadership is a process of social influence, which maximizes the efforts of others, towards the achievement of a goal.” —­Kevin Kruse

“The greatest leaders mobilize others by coalescing people around a shared vision.” —Ken Blanchard

Many leadership commentators often overlook the profound similarity of these definitions. The words highlight that the heart of leadership has to do with others.  Whether it’s helping a classmate or working together towards a common goal, the other is an essential pair to self in many business initiatives.  It’s no wonder then that those personal attributes that help us in dealing with our cohort classmates are crucial to our development as leaders.

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