Mastering Leadership: The Crucial Balance of IQ, EQ, and DQ

The debate between the importance of IQ and EQ in leadership often arises, but I always come down on the side of EQ. It’s EQ that unlocks the true potential of our teams, enabling us to dive deep into the heart of what makes them tick.

It’s EQ that strengthens the bonds within our networks, creating a foundation of trust rooted in empathy. And let’s not forget, it’s EQ that arms us with the self-awareness needed to lead with authenticity, guiding our teams to victory with a personal touch that only true understanding can foster.

But actually, I think one of the most important aspects for a leader is DQ.

DQ is Delivery Quotient, the ability of a leader to deliver results and get stuff done.

Leadership is ultimately about achieving things; it’s impossible to be considered a good leader if you never achieve anything, no matter how charismatic, authentic, or likeable you are.

However, you can’t be a great leader if you just have DQ alone, although I have worked with many leaders who did. If you only have DQ, then you definitely have the ability to get things done and achieve results, but more often than not, you lose the team because of a lack of empathy.

I worked with one leader who did a fantastic job of delivering a large transformational project, but at the end of it, no one wanted to work with him again. People looked to get out from under his control, some even choosing to leave the company to ensure they didn’t have to work with him.

When I discussed this with him, his people skills—that is, he said, ‘People skills don’t matter; only results matter!’ .

Now, while it’s true that results are important, the fact that he had left a trail of dead bodies, people who loathed him and never wanted to work with him again, meant that it would be practically impossible for him to sustain success.

To be considered a great leader, or even just a good leader, we need to have a track record of sustainable success, and for this, DQ alone is not enough.

Great leaders have a blend of IQ, EQ, and DQ, they live in the sweet spot, which is the intersection of these.

If you have the right mix of EQ and DQ, then we can build powerful teams that are inspired, well motivated, and have great teamwork, and if you add authenticity, a good vision to the leadership, you will have an organisation that can achieve anything.

As potential leaders, or existing leaders, we should assess ourselves in these three areas, see where we are strong and where we are weak, and look to strengthen those areas in which we have improvement potential.

Just focusing on improving our EQ will not make us a great leaders if we lack delivery capability, and if we just focus on our DQ and have little to no EQ, then we will never fulfil our potential.

Great leaders are well rounded, they are authentic, and have strong emotional intelligence and excellent delivery capabilities.

So which area do you need to focus on, in order to become a great leader?

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