Books Read: “Multiple Intelligences and Leadership”, Riggio, Murphy, Pirozzolo   Leave a comment


Excellent book on a key component of leadership: intelligence. But specifically looking at the different types of intelligence and their respective influences upon leadership effectiveness.

The domains of intelligence as discussed by the papers presented in this book are:
– analytical
– cognitive
– creative
– cultural
– emotional
– practical
– social

I found it not only intriguing, but also leading me to reflect upon, the notion of multiple types of intelligences. That we each hold a mix of intelligences, with degrees of sub-competencies, and that these factors greatly influence our leadership styles.

For example, successful organisational leadership requires a high degree of social intelligence. Social intelligence comprises the two competencies of social reasoning and relational skills. These social reasoning skills are:
– social perceptiveness
– social knowledge structures
– metacognitive reasoning
And the relational skills are:
– behavioural flexibility
– negotiation
– conflict management
– persuasion
– social influence

Which all leads to the thought that one’s social intelligence could be improved by targetting each of these skills.

Likewise with emotional intelligence. Although there are a couple of models that attempt to explain emotional intelligence (the ability model & the mixed model), they too are structured with competencies (ie, perception, empathy, self-awareness, etc).

Then there is the discussion regarding transformational leadership (as opposed to transactional leadership). Those leaders seen as transformational will have greater emotional and social intelligences than cogntive intelligence.

Another important factor covered by the book, whilst not exactly a leadership skill or competency, is motivation.

As the authors state at the end of the book: “successful leadership is extraordinarily complex, and we are only beginning to understand the implications of multiple intelligences for research on leadership, and for leadership selection, training and development”.

For me, understanding that there are numerous skills which ultimately combine to produce a capacity to lead implies that, to a degree, leaders can indeed be made.

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Posted February 20, 2013 by terop in Books Read, Career, Directorship, Leadership

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