Archives For Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Leadership

Steve Gutzler —  January 21, 2014 — 1 Comment

Space Needle 12th Man

I was recently privileged to be invited by a close friend to a Seahawk game. We were taken in style by a town car with a distinguished driver. My friend John greeted me with an enthusiastic smile and contagious attitude… “It’s going to be great Steve!” I couldn’t help but to “jump on” the good feelings and be swept in with the fun awaiting us.

How easily we catch a leader’s emotional state, has to do with how expressively their faces, voices, and gestures convey their feelings.

It’s not just Seahawk games ~its the game of leadership. The greater a leader’s skills at transmitting emotions, the more forcefully the emotions will spread.


  • People pay close attention to a leader, even subtle expressions of emotions can have a big impact.

  • How well you express your enthusiasm ~ the more readily others feel that same contagious passion.

Leadership is a skill, a craft that is learned. Leaders who display the right emotional leadership become magnets; people naturally gravitate to them. When you think about the leaders with whom people most want to work in organizations, they probably have the ability to exude upbeat feelings.

Research has proven it: optimistic, enthusiastic leaders more easily retain their people and build effective teams.

How can you display the right kind of emotional exchange today? Be a great emotional influence this week?

2014 Can be a great year to take your team through an Emotional Intelligence training! For information on keynote presentations, team workshops, and one on one coaching, contact Steve at:


Steve at Game

Go Hawks!


Space Needle photo credit:

What makes a Good Leader?

Steve Gutzler —  January 14, 2014 — 2 Comments

State Library of Vicotoria

“Gaining trust and building teams is hardest”

Good Leaders tend to produce more good leaders.

Quick List of Valued Qualities in Good Leaders:
1. Adapts quickly to new situations; can handle bad news
2. Gives useful feedback; sets high ethical tone
3. Is positive, encouraging, and realistically optimistic

Not too long ago, I was speaking at a large Microsoft Leadership Development Day and gave an opening example of what makes a good leader. I had read a report that asked that very same question by the Army War College in a study of highly regarded major generals in Iraq.
Below are the responses in order of importance:Good leaders produce more good leaders

  • Keeps cool under pressure
  • Clearly explains mission, standards and priorities
  • Sees the big picture; provides context and perspective
  • Makes tough, sound decisions on time

The study showed that even when tactical and technical competencies are excellent, interpersonal skills are critical. One of the authors of the study, retired General Walter Ulmer, said: “One thing we found is it’s still easier to teach technical skills than to teach people how to gain trust and build teams.” Ulmer also noted that many key behaviors are learned by example; therefore good leaders are able to create more good leaders.

I looked at every one of those leaders in that room at Microsoft and said “Look your technical skills and tactical abilities got you into the game. Now, how successful you’ll become will be determined by your ability to harness effective Emotional Intelligence and Play Big!”

Playing Big and Building your Leadership
The stuff that leaders are made of:

  • Emotional Self-Awareness:
    • Stays Calm Under pressure
  • Empathy
    • Is aware of other’s moods
    • Is a good listener
  • Personal Drive
    • Is energetic
    • Is goal oriented
  • Optimism
    • Handles set-backs effectively
    • Had a positive outlook
  • Coaches Others
    • Is a good mentor
    • Gives clear feedback
  • Authenticity
    • Honest and open when presenting one’s self to others
    • Builds trust through actions
  • Communication
    • Gives adequate instruction
    • Doesn’t personalize disagreements
  • Impulse Control
    • Rarely acts impulsively
    • Maintains sense of humor under stress
  • Adaptability
    • Is open to change
    • Is effective through change

One thing I’ve learned about “Playing Big” and leadership throughout my life is that successful application of these skills is not something that happens instantly. But, with even a little improvement in one department, performance goes up, effectiveness goes up, and personal leadership goes up. That is why it is called “PLAYING BIG!”

Emotional Intelligence and Play Big-
How we handle ourselves and our relationships can determine life successes more than IQ.

THIS WEEK: Pick one of the above competencies and practice it. Observe the differences your deliberate practice will make in your life at work and at home!


For information on keynote presentations, team workshops, and one on one coaching, contact Steve at:


Leading yourself starts with looking closely at who you are

Leading yourself starts with looking closely at who you are


“Steve, you’re going so fast and you’re so uptight you just missed the turn. Now we need to backtrack.”
Julie Gutzler in the passenger seat on I-5.

We have always been blessed to take a lot of vacations. When our kids were growing up Disneyland was our annual destination. It’s the “Happiest Place on Earth,” except not for me. I would get uptight, impatient, ticked off and stressed out. Julie, my wife, was the calming anchor. I was the raging ship. Even though the kids were fine and always had a blast, I always felt hurried allowing the crazy crowds to choke out the fun of the moment.

For me the biggest battle in life is against myself. Not against my wife, kids, the people I lead, or the people who have influenced me- it’s against me. I would find myself wondering what I could do if I could only lead myself more effectively.

“Playing Big” is about playing your best. It’s “You version 2.0” It’s about playing, living, and leading at your highest level.

Recently, we went on another vacation to Mexico and I was finally able to slow down. I enjoyed the moments and enjoyed being with my family. Even through some of the quirky events we crossed while in Mexico, I was able to “Play Big” and roll with the punches. My family seemed to relax more and were able to enjoy Dad more as well (making me realize, again, that my emotions are not only affecting me). It was like I was experiencing some new private victories in “Leading Steve.”

Play Big: Key Pointers

  • Eat clean
  • Act to win
  • Find the good in the day
  • Breath… Breath…
  • Slow down
  • Practice appreciation

Now that we have two of the ten weeks up and running, a pretty good feel of the series should be developing. I think you will enjoy this series on PLAYING BIG. I hope my real-life experiences and my journey of learning to Play Big will help you connect and will provide some insight to the difficulties of really building an emotionally intelligent self. I promise, that despite all the challenges, the payoff is more than worth it- it’s Extraordinary.

Don’t miss next weeks post! PLAYING BIG PART 3 including more on EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE

Play Big Training

Steve’s one day training on Emotional Intelligence for Extraordinary Leadership will transform your team’s effectiveness.

Harness the power of the Number 1 predictor of professional success and personal performance

  • Perfect for sales teams
  • Team organizations seeking better performance and results
  • Managers and leaders becoming effective in bringing out the best in the team
  • How to build fierce loyalty with customers using Emotional Intelligence

Contact Steve: