Four Secrets to Emotional Intelligence and Leadership

Who have you admired as a true leader of influence and impact?

I went to a small private Christian school in Portland, OR from grades four through six. The Principal was a wonderful man named Mr. Forney. He was short, slight, energetic, personable, but strict. He often drove the school bus, substituted as a teacher, taught physical education, and coached our schools sports teams. He did it all.

I was an average student with athletic promise and drive. Mr Forney took extra time with me and for that, I am grateful. We spent much time talking and he’d listen attentively to some of my sports dreams and beyond. He inspired my best in athletics and the classroom but challenged my disciplines as a student athlete as well. What I now admire most is how Mr. Forney would build me up “day after day” saying, “You are a leader, Steve!”

If there is a Hall of Fame for educators, Mr. Forney deserves to be recognized. He possessed a unique energy for each of us. I, along with other students, gravitated towards him because of his infectious love, attitude, and energy.

One of the great privileges I’ve had was being asked to come back years later to be the eight grade commencement speaker. Mr. Forney was still there greeting everyone with warmth and graciousness just as I remembered years ago. He was still enthused about my success and leadership, too.

Here are four secrets to emotional intelligence and leadership that I learned from Mr. Forney: 
1. One of the wisest investments a leader can make is finding and meeting the needs of others, as well as unlocking their hopes and dreams for greater potential.
2. When you connect to the heart of those you lead, they give you heart and soul in return.
3. When you focus on peoples strengths and passions, they do extraordinary things. Remember, gifts and strengths unlock passion and performance.
4. When you reach out and care for people, they reach back towards you and give in return.

I’m convinced more than ever that emotionally intelligent leaders understand that people are drawn and inspired by leaders who connect with them. Leaders who care unlock the potential of others.

I’m grateful for Mr. Forney’s influence in my life. I only hope to inspire others the same degree.

Feeling Grateful,
– Steve

As a master storyteller, Steve has unparalleled ability to communicate dynamic business and leadership truths through stories, anecdotes and humor. Harness the power of the “number one” predictor of professional success, impact, leadership, high performance and sustainable relationships in business and life. Steve’s highest rated keynote presentation.

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“The purpose of Leadership Quest is to help professionals develop their personal leadership, vision and emotional intelligence. Everyday I strive to help leaders and teams achieve their desired goals in sales productivity, leadership, time maximization, and life-balance. ”

About the Author

Steve Gutzler is the President of Leadership Quest, a Seattle-based leadership development company. Steve is a dynamic, highly-sought-after speaker who has delivered more than 2,500 presentations to a list of clients including Microsoft, Starbucks, the Seattle Seahawks, Pandora Radio, Boeing, Cisco, Starwood Corporation, the Ritz Carlton group, and the U.S. Social Security Administration. He recently was voted #1 by the readership of Huffington Post as the Most Inspirational Leader on Social Media.

A published author on leadership and emotional intelligence, Steve resides near Seattle with his wife Julie where they enjoy time with their three adult children and six grandchildren.