Nine Key Traits of Emotionally Intelligent and Successful Leaders

The firm Zenger Folkman gathered over 1000 direct reports from employers about their leaders from hundreds of different organizations and found nine key traits the most successful leaders possess:

1. They inspire others with positive words and statements.
2. They focus on collaboration between team members, which creates synergy.
3. They display open and transparent communication.
4. They build trust through consistency and honesty.
5. They celebrate team and individual wins.
6. They support individual growth and leadership development.
7. They encourage career development and provide paths to support it.
8. They encourage relationships based on making each person feel valued.
9. They demonstrate consistent emotions that are positive, optimistic, and upbeat.

There is a steady rise in employee satisfaction and performance where leaders display healthy and positive emotions.

Even more interesting is when you have a truly great leader, they can double company profits. That’s right– double the profits.

BIG TAKEAWAY: When you have a great leader who possesses and utilizes effective Emotional Intelligence, your organization as a whole ranging from employee satisfaction, performance, and morale along with revenue and profits will go up!


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.