For an upbeat outlook, leaders strengthen their dispositions. Top qualities to hone:
• Stay in touch. Intellect moves executives up corporate ladders. Staying on top requires something more, says "Ego Vs. EQ" author Jen Shirkani.
Emotional intelligence — dubbed EQ — sparks those in charge to lead well. Shirkani describes it as demonstrating sensibility.
Lacking a reasonable mindset results in ego-fueled traps, such as ignoring unfavorable feedback and not letting go of control. Sometimes top chiefs just lose touch. EQ helps. "It's the environment. It's designed to make them more comfortable. It sets them up in a lot of ways," Shirkani told IBD.
• Look around. Take submarine bosses, who surface only when they need something. "Suddenly they come up with 10,000 questions on everything," Shirkani said.
A leader strong in EQ would pause and ask himself or herself: Is the timing right for these questions? Who are the people I need in the room?
"The self-control piece of EQ is so important," Shirkani said.
• Strive. Most rising executives can benefit from coaching to strengthen emotional smarts. "It really is some of the most hardworking, earnest executives who fall victim to these traps," Shirkani said.
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