Can a university have EQ? I am pretty sure I have seen it in action. I was fortunate enough to be invited to speak at High Point University in Greensboro NC last week to the graduating seniors about EQ. It was part of a Senior Seminar class led by the impressive and passionate HPU President, Dr. Nido Qubein, who invites guest speakers to share relevant, practical content to their students; who will undoubtedly be future leaders in business, charities, families and politics. I spent the entire day and evening on campus and was impressed with the degree of maturity, politeness and professionalism of the students, faculty and staff. I observed students being treated like customers, something I have never seen before. Keep your eye on these kids folks, I would start recruiting via internships. That's what I did and have a wonderful new HPU grad starting with us at Penumbra Group in May!
Jen Shirkani and Chris Dudley, HPU Chief of Staff
Afternoon open-to-the-public session, standing room only
I had the great pleasure of working with over 250 leaders at the Howard Center, a community counseling and support center in Burlington VT. What a delightful group of employees, dedicated to their work and to being the best leaders they can be.
I am in the middle of debriefing a batch of 360 assessments for a client and in several cases the person has gotten a low score on "Coaching and Mentoring" and "Inspirational Leadership" from their manager. Because these employees have all been individual contributors, their response has been the same,
"I don't manage anybody. It's really not my job to coach and mentor or lead."
When we dissect what goes into coaching and inspiring, it includes giving feedback, providing helpful guidance, answering questions patiently, sharing knowledge, positive influence, and demonstrating enthusiasm and energy that is contagious. All of these things can be done with peers, colleagues, clients, and vendors. These are not skills only reserved for those in "management."
It reminded me of a comment made by a client I had lunch with this week who is the owner of a firm that offers stock to it's employees. He said, "A lot of people ask me how to become a shareholder. I tell them, 'Act like a shareholder.'"
If you want to be an owner, act like an owner. If you want to be a leader, act like a leader. What are you waiting for?