42 Inspiring Quotes That Demonstrate the Importance of Emotional Intelligence


EQ is often cited as the difference between winners and losers. Use these quotes to up your game.

As far as I know, my MBA program didn’t teach any classes in emotional intelligence. While I got a solid education, I can’t help but think that I might have been served better by taking a course or two in EQ. After all, study after study has shown that emotional intelligence is the different between a successful CEO and an also-ran.

Here are some of the best quotes to inspire you to become a more emotionally intelligent leader:

  1. The only way to change someone’s mind is to connect with them from the heart.
    -Rasheed Ogunlaru
  2. Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others. -Jack Welch
  3. In my 35 years in business, I have always trusted my emotions. I have always believed that by touching emotion you get the best people to work with you, the best clients to inspire you, the best partners and most devoted customers.
    -Kevin Roberts
  4. When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but with creatures of emotion. -Dale Carnegie
  5. When our emotional health is in a bad state, so is our level of self-esteem. We have to slow down and deal with what is troubling us, so that we can enjoy the simple joy of being happy and at peace with ourselves. -Jess C. Scott
  6. No one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.
    -Theodore Roosevelt
  7. Never react emotionally to criticism. Analyze yourself to determine whether it is justified. If it is, correct yourself. Otherwise, go on about your business. -Norman Vincent Peale
  8. When you listen with empathy to another person, you give that person psychological air. -Stephen R. Covey
  9. Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair, but manifestations of strength and resolution. -Kahlil Gibran
  10.  Remember that failure is an event, not a person. -Zig Ziglar
  11. Unleash in the right time and place before you explode at the wrong time and place. -Oli Anderson
  12. Emotional intelligent people use self-awareness to their advantage to assess a situation, get perspective, listen without judgment, process, and hold back from reacting head on. At times, it means the decision to sit on your decision. By thinking over your situation rationally, without drama, you’ll eventually arrive at other, more sane conclusions. –Marcel Schwantes
  13. It takes something more than intelligence to act intelligently. -Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  14. People with high EQs master their emotions because they understand them, and they use an extensive vocabulary of feelings to do so. –Travis Bradberry
  15. The greatest ability in business is to get along with others and influence their actions. -John Hancock
  16. Any person capable of angering you becomes your master. -Epictetus
  17. Every time we allow someone to move us with anger, we teach them to be angry.  -Barry Neil Kaufman
  18. Maturity is achieved when a person postpones immediate pleasures for long-term values. -Joshua L. Liebman
  19. Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. -Leo Buscaglia
  20. Emotions can get in the way or get you on the way. -Mavis Mazhura
  21. Experience is not what happens to you–it’s how you interpret what happens to you. -Aldous Huxley
  22. Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose. -Bill Gates
  23. Don’t let the baggage from your past–heavy with fear, guilt, and anger–slow you down.  -Maddy Malhotra
  24. Be nice to nerds. You may end up working for them. -Charles J. Sykes
  25. It isn’t stress that makes us fall–it’s how we respond to stressful events.
    -Wayde Goodall
  26. Whatever is begun in anger, ends in shame. -Benjamin Franklin
  27. Pausing helps you refrain from making a permanent decision based on a temporary emotion. –Justin Bariso
  28. No doubt emotional intelligence is more rare than book smarts, but my experience says it is actually more important in the making of a leader. You just can’t ignore it. -Jack Welch
  29. Quick to judge, quick to anger, slow to understand … prejudice, fear, and ignorance walk hand in hand. -Peart
  30. Life appears to me too short to be spent in nursing animosity or registering wrongs. -Charlotte Brontë
  31. The essential difference between emotion and reason is that emotion leads to action while reason leads to conclusions. -Donald Calne
  32. Change happens in the boiler room of our emotions–so find out how to light their fires. -Jeff Dewar
  33. If your emotional abilities aren’t in hand, if you don’t have self-awareness, if you are not able to manage your distressing emotions, if you can’t have empathy and have effective relationships, then no matter how smart you are, you are not going to get very far. -Daniel Goleman
  34. Don’t compromise yourself. You’re all you’ve got.  -Janis Joplin
  35. Wisdom tends to grow in proportion to one’s awareness of one’s ignorance.
    -Anthony de Mello
  36. The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.
    -Carl R. Rogers
  37. I know that I am intelligent, because I know that I know nothing. -Socrates
  38. If we can’t laugh at ourselves, do we have the right to laugh at others? -C.H. Hamel
  39. We are at our most powerful the moment we no longer need to be powerful. -Eric Micha’el Leventhal
  40. When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen. -Ernest Hemingway
  41. Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone … just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had. -F. Scott Fitzgerald
  42. Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate. -C.G. Jung

What’s your favorite quote about emotional intelligence that needs to be added to this list? What inspires you to develop your EQ further on an ongoing basis?

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Fearful Leaders Hoard Control – Courageous Leaders Give Power

Feeling powerful expands possibility, elevates engagement, and enables initiative. Feeling powerless creates weakness, dependence, and fear.

People who feel powerful see opportunity.

People who feel powerless feel threat.

Control freaks make others feel powerless.

Control freaks:

  1. Pretend to be helpful. In reality they’re pushing their own agenda.
  2. Believe others are the problem.
  3. Over-manage.
  4. Know there is only one right way to get things done. Theirs!
  5. Pretend to step back so others can step in. But when something “important” starts happening, they take over.
  6. Pretend to listen. But they already have their minds made up.
  7. View change as threat.

The smile of a control freak is arrogant sympathy in disguise. They feel sorry for all the lesser people.

How to make people feel powerful by giving control:

#1. Prepare people to feel powerful.

  1. How might you stretch and nudge, rather than shove?
  2. What training is appropriate?
  3. What experiences expand capacity?
  4. How might you build on past success?

#2. Describe the playing field.

  1. What values are in play?
  2. What does success look like?
  3. What’s out of bounds?
  4. How much decision-making power do others have?
  5. How often do you want to be kept in the loop?
  6. How does this project fit into the big picture?
  7. How much authority is being delegated?

#3. Honor expressions of power.

  1. Praise people who give input that differs from your approach.
  2. Thank people for taking action, even if it didn’t work out.
  3. Ask, “What are you learning?” Rather than telling people they screwed up.
  4. Ask, “What will you do next time?” when results disappoint.

More suggestions:

#1. Generate options. The more options you have the safer the path forward seems.

#2. Give choice. After generating options, ask others to make choices.

Choice is an expression of power.

#3. Practice attunement.

Courageous leaders give power to others. Fearful leaders hoard control.

How might leaders make others feel powerful?


6 Things Leaders Should Be Thankful For Everyday


Be thankful as a leader

1. Success:

Yes, be thankful for your successes. Your successes mean you’re having an impact on the world around you.

Don’t hide your successes. Celebrate your successes and be thankful for them.

2. Failure:

Hold up… You mean leaders should be thankful for failures? Oh yeah, leaders need to be thankful for failure.

Failure is an opportunity to learn and grow. You can examine your failures and see why they didn’t succeed.

Learn and grow from your failures. They’re a great stepping stone to your next success.

3. Influence:

If you’re a leader, you’re influencing other people. These could be team members, customers, even your vendors.

Your influence is guiding and leading people. Be thankful for the influence you have on others.

4. Team members:

Your team is a valuable part of your leadership. From leaders in training to the people working on the ground floor of your organization, these are the people who are the foundation.

Without your team, there’d be a lot more work for you, the leader, to take on.

Be thankful for your team members. They take a huge weight off of your shoulders.

5. The organization:

Sometimes it can be hard to be thankful for the organization you work for. There comes a lot of stress and frustration when you lead an organization.

There are times when you feel unappreciated. You begin to wonder why you’re there when no one values the work you do.

This shouldn’t negate the thankfulness you feel towards the organization. You have the opportunity to guide, build, and lead the organization in a new direction.

Be thankful for the organization you work in.

6. Your family:

Sadly, I’ve seen families get passed over by leaders more often than not. The leaders dedicate themselves to leading an organization yet forget to lead the most important organization they chose to join: Their family.

Your family is part of your mission. You chose them. And they’re a godsend.

Be thankful for your family every day. One day they may not be there.



Further rumination on success


The Wall Street Journal’s lead editorial on June 23 featured an article by Kay S. Hymowitz entitled, “Is there Anything Grit Can’t Do?” The article is about the work of Angela Lee Duckworth.  In my article about career advancement, I talked about hard work, paying a price and the perseverance necessary for career success.  Here we have another excellent example of a researcher that has dedicated themselves to the study of a specific topic.  If you do not believe a researcher in academia can become the undisputed authority on a subject, check out Dr. Duckworth’s CV.  For those of you interested in further study of this topic, the list of grants, articles and presentations in Dr. Duckworth’s CV reads like the literature review in a dissertation.   In the case of Dr. Duckworth, her expertise flies in the face of a lot of conventional ‘wisdom’ and political correctness.

The ideology of indoctrination of children in too many failed government schools vacillates between victim-hood and entitlement insuring the continuing institutionalization of poverty.  In my opinion, public education has deteriorated markedly over the past thirty years.  The US Department of Education was founded in 1979.  In federal fiscal 1980, the department’s  budget was $14 billion.  By FFY 2015, the bureaucracy’s budget had ballooned to $73.8 billion.  I do not know anyone that thinks that public education is any better for this spectacular increase in investment.  I have heard Eric Von Hessler and others advocate for the elimination of the Department of Education in its entirety as a means of balancing the federal budget.  I think a lot of people would agree that education is better-managed locally and not from a central federal government bureaucracy.   Too few young people are being taught that the thing that has the greatest potential to make a positive difference in their life is drive or ‘grit’ as described by Dr. Duckworth and not the narrative of the NEA.  There are probably not very many people who have done a more thorough job than Dr. Duckworth understanding how to help children and adults succeed.