The Force is Strong with You…Or Can Be

It’s blockbuster movie season – we’re right at the start of the summer season! With that comes all number of cinema experiences; some offering romances, others epic science-fiction journeys.  One of this year’s movies is another release from the Star Wars brand which I’m sure will be quite popular throughout the summer.

When you think about the significance of the Star Wars story and brand, it’s pretty fascinating.  It has cemented itself as iconic a brand as any in our society and throughout the world.  Despite the first movie debuting over 40 years ago, it continues to have a powerful hold on each generation since.  Consider what Star Wars is about when you strip it down to the basic premise: the good guys are out there beating the bad guys on the premise of trusting their feelings and intuition.

Sound a little touchy-feeling and not sci-fi-ish enough?  While there’s plenty of action, special effects, and imagination thrown in, at the heart of this story is the great importance of “the Force” – a power that can be used for good or evil.  And even if one is chosen to have a greater amount of “the Force,” it requires patience and learning in order to use it effectively.  As Yoda teaches Luke, “Trust your instincts…look inside yourself to gain strength.”

We All Have Access to “The Force”

Throughout your career, you’ve undoubtedly encountered great leaders and horrible ones.  Perhaps you’ve concluded that some people are just born with a natural ability or skill to lead others, while everyone else will go on struggling as a boss or leader.  Some may have personalities that lend themselves to lead people more effectively; however, unlike the Star Wars world, not just one group of people are gifted with an ability to lead better than another group. Instead, each of us has the ability to access the inner strength and skill needed to become powerful contributors and leaders.

So, what does it take to be a leader – someone who uses their power and influence for good?  Consider likening “the Force” to your Emotional Quotient (EQ).  What is your EQ – or level of emotional intelligence?  According to the dictionary, emotional intelligence is defined as, “the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationship judiciously and empathetically.”  Like the Force, one’s EQ requires awareness, self-control, and a deliberate choice to develop the power associated with it.

Why bother?  This is why: one’s EQ is the single strongest predictor of success as a leader.  One’s intelligence quotient (IQ) can only predict 1-20% of their success in a job.  Their emotional quotient (EQ) however, predicts 27-45% of success – particularly as a leader or manager.  So, while smarts are important, your emotional “smarts/skills” are even more important. The greater one’s emotional intelligence or EQ, the better they’ll be dealing with everyone and everything around them; hence, making them not only an effective manager but an effective human being.

Your EQ will determine how self-aware, motivated, self-disciplined, and empathic you are – allowing you to make more balanced decisions in all that you do.  Consider your ability to bring people together, motivate your team members, and establish trust.  Are you accomplishing these objectives effectively?  If not, have you stopped to consider what might be getting in the way?  The answer could very well be you.

So, whether you’re a fan of Star Wars or not, the “leadership force” can be strong with you – if you so choose.