10 Big Ideas from Emotional Capitalists: The Ultimate Guide to Developing Emotional Intelligence for Leaders


imageResearch tells us that to be successful in our personal and professional lives, we need emotional intelligence (EQ.)

What is emotional intelligence or “EQ”?

Technically, EQ is “the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.”

And, a lack of EQ can hold us back in significant ways.

In the book, Emotional Capitalists: The Ultimate Guide to Developing Emotional Intelligence for Leaders, Martyn Newman shows us how to get emotional intelligence, and use it to achieve extraordinary results.

Here are 10 big ideas from the book to inspire you and help bring out your best …

1. 10 Components of the Emotional Capital Model of Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence is a well-researched topic.  According to Newman, the following components are the building blocks of the Emotional Capital Model for Emotional Intelligence:

  1. Assertiveness – the ability to communicate your feelings, thoughts, and beliefs openly in a straightforward way.
  2. Empathy – the capacity to be aware of, understand and appreciate the feelings and thoughts of others.
  3. Flexibility – your ability to react well to change and adjust your emotions, thoughts, and behaviors to changing situations and conditions.
  4. Optimism – your capacity to look on the brighter side of life and sense opportunities even in the face of adversity.  Optimism determines your level of resilience and your ability to focus on the possibilities of what can be achieved.
  5. Relationship Skills – the knack for establishing and maintaining  mutually satisfying relationships characterized by positive expectations.
  6. Self-Actualization – the source of your emotional energy and enables you to maintain an enthusiastic commitment to long-term goals.
  7. Self-Awareness – your capacity to understand you own emotions and stay in touch with your feelings.
  8. Self-Confidence – you ability to accept and respect yourself and essentially like the person you are.
  9. Self-Control – the capacity to control your emotions well and restrain your actions until you have time to think rationally.
  10. Self-Reliance – the power to be independent in planning and making important decisions and the ability to take responsibility for yourself.

It’s worth noting that out of the 10 emotional intelligence competencies, 7 set exceptional leaders apart: Self-Reliance, Assertiveness, Optimism, Self-Actualization, Self-Confidence, Relationship Skills, and Empathy.

2. Your Primary Role as a Leader is to Create Emotional Wealth for Competitive Advantage

Great leaders create great emotional investment by the people around them and their customers.

Via Emotional Capitalists:

“To be blunt, the leaders I’m talking about are called upon to build an emotional enterprise–not just a rational one.  They do this by creating external emotional capital–appealing to the emotional customer–so that people buy into the rand and organization.  They also create internal emotional capital by treating employees as intellectual and emotional investors in the company.  Finally, they pay attention to building and managing their reserves of emotional energy by which they continually renew and inspire others to focus on what really matters.”

3. Anyone Who is Genuinely Motivated Can Develop His or Her Emotional Intelligence and Boost Emotional Capital

The good news is that Emotional Intelligence is a skill that you can build.

Via Emotional Capitalists:

“Although some aspects of emotional intelligence are innate, anyone who is genuinely motivated can develop his or her emotional intelligence and boost emotional capital.  I was recently approached by one of Australia’s leading international companies, Foster’s, to work with the finance team in the brewing division’s Carlton & United Breweries (CUB).  CUB had identified various behavioral imperatives as drivers of business improvement and was committed to developing these in its leadership team.  I took an emotional and social audit to benchmark these behaviors against EQ competencies.  I then implemented a development strategy aimed at building the EQ competencies of these high-potential leaders.

Using a combination of highly individualized EQ leadership and coaching report–the Emotional Capital Report–dynamic online modules that broke down EQ into simple building blocks, face-to-face coaching and leadership seminars that modeled EQ behaviors, I was able to demonstrate a 30 per cent increase in EQ competencies over the course of the program.  The effect on leadership performance was dramatic, tangible, and, as witnessed through recent follow-up work, highly sustainable.”

4. Successful Leaders Score High On Self-Reliance, Assertiveness, and Optimism

Leaders that do well in work and life, know how to keep momentum by staying positive and taking action.

Via Emotional Capitalists:

“Interestingly, the research reports of these leaders revealed that they scored high on self-reliance, assertiveness and optimism.  In other words, high-performing leaders: take responsibility for themselves; possess an independence of mind, thought and values; are self-directed; are able to express their thoughts, feelings and beliefs in a non-aggressive way; are opportunity sensing; possess the ability to maintain a positive approach; and remain persistent even in the face of major challenges.”

5. Effective Leaders Have a High-Degree of Self-Confidence

A lack of self-confidence hurts your relationships.  On the flip side, strong self-confidence can help you build high-quality relationships.

Via Emotional Capitalists:
”Effective leaders have a high degree of self-confidence.  Self-confidence is built on the twin emotions of self-liking and self-competence and determines the quality of your relationships.  The more you like and respect yourself, the more you will like and respect others, and the better they will feel towards you.  Your personal level of self-confidence will be the critical factor determining whether people will have sufficient confidence to enter into business relationships with you.”

6. High-Performing Leaders are Better at Building Relationships

It should come as no surprise–the best leaders build better relationships.

Via Emotional Capitalists:

“High-performing leaders are better at building relationships.  This can have big pay-offs both in developing your external business contacts and in working with your employees.  Once leaders start ‘telling’ people what to do they have already ceased to be effective.  Command and control is no longer in style.  If your employees don’t buy into your ideas and plans, there is little incentive for them to perform optimally.  Successful leaders today focus on winning the hearts and minds of people around them.”

7. Leaders High in Empathy Understand the Task Their People Must Perform and Sense the Feelings, Needs, and Perspectives of Others

People like people they can relate to, or people that “get” them.  Empathy helps build trust and appreciation.

Via Emotional Capitalists:
”The ability to empathize with others is one of the most important competencies differentiating the star performers from average.  Leaders high in empathy understand the tasks their people must perform and sense the feeelings, needs, and perspectives of others.  Empathy allows a leader to create and maintain happy, productive relationships by focusing on the whole person–not just the tasks he or she must perform.”

8. Emotional Intelligence is a Strategy for Building Wealth in Your Business

Emotional intelligence breathes life into the people-fabric of the business.

Via Emotional Capitalists:

“Sure, emotional capital is a business and leadership philosophy, but as you can see, it’s so much more than just a theory.  It is a systematic strategy for building wealth in your business.

If the critical components of competitive advantage are things such as innovation, specialized knowledge, exceptional quality, productivity, and attracting and retaining top talent, then they must be something that everyone who comes into contact with your business is committed to.  This doesn’t occur by adopting a rational rules-and-rewards–or ‘sticks and carrots’–approach.  And it certainly doesn’t happen by using a ‘command-and-control’ or ‘corporate-megaphone’ approach.  It is achieved by the skillful development and application of your emotional intelligence.”

9. Being Able to Bring Out the Best in People is Largely Based on the Expectations You Have of Them

You get what you expect.

Via Emotional Capitalists:

“Well, what’s true for you is also true for people who work with you.  If, in order to function at optimal levels, you need to feel liked and competent, so will the people who work for you. The more you tell people that you like them and what they need to do to be more competent, the easier it will be for you to set up a constructive relationship.  Over the course of time when people know you really like them and that you believe they are competent, they’ll work well for you.

Because successful people deliver results, emotional capitalists work for ways to extend the psychological benefits of emotional wealth by helping their people feel successful.

Leaders who have sufficient emotional resources to overcome their egos make other people feel strong.  They empower others to own the group’s success by building their people’s competence and by listening to their views.

Clearly, before we can lead we have to believe in ourselves and others.  If you like yourself, not only will you be more effective and productive, but so will the people who work with you.  Strong leaders bring out the best in people.”

10. Do What You Can Do

Do what you can, but do so out of intrinsic drivers deep inside, not external carrots and sticks.   That’s how you keep your emotional reserves strong, from the inside out.

Via Emotional Capitalists:

“In his well-known ‘hierarchy of needs’ theory, Maslow described five basic needs that must be satisfied if you are to survive, find satisfaction and reach your potential.  First, you require your basic physical needs—such as food, water and shelter—to be met.  Second, you need to achieve safety and be free from threat.  Third, you need to feel loved and develop a sense of belonging to a social group.  Fourth in the hierarchy is the need for esteem—to have your accomplishments recognized by others and to achieve self-respect.  At the top of the pyramid is the fifth need, ‘self-actualization’, which Maslow defined simply as, ‘one must do what he or she can do.’

Doing what ‘you can do’, while a very simple thing to say, involves having the wisdom not to accept the roles that others have prescribed for you.  Instead, it’s about deciding to become the person you know yourself capable of being.  As I suggest in chapter 2, your life is like a book with many of the chapters written by other people, providing you with scripts that direct your life.  Many people never challenge these scripts and live their entire lives according to the stories hardwired into their emotional brains.  A person who accepts leadership is basically someone who decides to take up the pen and author their own experience—write their own chapters if you like. 

People often approach the challenge of achieving their potential from a ‘deficiency motivation,’ that is, a desire to get more of something that they feel is missing, such as power, social approval, status, money, or love.  They work had to be what they imagine they should be and do what they think they should, both personally and professionally.  In other words, they strive to achieve goals that originate out of an extrinsic motivation.

The real power to do what you can do, or be what you can be, however, originates from drivers deep inside your emotional brain.  You tap into this powerful source of energy when your motives move from being externally to internally focused ‘Intrinsic motivation’ emerges from a desire to engage in an activity because you value it fro the inherent satisfaction it provides.  Nothing builds your stocks of emotional capital more quickly.”

While mastering your emotions is a life-long journey, you can start to experience the benefits right away.

A simple question to jumpstart your journey is to ask yourself, “What could you do with more EQ?”, and use your answer to help you delve in.

You Might Also Like

6 Steps to Emotional Mastery

Focus on Energy as Your One Main Metric

How To Change Any Emotion

The Arsenal of Skills for Changing Your Emotions

What Optimists Do Differently


  1. Good Morning Greetings to You!

    Thank you for crafting this most helpful article. Your labors–reading, cogitating upon, and writing–resulted in aiding many.

    One of my greatest EQ deficiencies is described in the paragraph titled: “5. Effective Leaders Have a High-Degree of Self-Confidence”. The “Impostor Syndrome” v. “EQ Self-Confidence” will be a good fight to battle through. You’ve pointed me toward the place to begin.

    Again, thank you!

    Joyfully Magnifying God’s Glory, Through Jesus, Unto All Peoples,


    • I think one of the best ways we build our self-confidence is to do what we say we’ll do. The more we do that, the less we let ourselves down. The less we let ourselves down, the more we have confidence in our ability to execute and learn.

      Another source of self-confidence is belief in the vision and the mission.

      So much of self-confidence comes down to where you put your focus.

  2. “Being Able to Bring Out the Best in People is Largely Based on the Expectations You Have of Them”

    I believe in this point. The content of the article is very informative.

Comments are closed.