Leadership and EI, The Keys to Driving ROI and Organizational Performance

Key Research Insights

  • Leadership development efforts need immediate improvement. More than half of survey respondents think the current Leadership Development efforts at their organizations are less than effective.
  • Individual contributors and managers disagree about what leadership behaviors are most important in today’s environment. While managers feel coaching skills are not very important, nearly twice as many individual contributors surveyed disagree. Adaptability, problem solving and stress tolerance are also behaviors with the largest gaps in perceived importance between individual contributors and managers.
  • However, communication, interpersonal skills and self-awareness are all behaviors that both individual contributors and managers want to see more of in the future. Individual contributors want to see their leaders practice these behaviors more frequently, and managers report that they will be even more important in the next 2-5 years.
  • Spending more on leadership development results in higher revenue. Organizations that spend more than 31% of their annual Training & Development budgets on Leadership Development are 12% more likely to report increased revenue.
  • More than 75% of respondents use at least one type of leadership development method in their organization. Nearly half of organizations report that EI is a topic of Training & Development courses, as well as an objective for leadership coaching.
  • Emotional Intelligence assessments are an inexpensive, simple and very effective way to impact leadership development. Sixty percent of those who use Emotional Intelligence assessments say they are effective or very effective. Equally efficient methods of development include executive coaching, job rotations, and global assignments.
  • Time and support are critical to implementing leadership development initiatives and yet, are lacking in organizations. Executives fail to support leadership development initiatives, and limited time also keeps it from becoming an organizational priority.
  • Emotional Intelligence remains an untapped resource for nearly 1 in 3 organizations. Twenty-nine percent of survey respondents report that Emotional Intelligence is not a focus for their organizations.
  • Organizations that value and widely use Emotional Intelligence are 3.2x more effective at leadership development. There is a 31% gap in leadership development effectiveness between organizations where EI is valued, versus those in which it is not.
  • Organizations that integrate Emotional Intelligence in at least two different ways are 25% more likely to have extremely effective leadership development. In contrast, only 15% of organizations that do not widely implement Emotional Intelligence report effective leadership development.
  • Incorporating Emotional Intelligence as part of leadership coaching supports higher performance. When organizations incorporate Emotional Intelligence in leadership coaching, they are 36% more likely to report effective EI performance.
  • Using assessments to track or measure Emotional Intelligence helps support positive revenue growth rates. While many factors impact revenue growth, organizations that measure EI are 16% more likely to report positive revenue growth.

About this Research

This research study is a collaborative effort between the Human Capital Institute (HCI) and Multi-Health Systems (MHS). An online survey was conducted from April – May 2013 with 784 respondents representing more than 500 organizations worldwide. These research findings form the basis of this report and are summarized below. In addition, information and quotes from in-depth qualitative interviews with subject-matter experts and relevant secondary sources, including white papers, articles, books and case studies help inform our findings. Among the practitioners and thought leaders interviewed especially for this report:

  • Bob Anderson, CEO, 1Hero Sports
  • Drew Bird, Principal, Clearpoint EQ
  • Roger Pearman, Founder and CEO, Leadership Performance Systems
  • Dr. Margareta Sjölund, Chief Psychologist and Founder, Kandidata Asia
  • Dr. Steven Stein, Chief Executive Officer, MHS