A frequent theme when discussing leadership theories, is that intelligence and experience play a critical role in determining a successful leader. The Dublin text intensifies six common cognitive factors and links them closely with intelligent leadership. The desired outcome of this exercise is an in-depth assessment of each of the factors and their role in Marco’s own cognitive development. The first attribute relates to an individual’s mental capability. As defined in the book, cognitive intelligence is the “general mental ability”of a person.
This differs room emotional intelligence in that it focuses on the ability to make logical and reasonable decisions through the use of problem solving and analyzing. When thinking about this factor in relation to her own abilities, Margo feels that this is an area in which she does extremely well. She considers herself a fairly intelligent person, who when presented with a new assignment or idea, grasps the context very quickly. She excels both in practical situations and educational requirements, and feels well suited to handling most problems effectively and efficiently.
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An important ability of any great leader is expertise in his or her area of practice. This can be achieved through, “studying new technological research, analyzing competitors’ products and conferring with customer and engineers. ” (Dublin, 2007) The author feels very strongly that this area is one in which she is very proficient. She prides herself on not only constantly refining her skills in accounting through continuing education and professional training, but by researching industry specific information on the company that she works for.
An example of this is when she started working for a helicopter company as n internal auditor. Never having worked in transportation before, Margo was a little unnerved by the vast differences between this industry and public accounting. Would she be able to utilize her knowledge and translate it into such a different environment? One of the first tasks she undertook was to learn all she could about the helicopter industry. She accomplished this by reading trade manuals, brochures and websites, and speaking with several employees, from maintenance personnel to pilots.
Very quickly, she gained an understanding of the aviation industry in general and was able to employ this knowledge to assist err in reconciling inventory and performing thorough audits of the company assets. Because of her extensive understanding in many areas of the company, management often turned to Margo for concise and comprehensive reports and presentations to other employees in functions other than accounting. Creativity is an area that Margo struggles with.
Because she prefers consistency over change, she tends to turn to her peers for inspiration in the creativity department. She is however, very open to innovation because in the words of Sternberg, Creativity is important for leadership because it is the component hereby one generates the ideas that others will follow. A leader who lacks creativity may get along and get others to go along–but he or she may get others to go along with inferior or stale ideas. A good leader, on this view, is one who embodies a creative vision. Sternberg, 2005) So while it is not her strong suit, she remains committed to contributing to the creative thinking process in any way that she can. Insight is the ability to intuitively assess a problem and respond accordingly. This is a very useful tool for leaders, as it can help them to adapt their leadership approaches accordingly. With insight comes the ability to intuit and reasonably predict the actions and responses of other individuals. This is the ability that separates great leaders from mediocre leaders.
If a leader can “hear” what the people want and address their needs, he or she will direct the masses. This is an attribute that Margo feels she has developed extensively over the course of her career and one which she must continue to develop, because it serves her both in her personal and professional dealings. One such example was in her former job. Not long after assuming the role of internal auditor, Margo began to have some misgivings about her boss, the company Controller. She found errors in his judgment and his work ethic as well.
Several times she directly questioned a decision he had made and his explanations only solidified her reservations about his character. She found him to be shady and after a period; unethical. After voicing her concerns to external auditors as part of an acquisition audit, key managers began to look closely at the Controller’s transactions. When the merge was complete, Margo was to surprised that the Controller had been practicing bad accounting and was terminated as a result. In Marco’s mind, the next factor is almost interchangeable with insight.
Farsightedness-or rather the gift of foresight-is a necessary trait of any good leader. But they cannot see the “big picture” without first having the input of their peers and co-workers. This is another area of her leadership development that she feels needs more work. In certain situations she is easily able to identify the extenuating factors that will contribute to the success or failure of a task, hill in others she gets caught up in the small details and as a result her vision is clouded and she is unable to focus on the overall purpose.
She appreciates the importance of this factor in becoming a successful leader, because according to Kabob, a leader is “someone who combines imagination and worldwide knowledge with action, and in addition, is an inspirational individual who exhibits curiosity and courage, practices collaboration, ask the right questions, and is able to communicate the dream. ” (Kabob, 2007) The final trait not only helps to define a leader, but would bode well for any individual. Openness to new experiences is something that all people should embrace. From Marco’s standpoint, this is an especially important quality.
She is passionate about trying new things and is on a continual quest to learn. From travel, to education, to work and beyond, there are many wonderful benefits Margo reaps by being an open-minded person. For example, she is more versed and knowledgeable and therefore can have conversations about a wide array of topics. Her thirst for knowledge brought her to take her MBA courses online and to learn her fathers native tongue, Spanish. Her hunger for adventure and exploration has enabled her to visit many different countries and learn about new cultures.
This in turn has helped her in her employment endeavors, because employers appreciate her versatility. In conclusion there are many contributing factors that help to shape an influential leader. Sternberg contests that “one needs creativity to generate ideas, academic (analytical) intelligence to evaluate whether the ideas are good, practical intelligence to implement the ideas and persuade others of their worth, and wisdom to balance the interests f all stakeholders and to ensure that the actions of the leader seek a common good.