This is the kind of article that talks about an ideal type of leader. One that really does not exist. Leaders are not perfect! They don’t have this number of traits to make them perfect, and there is no such a thing called true emotional intelligence. Not by the book emotional intelligence in any way. I would rather consider authentic leadership, which being authentic takes work and practice.

Don’t wear a mask

Authentic leaders don’t wear masks. It’s easy to hide behind them and it’s easy to keep a professional distance, but you don’t show much behind a mask. Certainly you don’t look like all the other humans that you hope to lead well if you hide behind an invisible mask of fake reactions and fake feelings. Don’t over do it, but let your leader mask down. People like to be lead by people not by masks.

Be human

Sometimes you will react in a bad way in a circumstance. You’ll shout when you should be calm, maybe. That’s just a human reaction. Sometimes people react in the way their genes tell them and reactions learned by socialization are forgotten for a second. That nasty second. Acknowledge your mistake, and carry on. Try to do better next time, and remember that is a good thing that you saw where you did wrong.

Don’t ignore conflicts

Conflicts will happen. There is simply no other way in human organizations. Try to set the environment for quick and positive conflict resolution and when conflicts happen be there to solve them. Most probably you, being the leader, will have the best chances of making this a learning experience for your organization. Your actions will become examples for your team.

Practice integrity

Don’t allow gossip even if it’s funny, be fair with the others and say what you mean to say. Again, don’t over do it. Extreme honesty is not what I am preaching here. Rather try to remember that fairness needs a vehicle to be delivered to the others. A way that does not hurt feelings but does what is suppose to do: is clear and concise has the desired effect. Don’t don’t try to look good, try to respect the old medical adagio: “Primum non nocere.”

Don’t hide

Obviously hiding is not the hallmark of a great leader, and there are many good reasons for that. People need guidance and information. Your team needs to see that the man or woman with a vision is there leading, making decisions, solving problems through changes and transition. It’s about providing safety for the other. If your army sees you, your army feels more confident in the battle.

So, don’t wear a mask, you don’t need it. Be human, you are leading humans. Don’t ignore conflicts, if you do they will ruin your organization. Practice integrity, your people are looking for an example. And, by all mean, don’t hide! This is leadership with true or authentic emotional intelligence! Or, at least a part of it. You’ll figure out the rest by yourself.