Psychological Foundations of Leadership

Psychological Foundations of Leadership

Emotional intelligence (EQ) refers to the ability to recognize personal emotions as well as the emotions of others. It also involves understanding these emotions and knowing how to use them to guide others. Describe the components and importance of emotional intelligence. Also, identify how emotions can influence performance.


The servant leaders top priority is service to employees, customers, shareholders, and the general public. Leadership flows out of the act of service because it enables other people to grow and become all they are capable of being. A brief essay describing the four basic precepts in Greenleafs model of servant leadership.

Psychological Foundations of Leadership
Emotional intelligence encompasses the ability to recognize and understand emotions, which is vital in personal decision making and in guiding others. To achieve this, one must efficiently understand the components of emotional intelligence. The first component is self-awareness, which refers to the ability of a person to understand their areas of strength and weakness (Kasapi & Mihiotis, 2014). It also demonstrates the ability of an individual to understand the impact of their actions on others. Self-awareness enhances the ability to learn from past mistakes and to embrace constructive criticism. The second component is self-regulation. This is concerned with the aptitude to control one’s emotions and moods, such that one can listen without judging or think before an action among other things (Narayan and Narashiman, 2012). It also encompasses openness to change and self-integrity. The third component is internal motivation, which refers to factors that influence an individual’s inner passion (Kasapi & Mihiotis, 2014). This goes beyond external rewards such as money and is more about deriving joy and gratification from things that are of interest to an individual. The fourth component is empathy, which is the ability to treat others based on their emotive reactions. It is about placing oneself in another’s position and thus seeking to understand them based on this. The last component is social skills, which are of great significance in network building, communication and teamwork (Narayan and Narashiman, 2012. Individuals with emotional intelligence are more likely to be team leaders and are experts in persuasiveness and leading change.
The importance of emotional intelligence cannot be underestimated, given the role played by EQ in promoting organizational success. Emotional intelligence is critical because it promotes teamwork and ability to effectively communicate with others (Kasapi & Mihiotis, 2014). Understanding others’ emotions ensures that individuals can control their emotions, such that their contributions and decisions are made in a more objective and communication is clearer. Having greater self-awareness is a critical role in enhancing action accountability, and this leads to better performance. Emotional intelligence is also critical because it promotes authenticity. When one is emotionally intelligent, they tend to be consistent in applying their values and judgments, and this creates predictability and authenticity (Dayo et al., 2012). Emotional intelligence is also crucial in promoting connection with others, which leads to the development of better relationships. When a leader has high EQ, they can connect with their followers better because they not only understand them, but they can also express their emotions and passion with ease. Furthermore, emotional intelligence is useful in promoting respect. When an individual understands themselves and others, they are more likely to have self-respect and respect for others as well and treat people equally. Internal motivation is essential in driving optimism and desire to achieve even in the midst of obstacles. This means that organizations can rely on individuals with emotional intelligence in the quest to achieve organizational objectives. Empathy, as portrayed in emotional intelligence plays a vital role in promoting cross-cultural sensitivity, enhanced teamwork, and better services to customers.
Emotions could have a significant influence on individual and group performance. This is because emotions determine how a person feels at any particular time and hence their ability to perform (Dayo et al., 2012). Emotions may either increase motivation or lead to loss of productivity depending on how they are manifested. Excessive emotion may limit an individual’s ability to access specific brain functions, and this limits performance significantly. While positive emotions such as happiness, the feeling of acceptance and joy from personal achievement may increase productivity, negative emotions such as stress, anger, and inferiority emotions may lead to a decrease in productivity. Emotions also affect decision-making ability and the emotions expressed by an individual at any time could lead to different types of actions.

Servant leadership has been identified as a significant driver to organizational success due to its influence on how a leader serves and influences others towards success through generosity and concern for others. In this relation, Greenleaf developed four basic precepts that detail servant leadership. The Greenleaf’s model is discussed as follows.
Service to others
In servant leadership, leaders thrive by serving others, hence focusing on their needs as opposed to authority and manipulation as observed in power leadership (Spears, 2018). Servant-leaders are more about service to others and leadership comes as the second intuition for them. Such individuals have great desire to serve others and continuously change their behavior and approach to benefit others based on people’s reactions to their behavior. According to Greenleaf, leadership legitimacy is achieved not by exercising self-centered or power-influenced actions but from the yearning to help others first (Spears, 2018). In this relation, the leader’s greatest motivation is to inspire greatness in others as opposed to directing. This according to Greenleaf is the greatest quality of a leader and which inspires the performance of followers to a great extent.
Holistic approach to work
This aspect of servant leadership focuses on the interrelationship between individuals, organizations and the community, based on the premise that as much as work exists for the individual, individuals also exist for work. This means that individuals need to be encouraged to derive value from their professional and personal lives by being themselves; which eventually leads to the more excellent performance of the organization (Daft, 2014). This explains why servant leaders invest significantly in training and mentorship. The goal of the servant leader is to see the success of others, and this tells why are more likely to focus on employee mentorship and involvement. Servant leaders are less likely to focus on authority and are instead more interested in empowering others to enhance collaborative authority. This is achieved through ensuring that employees are empowered to make decisions based on the knowledge and experiences acquired from the leader. Through helping them realize their potential, servant leaders play a significant role in promoting employee engagement and organizational success. Increased participation enhances engagement with organization’s mission and thus creates better outcomes.
Sense of community
In a bid to provide human services, it is argued that this can only be achieved if individuals come together to promote the needs of others and the community as a whole (Daft, 2014). This, based on servant leadership, is the only way through which organizations can be successful. In this regard, individual servant leaders are vested with the role of promoting a sense of community through their actions. Servant leadership is about selflessness and generosity. Accordingly, such leaders are likely to place great importance on helping others, which plays a significant role in promoting a sense of community.
Power sharing in decision-making
Servant leadership is often misconstrued and could be interpreted to mean lack of authority. Greenleaf, however, notes that servant leadership promotes power sharing, such that leaders involve others significantly in the process of decision making (Spears, 2018). This means that while the leader ultimately makes the final decisions, they do so after considering the contributions of others and what best suits all the stakeholders involved. During problem-solving, servant-leaders involve others by finding out their needs and considering their ideas. This means that servant leaders are more likely to consult employees, customers and other stakeholders through discussions, surveys and interviews to determine their needs and how their ideas can be incorporated in solving the problem. This creates collaborative authority by distributing power across the organization, which could be influential in promoting motivation and better organizational outcomes.

Dayo, I., et al. (2012). The impact of emotional intelligence on workers’ behaviour in industrial
organizations. Inkanyiso, Jnl Hum & Soc Sci, 4, 83-90.
Kasapi, Z. & Mihiotis, A. (2014). Emotional Intelligence Quotient and Leadership Effectiveness
in the Pharmaceutical Industry: A New Template. International Journal of Business Administration, 5(1), 15-26.
Narayan, P. R. & Narashiman K. (2012). Emotional Intelligence and Work Performance: A
Conceptual Study. Journal of Mechanical and Civil Engineering, 62-68.
Spears, L. C. (2018). The Understanding and Practice of ServantLeadership. School of
Leadership Studies. Retrieved from https://www.regent.edu/acad/global/publications/sl_proceedings/2005/spears_practice.pdf


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