While studying at Harvard in the US, one Aussie business owner was thrilled to learn what America’s most financially successful business leaders have in common.
Kate Middleton, founder of resume and job application support provider Career Oracle, was astounded to learn that over the past 40 years, intellectual capacity and technical skills have ranked very low among the key attributes that deliver the most financial success in business.
“Harvard attributed the following competencies at an executive level as having the greatest impact on business success: 8.9 per cent intellectual capacity (IQ), 8.9 per cent technical skills (TS), and the remaining 80 per cent – far more than IQ and TS combined – is emotional intelligence (EI),” she recalls.
“The discretionary effort we place as leaders into our own self-mastery, the understanding of our emotions, the impact our responses have on our business and how that trickles down to employee engagement, financial success, client retention and market share is phenomenal.
“I have always known that emotional intelligence and the ability to navigate relationships is key, and I also seek that out in my team members … but to see it qualified in that way is life-changing.”
Kate believes this quality is responsible for her own success in rising through the ranks of the insurance and loss adjustment industry, particularly as a young woman in a traditionally male-dominated sector, prior to founding Career Oracle.
“It is so important to understand what drives your clients, suppliers, staff and competitors,” she says.
“Everyone loves an employee or a supplier who can solve big business problems, and that has always been my approach. For me gender is not even a qualifier. I focus on building rapport, being consistent and kind, and making stuff happen.”
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.
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