Effective leadership is often perceived to solely rely on the rational dimension of human behavior in problem solving, goal setting, negotiations, arguments, adapting to cultural differences, and organizing. (Hackman and Johnson, 2013, p. 28) Vital as the rational dimension is, an effective leader is equally skilled at sharing and responding to emotions. (Hackman and Johnson, p. 28) This dimension of leadership is considered emotional intelligence (EI): the set of abilities to recognize, understand, manage, and utilize one’s emotions and the emotions of others. (Salovey, 1997) “Given the centrality of emotion to the human experience, the skills of emotional intelligence play a crucial role in people’s relationship through the interpretation and management of emotions. (Keaton and Kelley, 2008, p. 105) EI has emerged as one of the most notable leadership effectiveness constructs in recent years. (Prati et al., 2003)
One predominant leader who effectively utilizes EI in the ministry world and the communities of Alpharetta, Georgia is Andy Stanley. As the pastor of North Point Ministries, Stanley has exhibited his understanding of human emotion, others and his, and leveraged it effectively for the advancement of God’s kingdom.
The foundational philosophy Stanley used to build the ministry he leads reveals his EI. He chose to start a church that was not traditional, but rather was a church that unbelievers wanted to attend. (Stanley, 2005) Understanding how the public perceives the traditions of the church, prompted Stanley to start a church that was welcoming, comforting, inviting, and challenging in a non-judgmental way. (Stanley, 2005) This decision exemplifies the five skills of EI presented by Hackman and Johnson. (2013, p. 30)
Stanley’s EI has led him to communicate the Gospel in a manner that brings scripture alive, communicates God’s love, and challenges individuals to live a life pleasing to God. (Stanley and Jones, 2006)
Hackman, M. Z., & Johnson, C. E. (2013). Leadership: A Communication Perspective (6 edition). Waveland Press, Inc.
Keaten, J., & Kelly, L. (2008). Emotional Intelligence as a Mediator of Family Communication Patterns and Reticence. Communication Reports, 21(2), 104–116.
Melita Prati, Ceasar Douglas, Gerald R. Ferris, Anthony P. Ammeter, & M. Ronald Buckley. (2003). Emotional intelligence, leadership effectiveness, and team outcomes. The International Journal of Organizational Analysis, 11(1), 21–40.
Salovey, P. (1997). Emotional Development and Emotional Intelligence: Educational Implications. Basic Books.
Stanley, A. (2005). Visioneering: God’s Blueprint for Developing and Maintaining Vision (annotated edition edition). Sisters, Or.: Multnomah Books.
Stanley, A., & Jones, L. (2006). Communicating for a Change: Seven Keys to Irresistible Communication (1St Edition edition). Sisters, Or: Multnomah Books.