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Article by Deepak Gupta, Member, Governing Board


(Deepak Gupta is the country head of Korn/Ferry International having worked with Citibank in the US and India, KPMG and Price Waterhouse. He graduated with honours from St Xavier’s College, Calcutta University in 1979 and completed a postgraduate degree in Business Administration. He has also obtained a Post Graduate Certificate in Management Information Systems from Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio in 1982. Mr Gupta is a member of the Accountancy Board of Ohio, as well as a Chartered Accountant and fellow member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.)


“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” This phrase summarizes what those who study organizational behavior have realized for some time: that emotional intelligence, or “EQ,” is just as important - if not more so - than intellectual intelligence, or “IQ,” when it comes to leadership success.


Numerous studies have shown that the most revered CEOs and public figures in the world are highly intuitive and possess great “people skills,” such as “empathy,” or the ability to sense what others are feeling. Translating this understanding of “what makes people tick” into an inspirational vision that they will embrace and happily follow, however, takes advanced and sophisticated communication and interpersonal skills as well as the confidence and conviction that what you are proposing is the right thing to do.


A blend of all these competencies is essential for today’s business leader, whose role is becoming focused around “being the brand ambassador” and dealing with HR issues – across the miles and often times remotely. My colleagues at Korn/Ferry International and I not only help executives evaluate their strengths and weaknesses in terms of their written and verbal communication skills but we also examine whether how they communicate helps (or hinders) their ability to relate to, manage, and inspire others.



We also provide coaching for even the most senior-level professionals guiding them to:

  • * Become more attuned to the values and aspirations of their workforce while connecting with “the field” as much as possible, in person as well as  virtually through e-mail and other methods;
  • * Articulate their own values and vision using clear and simple language that is also positive, especially during times of change or uncertainty;
  • * Adopt a social, open and “participative” management style that welcomes honest employee feedback; and
  • * Hone their ability to relate across cultures (age, ethnic, and others).


Today more than ever, authentic, flexible and value-based leadership is the key to managing the disruptive yet compelling forces of change as globalization and technology move companies and people towards new models of relating at what seems to be the speed of light. Indeed, and perhaps ironically, all of the “zippy” new methods of “staying connected” make it all the more necessary to adopt a personal approach to communicating – one that is rooted in honesty, integrity, and compassion.  

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