Leadership EQ From the Inside Out: An Interview with Thom Dworak

While the most visible parts of leadership are what you do, leadership starts with who you are and how you engage with the world around you… or what has now been identified by Daniel Goleman as Emotional Intelligence. 

Join us for this recorded webinar, as The Virtus Group's Thom Dworak returns to discuss:

  • An Introduction to Emotional Intelligence
  • The Organizational EQ Pulse
  • EQ and Courageous Leadership
  • Developing your leadership emotional competencies

 

Justice Clearinghouse Editors (JCH): Your webinar is about Leadership EQ – something you’ve touched on in past webinars. But just in case people haven’t come to your previous webinars, what is EQ and what’s its role with Leadership?

Thom Dworak: Let's begin with Daniel Goleman and his definition of Emotional Intelligence which is "the capacity for recognizing our own feelings and those of others, for motivating ourselves and for managing emotions will in ourselves and in our relationships." Goleman is arguably the father of EQ and his book “Emotional Intelligence” is considered one of the foremost writings on emotional intelligence.

Emotional Intelligence is intertwined with leadership because leadership is about establishing and maintaining relationships. Influencers, those with or without titles have an outward focus, it's not about them.  They listen more than they speak and have the capacity to control their emotions in high stress or adverse conditions.  High EQ leaders want to succeed and want their followers to be a part of the success.  The high EQ leader resonates with their followers and are able to prime the emotional pump to keep those who follow motivated.

 

~~~~~

[Leaders] listen more than they speak

and have the capacity to control their emotions in high stress or adverse conditions. 

High EQ leaders want to succeed

and want their followers to be a part of the success.

~~~~~

 
JCH: Why is Leadership such an “Inside Out” process?

Thom: As I said, leadership is about relationships.  The relationships with those we work with at every level and it's about influence.  Everyone watches the leaders in the organization.  They are watching for reactions, or lack thereof, especially to chaotic or complex problems.  The best leaders are those who can control (self-regulate) their emotions under stress. 

I wrote a blog post entitled,  15 Tips for the New Sergeant. The post is about maintaining relationships.  The outside work, the business end of what we do in law enforcement, is easy. Managing your emotions, the emotions of those you work with and the emotions of the organization that is difficult to master.  The leader who can control their emotions and effectively navigate those of others are the most successful.  It sounds like common sense but it isn't commonly performed.

Leaders have the ability to influence behavior in a positive or negative manner. Expressed another way are you a resonant or dissonant leader.  The Resonant Leader has an outward-looking focus and seeks relationships built on trust, empathy and shared vision.  The Dissonant Leader has an inward focus and the relationships formed on based on fear, control and looking out only for themselves. 

 

~~~~~

The leader who can control their emotions

and effectively navigate those of others are the most successful. 

It sounds like common sense but it isn't commonly performed.

~~~~~

 

JCH:  What do you think the biggest myths is about being (or becoming) a leader? Why do you think so many people believe this? 

Thom: Oh boy, there are so many but if I had to choose one it would be the myth that introverts can't be leaders.  If you look at leaders in prominent positions, Trump, Thatcher, Jobs leaders that can be identified by a last name, they have extrovert personalities or behaviors, maybe at times even appear narcissistic. They have the ability to fire up their base. They are energized by people and in turn so are their followers.

Introvert leaders, some you wouldn't think are introverts like Gates, Gandhi or Warren Buffet are some of the better-known introvert leaders.  They are not your prototypical cheerleaders but they have the ability to fiercely focus.  Buffet, one of the richest people in the world, said "Once you have ordinary intelligence, what you need is the temperament to control the urges that get other people into trouble in investing."  The temperament which he speaks of is emotional intelligence, the ability to control your impulses.

While the extrovert leader draws followers through their energy, the introvert leader gains followers through steadiness and reason. Many will naturally gravitate to an extroverted leader but do not underestimate introvert. 

 

~~~~~

While the extrovert leader draws followers through their energy,

the introvert leader gains followers through steadiness and reason

~~~~~

 

JCH:  You’ve presented a number of times about leadership here at Justice Clearinghouse. The work that you do is important, but must be challenging at times. What drew you to this work and helping those in the justice profession? What keeps you motivated or inspired to keep doing this work?

Thom: I don't look at it as a challenge but a blessing.  I have been given an opportunity and in some ways a second chance to help others who are either walking the path of leadership or about to embark on it.  While mistakes are how adults generally learn best, it can have an adverse effect on potential leaders.  I've made the mistakes and learned from them and this is my opportunity to help others avoid behavioral pitfalls that could undermine their career. 

Much of what I teach or write about challenges the status quo in the criminal justice profession.  The Adaptive FTO is an example of that.  It's a big reason of why I am with The Virtus Group (Inc), where our tagline is "Think Differently."  As funny as it may seem, this is where much of my motivation comes from.  I can't tell you how many times I've heard "you don't think like everybody else does."

I enjoy finding solutions from outside the norm.  In The Adaptive FTO, attendees are introduced to Daniel Goleman (EQ), Daniel Kahneman (System 1 & System 2 Thinking), Charles Munger (mental models), Richard Feynman (Simplicity) and Dr. Robert Bork (Interleaving).

Einstein tells us our present problems cannot be solved at the level of thinking at which they were created.  Bringing the research and concepts together may sound very academic but in keeping with Feynman's philosophy, it is simplified and given meaning in a law enforcement context.  We use Legos, dominoes and spaghetti to learn about complexity, decision-making, and feedback.  Yes, we actually have fun learning. 

I consider myself very blessed to able to give back to a profession I love and continue to serve and help those who want to move forward.  Thank you and I look forward to seeing everyone at the webinar.

 

Click Here to Watch "Leadership EQ from the Inside Out."

 

 

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