The Emotional Intelligence of CEOs of starbucks, walt disney

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The ability to control and understand one's own emotions as well as those of those around one, as defined by Oxford Dictionary, is referred to as having emotional intelligence (Oxford Dictionary, 2003). The dictionary goes on to say that people with greater levels of emotional intelligence are aware of the significance of their emotions and how those emotions might influence their environment. A key component of effective leadership is emotional intelligence. Generally speaking, social skills, empathy, self-awareness, motivation, and self-regulation are the five components of emotional intelligence in leadership. This is because a leader's emotional intelligence increases with how well they can control the higher their emotional intelligence. This paper asses the role of emotional intelligence in the leadership of some of the most successful CEOs, these are; Starbucks's Howard Schultz FedEx's Fred Smith Walt Disney Co.'s Robert Iger.

To begin with, Robert Iger the CEO of Disney Company who took office in 2005 after succeeding Michael Eisner. During his tenure, Disney has regained its reputation as one of the biggest companies in the world. His tenure has also seen the company’s market capitalization increased from $48.4 billion to $163 billion in an 11-year period. Before taking office, his predecessor, Mr. Eisner used ‘factory-like” approach to produce films. This approach saw development teams come up with opinions and ideas and then hand them to directors. When Iger took office, he rearranged the process and placed faith fully in his creative directors, giving them power to propose original ideas. Iger believes in innovation and interacts well with the company’s innovators.

After Disney’s acquisition of Pixar, Marvel Entertainment and Lucasfilm, Iger retained their innovation leaders and puts lots of faith in them. This approach has seen Pixar produce some of the most successful animated films of this decade including Inside Out and Frozen. To sum it up, Iger’s has the emotional intelligence to appease egos and arbitrate turf wars. He is diplomatic, calm, collaborative, a good listener, and largely liked. He believes in leading a devolved culture in which policy and decision-making is delegated to innovators and managers.

Secondly, FedEx CEO Fred Smith has greatly believed that people are important to business and that leadership is about constant development. Smith’s beliefs have seen the company focus on the people-side of leadership and have focused in developing leadership capabilities to manage future changing workforce. As the CEO, Smith’s goal has been to influence, make decisions that are accurate and quick and to build a culture where people feel the drive for outstanding performance in a manner that is justifiable and in a way that crafts value for all shareholders.

To ration leadership performance, FedEx Express directs “SFA,” a yearly review where every worker can offer opinion about managers. SFA subjects include fairness, respect, listening, and trust – leadership duties that are all emotions and about relationships. This pledge to people-first leadership produced an interest in “emotional intelligence” as a learnable skillset that would prepare managers to deliver as the per the company’s objectives.

Finally, Howard Schultz the CEO has seen the growth of the company to having over 2,000 stores and over 200,000 employees. Employees are at the front of Schultz’s primacies at Starbucks. The firm was one of the first to give inclusive health care, in addition to offer stock alternatives and other profits to part time. A psychodynamic method to leadership can help clarify why Schultz has produced an employee-focused corporation. Northouse (2016) summaries that an “emphasis on the internal theatre” offers insight into how a person’s past relations affect their future behaviors, self, and relationships. Schultz’s internal theatre shows how his background and occasionally difficult connection with his father has shaped the leader he has become. Generally, he shows the following traits; integrity, self-confidence, intelligence, determination, and sociability.

In conclusion, almost of all capabilities that are perceived as being absolutely vital for high performance in a business are associated to emotional intelligence. Previous literatures show that leaders who have advanced emotional intelligence are also more likely to be lucrative. This is definitely the case for the best CEO’s in the country and in the world as seen above.


Cooper, R., & Sawaf, A. (1997). Executive EQ: emotional intelligence in leadership & organizations. New York: G.P Putnams Sons.

Cooper, R. K., & Sawaf, A. (1998). Emotional intelligence: emotional intelligence in business. London: Orion Business.

DK illustrated Oxford dictionary. (2003). London: Dorling Kindersley.

February 09, 2023

Psychology Business



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