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Carol Metzker

Stephanie, I was curious about the survey statement - An essential trait of leadership is intelligence. As a proponent of multiple intelligences, I wondered what definition of intelligence you (or survey participants) are using. I've seen many leaders who exhibit logical, rational intelligence (although some didn't do well in school), and some who show interpersonal intelligence (or some of Gardner's other types). But in Tojo Thatchenkery's and my analysis of stories and interviews with top leaders, we found something else. All had Appreciative Intelligence - simply put, the ability to see the mighty oak in the acorn.


Thanks very much for your comment, Carol. You make a great point. I have received a lot of e-mail about this survey with a wide variety of thoughts and input and feedback. Intelligence is probably the one topic about which more people have commented than any other of the poll statements.

Take a look at an idealawg interview of Carol here:
In it Carol talks more about Appreciative Intelligence.


You might enjoy the complexity perspective on leadership that appears in the book, Experiencing Risk, Spontaneity and Improvisation in Organizational Change.

In chapter 5, David Walker writes, "From a complex responsive processes perspective, individuals form and are formed by groups at the same time. Themes of leadership and authority are created simultaneously between leaders and followers. It follows that leadership is a process which occurs between people rather than being simply to do with individual characteristics of leaders."

He quotes Binney who says, "The real work of leadership is in leaving the models behind and discovering in the here and now, with this group of people, this organization and in this context, what leadership is possible and needed."

Your survey might be an interesting example of "seeing what we expect to see." If we look for the characteristics of leaders, we find the characteristics of leaders. What if we look for leadership that emerges in the moment - what might we find then?


Thanks, Tina. I think the complexity perspective is very important; that's one reason why I included the last question in the leadership poll. I am doing an interview right now of Irene Sanders who wrote Strategic Thinking and the New Science. You can read about Sanders and my interview (soon to be posted on this blog) here:

Watch for the interview as I think you will appreciate what she has to say. I think you might enjoy her book, too.

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