- Emotionally Intelligent Leadership: A Guide for Studentsby Marcy Levy Shankman, Scott J. Allen, and Paige Haber-Curran
In the past 15–20 years, college student leadership development has focused significantly on elements of human emotion, relational leadership, and socially responsible leadership (Komives, Dugan, Owen, Slack, & Wagner, 2011). In 2008, the first edition of Emotionally Intelligent Leadershipwas published with the aim to combine research from both emotional intelligence and student leadership development into an effective model for everyday practice and personal growth. Authors Marcy Shankman, Scott Allen, and Paige Haber-Curran (2015) have now written a 2nd edition continuing the emphasis on emotional intelligence as a “core function of effective leadership” (p. 9).
In this user-friendly 2nd edition, the authors introduce readers to three facets of leadership: consciousness of self, consciousness of others, and consciousness of context. They define 19 different capacities young leaders can use to learn knowledge, skills, and attitudes to enhance leadership development. Readers familiar with the first edition will find the overall content similar but the information presented more concisely and with enhanced readability.
Emotionally Intelligent Leadership: A Guide for Studentswalks readers through the three facets and 19 capacities illustrating each clearly and complementing the descriptions with student quotes and reflection questions. The chapters, each highlighting one of the 19 capacities, are relatively short, easy to digest, and practically presented to allow for application to individual experiences and circumstances.
Introductory and concluding chapters tie together important concepts. Emotionally intelligent leadership (EIL) is defined and conceptualized. The order of the book has shifted in this new edition, possibly to reflect recent research showing that leadership development for students occurs linearly beginning with an emphasis on self-development, then a group focus, and then a societal or community focus (Dugan, Bohle, Woelker, & Cooney, 2014). In the first edition, the authors addressed “consciousness of context” and then proceeded to discuss “consciousness of self” and “consciousness of others.” This newest edition begins with self, moves to others, and then finally ends with context.
The introduction includes a helpful list of assumptions about the broader concepts of leadership. Shankman, Allen, and Haber-Curran (2015) refer to the list as the “ten truths about leadership.” The list includes assumptions such as leadership does not require a title or position, indicating that leadership can exist at all levels of an organization, and leadership is an interpersonal activity, addressing the relational nature of leadership. The ten truths set appropriate expectations for students reading the book and likely challenge some readers’ previous assumptions about leadership. This adequately prepares the reader for the journey into learning about EIL.
The final chapter, “Developing emotionally intelligent leadership,” spends important time discussing the practical ways to focus on EIL beyond just the 19 capacities. The emphasis is on the self-work students will need to accomplish before becoming emotionally intelligent leaders. [End Page 110]
One of the enhancements in the second edition is an icon at the top of each page. It is a symbol of “signal strength” and looks like the WI-FI symbol on a computer or a cell phone device. As the authors indicate, “just like the WI-FI network signal strength changes, so does our capacity to demonstrate EIL. Each of us moves in and out of “hot spots.” In some cases we may be left with low to no signal because we are not paying attention to ourselves, others, or the context” (Shankman, Allen, & Haber-Curran, 2015, p.12). This icon allows readers to quickly reference the first, second, and third facets from the tops of the pages. This makes the book an effective reference tool. If students want to work specifically on the capacity of “inspiring others,” they can easily find the facet of “Consciousness of Others” by referencing the icon with two bars at the top of the page.
What distinguishes this leadership book from others on the college market is the easy-to-read format and an emphasis on specific skills and capacities students...