7 Leadership Blind Spots: Adult Development, Emotional Intelligence, and Leadership Effectiveness Among Biotech R&D Leaders
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CitationShiner, Michael. 2015. 7 Leadership Blind Spots: Adult Development, Emotional Intelligence, and Leadership Effectiveness Among Biotech R&D Leaders. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard Graduate School of Education.
AbstractIn this multiple-case study of 6 mid-level leaders working in biotech R&D--an archetype of a complex, uncertain, turbulent, and, multidisciplinary 21st-Century workplace--I explore the importance and interaction of mental complexity (MC), an aspect of adult development, and emotional intelligence (EI) for leadership effectiveness (LE). MC concerns the sophistication of the mindsets we use to construct stories for ourselves about the meaning of things. EI refers to one’s ability to manage one’s own emotions, appraise those of others, and engage emotional matters intelligently. I investigate how MC and EI contribute, separately or together, to LE.
To select 6 case-study subjects I administered two psychometric tests: MSCEIT (an EI test) and LDMA (a test of MC) to 11 R&D leaders working at the same biotech company. I selected 2 contrasting groups: 2 people who scored high on MC and moderate on EI and 4 people who scored moderately high on MC and moderate on EI. I then conducted semi-structured 360-degree interviews with case-subjects, 2 of their superiors, and 2 of their subordinates. Interview data analysis included scoring a measure of LE created for this research.
Interviewee responses suggested that MC and EI tend to work jointly to enhance LE and that insufficiency of MC and EI are associated with one or more of 7 fault lines of leadership, patterns of behavior that diminish LE. I call these 7 LE-diminishing behavioral patterns 7 Leadership Blind Spots. Each subject exhibited at least one LE blind spot, with significant variability between domains (technical, interpersonal, and organizational), context (team, cross-functional team, and organization), and situation. Using the acronym BLINDSPOT as a mnemonic device, the patterns of behavior in which LE tends to be diminished are: Being too Forceful, Lacking Visibility, Insecure Authority, Need to be Political, Distance and Decenter, Stop Enabling, and Problems On Teams.
These results are hypotheses to be explored in future research. Leadership education implications include interventions to help leaders become aware of and begin to address their own blind spots as well as interventions to help leaders improve their MC and EI abilities.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:16461059