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Inspiring Leadership through Emotional Intelligence

Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images

Richard Boyatzis has devoted much of his life to the study of leadership. He is the author or co-author of more than 125 articles on the subject. His books include Resonant Leadership and Primal Leadership, both published by Harvard Business Review Press.

Those who can’t spend the time or the money pursuing a graduate degree at Case Western University, where Boyatzis is a professor of organizational behavior, now can reap the benefits of his scholarship through a free class on Coursera, Inspiring Leadership through Emotional Intelligence.

Boyatzis displays ample evidence of his own emotional intelligence as he presents a series of brief lectures. His is a warm, avuncular presence with his big smile and offbeat ties.

The class lasts for eight weeks and, in addition to the lectures, includes recommended readings, reflective writing, and extensive give and take with the thousands of others enrolled via online forums.

Boyatzis teaches that great leaders use mindfulness, hope, compassion, and playfulness to establish positive relationships. The intentional and frequent use of these qualities also help to undo the effects of stress and burnout.

Boyatzis’ Intentional Change Theory says that people must envision an ideal life and not get caught up in what they think they should do. In a business, a community, or even globally, a shared vision is necessary before change can occur.

Boyatzis and his colleague Anthony Jack have a shared vision themselves and have established a Kickstarter campaign to conduct neurological research on how the brains of effective leaders work.

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