Self-awareness is a crucial key to happiness and success. Without self-awareness, we move through relationships and experiences disconnected, unaware of how others receive and perceive us, and unable to take full responsibility for our outcomes.
Conventional wisdom would lead us to believe that leaders with the most experience and the most seniority would have the highest levels of self-awareness. Surprisingly, the opposite is true.
As leaders ascend through the organization, self-awareness and emotional intelligence decline. Travis Bradberry, author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0, reported that “EQ scores climb with titles from the bottom of the corporate ladder upward toward middle management. Middle managers stand out with the highest EQ scores in the workplace because companies tend to promote people into these positions who are levelheaded and good with people.”
However, for positions beyond middle management, the results are quite different. “For the titles of director and above, scores descend faster than a snowboarder on a black diamond. CEOs, on average, have the lowest EQ scores in the workplace,” he shared.
What leads to this decline?