Emotional intelligence is an essential part of successful and productive leadership.
Rajita Kulkarni, President at Sri Sri University, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India, illustrates this point in an article about her impressions the Croatian President, Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic
The World has been in the grip of soccer fever for the past many weeks. I was in Europe in June, and I experienced personally how the World Cup frenzy consumed people, country after country I visited ! Every pass, every kick, every hit and every miss was dissected, analysed, commented upon and evaluated! Billions of opinions of millions of people!
This time the World Cup was even more special, because many previous world champs were out and many under dogs kept winning. England reached the semifinals (my little 5 year old niece, also showed me the song & dance they had been taught in school in London to welcome the team home with the Golden Trophy!) and Croatia reached the Finals ! A team completely unexpected, beating many heavyweight champions and winning every match with sheer grit and determination.
I have been to Croatia, and have many Croatian friends. I was part of the delegation few years ago, when the then Croatian President H E Dr Ivo Josipovic, welcomed Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankarji to the Presidential Palace for discussions on geo politics and global peace. I have also been to France and have many French friends and family too! Both beautiful countries of wonderful people! So when I sat down with my husband to watch the finals yesterday, I was torn between which team to cheer. The sheer speed & skill of the French was unparalleled and the Craotian’s raw energy to persevere was deeply endearing. The match was done, celebrations and tears followed, nations were moved by emotions and the event that united almost the whole world was over!
There were many stars of the World Cup. For me there was one Super Star ! The Croatian President H E Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic! What she did and how she showed up can give us the best lesson in leading with humility! I dont know much of her political activities or opinions, but just following and watching what she did for her team in the World Cup is enough to teach us about Inspirational, Servant Leadership! Heres why
1) She traveled by economy class to watch the semifinals until she was recognised and moved to a VIP box ! She is The President of Croatia! She could have pulled in her full office protocol, but no, she did what any normal citizen of her country did to travel to Russia to watch the match! Every newspaper, every magazine, every TV channel wrote and spoke about it! I read a number of articles talking about how in the world of today leadership by bullying seems to be the norm, this was a completely unprecedented behaviour by a Head of State! I am told by my Croatian friends that this is quite normal for her to do!
Leadership Lesson – No matter what your position, when you get down to the level of your people, you become the stuff inspiration is made of.
Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, President of Croatia since 2015. She became the youngest person to assume the presidency.