The humanistic aspect of an entrepreneurial organization in today’s business world continues to draw attention as more research is conducted in respect to entrepreneurial behavior. In general definition, humanistic leadership is the ability of a manager or management to view people as more than organizational resources (Mathews, 2006). Entrepreneurship is the practice of starting a new business or reviving an old one in order to capitalize on new found opportunities. The simplest definition of an entrepreneur is a person who manages runs and takes on the risks of a business (Mathews, 2006).
Emotional intelligence (EI) is the capability to recognize the meanings of emotions and their relationships, then reason and solve problems based on them. It is involved in the ability to identify emotions, incorporate emotional feelings, comprehend the information of those emotions and manage them. This involves accurately perceiving emotions, accessing and creating them in order to assist thought, to comprehend emotions and their knowledge and insightfully regulate them to promote emotional and intellectual growth.
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(Mayer, Caruso, 2002). This paper discusses the leadership theory of humanism and emotional intelligence and its relationship with entrepreneurial behavior. Theory of humanism and emotional intelligence According to humanistic theory, the incentive to achieve maximum learning potential is inborn to everyone. Despite the lack of an exact definition of the humanistic theory, there are four main humanistic categories namely, personal growth, personal responsibility, the here and now, and the phenomenology of the individual.
This theory states that we are all born with the ability to shape our own futures and can only be limited by physical limitations (Mount, 2006). The here and now, just like the phrase says, means one should live in the present and not be bogged down by the past as it tends to put a limit on what one can achieve and deprive one of their goals and objectives. Phenomenology of the individual deals with the concept that no one knows you as an individual better than you. This implies that from time to time there’s need to share one’s problems with others but after careful thought one finally comes to his or her own conclusion (Yunus, 2007).
Personal Growth is a process which involves developing into a fully functional individual. This process has to do with achieving individual fulfillment. Since everyone endeavors to fulfill their immediate needs, this means that after fulfillment of ones needs, if left alone, we strive towards the ultimate satisfying state of being (Yunus, 2007). The abilities and mechanisms behind emotional intelligence include; emotionality, facilitation and inhibition of emotional information flow, and specialized neural mechanisms (Mayer, Caruso, 2002).
A basic aspect in entrepreneurship is the need for entrepreneurs to take opportunities regardless of the sources they can access: Entrepreneurs often take notice of things that others fail to notice. They strive to bring change and cultivate growth (Yunus, 2007). Elements of entrepreneurship include behavior which is termed as the best way to identify an entrepreneur: Leadership, organization creation, dimensions of teamwork, recognition of opportunities, creativity, risk assumption, pooling together of resources, and creation of value (Maurer, 1999).
The role of the entrepreneur is to envision a business idea, an innovation which should be introduced successfully into the market and to identify how to make all that happen. An entrepreneur need not have the design, production or delivery skill. Neither does he/she need to bear the risk. It would however be wrong to suggest that the element of shouldering risk is no longer a concept of today’s entrepreneur since successful risk management is an important attribute to a successful entrepreneur (Maurer, 1999).
Entrepreneurs are always competitive and endeavor to gain an edge over their competitors. Growth and actual realization of growth are indispensable elements of entrepreneurship (Yunus, 2007). The following aspects underline the connection between leadership traits and entrepreneurship fit: Self usefulness, acknowledgment of opportunity in economic cognition, determination, social and human capital in implicit and explicit knowledge and skills, social skills in emotional intelligence and in humanistic intelligence.
Synergies between entrepreneurial plan and basic human capital are essential in order for a venture to successfully take off (Yunus, 2007). Emotional intelligence is an important aspect in entrepreneurial leadership of an organization in that it reduces interpersonal conflicts otherwise threatening situations by anticipating possible outcome from other people’s point of view (Epstein, 1998). Emotional intelligence describes the ability to perceive, assess and manage one’s emotions as well as that of others.
Emotions therefore have the potential to interfere with important business and personal relationships due to the fast paced changes in business today. Relationships which might be difficult to manage damages more business than anything else since emotions are more likely to create trouble than strategy (Walker, Turner, 2008). The relationship between leadership theory of humanism and emotional intelligence and entrepreneurial behavior
Emotional intelligence contributes to not only improved job performance and leadership abilities, but researches have found that it increases profit margins because the entrepreneur gains the ability to handle relationships within the business organizations prudently and avoid conflicts thereby increasing the overall performance of the business (Epstein, 1998). Humanistic perspective emphasizes on the positive image of what is being human. Generally, humanistic nature is thought to be basically good and the humanistic theory focuses on means by which fulfillment of potential can be achieved. Individuals are motivated by a hierarchy of needs.
Those that are basic must be met before higher ones can be met. Within each one there is a drive for growth of self-concept which eventually leads to actualization (Mount, 2006). Humanistic intelligence is pivotal in the success of an entrepreneur in that it facilitates personal growth in an individual hence the entrepreneur adds value to his/her self by building on the self on a day to day basis (Mount, 2006). Personal responsibility puts the entrepreneur in a position of leadership since the challenges generated by the assumption of responsibility must be met and overcome. This trait is essential in entrepreneurial leadership.
The ability to deal with the present situation and not be affected by the past ensures that the entrepreneur achieves his/her goals and objectives. The phenomenology of the entrepreneur allows him/her to draw conclusions on a personal level even after consulting with others (Yunus, 2007). The ability to do so is an important characteristic in entrepreneurial leader as important decisions can be made quickly and accurately. Leadership is vastly hinged on connecting with people. By involving people, regarding them to be more than just organizational resources, it leaves one feeling understood, cherished and encouraged.
The end product is a better feeling and better performing individual (Mayer, Caruso, 2002). It is important for managers to understand that people and not systems make things happen. Otherwise simple looking gestures like mutual respect, bit of common sense, encouragement, chastising in private but not without giving a solution, and even disagreeing but also giving an explanation as to why and not ‘do it because I said so’ is more likely to yield positive results and encourage overall worker input (Walker, Turner, 2008) . Conclusion
Emotional and humanistic intelligence are essential ingredients of entrepreneurial behavior. Entrepreneurial leadership must incorporate the two in order to realize successful venture take off. It involves motivating people and knowing that people have individualities, likes, dislikes, concerns and that they either do things they are asked to do or they ‘own in’ and do their best without holding back. Directing the right approach to these people and dealing with them and the emotional aspects in an organization determines the success or failure of an organization (Epstein, 1998). References
Epstein, S. (1998). Emotional intelligence. Constructive thinking: The key to emotional intelligence. Praeger, Westport, CT Mathews, J. (2006). Leader relations model: An alternative approach to the traditional process of leadership. The journal of business perspective, 101 (41), 93-106 Maurer J. G. (1999). The proactive personality disposition and entrepreneur behavior among small businesses. Journal of business management, 11(4), 1-7. Mayer, D. J. , Caruso, D. (2002). The effective leader: Understanding and applying emotional intelligence. Ivey management services. Retrieved from
http://www. unh. edu/emotional_intelligence/EI%20Assets/Reprints... EI%20Proper/ Mount, G. (2006). Linking emotional intelligence and performance at work: Current research evidence with individuals and groups. Lawrence Erlbaum associates: Mahwah, NJ. Yunus, M. (2007). An entrepreneurial leader analysis with strategic implications. International journal of business research, 5 (2), 13-25 Walker, B. L. , Turner, R. (2008). Emotional intelligence (EI) capabilities training: Can it develop EI In project teams? International journal of managing projects in business, 1(4), 512 – 534.
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