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”Henri Coandă” Air Force Academy, Braşov, Romania (

DOI: 10.19062/2247-3173.2018.20.67

Abstract: In this paper, I analysed the data obtained from an emotional intelligence test I

applied to a group of military students and related the results to a survey I applied to the same

group of students, which had the purpose to identify the members most qualified to occupy a
leadership position due to their qualities and attributes. The purpose of the study is to analyse the

importance and influence of emotional intelligence on a group’s leadership emergence and


The methods I used are both qualitative and quantitative research. The target group consists
of all senior military students of the Romanian Air Force Academy, the author of the study being

their direct commander. The Emotional Intelligence test was designed by Daniel Goleman, which

contains 10 items that represent different scenarios which puts the subjects in different critical
situations and the survey has 5 items with open answers that have the purpose to identify the

recognised group leaders.

The conclusions highlight the importance of emotional intelligence as a quality of a future

leader and verifies the hypothesis that someone who has the qualities of a leader is being
recognised by his group.

Keywords: emotional intelligence, leadership, leader


Emotional Intelligence as a concept, was formulated for the first time by Wayne Leon

Payne in 1985. He considered that Emotional Intelligence implies a creative relationship

with fear, pain and desire. In 1990, John Mayer and Peter Salovey, two american

professors, published two articles in which they tried to develop a scientific method to

measure the differences between individuals from abilities point of view. They discovered

that some individuals are more able to identify their own feelings and to those around

them and also in solving problems regarding emotions. Emotional Intelligence theory

started with those researches which combines feelings with rationality and rationality

with feelings.

Emotional Intelligence became one of the most discussed subjects in the United States

of America after Daniel Goleman, published his book with the title “Emotional

Intelligence”. Daniel Goleman combined the previous research available with his own

result from investigations and came up with a theory that succeeded to give definitions to

this concept. He defined Emotional Intelligence as “the ability to understand and control

our own emotions and those around us.”

Emotional Intelligence is a key ability of a leader. By the end of the studies in the Air

Force Academy, a graduate needs to be able to command a platoon. Accepting the

responsibility for himself and his subordinates in the military organisation according to

high standards requires competencies, initiative, self motivation and trust in his own


Emotional Intelligence Influence in Leadership


His behaviour, reactions, level of communication skills, decision making needs to be

done many times under stressful situations, therefore a high level of EQ (emotional

quotient) is in high demand.


This paper aims to underline the importance of Emotional Intelligence in leadership

development during military studies by evaluating the level of emotional intelligence, a

group of senior military students, have reached at the end of their studies.

Another purpose of this paper is to establish a cause – effect relation between the level

of emotional intelligence and a leader recognition among a cohesive group. The group of

students had been members of the same group for three years.

The first test has the purpose to identify the emotional quotient level of each member

while the survey has the purpose to collect the data provided by the subjects regarding the

members which have developed the most suited qualities to fulfil the duties of a

leadership position within the academy. The leadership position refers to a platoon

commander deputy position for a platoon of military students from first and second year

of study.

The study was taking place at the beginning of third year of studies for the target

group of students. One of the beneficial side effects of this study is that as being the direct

commander of this group of students I reached also a better understanding of my

subordinates and during the regular counselling and mentoring I had a more appropriate

and scientific data to discuss certain issues, individually, also create personalised plans

for their development.


The main objectives of this study are:

– Collecting and analysing the data obtain from an emotional intelligence test filled
out by the senior military students of Air Force Academy “Henri Coandă” – Brașov.

– Collecting and analysing the data from a survey of leadership emergence during
their three year period of study within the Air Force Academy and identifying the leaders

as recognised by the members of their group.

– Establishing the relation between the level of emotional intelligence from the test
with the subjects that were recognised as suited for a leadership position, having the

qualities and attributes of a leader, most developed.

Have a better understanding of my subordinates as a direct commander of the target

group of the study.


The test designed by Daniel Goleman consists of 10 items which presents different

critical scenarios, situations that someone can experience. The test completion has as a

purpose to emerge the subject into a scenario with empathy, or remember such an

experience from the past, the answer to one of the reactions indicated as the most


Item 1
The person is in a critical life threatening situation. Three of the answer variants relate to the

ability to be conscious of personal emotions, to get to know the situation from the affective point

of view and to answer adequately, balanced at unusual or stressful critical situations.



Item 2

A child is very upset, and the adults who stood around him are trying to help him

overcome this negative emotional state. Parents, educators or adults in general, who have

high levels of emotional intelligence, use the situation to work out their emotions, leading

them to understand where the negative emotional state (grief) comes from, what

determine to be hurt, to understand what they feel noticing the alternatives they can try in

order to find appropriate solutions.

Item 3

An adult subject is in a situation which must be changed in order to obtain some

benefits. This test item refers to intrinsic motivation, the ability to develop a plan to

overcome obstacles, frustrations and the ability to track a goal. “Hope” is the target as a

dimension of emotional intelligence.

Item 4

The scenario presented refers to a person who has repeated failures in a certain

direction. Only one of the variants of the answer refers to the degree of optimism which

can help the subject to overcome obstacles, to continue with perseverance without

blaming himself or demoralize.

Item 5

This situation presented by the test aims the behaviour of the subject towards

minorities, his attitude about the ethnic, cultural diversity, just one of the variants of the

answer indicate the best way to create an open atmosphere of diversity. The focus of the

item is upon the prejudice change through action and through adoption of a democratic

model to manage anger.

Item 6

This item refers to the way an angry person can calm. The correct version of the

answer refers to the ability of the person, the empathetic way to manage anger.

Item 7

This item represents a situation in which the subject is overwhelmed by

aggressiveness, anger. The best response in the event of a dispute is to take a break,

interval in which the person can calm down, and thus no longer distorts perception of the

situation. After this period, the person may be much better prepared for a useful,

productive discussion.

Item 8

While working in a group a solution to a delicate or a tedious problem must be found.

The given answer must look like the members of the team need to ensure a harmonious

relation, to allow personal idea expression in a natural and creative way.

Item 9

One adult can find himself in relatively stressful situations because, on the one hand,

their personal shyness, and on the other hand, a relatively new unusual situation that

emphasizes a state of fear. The answer shows the implication of the subject in new


Item 10

A subject which welcome change in their activities is more prepared to engage with

pleasure in a new type of action, learns faster how to obtain superior performances.

The Emotional intelligence levels are quantified as follows:

– >100 = Under average
– 100-150 = Average
– >150 = Above average
– 200 = Exceptional

Emotional Intelligence Influence in Leadership


The group of study consisted of 43 subjects, based on their answers the level of

emotional intelligence is as follows:

FIG. 1. EQ results

The second part of the study was a survey conducted by their direct commander and

author of this study. The survey consisted of 5 items which were focused on identifying

the subjects that are recognised as able to occupy a leadership position. Another purpose

of this survey was to name the students that are in charge of commanding a group of

students organised as a platoon from the first and second year of study.

Item 2 of the survey had the purpose of collecting data about the group leaders’

recognition among group members.

Item 2: Name at least 5 of your colleagues (importance order) which you find best

suited to occupy a leadership position. State the reason of your choice.

From 43 possible maximum answers, the subjects named a total of 14 colleagues that

are suited to occupy a leadership position. The frequency was ranging from 1 to 41. All

subjects named 5 of their colleagues in the order of importance as they evaluate them.

The position they were named which represent the importance was quantified by giving

each place an amount of points:

– First position = 5 points
– Second position = 4 points
– Third position = 3 points
– Forth position = 2 points
– Fifth position = 1 point
In the chart below I selected the first 14 frequencies (there were 14 leadership

positions available). Subjects were named from 1 to 14 in the frequency order, however

the value quantified from the position (as of importance which was a criteria of the sur vey

Table 1. Frequency and value on surveys Item 2

Frequency Importance value EQ

Subject 1 41 180 140

Subject 2 34 115 100

Subject 3 28 85 105

Subject 4 25 86 140

Subject 5 17 59 150

Subject 6 16 29 105

Subject 7 15 32 120

Subject 8 14 41 105

Subject 9 11 24 80

Subject 10 9 22 100

Subject 11 8 18 120

Subject 12 6 13 85

Subject 13 4 12 105

Subject 14 4 6 120




After conduction this study, I draw the following conclusions:

– 56% of the student have an under average level of Emotional Intelligence, which

needs to be developed through special curricula during their studies such as giving them

as many possibilities as possible to discover the best course of action in multiple


– The 14 subjects that were acknowledged as suited for a leadership position scored

majority in the average range:

– 1 above average

– 11 average

– 2 below average

– Emotional Intelligence is a major factor in managing human interactions and

moreover, leadership.

– The hypothesis that in order to become a good leader, a person needs to be

recognised by his group, regardless his expertise (the 14 subjects are not all the ones with

the highest grades and marks from the group).

At first glance, the fact that % of the students that participated in the research scored

below average, might look suspicious. However, the EQ test that was used in this

research is a test for adults. The participants age of the study group ranged from 20 to 23

years. Their age underlines the fact that in order to have a high EQ we need to pass

through a series of development phases grounded on life experiences.

The group of 14 individuals who were identified as suited to occupy a leadership

position within the academy, scored predominantly above the median of the entire group.

Emotional Intelligence is considered a powerful indicator for the standards they will

reach in the management of human relations and also shows a disposition for one to

become the leader of his group. A leader of his subordinates is understood beyond the

formal authority that resides from rank and formal position. Emotional Intelligence is a

part of the foundation on which, competencies are built, competencies that favours his

recognition and appreciation among the members of the group or team.

The classifications resulted from grades, make no importance on who becomes a

leader. The group I identify as suited for a leader position are not the group with the

highest grades, therefore we cannot claim a causality between the grades obtained through

evaluations and the recognition among a group as leaders.

It is well known that the correlation between inter – section researches, cannot prove

causality, especially in the situations when we don’t know which variable came first.

Therefore, it is not suited for me to make the affirmation that EQ level is the cause of

leader emergence or appreciation as suited leaders within a group of individuals. Higher

EQ leaders are more likely to make better decisions, engage and influence more

effectively and create the right atmosphere for the task received. Emotional Intelligence is

a core skill grounded in science that emphasizes performance. Studies show that between

48% and 80% of what differentiates high and low performing leaders can be attributed to


The decisions we make in our military life are many times based on our emotions and

emotional intelligence. It makes sense that when individuals have a great sense of

communication and organizational skills, they will be lead to having the ability to make

proper decisions and interactions with others. Emotional intelligence is a trait that can

always be nurtured and strengthened in all of us, but without having a developed sense of

it, the individuals will lack social functioning.

Emotional Intelligence Influence in Leadership


Becoming more aware of the impacts and the differences of our own EQ and IQ can

make us better leaders because being true to oneself is the best starting point in any form

of development, for leadership as a bigger goal. In this global age, it is necessary to

compile a high sense of emotional awareness.


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[2] Shackelton, V. “Business Leadership”. London: Routledge, 1995;

[3] Roco,M.”Creativitate şi Inteligenţă Emoţională”. București, Ed.Polirom, 2001;

[4] Richard Paul, „Critical Thinking: What Every Person Needs To Survive In A Rapidly Changing

World”, Santa Rosa,1993;

[5] Peter Facione, Critical Thinking” A Statement of Expert Consensus for the Purposes of Educational

Assessment and Instruction, Millbrae, 1990;

[6] Manfred Kets de Vries, „Leadership:Arta și măiestria de a conduce”, Editura Codecs, București, 2003;

[7] Gheorghe Arădăvoaice, Comandantul și arta de a conduce, Editura Sylvi, București, 2000;

[8] Bass, B. VMI’s High Contrast Culture: A setting for the development of civilian and military leaders.

Binghamton, New York: Center for Leadership Studies, 1992;

[9] Bass, B. Stogdill’s handbook of leadership: A survey of theory and research. New York: Free Press,

[10] Fiedler, F., & Garcia, J. New approaches to effective leadership: Cognitive resources and

organizational performance. New York: Wiley, 1987;

[11] Yammarino, F. & BASS, B. Person and situation-views of leadership: A multiple level of analysis

approach. Leadership Quarlerly, 1991.

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