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Uber’s New CEO – A Major Lesson in Emotional Intelligence

Inc.  Justin Bariso – “Uber’s new CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, has been on the job only a matter of weeks, but a recent email to employees is proof positive that he’s the right man for the job. Yesterday, government officials in London announced that they would not be renewing Uber’s license to operate in the city. Shortly thereafter, Uber announced its intent to appeal the decision. Uber’s chief executive responded to the news with a remarkable email to employees. You can find Khosrowshahi’s entire message at the end of this article, but it’s the following piece that stuck out to me as especially noteworthy:

While the impulse may be to say that this is unfair, one of the lessons I’ve learned over time is that change comes from self-reflection. So it’s worth examining how we got here. The truth is that there is a high cost to a bad reputation. Irrespective of whether we did everything that is being said about us in London today (and to be clear, I don’t think we did), it really matters what people think of us, especially in a global business like ours, where actions in one part of the world can have serious consequences in another.

In just a few short sentences, Uber’s new leader teaches some major lessons in emotional intelligence. What’s EQ Got to Do With It? Emotional intelligence is the ability to identify emotions (in both yourself and others), to recognize the powerful effects of those emotions, and to use that information to inform and guide behavior. In essence, it’s the ability to make emotions work for you, instead of against you. Uber’s new CEO follows what I refer to in my forthcoming book as one of the 10 commandments of emotional intelligence: the ability to learn from other perspectives. A lesser-skilled leader may have seen the London transportation authority’s decision as unfair, insulting, maybe even a direct attack on innovation itself. (In fact, previous actions by Uber seem to flaunt the positions of regulatory authorities.)..”

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