Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Peter the Great and Emotional Intelligence

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King Charles XII, King of Sweden - and Emotional Intelligence

Currently I am reading Robert Massie's Peter the Great: His Life & World, a Pullitzer prize-winning best-seller first published in 1980. Nevertheless, the facts have not changed. :-)

One of the "main characters," of course is King Charles XII of Sweden, a fascinating true-life character if ever there was one. And speaking of "character," which is, in part, what emotional intelligence is about, look at how he handles obstacles and setbacks:

From the book, referring to the Battle of Narva. Sweden and Russia are at war and the year is 1700.

Once, while trying to get around a mound of wounded and dying men, [King Charles] fell with his horse into the ditch; he was extricated, but had to leave the animal, his sword and one of his boots behind. He mounted another horse, which was immediately killed under him, while he himself was hit by a spent ball which he found in his necktie after the battle. Seeing the King without a horse, a Swedish horseman leaped from his own mount and offered it to the King. Scrambling into the saddle, Charles said similingly, "I see that the enemy want me to practice riding."

What are you being asked to "practice" now? It could be anything from "patience," to "getting promotions," to "controlling your anger," to "leadership," to "self-control."

Understanding how the emotions work and how to manage yours and others' is what EQ is all about.

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