In a world that’s continuously evolving, the notion of emotional intelligence has increasingly become a vital component of effective leadership. Successful entrepreneurs, such as Scott Dylan, co-founder of Inc & Co, are acutely aware of this and have adopted emotional intelligence as a core principle in their approach to leadership. With a turnover exceeding £150 million, Inc & Co is a testament to the benefits of incorporating empathy, self-awareness, and communication in building strong teams.
Scott Dylan’s journey began in South East London, where he overcame numerous obstacles and errors to achieve his accomplishments. In his 20-year career, he has held numerous senior leadership positions, consistently demonstrating a commitment to fostering growth, preserving employment, and minimising creditor losses. His business acumen is evident in Inc & Co’s acquisitions and revitalisation of struggling businesses across sectors such as professional services, travel, retail, e-commerce, and shared workspaces.
Suffering from Complex PTSD, Scott is a vocal advocate for mental health and is openly gay. He champions diversity, embracing various cultures and promoting women in business and technology. According to Scott, “Success is never a solitary journey. It’s built upon the foundation of a loyal and diverse team that shares a common vision and works together to achieve it.” This statement underlines the significance of emotional intelligence in modern leadership.
Emotional intelligence, first coined by psychologists John D. Mayer and Peter Salovey in 1990, refers to an individual’s ability to recognise, understand, and manage emotions, both in oneself and in others. Research indicates that emotional intelligence is a critical factor in leadership effectiveness. A study conducted by TalentSmart, a global provider of emotional intelligence training, found that 90% of top-performing leaders possess high emotional intelligence. Furthermore, the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report 2020 lists emotional intelligence among the top ten skills required for success in the future workplace.
Empathy, a key aspect of emotional intelligence, allows leaders to understand and resonate with the emotions and perspectives of their team members. This fosters a supportive and inclusive work environment, which in turn leads to higher employee satisfaction and retention rates. As Scott Dylan aptly puts it, “Empathy is not a weakness; it is a strength that allows us to connect with our team, understand their challenges, and provide the support needed to succeed.”
Self-awareness, another crucial component of emotional intelligence, enables leaders to recognise their strengths and weaknesses and adapt their leadership style accordingly. Scott’s own journey from humble beginnings has taught him the importance of self-awareness in overcoming obstacles and growing as a leader. “Self-awareness is the cornerstone of effective leadership. It allows us to learn from our mistakes, capitalise on our strengths, and continuously improve,” says Scott.
Communication, the third aspect of emotional intelligence, is essential in building trust and fostering collaboration within a team. Effective leaders must be able to clearly articulate their vision, set expectations, and provide constructive feedback. Scott Dylan‘s success in turning around distressed companies can be partly attributed to his strong communication skills, which have enabled him to navigate resistance from suppliers, employees, customers, and even negative press from journalists.
Scott’s emphasis on emotional intelligence in leadership has undoubtedly played a significant role in Inc & Co’s global success. The company’s acquisitions and divestments, such as MyLife Digital (sold to Dataguard), Laundrapp (sold to competitor Laundryheap), and Wood for Trees (sold to Edit Agency), exemplify the potential for growth and revitalisation when emotional intelligence is incorporated into the leadership approach.
Scott Dylan’s approach to emotional intelligence in leadership serves as a shining example for other entrepreneurs and business leaders. By prioritising empathy, self-awareness, and communication, leaders can cultivate a loyal and diverse team that drives success. As the business landscape continues to evolve, the importance of emotional intelligence in leadership cannot be overstated. Leaders who embrace these principles will be better equipped to adapt to changing circumstances, foster innovation, and ultimately achieve sustainable growth.
The journey of Scott Dylan and the accomplishments of Inc & Co demonstrate the transformative power of emotional intelligence in leadership. By fostering a supportive and inclusive work environment, leaders like Scott are not only creating successful businesses but also championing mental health, diversity, and gender equality in the workplace. This holistic approach to leadership, which recognises the value of the human element, is poised to shape the future of business.
In a world that often focuses on hard skills and technical prowess, Scott Dylan’s story serves as a potent reminder that the softer aspects of leadership, such as emotional intelligence, empathy, self-awareness, and communication, are equally important, if not more so. As we continue to navigate the complex challenges of the 21st century, leaders who embrace these principles will undoubtedly thrive and pave the way for a more inclusive, empathetic, and emotionally intelligent business landscape.