We’re all familiar with the idea of a foundation. The dictionary gives us several definitions for the word. The two that are most interesting to us are, “the lowest load-bearing part of a building or structure” or, “an underlying basis or principle for something.”

If you’ve ever been around a construction site, you know the care that goes into creating a sound foundation, one that will bear the weight of the structure without cracking, crumbling, or sinking. Foundation failure results in building failure. The same concept applies to developing leadership skills.

Effective leadership must be based on a solid foundation. Such a solid foundation consists of relationships imbued with trust, truth, transparency, integrity, honesty, and right–thinking-right–acting, among many others. This is where the rubber meets the road. And, this is where leadership skills development and ethical intelligence are inextricably bound together.

Your ethical intelligence lives in your consciousness, but it manifests in your relationships.

Leadership lives in your relationships, but it manifests in your followers’ outcomes. Leadership is a fellow traveler with your ethical intelligence. The two are synergistic partners. Ethical intelligence amplifies the efficacy of your leadership skills. Your leadership’s privilege draws its legitimacy and goodness from your ethical intelligence. This is so important, I devoted an entire chapter in my book on the subject.

Ethical intelligence is the foundation of leadership—you can’t lead without it! Contact me if you’d like to know more about developing leadership skills and my leadership mentoring services.