One Thing Every Leader (and Every Person) Can Constantly Strive For


When they were about to open Disneyland for the first time, back in July of 1955, some executives asked Walt, “Hey Walt, don’t you want to get some better trees to line Main Street USA?  The trees we have are a little bare, with very few leaves.  They’re not fully grown in yet.”

Walt responded, telling them that “Disneyland will never be finished completed.  It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.”

I’ve always thought of this as a great illustration and learning for all of us, as leaders and people.  We’ll never be “completed” either.  In other words, we’ll never be 100% perfect, nor will we ever be finished learning, improving, or getting better.  Instead, the journey we’re all on is simply about becoming; becoming our best.

That’s what self-mastery is; simply becoming the absolute best we can be.  This is significant for leaders because in order to successfully lead, coach, and inspire other people, we must figure out how to lead ourselves.  

Striving for self-mastery is to stay intentional in pursuing growth in all four areas of emotional intelligence:

  • Self-Awareness
  • Self-Management
  • Social Awareness
  • Relationship Management

“Emotional intelligence (EQ) is your ability to recognize and understand emotions in yourself and others, and your ability to use this awareness to manage your behavior and relationships.” 

– Travis Bradberry, Co-author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0 and Co-founder of TalentSmart®

What is the difference between emotional intelligence, EQ, and your intelligence quotient, IQ?

  • IQ is fixed and does not change over time
  • EQ can be learned, improved upon, and mastered over time

“IQ will get you the job.  EQ will make you a star.” 

— Daniel Goleman, author and science journalist