n Journal of Public Administration - Emotional Intelligent (EI) and the enhancement of humane local political leadership at local government level : leadership with feeling

Volume 48, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



It is against the background of poor or lack of leadership which led to strikes and demonstrations at local government level that the article examines the potential impact of employing Emotional Intelligence (EI) to enhance well balanced leaders. Considering various challenges confronting local municipal leaders (councillors and Mayors), the article argues that these calibre of leaders require more than conventional management skills, but also need to be emotionally intelligent. Often municipal leaders are accused of being ineffective; procrastinate on issues and needs and demands of people. They are even blamed for rampant corruption yet without engaging them emotionally in mapping their talents and skills towards addressing problems in order to explore alternative solutions. The article uses secondary data and individual interviews with selected municipal managers and councillors. The article found that the lack of managerial and professionalism is inter alia, contributory factors in undermining the potential of local government to fulfil its mandate. In addition, the interviews conducted revealed that the leaders' failure to handle relationship often coupled by either a laissez-faire or autocratic leadership style is an issue of concern. In essence, an intelligent leader is further obliged to exercise psychological or subjective responsibility and to act responsibly.

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