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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 3/10/16

Humanity, Humor, Humility, Emotional Intelligence Are Essential for Presidential Candidates

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Note Bernie's crows feet, next to his eyes-- a sign of a life of genuine smiling. His smile seems so much more genuine than just about any photo of Hillary's.
Note Bernie's crows feet, next to his eyes-- a sign of a life of genuine smiling. His smile seems so much more genuine than just about any photo of Hillary's.
(Image by Hillary pic: Cornstalker Bernie Pic: The Late Show with Stephen Colbert)
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Hillary says she's not a politician like her husband, Bill. Does that mean she doesn't negotiate or do fund-raising? I don't think so. What she's referring to is the way Bill relates to people, so they feel cared about and connected to. Bill has a great self-effacing sense of humor. So does Barack Obama. So does Bernie Sanders.
When Hillary says she's not a politician, she's literally admitting that she's not qualified to be president, because a president must be the ultimate politician.
Bernie Sanders is a phenomenal politician, including fund raising. He's figured out how to do it without putting in half of each day making calls and engaging in "strategic outreach," as the DNC advises new members of congress to do, according to the book, Nation on the Take, by Wendell Potter and Nick Penniman.
Hillary is a humorless candidate, never cracking jokes, never laughing at herself. This is a massive deficiency. I would say that it alone is reason to eliminate her as a viable presidential candidate. Presidents MUST have the humility and ego strength to be able to laugh at themselves. Bernie Sanders, on the other hand, routinely gets people laughing with his jokes, often jokes at his own expense. This is a sign of a person who is able to connect in profoundly important emotional ways-- a person with strong emotional intelligence.
The leader of the United States, the most powerful person in the world, must have extraordinary abilities that include judgement, intellect-- in other words the ability to take in massive amounts of information intelligently, and wisdom-- the ability to apply core values to make decisions with the information But much of that doesn't matter if the president can't get traction with the people, congress and the world leaders he or she interacts with. That takes emotional intelligence-- the ability to know one's self and to interact and connect effectively, particularly emotionally, with others.
Daniel Goleman, who has done more to popularize the idea of emotional intelligence than anyone else, wrote, in a Harvard Business Review article, "What Makes a Leader," stating unequivocally:
"The most effective leaders are all alike in one crucial way: they all have a high degree of what has come to be known as emotional intelligence. It's not that IQ and technical skills are irrelevant. They do matter, but"they are the entry-level requirements for executive positions. My research, along with other recent studies, clearly shows that emotional intelligence is the sine qua non of leadership. Without it, a person can have the best training in the world, an incisive, analytical mind, and an endless supply of smart ideas, but he still won't make a great leader."
To me, two candidates in the 2016 presidential primary race demonstrate some emotional intelligence-- Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump-- though in very different ways.
Sanders shows empathy and caring, humility and humor, maintaining good self control, while demonstrating outrage over wrongs. The way he speaks and communicates is very effective a connecting with people so they trust and like, even love him enthusiastically.
Trump has a very engaging way of expressing feelings and positions that tap into the anger and discontent of his followers, which make them feel like he empathizes with their issues. He does it with a sense of humor, but lacks the humility and self-effacement of Sanders. In fact, many have suggested he is a narcissist (narcissists can be very good at faking emotional intelligence, with charisma and charm being one of their strengths.)
Clinton, Cruz and Rubio are stiffs. They are not the kind you'd want to go out for a beer with. They are good at expressing anger and self righteousness, but don't evoke any feeling of empathy. Hillary is great at intellectually expressing empathy, acknowledging people's suffering, but it's all in the head. When she talks about love and kindness, it feels theoretical, even fake, not authentic. Her smiles and facial affect seem artificial and forced.
In times when corporations are treated as people and artificial intelligence is on the verge of becoming "alive," people need a leader who has the heart, the humor, the empathy to "get" what the people are feeling, and the ability to connect with world leaders and political leaders at a level that goes beyond intellectual. Considering the unkind, intolerant aspects of Donald Trump, that really only leaves one choice-- Bernie Sanders.

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Rob Kall is an award winning journalist, inventor, software architect, connector and visionary. His work and his writing have been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, ABC, the HuffingtonPost, Success, Discover and other media.

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He is the author of The Bottom-up Revolution; Mastering the Emerging World of Connectivity

He's given talks and workshops to Fortune 500 execs and national medical and psychological organizations, and pioneered first-of-their-kind conferences in Positive Psychology, Brain Science and Story. He hosts some of the world's smartest, most interesting and powerful people on his Bottom Up Radio Show, and founded and publishes one of the top Google- ranked progressive news and opinion sites,

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Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind. Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives one person at a time was too slow, he founded which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big) to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, (more...)

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