Leadership has its own “Game of Thrones” that you must maneuver when it comes to the “Qs,” or quotients, of leadership. These leadership Qs are the keys to a competitive advantage and navigating the challenging terrain for today’s leaders.

What are leadership Qs? As a leader, how do you use them? It’s time to level up your Qs, and it doesn’t have to be a battle of thrones when you lead with the right ones.

Qs are quotients that represent measures of intelligence for moments that allow us to handle uncertainty, recognize our emotional state, appreciate diversity, coach others, adapt to unplanned conditions and use an ability to learn and problem solve. Intelligence quotient (IQ) and emotional intelligence (EQ) are the most well-known Qs. Adaptability quotient (AQ), which measures adaptability or resilience, is not as widely known, but it is still critical to leadership.

Adversity Quotient (AQ)

Adaptability quotient (AQ) measures the ability to adapt — those moments to demonstrate flexibility, innovation, creativity, collaboration, positive thinking, problem solving, entrepreneurship and learning agility. These are just a few of the skills required of those aiming for a high AQ. Considering COVID-19, increased digitization, The Great Resignation and diversity equity and inclusion (DEI), there have been many variables outside of our control recently. In other words, this has been a great time to prove one’s ability to adapt.

We are constantly responding to changes in the organization, our industry, technological advancements, demographics of the workforce and more. A leader must adapt to the changes with optimism and positive thinking as they perform during uncertain times. This includes maintaining a grasp of present challenges and tapping into opportunities for what lies ahead.

Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

Emotional intelligence (EQ) is the awareness of and ability to manage one’s emotions. Demand is increasing for leaders who can empathize, detect emotions of others, build relationships and control their emotions under pressure. In the book “Emotional Intelligence 2.0,” EQ is defined not only as the ability to be aware of your own emotions and those of others, but it is also being able to control them.

Think of someone that you have worked with who requires confidence building and encouragement. In another instance, a team of workers is adjusting to the return to the office, but they have a leader who feels they should have no issues returning to normal. These are examples of when their EQ may not be high.

Reflect on situations you’ve experienced as a leader, and consider areas where you have opportunities to improve your EQ in reference to your self-awareness, self-management, social awareness or relationship management. How do your employees perceive your EQ? Your EQ becomes apparent in how you communicate, manage performance, manage conflict, respond to others’ emotions and in how you respond to others’ emotions.

Model Behavior

Leaders and employees who can demonstrate high EQ capability are in demand more than ever. Organizations are beginning to realize the need to go soft instead of hard when it comes to skills development. Here’s a 4-A model outlining the right steps:

Assess Assess your Q state using formal or informal assessments, seek feedback and do some self-reflection
Acknowledge Acknowledge where you need Q development
personally and professionally, set goals
Analyze Analyze your resources (courses, podcasts, webinars, white papers, TED Talks and coaching/mentoring), develop an action plan
Act Act on your plan, hold yourself accountable for the results

This model presents a path for you to become a high Q climber. Assess your Q state to target those gaps you need to acknowledge for development goals. Your plan should make use of resources and situational opportunities. As you act on your plan, there will always be change and experiences that assist in your Q development.

The throne is yours — when you take the lead with the right leadership Qs.