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The Relationship Between Longevity and a Leader’s Emotional Intelligence and Resilience

Erica L. Allen

Abstract: The role of an educational leader is complex, challenging and, at times, fraught with adversity. Overcoming the many challenges and hardships, and flourishing as an educational leader, requires resilience and an instinct for survival. According to Maulding, Leonard, Peters, Roberts and Sparkman (2012), understanding how to prevail in the face of difficult conditions, by employing one’s emotional strengths as well as vulnerabilities and how to increase one’s ability to remain resilient, is valuable for an educational leader to succeed in the face of adversity. The purpose of this study was to research Montana educational leaders to discern whether emotional intelligence (EI) is necessary to remain resilient and successful in a leadership role despite adversity. This quantitative research was undertaken as a non-experimental, ex post facto, or after-the-fact research. Participants for this study included sixty-one superintendents, principals, and assistant principals, from a population of 935 educational leaders, who held a leadership position in the State of Montana during the 2017-2018 school year. A linear regression was used to examine the proportion of variance in years in a leadership position that can be explained by emotional intelligence and resilience. This analysis demonstrated that some EI competencies appear to have an effect on the longevity of an educational leader in a position. However, the effects vary between assistant principals, principals, and superintendents, not all competencies were equal. The coefficient of determination showed assistant principals and principals’ years of service is more strongly influenced by all emotional intelligence competencies than is that of the superintendent.
Keywords: resilient / educational leader / survival / emotional intelligence and resilience / competencies

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