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3 Types of Intelligence That Any Leader Should Have

Updated: February 25, 2022

Being in a leadership role in any type of business requires many different characteristics. From trustworthiness to confidence, certain personality traits are what allow an individual to effectively manage others and meet their company’s Objectives and Key Results.



One of these traits is intelligence. As we’ve come to discover, however, intelligence is a broad concept that involves many different types. Each one is suited for different purposes, but they are equally important nonetheless.

Find out what these are in the sections below.


1. Contextual Intelligence

This is a type of intelligence that describes how a person is able to apply their skills and knowledge in a way that is suited to a specific environment or situation. It involves a person’s ability to evaluate a given scenario in order to adapt to it as well as change it for their benefit.

In business terms, this type of intelligence is what allows a leader to make the most out of any situation. This is because solutions to problems are never generic. They would often require careful consideration of the problem’s causes, its implications, and the people it would likely affect.

Let’s use the lack of employee motivation as an example. Different people are motivated (and demotivated) by different things. It would then be up to their leader to evaluate the context surrounding their position so that a solution is found.


2. Emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence is by no means a novel concept, but it is one of the most important traits that any business leader should have. It refers to a person’s ability to manage their own emotions, including their capacity to be aware of, control, and express their feelings.

These abilities also extend to other people. A person with a high degree of emotional intelligence can not only recognize their own feelings, but also those of others around them.

These skills are vital in business settings. It empowers a leader to build and maintain strong connections with their employees, as well as manage the interpersonal relationships that naturally occur in the workplace.


3. Moral intelligence

Businesses nowadays are never isolated from the world in which they operate. This means that any acts that are carried out in the office can and will lead to consequences in the outside environment. To ensure that these outcomes are favourable, a business leader must be able to display a level of moral intelligence that effectively guides their decisions.

In other words, the ability to discern right from wrong is absolutely crucial in managerial positions. It’s been said that leaders who display this trait are more likely to risk their self-interests for the benefit of the greater good. Not only that, but it’s also believed that moral intelligence is the driving force behind the other types of intelligence (Beheshtifar, Esmaeli, and Moghadam, 2011).



There are arguably other types of intelligence that are just as vital in the business world. In fact, it would be difficult to list them all in one article. However, we believe that the ones we mentioned here represent the most significant ones that apply to any type of business owner or leader.

If you’d like to uplift your business’ executive leadership in these different types of intelligence, we’re here for you! We provide consultancy and training programs for businesses in Melbourne and Sydney.