Caroline Stokes on people leadership

Caroline Stokes is the author of Elephants Before Unicorns.

EITC Change Leaders: celebrating EITC alumni, colleagues, and leaders who are championing leadership in their professional lives and promoting emotional intelligence in the world.


Caroline Stokes is the author of Elephants Before Unicorns: Emotionally Intelligent HR Strategies To Save Your Company and the founder of FORWARD. Working with clients like Sega, Samsung, and Autodesk, she and her team of executive search, coaching, and leadership development professionals are changing recruitment.

Which area of EQ is most important for you?

Emotionally Intelligent People Leaders and Organizations in the AI age.

How has the EQ certification/training impacted your professional life? 

On Day 1 of the training program I realized there was a much bigger picture to the EQ system. An incredible world of possibility opened up. The first step was to understand it, adapt myself, then to see how the tool could be used and interpreted for greater impact for people to interact as a whole in an organization with the company’s mission – hence my book Elephants Before Unicorns: Emotionally Intelligent HR Strategies To Save Your Company (Entrepreneur Press).

What’s your definition of a leader?

In my book I adapted the term leader to ‘people leader’ as someone that can influence every person and decision around them. To be effective it’s important to understand ones own EQ, understand where you want to evolve and how you want to evolve. Once understood you can be a phenomenal people leader.

How are you living out what it means to be a leader?

I speak at events around the world to help people understand their ability to lead, host a podcast to create learning and leadership and write articles for Harvard Business Review to help people move forward. At a local level I spend a lot of time finding ways to make an impact at my sons special needs school so they can evolve.

Who is your favourite leader and why?

Dan Gilbert’s TED talk ‘The Psychology Of Your Future Self’ is probably the most inspired emotionally intelligent leadership sentiment I’ve ever needed to help me know why we all need to constantly evolve. In his words, “Human beings are works in progress that mistakenly think they’re finished”.

What’s your superpower or secret skill?

I see the potential in people and the potential in other peoples businesses before they can. How does this look in real life? People usually only need 30 minutes with me to work out their career, business goals and team strategies.


Congratulations on being our January 2020 Change Leader, Caroline!

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