Date of Award

Fall 1999

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Leadership (MAL)



First Advisor

Dr. Rosemary Link, Ph.D.


According to recent studies, the most important predictor of success is not knowledge or technical aptitude. Rather, "Emotional Intelligence", a concept developed by author and former Harvard professor Daniel Goleman in the 1990s, is the foundation for success. Goleman describes emotional intelligence as the ability to monitor one's own feelings and the feelings of others, and to use this information to guide actions and decisions.

This paper examines the theory of emotional intelligence and its significance in the life of Jimmy Carter, the 39th President of the United States. Known as the most ineffectual president of his time, he has since come to be revered internationally as a brilliant diplomat and influential humanitarian. What is it about Carter that has propelled him to champion incredible achievements and endure intense public humiliation, emerging stronger, happier and more fulfilled? The key to his success is emotional intelligence. Passionate and caring, yet driven and decisive, Jimmy Carter seems to epitomize the emotionally intelligent leader.


SC 11.MAL.1999.James.SM