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When It Comes to Emotional Intelligence, We Have the Advantage!

By Matthew M. Davis

May 17, 2024

I once heard that when you are the leader of a company, you are like a thermostat. You control the temperature in the room. People are watching and feeding off your behavior.

I truly believe the key to effective leadership and success isn’t just crunching numbers or making strategic decisions; it’s also understanding people and their emotions. It is often overlooked, but it’s a critical skill for any leader. Mastering emotional intelligence is a game changer for our independent box plants, enabling us to set the tone with our employees and customers! It’s the cornerstone of effective leadership and teamwork. The independent advantage is how we treat people.

Like any good sports coach, you need to be relatable and make everyone on your team feel important. It all starts with trust. It is much easier to be agile as a company when your whole team has buy-in. You have to find out what motivates your team. At our plants, you are not just a number. I would encourage you all to spend a little extra time and think about what more we can do to create an environment in which employees feel valued, supported, and motivated. I think, as independents, we can do that better than anybody.

Furthermore, I believe emotional intelligence is a competitive advantage for us in the marketplace. It is an invaluable asset for independents as it enables us to understand and respond effectively to the emotions and needs of our customers. It includes empathy, effective communication, and adaptability that can create positive experiences and lasting impressions on our customers. I believe the companies that are able to embrace this will be better prepared to adapt to change and thrive in today’s business environment.

Emotional intelligence is key to my leadership style. I am a big believer in taking care of the internal and external customers in order to be successful. At Packaging Express, we fight hard to take care of both! No matter the technological innovations or new artificial intelligence tools, at the end of the day, our success is driven by people and our relationships. That is our competitive advantage!

I will leave you with this quote from Theodore Roosevelt: “No one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.”

Matthew M. Davis
President, Packaging Express
AICC Chairman

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