When Tesla came under fire for an injury rate that is 30% higher than the industry average, he responded with a powerful e-mail to all employees that insisted every single injury get reported directly to him from now on. He insisted that managers take responsibility for keeping their charges safe.
It was a beautiful example of a CEO inspiring trust and confidence at every level of an enterprise, and making it his business to know what's really going on down on the factory floor where so much of a company's fate rests.
Musk's response also showed great emotional intelligence (also called EQ) in an era when that's not always viewed as a key competency or strength. However, there is mounting support among corporate recruiters and executive coaches that EQ is sometimes more important than IQ.
Musk not only quashed a potentially long-running negative news story; he also turned it into an opportunity to rebuild loyalty and trust among employees.
And that takes high EQ.