Four Essential Leadership Intelligences

Updated: Sep 25

By Workplace Peace Institute

Reimagining organizations by devising an innovative model that encourages productive, fulfilled, and engaged employees.


An organizational paradigm is the overarching approach to conducting business underlying all theories and methodologies that inform the way organizations operate, build culture, and sustain innovation and growth. While organizations are, generally, intentional about how they conduct business, build culture, and sustain innovation and growth, they are generally unaware of the underlying paradigm that informs it. This lack of intentionality at the paradigm level sets into motion an organizational system that serves as a silent engine fueling all other organizational activities. Because it is silent, and leadership at all levels remain unaware of it, the paradigm can be in contradiction to critical aspects of the business it is informing.


Most organizations function in the Red, Amber, and Orange Paradigms . At Workplace Peace Institute, we refer to these organizational paradigms as Newtonian Organizations because of the command and control structure they operate from, as well as the Newtonian principles that inform their organizational processes and leadership approach. These systems of coercion and dominance produce workplace cultures that suppress employee engagement and oppress productivity by failing to honor basic human needs such as acceptance of identity, cultural security, belonging, psychological safety, participation, and self-fulfillment. Ultimately, Newtonian Organizations are designed in such a way that dignity violations are embedded in corporate culture.



Red, Amber, and Orange paradigms operate as Newtonian Organizations

To increase employee engagement, organizations must create a paradigm shift, transitioning from the Red, Amber, and Orange paradigms into the Green, Turquoise, and Teal organizations. At Workplace Peace Institute, we refer to organizations operating in these paradigms as Quantum Organizations. Leaders in Quantum Organizations recognize that leadership is a relationship and that individual contributors will pour into the organization in equal measure to which leaders pour into them. This means that honoring dignity in the workplace must be at the core of the organization’s leadership approach.



Organizations operating in at the Green paradigm still have some functions of a Newtonian Organization. Turquoise and Teal paradigms operate as Quantum Organizations.

What Is Dignity?

A core requirement of experiencing dignity in the workplace is having one’s voice genuinely heard and the experience of having one’s authentic self fully embraced and honored.

Dignity in the workplace is our ability to experience our worth and value as contributors to the organization. Research conducted by Workplace Peace Institute found that a core requirement of experiencing dignity in the workplace is having one’s voice genuinely heard and the experience of having one’s authentic self fully embraced and honored.


The experience of having one’s voice heard empowers employees to act independently and autonomously.

Having one’s voice heard cultivates the necessary trust to develop and sustain employee engagement. To show up authentically and amplify one’s voice, there must be psychological safety in the workplace and employees, especially BIPOC of color and LGBTQIA+ employees, must experience their identity being fully embraced. The experience of having one’s voice heard empowers employees to act independently and autonomously. When this behavior is acknowledged and affirmed, employees are motivated, and engagement becomes self-perpetuating.


The Four Leadership Intelligences


Cultivating dignity in the workplace requires that leaders are proficient in four core leadership intelligences: Social Intelligence, Emotional Intelligence, Dignity Intelligence, and Cultural Intelligence.