ACADEMIC excellence alone does not transform a student into a leader.

A recent study found that academic achievers are less likely to interact with people and involve themselves in extra-curricular activities due to “anxieties.”

The study, titled “Emotional Intelligence, Leadership Behavior and Orientation of University Achievers,” noted that students who are more engaged in school activities and those who interact with others have less time to spend on their academic work.

“The career success [of the graduates] depends on their academic success and their personal and social aspect or development,” said Guidance and Counseling Department Director Lucila Bance, who authored the study.

A total of 203 (133 females and 70 males) students on their respective dean’s lists, or those with a general average of 1.75 or 89 percent and above, were surveyed. Only 10.83 percent or 22 participants were keenly involved in school activities, results showed.

Almost half of the participants (43.85 percent) did not show interest in extra-curricular affairs, while 48.80 percent were “undecided” on participating in school activities. Moreover, 50.74 percent said they were “afraid that their academic performance will be affected.”

The study also found that 7.3 percent were “under strict parental control.” Other reasons for non-participation in extra-curricular activities include distance of residence, schedule constraints, and “personal limitations.”

The University should focus more on the leadership behavior of the students and improve their emotional intelligence for them to be “totally and holistically developed,” Bance said.

The survey measured participants’ emotional intelligence, leadership behavior, and leadership orientation to determine the likelihood of academic achievers in having a successful career after graduation.

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Emotional intelligence was measured through self-awareness and self-expression, social awareness and interpersonal relationship, stress management, and adaptability.

Leadership behavior was measured through cautiousness, vigor, personal relations, original thinking, ascendancy, responsibility, emotional stability, sociability, and self-esteem. Leadership orientation, meanwhile, was defined as the manner by which a person reacts to the challenge of a job.

“Females have lower tolerance to stress and have tendencies to lose control when experiencing difficulties and anxieties,” the study found.

Despite getting average scores in all aspects of leadership behavior, personal relations of males remained low and their friendliness were at the “baseline level.”

“With students’ academic success, coupled with emotional intelligence and leadership qualities, the schools can produce successful leaders,” the study said.

Programs that will improve the total well-being of University achievers have been implemented, but Bance said carrying these out has not been easy. She pointed to teachers’ and administrators’ high expectations, such as topping board examinations.

“You may be really intelligent but if you do not relate well with others, then you may not also become successful in terms of your career,” Bance said.

Evelyn Songco, assistant to the rector for student affairs, agreed and pointed out that getting involved in extra-curricular affairs provides “opportunities for growth in terms of social relations” and “develops a balanced personality.”

“What the industry is looking for are people who have good values, highly motivated, are team workers, and can communicate well,” Songco said.

“There is more to success than having high IQ (intelligence quotient) and high grades,” Bance said. “It entails understanding your own emotion and that of others and being able to deal effectively with different kinds of people.” Cez Mariela Teresa G. Verzosa


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