In the early 20th century, rural areas of China experienced deplorable health conditions. Due to extreme poverty and lack of access to adequate medical care, nearly 80% of China’s population, the percentage living in rural areas, teetered on the verge of death. In an attempt to solve the public health crisis, the Chinese government commissioned doctors, known as “barefoot doctors.” These doctors used specific behaviors that connected to and were understood by residents in the community. With specific behaviors that shaped a style of leadership, these doctors educated rural residents on basic healthcare practices. Although “barefoot,” these doctors projected a wealth of knowledge, leading others to better health and a better way of life (Valentine, 2005).
Previous to the 1990s, an individual’s Intelligent Quotient (IQ) remained an unquestioned, central standard of learning. With a high IQ, it may be assumed an individual might be well-versed in knowledge in order to tackle any problem, making effective and efficient decisions. Yet, contemporary research also indicates that good problem-solving and quality decision making did not always stem from one’s IQ, but more importantly one’s Emotional Intelligence (EI). In fact, a variety of studies have shown that “emotional intelligence competencies account for anywhere from 24 to 69 percent of performance success” (Lynn, 2008).