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EI at Work Podcast

Emotional Intelligence in sports: A critical component of a sports leadership program.

NBA team Phoenix Suns has reached the Playoffs for the first time in 11 years. This year, unlike any other before it, the team has a competitive advantage – emotional intelligence.

 Emotional Intelligence has long been referenced in the corporate sector. However, its benefits extend to industries far and wide – even to the world of basketball.

Relationships are at the core of sport performance. The interactions between players, their teammates, and coaches, can be the all-important difference between success and defeat. More importantly emotionally intelligent people in leadership, especially in sport, know how to navigate team relationships in a way that helps every athlete perform at their best.

Whether you’re a corporate professional, sports leader or NBA fanatic, this podcast will open your eyes to:

How emotional intelligence can transform the performance of sports teams and athletes.

This episode features Jeff Bower, Senior Vice President of Basketball Operations for NBA team Phoenix Suns. Jeff joins EI at Work co-hosts Marie El Daghl and Genos International CEO, Dr Ben Palmer, to discuss:

  • The role emotional intelligence played in leading the Phoenix Suns to their first Playoffs in 11 years.
  • The extent to which human relationships and leadership skills can make or break performance.
  • How dimensions of the Genos International model, such as emotional reasoning and behavioural agility, have contributed to player performance.
  • The importance of shared goals, values and drive within sports teams and greater organisations.   
  • Why emotional intelligence development is the future in the sports industry.


Campbell McGlynn

About Jeff Bower

A veteran executive with over 30 years of basketball experience at the NBA and collegiate levels, Jeff Bower is in his second season with the Phoenix Suns as Senior Vice President of Basketball Operations. Bower brings to the Suns a wealth of knowledge in every facet of basketball operations. As a Genos Certified Practitioner, he also brings emotional intelligence assessment and development expertise.

Prior to joining the Suns, Bower was general manager of the Detroit Pistons from 2014-2018. During his time with the Pistons, he revamped the team’s roster, leading to a breakthrough season in 2015-16 when the Pistons went 44-38 (their first time finishing over .500 since 2007-08) and qualified for the 2016 NBA Playoffs (their first postseason appearance since 2009). Bower had previously served two terms as general manager of the Charlotte/New Orleans Hornets from 2001-2003 and 2005- 2010.

He began his NBA career with the Hornets organization in 1995 as an advance scout then was promoted to director of scouting/ assistant coach after two years. Bower was the team’s assistant general manager for the 2000-01 season before serving as general manager from 2001-2003. He was an assistant coach for the Hornets in 2003-04 and director of player personnel in 2004-05 before taking over as general manager again in 2005. In 2009-10, Bower served as New Orleans’ head coach for the final 73 games of the season, posting a 34-39 record.


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Additional resources

Emotional Intelligence is backed by extensive research and results. For general EI research and papers click here, and to learn about the business case and value proposition of EI click here.

Learn more about Genos in your local market:
For Genos North America click here.
For Genos Europe click here.
For Genos International for all other markets click here.

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