The battered island of Puerto Rico needed this. Leave it to Lin-Manuel Miranda to recognize it.
Just recently, Miranda kicked off a tour of the collaborative phenomenon that is Hamilton, in San Juan, stepping back into the starring role. As The Washington Postreported, the superstar convinced producers and investors to donate the proceeds from the entire three-week run (which means about $15 million dollars) to suffering Puerto Rican artists and arts institutions.
While residents will pay $10 per ticket, tickets will go for as much as $5,000 each to well-heeled Americans, like Jimmy Fallon and other celebrities. Miranda, and his father who helped arrange the tour, hope that the Hamilton run will trigger tourism and a big influx of money spent on the island (which is already happening).
The Post called the event “one of the most extraordinary events in the history of the nation’s performing arts.” Indeed, no musical, or other art form for that matter, has ever played such a dual humanitarian and political role.
Many feel the U.S. territory, and the devastation wrought by Hurricane Maria 16 months ago, have been forgotten. Even promised financial help for major reconstruction has been slow to trickle in, as reflected in the state of far too many damaged buildings and in the absence of faith that basics like electricity will remain readily available.
Miranda, in a masterstroke of emotional intelligence, recognized that the hard-luck island desperately needed an emotional boost, one that would raise spirits, revenue, and national attention/awareness.
The Broadway star has also demonstrated high EQ in how he talks about the state of Puerto Rico, even in letting his emotions pour out after the opening night’s production was finished (tearfully addressing the crowd and waving Puerto Rico’s flag).
Miranda’s Puerto Rican tour is the pinnacle of emotional intelligence.
Emotional intelligence isn’t just about what you say, it’s about when and how you say it. Miranda recognized the power of not only bringing Hamilton to the island, but the emotional importance of him reprising the starring role.
The creative genius has no shortage of opportunities as his profile continues to rise, with recent turns in the movie Mary Poppins and many other endeavors in the works. And yet, by sacrificing his time and attention (often required to act with high EQ), he is making an impact in a way no one else could.
Leaders, or anyone, that realize they’re in a unique position to make a deep impact by acting with empathy, demonstrate profound emotional intelligence.
Miranda also talks about the tour as being grounded in servitude, the telltale sign of emotional intelligence. In a post-first-show news conference, he said, “I just love the island so much and I just want it to be proud of me.”
The highest EQ leaders are driven, to their core, by a spirit of servitude.
You can reprise your own starring role as an emotionally intelligent leader by picking up on these high EQ cues. Just make sure you’re “not throwing away your shot.”