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Primal Leadership: Realizing the Power of Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis and Annie McKee




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Lead On

Most managers and executives who read Daniel Goleman’s new book, Primal Leadership, will find something useful, instructive or valuable, for practical application and use. The authors have combined knowledge of the workings of the human brain with analysis of what makes leaders effective to present ways that individuals can examine their behavior, and select ways to improve personal effectiveness. The examples used to illustrate the authors’ points are instructive and illustrative. They present a strong case for the need for resonant leaders who guide organizations to make continuous improvements in effectiveness. Goleman’s previous books on emotional intelligence explained the importance of how we handle ourselves and our relationships. Given that understanding, what do you do next? Primal Leadership provides an approach to answering that question. Here’s an excerpt that describes the reason this book and the subject it addresses is important:

“There’s another reason primal leadership will matter more going into the future. The old model of leadership had a functional focus, one without regard to the emotional or personal dimension; people were seen as interchangeable parts. Such impersonal leadership increasingly fails today. Resonant leaders shatter the old leadership mold that was cast in the image of the captains of industry, those old-fashioned lead-from-the-top figures of authority who led largely by virtue of the power of their position.
Increasingly, the best of breed lead not by virtue of power alone, but by excelling in the art of relationship, the singular expertise that the changing business climate renders indispensable. Leadership excellence is being redefined in interpersonal terms as companies strip out layers of managers, as corporations merge across national boundaries, and as customers and suppliers redefine the web of connection.
Resonant leaders know when to be collaborative and when to be visionary, when to listen, and when to command. Such leaders have a knack for attuning to their own sense of what matters and articulating a mission that resonates with the values of those they lead. These leaders naturally nurture relationships, surface simmering issues, and create the human synergies of a group in harmony. They build a fierce loyalty by caring about the careers of those who work for them, and inspire people to give their best for a mission that speaks to shared values.
An emotionally intelligent leader does each of these at the right time, in the right way, with the right person. Such leadership creates a climate of enthusiasm and flexibility, one where people feel invited to be at their most innovative, where they give their best. And such a working climate, given today’s business realities, creates added value through the essential human ingredients for organizational performance.
Such leaders are more values-driven, more flexible and informal, and more open and frank than leaders of old. They are more connected to people and networks. Most especially, they exude resonance: They have genuine passion for their mission, and that passion is contagious. Their enthusiasm and excitement spread spontaneously, invigorating those they leader. And resonance is the key to primal leadership.”

It’s well worth your while to find out more about resonant leadership and what it means to your effectiveness as a leader. A good way to do that is to read Primal Leadership, an outstanding book that receives our highest rating.

Steve Hopkins, May 8, 2002


ă 2002 Hopkins and Company, LLC


The recommendation rating for this book appeared in the June 2002 issue of Executive Times


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