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Primal Leadership: Learning to Lead with Emotional Intelligence Paperback – January 1, 2004


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press (January 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591391849
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591391845
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.8 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (158 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #37,575 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Business leaders who maintain that emotions are best kept out of the work environment do so at their organization's peril. Bestselling author Daniel Goleman's theories on emotional intelligence (EI) have radically altered common understanding of what "being smart" entails, and in Primal Leadership, he and his coauthors present the case for cultivating emotionally intelligent leaders. Since the actions of the leader apparently account for up to 70 percent of employees' perception of the climate of their organization, Goleman and his team emphasize the importance of developing what they term "resonant leadership." Focusing on the four domains of emotional intelligence--self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management--they explore what contributes to and detracts from resonant leadership, and how the development of these four EI competencies spawns different leadership styles. The best leaders maintain a style repertoire, switching easily between "visionary," "coaching," "affiliative," and "democratic," and making rare use of less effective "pace-setting" and "commanding" styles. The authors' discussion of these methods is informed by research on the workplace climates engendered by the leadership styles of more than 3,870 executives. Indeed, the experiences of leaders in a wide range of work environments lend real-life examples to much of the advice Goleman et al. offer, from developing the motivation to change and creating an improvement plan based on learning rather than performance outcomes, to experimenting with new behaviors and nurturing supportive relationships that encourage change and growth. The book's final section takes the personal process of developing resonant leadership and applies it to the entire organizational culture. --S. Ketchum --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

"The fundamental task of leaders... is to prime good feeling in those they lead. That occurs when a leader creates resonance a reservoir of positivity that unleashes the best in people. At its root, then, the primal job of leadership is emotional." So argue Goleman (Emotional Intelligence) and EI (emotional intelligence) experts Boyatzis and McKee. They use the word "primal" not only in its original sense, but also to stress that making employees feel good (i.e., inspired and empowered) is the job a leader should do first. To prove that the need to lead and to respond to leadership is innate, the authors cite numerous biological studies of how people learn and react to situations (e.g., an executive's use of innate self-awareness helps her to be open to criticism). And to demonstrate the importance of emotion to leadership, they note countless examples of different types of leaders in similar situations, and point out that the ones who get their employees emotionally engaged accomplish far more. Perhaps most intriguing is the brief appendix, where the authors compare the importance of IQ and EI in determining a leader's effectiveness. Their conclusion that EI is more important isn't surprising, but their reasoning is. Since one has to be fairly smart to be a senior manager, IQ among top managers doesn't vary widely. However, EI does. Thus, the authors argue, those managers with higher EI will be more successful. (Mar. 11)Forecast: Goleman already has a legion of fans from his early books on EI. His publisher is banking on his fame; the house has planned a $250,000 campaign and a 100,000 first printing.

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

The book is an easy read and full of good leadership information.
Rodrigo R.
Primal Leadership: Realizing the Power of Emotional Intelligence is an incredible book!
susan l butcher
I highly recommend "Primal Leadership" for anyone who desires to develop as a leader.
Jim Ward

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

712 of 742 people found the following review helpful By Don Blohowiak, PhD on May 26, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Primal Leadership" is the latest best-seller in the "emotional intelligence" business book series that has become a franchise for psychologist and former New York Times writer Daniel Goleman.
It might be accurately subtitled: "Three Ph.D.s Cite Tons of Research to Convince Business Executives (Yet Again) that Feelings Matter to People at Work."
The research underlying the authors' assertions about the importance of improving one's emotional control and quality of interpersonal relationships is chronicled in end notes that run 34 pages in relatively small point type.
If you aren't an end note reader, you may not notice that the otherwise credible trio of Goleman, Boyatzis and McKee often give no credit whatsoever in the book's very readable main narrative to the scientists whose work they unabashedly appropriate or reference only in passing. This is especially surprising and disappointing given Dr. Boyatzis's own substantial and distinguished history of contributions to the academic and practical literature.
The "Primal Leadership" authors' well-documented case boils down to this: 1) People respond to their leaders either positively or negatively. And therefore, 2) Leaders need to work on developing an effective leadership style by A. Knowing themselves, B. Controlling their emotional impulses, C. Relating better to others, D. Influencing others to further the organization's work.
Hard to argue with that, even without a truckload of citations.
Now the critical question: Will reading this book give you the tools to improve your own "emotional intelligence"?
In a word, an emphatic and disappointing, no.
You may find yourself jumping up and down screaming, "Yes! Yes! Yes!
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102 of 112 people found the following review helpful By Harold McFarland HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on April 27, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Daniel Goleman has written two previous books on Emotional Intelligence and why it is more important than IQ over a person's lifetime. This book takes those concepts of Emotional Intelligence (EI) and applies them to successful leadership roles. In doing so it moves leadership from an art form to science.
While it is not difficult to follow this book even if you are not familiar with his prior works, familiarity with the concepts would make the reading flow much smoother. For this text he is joined by EI experts and co-authors Richard Boyatzis and Annie McKee as they unravel the use of EI in the workplace.
The bottom line of Primal Leadership is that one of the most important tasks of a leader is to create good feelings in the people they lead. They do this by maintaining those same positive feelings in themselves. In addition they have to create change, sustain change, and build an EI competent organization.
The book introduces the concept of "resonant leadership". This is the tendency of employees to perceive the business environment in the same manner that their leaders do. The moods, opinions, and actions of the leaders resonate to their employees and create the same feelings in them.
The top leaders develop four leadership styles and have the ability to easily change between them as needed. The book not only defines primal leadership but details how to develop and use these leadership qualities to make your business excel when others flounder. A great read with a thought-provoking analysis, this book is required reading for those seeking to excel as leaders in their organization.
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70 of 77 people found the following review helpful By Bradley A. Swope on December 3, 2002
Format: Hardcover
TITLE: Forest or The Trees?
REVIEW: I agreed with a lot of what Goleman has to say in Primal Leadership and I'm fairly sympathetic to his general theme that much existing management theory and teachings lie too much on the analytical/reasoning side and do not put enough emphasis on the "softer"/psychological issues. However, while many of Goleman's statements and cited research make sense (the "trees") they often don't seem to fit well within his model/theory (the "forest"), which is overly one-dimensional in stating basically that "emotional intelligence" (EI) competencies are the be all and end all of leadership.
Goleman's theory, which seems to be based on his statement that "the emotional task is the original and most important", swings the pendulum too far in the anti-analytical direction. He makes the same mistake as many of his analytical colleagues do/did in assuming that there is one ideal leadership mold to which everyone should be shaped into. The purpose of the book is to get the reader to understand Goleman's emotional intelligence (EI) mold for the ideal leader and how to fit this mold.
Goleman lists 19 EI competencies that the ideal leader should have. First, note that many of the competencies are not simply emotional, but require reasoning skills/abilities. Second, while it is true that these competencies are good to have, it is folly to expect one individual to try to obtain all of these. This is a throwback to the myth of the well-rounded organizational man of the 1950s IBM which has been discredited. One should focus on their strengths and manage their weaknesses, not become a well rounded person in all these competencies.
The other major disappointment I have with Primal Leadership is the same that I have with most books on "leadership".
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