Book Notes : Primal Leadership

Primal Leadership: Unleashing the power of Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis and Annie McKee
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Leaders have the highest power to sway our emotions, this can be maximised when their leadership resonates with the people who they lead. This is because there is an open loop between leaders and the people who follow them, this results in a mirroring of the leaders because people pay more attention to what they say and importantly what they do – their emotional reaction has a huge impact. These leaders don’t need to be the formal leaders, but could be the teams emotional leader. This emotional watching results in a contagion of whatever the leader says or does. An emotionally positive mood has significant impact on the group and on results, and because of the impact a leader has this is generally stems from them.

Emotional Intelligence Domains and Associated Competencies

  • Personal
    • Self-Awareness
      • Emotional self-awareness: Reading one’s own emotions and recognising their impact; using “gut feel” to guide decisions
      • Accurate self-assessment: Knowing one’s strengths and limits
      • Self-confidence: A sound sense of one’s self-worth and capabilities.
    • Self-Management
      • Emotional self-control: Keeping disruptive emotions and impulses under control
      • Transparency: Displaying honest and integrity; trustworthiness
      • Adaptability: Flexibility in adapting to changing situations or overcoming obstacles
      • Achievement: The drive to improve performance to meet inner standards of excellence
      • Initiative: Readiness to act and seize opportunities
      • Optimism: Seeing the upside in events
  • Social
    • Social-Awareness
      • Empathy: Sensing others’ emotions, understanding their perspective and taking active interest in their concerns
      • Organisational awareness: Reading the current, decision networks and politics at the organisational level
      • Service: Recognising and meeting follower, client or customer needs
    • Relationship-Management
      • Inspirational leadership: Guiding and motivating with a compelling vision
      • Influence: Wielding a range of tactics for persuasion
      • Developing others: Bolstering others’ abilities through feedback and guidance
      • Change catalyst: Initiating, managing and leading in a new direction
      • Conflict management: Resolving disagreements
      • Building bonds: Cultivating and maintaining a web of relationships
      • Teamwork and collaboration: Cooperation and team building

These result in the following leadership styles

  • Visionary
    • How it builds resonance: Moves people towards shared dreams
    • Impact on climate: Most strongly positive
    • When appropriate: When changes require a new vision or when a clear direction is needed
  • Coaching
    • How it builds resonance: Connects what a person wants with the organisation’s goals
    • Impact on climate: Highly positive
    • When appropriate: To help an employee improve performance by building long-term capabilities
  • Affiliative (relationship building)
    • How it builds resonance: Creates harmony by connecting people to each other
    • Impact on climate: Positive
    • When appropriate: To heal rifts in a team, motivate during stressful times, or strengthen connections
  • Democratic
    • How it builds resonance: Values people’s input and gets commitment through participation
    • Impact on climate: Positive
    • When appropriate: To build buy-in or consensus or to get valuable input for employees
  • Pacesetting
    • How it builds resonance: Meets challenging and exciting goals
    • Impact on climate: Because too frequently poorly executed, often highly negative
    • When appropriate: To get high-quality results from a motivated and competent team
  • Commanding
    • How it builds resonance: Soothes fears by giving clear direction in an emergency
    • Impact on climate: Because so often misused, highly negative
    • When appropriate: In a crisis, to kick start a turnaround or with problem employees

Jumping between all four resonant leadership styles Visionary, Coaching, Affiliative & Democratic can prove a great mix for a leader.  If a leader constantly uses the Pacesetting or Commanding style this can have very negative impacts on the team and can cause toxic organisations.

CEO Disease : The information vacuum around a leader when people withhold important and sometimes unpleasant information.

Self-directed learning through the five discoveries:

  1. My ideal self: Who do I want to be?
  2. My real self: Who am I?
    1. My strengths: Where my ideals and real self overlap
    2. My gaps: Where my ideal and real self differ
  3. My learning agenda: Building on my strengths while reducing gaps
  4. Experimenting with new behavior, thoughts and feelings
    1. Practicing the new behavior, building new neural pathways through to mastery.  Bring bad habits into awareness, consciously practice a better way and rehearse that new behavior at every opportunity
  5. Developing trust and relationships that help, support and encourage each step

Listening to peoples feelings people tend to come to a consensus and paint a picture of an organisation.

When looking to spread a new culture it has to be championed widely, else the people who are evangelised the new culture first could be shot down by other parts of the orgsanisation who have not been informed about the new direction.

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