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Now, Goleman teams with renowned EI researchers Richard Boyatzis and Annie McKee to explore the role of emotional intelligence in leadership. Unveiling neuroscientific links between organizational success or failure and "primal leadership," the authors argue that a leader's emotions are contagious. If a leader resonates energy and enthusiasm, an organization thrives; if a leader spreads negativity and dissonance, it flounders. This breakthrough concept charges leaders with driving emotions in the right direction to have a positive impact on earnings or strategy.
Drawing from decades of analysis within world-class organizations, the authors show that resonant leaders-whether CEOs or managers, coaches or politicians-excel not just through skill and smarts, but by connecting with others using EI competencies like empathy and self-awareness. And they employ up to six leadership styles-from visionary to coaching to pacesetting-fluidly interchanging them as the situation demands.
The authors identify a proven process through which leaders can learn to:
· Assess, develop, and sustain personal EI competencies over time
· Inspire and motivate people
· Cultivate resonant leadership throughout teams and organizations
· Leverage resonance to increase bottom-line performance
The book no leader in any walk of life can afford to miss, this unforgettable work transforms the art of leadership into the science of results.
The authors of Primal Leadership write that humankind's original leaders earned their place because their leadership was emotionally compelling. In the modern organization, this primordial emotional task remains. Leaders must drive the collective emotions in a positive direction and clear the smog created by toxic emotions, whether it is on the shop floor or in the boardroom.
When leaders drive emotions positively, they bring out everyone's best. When they drive emotions negatively, they spawn dissonance, undermining the emotional foundations that let people shine. The authors of Primal Leadership explain that the key to making primal leadership work to everyone's advantage lies in the leadership competencies of emotional intelligence; how leaders handle themselves and their relationships. Leaders who exercise primal leadership drive the emotions of those they lead in the right direction.
Matters of the Heart and Mind
Gifted leadership occurs where heart and head - feeling and thought - meet. These are the two things that allow a leader to soar. The authors write that all leaders need enough intellect to handle the tasks and challenges at hand. However, intellect alone won't make a leader. Leaders execute a vision by motivating, guiding, inspiring, listening, persuading, and creating resonance. As a result, the manner in which leaders act - not just what they do, but how they do it - is a fundamental key to effective leadership. The reason lies in the design of the human brain.
The brain is an open loop. The authors explore how we rely on connections with other people for our emotional stability. Scientists describe the open-loop system as "interpersonal limbic regulation," whereby one person transmits signals that can alter hormone levels, cardiovascular function, sleep rhythms, and even immune function inside the body of another. Other people can change our very physiology and our emotions.
The authors describe how the continual interplay of limbic open loops among members of a group creates a kind of emotional soup, with everyone adding his or her flavor to the mix. Negative emotions - especially chronic anger, anxiety or a sense of futility - powerfully disrupt work, hijacking attentions from the tasks at hand.
On the other hand, when people feel good, they work at their best. The authors write that feeling good lubricates mental efficiency, making people better at understanding information and making complex judgments. For example, insurance agents with a glass-is-half-full attitude make more sales, in part because they are able to withstand rejection better than their more pessimistic peers.
A study on 62 CEOs and their top management shows just how important mood is. The CEOs and their management team members were assessed on how upbeat - energetic, enthusiastic and determined - they were. They were also asked how much conflict the top team experienced. The study found that the more positive the overall moods of people in the top management team, the more cooperative they worked together and the better the company's business results. The study concluded that the longer a company was run by a management team that did not get along, the poorer the company's market return.
The authors write that every large organization has pockets of resonance and dissonance. The overall ratio determines the organization's emotional climate and performance. To shift the ratio toward resonance, cultivate a dispersed cadre of emotionally intelligent leaders. To do that, the authors write, leadership training must be the strategic priority and be managed at the highest level. Commitment must come from the top. That's because new leadership means a new mindset and new behaviors, and in order for these to stick, the organization's culture, systems and processes all need to change.
Let's say that as a leader, you get it. You've set the stage by assessing the culture, examining the reality and the ideal. You've created resonance around the idea of change, and you've identified the people who will take top leadership roles. The next step is to design a process that lets those leaders uncover their own dreams and personal ideals, examine their strengths and their gaps, and use their daily work as a learning laboratory. The authors explain that this process must also be self-directed and include the following elements:
Why Soundview Likes This Book
Using many in-depth examples of how the concepts of primal leadership work and how the power of emotional intelligent can be used to effect organizations, Primal Leadership delivers many poignant messages about a topic that deserves more attention. The book's focus on real-life scenarios and modern business problems keeps its intellectual ideas grounded in reality, and helps it develop and demonstrate its pertinent ideas. The numerous examples it uses to illustrate these ideas turn this book into an exciting examination of fresh concepts and valuable learning. Copyright (c) 2002 Soundview Executive Book Summaries
The Leadership Repertoire
Resonance stems not just from leaders' good moods or ability to say the right thing, but also from whole sets of coordinated activities that comprise particular leadership styles. Typically, the best, most effective leaders act according to one or more of six distinct approaches to leadership and skillfully switch between the various styles depending on the situation.
Four of these styles—visionary, coaching, affiliative, and democratic—create the kind of resonance that boosts performance, while two others—pacesetting and commanding—although useful in some very specific situations, should be applied with caution, as we shall see.
To find out how particular leadership styles affect an organization and its emotional climate, we drew from research on a global database of 3,871 executives in which several key factors that influenced the working environment were assessed.1
Analysis went one step further to look at how the climate that resulted from various leadership styles affected financial results, such as return on sales, revenue growth, efficiency, and profitability. Results showed that, all other things being equal, leaders who used styles with a positive emotional impact saw decidedly better financial returns than those who did not. Perhaps most important, leaders with the best results didn't practice just one particular style. Rather, on any given day or week, they used many of the six distinct styles—seamlessly and in different measures—depending on the business situation. Imagine the styles, then, as the array of clubs in a golf pro's bag. Over the course of a match, the propicks and chooses from his bag based on the demands of the shot. Sometimes he has to ponder his selection, but usually it is automatic. The pro "senses" the challenge ahead, swiftly pulls out the right tool, and elegantly puts it to work. That's how high-impact leaders operate too.
Although these styles of leadership (see the chart) have all been identified previously by different names, what's new about our model of leadership is an understanding of the underlying emotional intelligence capabilities that each approach requires, and—most compelling—each style's causal link with outcomes. The research, in other words, allows us to see how each style actually affects climate, and therefore performance. For executives engaged in the daily battle of getting results, such a connection adds a much-needed dose of science to the critical art of leadership.
We'll look first at those four leadership styles that foster resonance, then at the two that too readily generate dissonance when not used effectively.
The Visionary Leader When Shawana Leroy took over as director of a social work agency for impoverished families in a large city, there were clearly problems—most a legacy from her predecessor, a longtime civil servant with a penchant for rules and regulations. The agency's mission attracted talented employees and fostered tremendous commitment—at least when they first came on board. Typically, though, that enthusiasm got lost as workers became mired in the byzantine rules established for carrying out their jobs. The mission became hard to find behind the regulations. Despite increasing needs for the agency's services—and complaints from funders—the pace of work was slow and effectiveness abysmal.
As a first step, Leroy talked to employees, one-on-one, to find out what worked and what people were proud of in the agency. People seemed relieved to have a chance to talk about how meaningful their work felt, and about the frustrations they faced trying to get things done. Leroy found she was not alone in feeling a commitment to the mission of helping poor families, and she gambled that this vision would sustain people during the changes to come at the agency.
By starting the conversation on this positive note, Leroy gave people a sense of the dream they wanted to reach for, and why. She got people talking about their hopes for the future, and she tapped into the compassion and dedication they felt. She then articulated this vision whenever the opportunity arose, voicing the shared values that had brought them all there.
As a next step, Leroy called on people to question whether they were really living the mission of helping the poor, and she guided them in looking at how what they did, day to day, affected the agency's ability to meet that goal. That process of inquiry had another payoff: building people's sense of initiative and their belief that they had the answers inside themselves.
Examining the agency's problems got down to specifics, as it must: which management practices were getting in the way, which rules made no sense, and which outdated systems needed to go. Meanwhile, Leroy made sure she modeled the principles of the new organization she wanted to create: one that was transparent and honest; one that focused on rigor and results. Then, as the process moved from talk to action, Leroy and her team tackled some of the most rigid bureaucratic practices and changed them with the support of almost all staff. With her at the helm, the agency's emotional climate changed to reflect her passion and commitment; she set the tone for the entire organization.
The Leadership Styles in a Nutshell
HOW IT BUILDS RESONANCE: Moves people toward shared dreams
IMPACT ON CLIMATE: Most strongly positive
WHEN APPROPRIATE: When changes require a new vision, or when a clear direction is needed
HOW IT BUILDS RESONANCE: Connects what a person wants with the organization's goals
IMPACT ON CLIMATE: Highly positive
WHEN APPROPRIATE: To help an employee improve performance by building long-term capabilities
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
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 from employees
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
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
The Visionary Resonates
Shawana Leroy, of course, exemplifies the visionary style, which strongly drives emotional climate upward and transforms the spirit of the organization at many levels. For instance, visionary leaders articulate where a group is going, but not how it will get there—setting people free to innovate, experiment, and take calculated risks. Knowing the big picture and how a given job fits in gives people clarity; they understand what's expected of them. And the sense that everyone is working toward shared goals builds team commitment: People feel pride in belonging to their organization.
Visionary leaders reap another benefit: retaining their most valued employees. To the extent that people resonate with a company's values, goals, and mission, that company becomes their preferred employer. A smart company realizes that it's vision and mission offers its people a unique "brand," a way of distinguishing itself as an employer from other companies in the same industry.
Moreover, by framing the collective task in terms of a grander vision, this approach defines a standard for performance feedback that revolves around that vision. Visionary leaders help people to see how their work fits into the big picture, lending people a clear sense not just that what they do matters, but also why. Such leadership maximizes buy-in for the organization's overall long-term goals and strategy. This is the classic mold of leadership, the one most often described in business school courses.
Consider the example of Bob Pittman, then-CEO of Six Flags Entertainment. Hearing that the janitors at the amusement parks were being surly to customers, Pittman decided to get a grounds-eye view of the problem: He went undercover as a janitor.2 While sweeping the streets, he began to understand the problem. Although managers were ordering janitors to keep the parks immaculate, customers kept the workers from accomplishing that mission by continually littering in the parks, thus creating headaches for janitors.
Pittman's visionary strategy was to have managers redefine the janitors' main mission: It would now be to keep customers happy. And since a dirty park would make things less enjoyable for customers, the janitors' job was to clean up—but in a friendly spirit. With this reframing, Pittman tied the small part the janitors played into a larger vision.
Of the six leadership styles, our research suggests that overall, this visionary approach is most effective. By continually reminding people of the larger purpose of their work, the visionary leader lends a grand meaning to otherwise workaday, mundane tasks. Workers understand the shared objectives as being in synch with their own best interests. The result: inspired work.
What Makes a Visionary
Inspirational leadership, of course, is the emotional intelligence competence that most strongly undergirds the visionary style. (For a fuller description of the EI competencies, see Appendix B.) Using inspiration together with the EI triad of self-confidence, self-awareness, and empathy, visionary leaders articulate a purpose that rings true for themselves and attune it to values shared by the people they lead. And because they genuinely believe in that vision, they can guide people toward it with a firm hand. When it comes time to change directions, competencies in self-confidence and in being a change catalyst smooth the transition.
Transparency, another EI competence, is crucial too; to be credible, leaders must truly believe their own visions. If a leader's vision is disingenuous, people sense it. Moreover, transparency means the removal of barriers or smokescreens within the company. It's a movement toward honesty and toward sharing information and knowledge so that people at all levels of the company feel included and able to make the best possible decisions. While some managers might have the misimpression that withholding information gives them power, visionary leaders understand that distributing knowledge is the secret to success; as a result, they share it openly and in large doses.
Of all the EI competencies, however, empathy matters most to visionary leadership. The ability to sense how others feel and to understand their perspectives means that a leader can articulate a truly inspirational vision. A leader who misreads people, on the other hand, simply can't inspire them.
Because of its positive impact, the visionary style works well in many business situations. But it can be particularly effective when a business is adrift—during a turnaround or when it is in dire need of a fresh vision. Not surprisingly, the visionary mode comes naturally to "transformational" leaders—those who seek to radically change an organization.3
Powerful as it is, however, the visionary style doesn't work in every situation. It fails, for instance, when a leader is working with a team of experts or peers who are more experienced than he—and who might view a leader expounding a grand vision as pompous or simply out of step with the agenda at hand. This kind of misstep can cause cynicism, which is a breeding ground for poor performance. Another limitation: If a manager trying to be visionary instead becomes overbearing, he can undermine the egalitarian spirit of team-based management.
These caveats aside, any leader would be wise to grab for the visionary "golf club" more often than not. It may not guarantee a hole in one, but it certainly helps with the long drive.
The Art of the One-on-One: The Coaching Style
She was new at the firm, and eight months pregnant. Staying late one night, she looked up from her work and was startled to see her boss standing outside her door. He asked how she was doing, sat down, and started to talk with her. He wanted to know all about her life. How did she like her job? Where did she want to go in her career? Would she come back to work after she had the baby?
These conversations continued daily over the next month, until the woman had her baby. The boss was David Ogilvy, the legendary advertising executive. The pregnant newcomer was Shelley Lazarus, now CEO of Ogilvy & Mather, the huge ad agency that Ogilvy founded. One of the main reasons Lazarus says she's still there, decades later, is the bonds she forged with her mentor Ogilvy in those first after-hours conversations.4
Ogilvy's leadership included a large dose of the coaching style: having a deep conversation with an employee that goes beyond short-term concerns and instead explores the person's life, including dreams, life goals, and career hopes. Despite the commonly held belief that every leader needs to be a good coach, leaders tend to exhibit this style least often. In these high-pressure, tense times, leaders say they "don't have the time" for coaching. By ignoring this style, however, they pass up a powerful tool.
Even though coaching focuses on personal development rather than on accomplishing tasks, the style generally predicts an outstandingly positive emotional response and better results, almost irrespective of the other styles a leader employs. By making sure they have personal conversations with employees, coaching leaders establish rapport and trust. They communicate a genuine interest in their people, rather than seeing them as simply tools to get the job done. Coaching thereby creates an ongoing conversation that allows employees to listen to performance feedback more openly, seeing it as serving their own aspirations, not just the boss's interests.
As Patrick O'Brien, president of Johnson Outdoors, an outdoor recreation company, told us, "Getting to know people individually is more important than ever. If you have that one-hour personal conversation at the start with someone, six months later, on a Friday at 4 p.m., they're jumping with you."
The Coach in Action
What does able coaching look like in a leader? Coaches help people identify their unique strengths and weaknesses, tying those to their personal and career aspirations. They encourage employees to establish long-term development goals, and help them to conceptualize a plan for reaching those goals, while being explicit about where the leader's responsibility lies and what the employee's role will be. As we discussed earlier, people tend to gravitate toward the aspects of their job they like the most, namely, the aspects that tie in to their dreams, identity, and aspirations. By linking people's daily work to these long-term goals, coaches keep people motivated. Only by getting to know employees on a deeper, personal level can leaders begin to make that link a reality.
Coaches are also good at delegating, giving employees challenging assignments that stretch them, rather than tasks that simply get the job done. (That kind of stretching, by the way, has a particularly positive impact on a person's mood; there's a special sweetness to success that pushes people beyond their abilities.5) Further, coaches usually tolerate a short-term failure, understanding that it can further an employee's dreams.
Not surprisingly, coaching works best with employees who show initiative and want more professional development. On the other hand, coaching will fail when the employee lacks motivation or requires excessive personal direction and feedback—or when the leader lacks the expertise or sensitivity needed to help the employee along. When executed poorly, the coaching approach looks more like micromanaging or excessive control of an employee. This kind of misstep can undermine an employee's self-confidence and ultimately create a downward performance spiral. Unfortunately, we've found that many managers are unfamiliar with—or simply inept at—the coaching style, particularly when it comes to giving ongoing performance feedback that builds motivation rather than fear or apathy.
For example, leaders who are also pacesetters—focused exclusively on high performance—often think they're coaching when actually they're micromanaging or simply telling people how to do their jobs. Such leaders often concentrate solely on short-term goals, such as sales figures. That solution-oriented bent keeps them from discovering employees' long-term aspirations—and employees, in turn, can believe that the leader sees them as mere tools for accomplishing a task, which makes them feel underappreciated rather than motivated.
When done well, however, coaching boosts not just employees' capabilities but also their self-confidence, helping them function both more autonomously and at a higher performance level.
What Makes a Coach
Coaching exemplifies the EI competence of developing others, which lets a leader act as a counselor, exploring employees' goals and values and helping them expand their own repertoire of abilities. It works hand in hand with two other competencies that research shows exemplify the best counselors: emotional self-awareness and empathy.
Emotional self-awareness creates leaders who are authentic, able to give advice that is genuinely in the employee's best interest rather than advice that leaves the person feeling manipulated or even attacked. And empathy means leaders listen first before reacting or giving feedback, which allows the interaction to stay on target. Good coaches, therefore, often ask themselves: Is this about my issue or goal, or theirs?
Coaching's surprisingly positive emotional impact stems largely from the empathy and rapport a leader establishes with employees. A good coach communicates a belief in people's potentials and an expectation that they can do their best. The tacit message is, "I believe in you, I'm investing in you, and I expect your best efforts." As a result, people sense that a leader cares, so they feel motivated to uphold their own high standards for performance, and they feel accountable for how well they do.
Sometimes coaching takes the form of an active mentoring program. And at "built-to-last" companies, which have thrived over decades, the ongoing development of leadership marks a cultural strength as well as a key to continued business success.6 In a time when more and more companies are finding it difficult to retain the most talented and promising employees, those companies that provide their people nourishing development experiences are more successful in creating loyal employees. In short, the coaching style may not scream "bottom-line results," but, in a surprisingly indirect way, it delivers them.
Relationship Builders: The Affiliative Style
Joe Torre might be called both the heart and soul of the New York Yankees. As the manager of that venerable baseball team as it won yet another World Series in 1999, Torre was credited with tending ably to the psyches of his players as they went through the emotional pressure cooker of the drive to win the championship. In a job often filled by notorious exemplars of unruly tempers and insensitivity, Torre stands out as an exception, exemplifying the teamwork and collaboration competence in action.
Take the celebration on the field right after the final 1999 game. Torre sought out particular players to embrace, especially Paul O'Neill, whose father had just died at age 79. Though he had barely received the news of his father's death, O'Neill chose to play in the decisive game that night—and burst into tears the moment the game ended. Later, at the victory party in the clubhouse, Torre made a point of acknowledging O'Neill's personal struggle, praising him as "a warrior."
Torre sought out two other players, as well—both of whom also had lost family members during the season. One, Scott Brosius, had repeatedly been praised by Torre over the previous months for willing himself to stay upbeat when at work with the team, even as he worried about his father's terminal illness. Finally, Torre used the spotlight that the victory celebration offered to go to bat for two players whose return the following year was threatened by contract disputes. He singled out both players for praise, to make a point to his own boss, the club's owner, that they were just too valuable to lose.
To be sure, Torre is no softy: He's firm with reprimands when needed. But he's also open about his own feelings with those he leads. The year his brother was near death while awaiting a heart transplant, Torre did little to hide his concern, sharing his worries with his players—as he did about his own treatment for prostate cancer the spring before his team won the pennant.
Such open sharing of emotions is one hallmark of the affiliative leadership style, which Torre exemplifies. These leaders also tend to value people and their feelings—putting less emphasis on accomplishing tasks and goals, and more on employees' emotional needs. They strive to keep people happy, to create harmony, and—as Torre did so well—to build team resonance.
Although limited as a direct driver of performance, the affiliative style has a surprisingly positive impact on a group's climate, behind only the visionary and coaching styles in impelling all measures upward. By recognizing employees as people—for example, offering them emotional support during hard times in their private lives—such leaders build tremendous loyalty and strengthen connectedness.
When does the affiliative style make sense? Its generally positive impact makes it a good all-weather resonance builder, but leaders should apply it in particular when trying to heighten team harmony, increase morale, improve communication, or repair broken trust in an organization.
Many cultures place tremendous value on strong personal ties, making relationship building a sine qua non of doing business. In most Asian cultures—as well as in Latin America and some European countries—establishing a strong relationship is a prerequisite for doing business. This step comes naturally to leaders who exhibit the affiliative style.
What Makes an Affiliative Leader
The affiliative style represents the collaborative competence in action. Such leaders are most concerned with promoting harmony and fostering friendly interactions, nurturing personal relationships that expand the connective tissue with the people they lead. Accordingly, affiliative leaders value downtime in the organizational cycle, which allows more time to build emotional capital that can be drawn from when the pressure is on.
When leaders are being affiliative, they focus on the emotional needs of employees even over work goals. This focus makes empathy—the ability to sense the feelings, needs, and perspectives of others—another fundamental competence here. Empathy allows a leader to keep people happy by caring for the whole person—not just the work tasks for which someone is responsible. A leader's empathy makes the affiliative approach a booster of morale par excellence, lifting the spirits of employees even as they trudge through mundane or repetitive tasks. Finally, the affiliative style sometimes also relies on the EI competence of conflict management when the challenge includes knitting together diverse or even conflicting individuals into a harmonious working group.
Despite its benefits, the affiliative style should not be used alone. The style's exclusive focus on praise can allow poor performance to go uncorrected, and employees may perceive that mediocrity is tolerated. In addition, because affiliative leaders rarely offer constructive advice on how to improve, employees are left on their own to figure out how to do so.
Perhaps that's why many affiliative leaders—including Joe Torre—use this style in close conjunction with the visionary approach. Visionary leaders state a mission, set standards, and let people know whether their work is furthering the group goals. Ally that with the caring approach of the affiliative leader, and you have a potent combination.
Let's Talk It Over: The Democratic Style
The private Catholic school, located in an impoverished neighborhood of a large metropolitan area, had been losing money for years. No longer able to afford to keep the school going, the archdiocese ordered Sister Mary, who headed the Catholic school system in the area, to shut it down.
But rather than immediately locking the doors, Sister Mary called a meeting of the teachers and staff and explained the details of the financial crisis that threatened the school. She asked for their ideas on ways to help keep the school open, and how to handle the closing, should it come to that. And then she simply listened. She did the same thing at later meetings for school parents, for the community, and then during a successive series of meetings for teachers and staff.
By the end of a round of meetings that lasted several months, the consensus was clear: The school would have to close. Students who wished to attend a school in the Catholic system would be transferred. Although the final outcome was no different than if Sister Mary had immediately closed the school herself, the process she used made all the difference. By allowing the school's constituents to reach that decision collectively, Sister Mary received none of the backlash that would have accompanied such a move. People mourned the loss of the school, but understood its inevitability. Virtually no one objected. Compare Sister Mary's approach with that of a priest who headed another Catholic school, also given the order to close. The priest immediately shut the school down—by fiat. The result: Parents filed lawsuits, teachers and parents picketed, and local newspapers ran editorials attacking his decision. The disputes kept the school open a full year before it could finally close down.
In contrast, Sister Mary's democratic style of getting buy-in from her constituents built feelings of trust and respect—and, in a word, commitment. By spending time one-on-one and in meetings listening to the concerns of employees (or, as with Sister Mary, of stakeholders such as parents), the democratic leader keeps morale high. The resulting impact on climate is positive across the board.
When to Be Democratic
A democratic approach works best when, like Sister Mary, the leader is uncertain about what direction to take and needs ideas from able employees.
That seems to have been the case with Louis Gerstner Jr., who became chairman of IBM in 1993 when the company was on the brink of death. An outsider to the computer industry, Gerstner had to rely on a democratic style, turning to more seasoned colleagues for advice. In the end, even though he had to cut $9 billion a year in expenses and lay off thousands of employees, Gerstner led a sensationally successful turnaround, charting a new strategic course for the company. Looking back, Gerstner mused that his day-to-day decisions had been based on "getting some good advice from my colleagues who knew a heck of a lot more about IBM and this industry than I would ever know."8
Even if a leader has a strong vision, the democratic style works well to surface ideas about how to implement that vision or to generate fresh ideas for executing it. For example, David Morgan, CEO of Westpac Bank in Australia, spends up to twenty days each year meeting with various groups of his top 800 people, 40 at a time. "It's a session where they give me feedback," Morgan told us. "I want to know how it really is. If it was ever true that someone sitting in an isolated corner office could run this business, it's not true today. The greatest risk is being out of touch with what's going on."
For such feedback sessions to be useful, the leader must be open to everything—bad news as well as good. "You have to listen to some pretty tough stuff," Morgan adds. "But the first time I chop someone's head off for telling me the hard truth, that's when they'll stop talking to me. I have to keep it safe for everyone to speak up. There's no problem we can't solve if we can be open about it."
Of course, the democratic style can have its drawbacks. One result when a leader overrelies on this approach is exasperating, endless meetings in which ideas are mulled over, consensus remains elusive, and the only visible outcome is to schedule yet more meetings. A leader who puts off crucial decisions, hoping to thrash out a consensual strategy, risks dithering. The cost can be confusion and lack of direction, with resulting delays or escalating conflicts.
It almost goes without saying, of course, that seeking employees' advice when they're uninformed or incompetent can lead to disaster. Similarly, consensus building is wrong-headed in times of crisis, when urgent events demand on-the-spot decisions. Take the case of a CEO we observed whose computer company was threatened by a changing market, yet he persisted in seeking consensus about what to do. As competitors stole customers—and customers' needs changed—this CEO continued to appoint committees to consider alternative responses. Then, when the market suddenly shifted because of a new technology, the CEO froze in his tracks. Before he could convene yet another task force to consider the situation, the board replaced him.
What Makes a Democratic Leader
The democratic style builds on a triad of emotional intelligence abilities: teamwork and collaboration, conflict management, and influence. The best communicators are superb listeners—and listening is the key strength of the democratic leader. Such leaders create the sense that they truly want to hear employees' thoughts and concerns and that they're available to listen. They're also true collaborators, working as team members rather than top-down leaders. And they know how to quell conflict and create a sense of harmony—for instance, repairing rifts within the group.
The EI competence of empathy also plays a role in democratic leadership, especially when the group is strongly diverse. Without the ability to attune to a wide range of people, a leader will be more prone to miscues.
The first four leadership styles—visionary, coaching, affiliative, and democratic—are sure-fire resonance builders. Each has its own strong, positive impact on the emotional climate of an organization. The last two styles—pacesetting and commanding—also have their place in a leader's tool kit. But each must be used carefully and with skill if it is to have a positive impact. When pacesetting or commanding leaders go too far, relying on these styles too often or using them recklessly, they build dissonance, not resonance—as we shall see in the next chapter.
Excerpted from Chapter 4, Primal Leadership: Realizing the Power of Emotional Intelligence, by Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis, and Annie McKee, Harvard Business School Press, 2001. Copyright 2001 President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved.
2. Bob Pittman at Six Flags: Quoted in Alden M. Hayashi, "When to Trust Your Gut," Harvard Business Review, February 2001, 59–65. 3. Transformational leaders: James McGregor Burns, Leadership (New York: Harper & Row, 1978). So, too, with "charismatic" leaders, who articulate a strategic vision informed by a sensitivity to stakeholders' needs; see Jay A. Conger, The Charismatic Leader: Behind the Mystique of Exceptional Leadership (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1989). 4. Shelley Lazarus and David Ogilvy: "A Job and a Life Intertwined," The New York Times, 23 May 2001, C3. 5. The sweetness of success at stretch tasks: Cynthia Fisher and Christopher S. Noble, "Affect and Performance: A Within Persons Analysis" (paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, Toronto, 2000). 6. James C. Collins and Jerry I. Porras, Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies (New York: HarperBusiness, 1994). 7. Anxious affiliation: Stephen P. Kelner, "Interpersonal Motivation: Cynical, Positive and Anxious" (Ph.D. diss., Boston University, 1991). 8v Lou Gerstner on the 1993 Quoted in Steve Lohr, "IBM Chief Gerstner Recalls Difficult Days at Big Blue," The New York Times, 31 July 2000, C3.
2. Bob Pittman at Six Flags: Quoted in Alden M. Hayashi, "When to Trust Your Gut," Harvard Business Review, February 2001, 59–65.
3. Transformational leaders: James McGregor Burns, Leadership (New York: Harper & Row, 1978). So, too, with "charismatic" leaders, who articulate a strategic vision informed by a sensitivity to stakeholders' needs; see Jay A. Conger, The Charismatic Leader: Behind the Mystique of Exceptional Leadership (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1989).
4. Shelley Lazarus and David Ogilvy: "A Job and a Life Intertwined," The New York Times, 23 May 2001, C3.
5. The sweetness of success at stretch tasks: Cynthia Fisher and Christopher S. Noble, "Affect and Performance: A Within Persons Analysis" (paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, Toronto, 2000).
6. James C. Collins and Jerry I. Porras, Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies (New York: HarperBusiness, 1994).
7. Anxious affiliation: Stephen P. Kelner, "Interpersonal Motivation: Cynical, Positive and Anxious" (Ph.D. diss., Boston University, 1991).
8v Lou Gerstner on the 1993 Quoted in Steve Lohr, "IBM Chief Gerstner Recalls Difficult Days at Big Blue," The New York Times, 31 July 2000, C3.
Part I The Power of Emotional Intelligence
1. Primal Leadership
2. Resonant Leadership
3. The Neuroanatomy of Leadership
4. The Leadership Repertoire
5. The Dissonant Styles: Apply with Caution
Part II Making Leaders
6. Becoming a Resonant Leader: The Five Discoveries
7. The Motivation to Change
8. Metamorphosis: Sustaining Leadership Change
Part III Building Emotionally Intelligent Organizations
9. The Emotional Reality of Teams
10. Reality and the Ideal Vision: Giving Life to the Organization's Future
11. Creating Sustainable Change
Appendix A EI versus IQ: A Technical Note
Appendix B Emotional Intelligence: Leadership Competencies
About the Authors
Becoming a Resonant Leader
The Five Discoveries
The entire top team of the retail chain was in flux—moving up, down, or out as the company struggled to reinvent itself. Not surprisingly, there was more than the usual amount of intrigue, political jostling, and even subterfuge. And Bill, the human resources manager, was smack in the middle of it, involving himself in every conversation and debate. He made sure he let everyone know what he thought—and thought that he knew --setting himself up as "the guy in the know."
Some of the top team went along with Bill's highly developed sense of self-importance, humoring him because it served their own purposes. Others just avoided him. Then, at one point in the middle of the transition debacle, the board asked a prominent, but coercive, executive committee member to step down—an upsetting event for the whole team. Bill responded by analyzing the situation ad nauseum with anyone who would listen. He cast aspersions and spread rumors. When his boss got wind of one of these conversations, he was heard to say ruefully, "Bill is ignorance on fire."
Yet neither that boss nor any other member of top management had ever taken Bill aside and offered him an honest assessment of his behavior-something that would have helped him begin to improve. Meanwhile, Bill saw himself as the "go-to guy" and a respected member of the team. Not knowing how to read his complex environment, let alone manage himself in it, Bill's lack of self-awareness was matched only by his spectacular deficit in political awareness and empathy.
How can a high-level leader like Bill be so out of touch with thetruth about himself? It's more common than you would imagine. In fact, the higher up the ladder a leader climbs, the less accurate his self-assessment is likely to be. The problem is an acute lack of feedback, as was the case with Bill. Leaders have more trouble than anybody else when it comes to receiving candid feedback, particularly about how they're doing as leaders. More specifically—given the clear contribution of emotional intelligence to outstanding leadership—leaders need to know where they can improve on the EI competencies. Bill's spreading of rumors generated tension in the organization, while his excessive analysis was boring. A result was that people did not take him seriously.
The paradox, of course, is that the higher a leader's position in an organization, the more critically the leader needs that very kind of feedback.
CEO Disease "I so often feel I'm not getting the truth," the CEO of a European company told us. "I can never put my finger on it, because no one is actually lying to me. But I can sense that people are hiding information, or camouflaging key facts so I won't notice. They aren't lying, but neither are they telling me everything I need to know. I'm always second guessing."
This is a clear case of CEO disease: the information vacuum around a leader created when people withhold important (and usually unpleasant) information.1 Why are leaders denied accurate information about vital matters? Sometimes the people who should provide the facts fear the leader's wrath-particularly when the leader's main style is commanding or pacesetting. Anyone delivering bad news to such a leader could be symbolically executed for being the messenger. Some offer the leader only positive information as a way of being a "good citizen" or team player—or for fear of seeming a blasphemous heretic if they spoke against the party line. Or they may just want to be seen as upbeat, and so they suppress negative facts.
Whatever the motives, the result is a leader who has only partial information about what's going on around him. This disease can be epidemic in an organization-not just among CEOs, but also for most high-level leaders. It is fed by the natural instinct to please the boss, resulting in a widespread tendency to give positive feedback and withhold the negative whenever information flows upward.
When it comes to leaders receiving helpful feedback specifically about their own performance, the problem worsens. It may take a small act of courage to confront the boss with bad news about the company, but you have to be even braver to let the boss know he's out of touch with how people are feeling, or that his "inspiring" talks fall flat.
Of course, many people—not just leaders—complain that they get too little useful performance feedback. But top executives typically get the least reliable information about how they are doing. For instance, an analysis of 177 separate studies that assessed more than 28,000 managers found that feedback on performance became less consistent the higher the manager's position or the more complex the manager's role. The problem is compounded for leaders who are women or belong to a minority. Women, in general, get even less useful feedback on their performance in any position-as a leader or otherwise-than do men. The same is true for members of visible minority groups, whether they be Chinese managers in Malaysia or Sikh executives in London.
People deprive their co-workers—whether bosses or subordinates—of honest performance feedback for several reasons, chief of which is that it can be uncomfortable to give such feedback. We're afraid of hurting others' feelings or otherwise upsetting them. Yet, while we tend to keep the truth about how others are actually doing to ourselves (oddly, not just the negatives, but also the positives), all of us generally crave that kind of appraisal. Candid evaluations matter deeply, in a way that other information does not.
Can Everyone Be Better Than Average?
But what about the role of self-assessment in the CEO disease? Without a doubt, a leader's self-awareness and ability to accurately perceive his performance is as important as the feedback he receives from others. Yet therein lies perhaps the most pernicious strain of the illness: While most people tend to overestimate their own abilities to some extent, it's the very poorest performers who exaggerate their abilities the most. This all-too-human foible can have great consequences, not just for leaders, but also for the companies they lead.
For instance, a study of CEOs of health services companies by Eric Harter, CEO of Health Care Partners in Lexington, Kentucky, found that self-awareness of leadership abilities was greatest for CEOs of the best-performing companies and poorest for CEOs of the worst performers. Harter, a CEO with a scholarly bent, went to graduate school to research the qualities that separate the most effective executives in top positions from the least effective. He studied CEOs of health services companies that showed ten years of positive financial performance (measured by balance sheet results and return on equity) and compared them with their peers at companies with negative financial performance for many of the same ten years.
Focusing on levels of self-awareness, he compared the CEOs' own assessments of their performance on ten leadership abilities with assessments their subordinates made of the leaders on those same abilities (including, for example, self-confidence and empathy). Tellingly, the CEOs from the poorest-performing companies gave themselves the highest ratings on seven of the ten leadership abilities. But the pattern reversed when it came to how their subordinates rated them: They gave these CEOs low ratings on the very same abilities. On the other hand, subordinates saw the CEOs of the best-performing companies as demonstrating all ten of these leadership abilities most often.
Harter's data fit our own findings on 787 people, in positions ranging from low to high levels, in a wide variety of organizations. When we analyzed the data by organizational level, a striking effect emerged: High-level executives and managers, compared with those in the lower rungs, were more likely to rate themselves more generously on twenty EI competencies than others rated those leaders on the same competencies. The higher leaders were in an organization, the greater the inflation rate-that is, the number of times they saw themselves as doing better on a competence than did those around them. A result of this misperception was that the gap between how the executives and managers saw themselves and how others saw them was greater for those higher in the organization. Those at the highest levels had the least accurate view of how they acted with others.
Clearly, then, seeking honest information on leadership capabilities can be vital to a leader's self-awareness and, therefore, his growth and effectiveness. So why don't more top leaders solicit and encourage accurate feedback? It isn't because they're monumentally vain or think they're infallible. Our conversations with leaders lead us to believe that it's often because they truly believe that they can't change. So even if they did receive good feedback about how their leadership styles affected the team or organization, and even if they saw the truth of that feedback, in their hearts they wouldn't believe that they could alter the way they've done things for so many years-in many cases for most of their lives. The parallel often appears with the people around the leader: If they believe the leader cannot truly change, then why go through the trouble of offering distasteful and awkward negative feedback? Yet we have seen evidence that points emphatically to the contrary: Old leaders can learn new tricks. Leaders can and do make significant, in some cases life-altering, changes in their styles that ripple into their teams and trigger important changes throughout the entire organization.
Posted November 15, 2009
This book was very useful and informative for any leader of a group or organization. It gives good insight into the psychology of leading. I would recommend this book to any manager or leader, especially in this time of economic change within the business community.
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 5, 2003
Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis, and Annie McKee first correctly remind us about the importance of dealing with emotions in the workplace. To their credit, Goleman, Boyatzis, and McKee do not downplay the dramatic impact of both intellect and cognitive skills in building a company to last. Goleman, Boyatzis, and McKee then explore the four emotional intelligence dimensions and their associated competencies: Self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management. Those capabilities are key to managing others successfully. After exploring each of these four concepts of emotionally intelligent leadership, Goleman, Boyatzis, and McKee apply them to the six types of leadership styles: Visionary, coaching, affiliative, democratic, pacesetting, and commanding. The authors convincingly demonstrate that emotionally intelligent leaders are flexible in their use of leadership styles because some styles are more appropriate than others in specific situations. Emotionally sub-optimal leaders who are willing to improve themselves can learn through self-directed learning and with the help of others how to fill the gaps that separate them from emotionally intelligent leaders. Goleman, Boyatzis, and McKee also explore how to build emotionally intelligent organizations. Ignoring how to deal with the realities of team norms and organizational culture often is a recipe for disaster as Goleman, Boyatzis, and McKee clearly show us. The result is indeed a toxic and rebellious environment that will have a negative impact on both customer and investor loyalty. Finally, Goleman, Boyatzis, and McKee examine the process for sustaining emotionally intelligent leadership over time. To summarize, Primal Leadership is a good read that brings an additional dimension of leadership to our attention.
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 9, 2012
Posted April 15, 2011
I am very displeased with this order. This product was for school. The information said it was shipped on April 1 and it the April 16 and I still havent got it. My class is over on May 17 so I hope I get the product by then. I order another product on the April 6 from Barnes and nobles and I have recieved it and already listened to half it.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 19, 2006
The authors of this clearly written book draw on deep research and numerous studies of psychology and neurology to show that great leadership is primarily and essentially a matter of emotional intelligence. Notwithstanding the extensive support and the documentation from academic literature, Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis and Annie McKee have written an intelligent, lucid, easily accessible presentation. They contend that, with practice, you can develop the critical leadership competencies of self-awareness, self-management and social/relationship skills. Although the authors may understate the difficulty of developing these abilities, we find their arguments reasonable, persuasive and useful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 9, 2004
The book has some high points, for sure. Mostly the theory it presents and Goleman's writing style. But, the book is too long and dense. It's tough to get a take home, like you do with shorter books like The Emotional Intelligence Quickbook.
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Posted January 7, 2004
On the plus side, this book does highlight an important aspect of leadership that is often neglected - the emotional element. The book identifies six basic styles of leadership and suggests how and when each of those styles may be used effectively. This is good and useful information. On the negative side, the authors are so disconnected with reality that it is often difficult to take them seriously. They honestly seem to think that emotional intelligence (EI) is the only important aspect to business and that personality, ambitions, abilities (other than EI abilities), and strategy are irrelevant. They never acknowledge that some people don't belong in certain roles or businesses and need to be removed, ideally with 'EI', and countless other aspects of the real world that should have been addressed. The authors really should have ventured out of their ivory tower and into the real world before completing this book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 16, 2003
This book contains a full explanation of what Emotional Intelligence is, then moves on to teach the practical application. It is not like some of those other 'fluffy' motivational books. This contains real stuff that can be used in the real world.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 1, 2003
Throughout this excellent book, the authors talk about leaders demonstrating "resonance" defined as bringing out the best in people by being positive about their emotions. Four aspects of Emotional Intelligence -- self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management -- are examined in relation to different leadership styles. The authors suggest steps to become a more positive leader, and explain how to create a better organization. But why settle for improvement when you can easily optimize? The book needs an additional dimension -- Optimal Thinking. Leaders throughout the world acknowledge Optimal Thinking as the mental resource to be our best, and Optimal Thinking is now prevalent throughout top corporations. When Optimal Thinking is employed throughout an organization, employees respect (rather than judge, ignore or deny) negativity and ask the best questions to optimize any vulnerability. In her brilliant cutting-edge book, Optimal Thinking -- How to Be Your Best Self, Dr. Rosalene Glickman explains that disturbing emotions are optimization signals. She provides a tangible roadmap -- superior to any that have been provided until now -- to understand and optimize emotions. This roadmap puts emotional intelligence into action. By reading these books and implementing the concepts in your organization, you will optimize your leadership competence, your EI, and the EI of all involved.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 25, 2002
The book first dissects and explains leadership principles and then describes how to use and develop those traits in yourself. Fabulous book, excellent message.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 4, 2002
Primal Leadership follows on the key concepts of Daniel Goleman¿s books, Emotional Intelligence and Emotional Intelligence at Work. Of the three books, I found Primal Leadership to be the most practical. The material shares the latest research on how the emotional intelligence of leaders affects organizations, and what characteristics of emotional intelligence are most important. Then, the findings are turned into specific steps to take to improve one¿s own performance as a leader and to develop leadership skills in the organization and in teams. For many years, the ability to get along with people has shown up as the most important skill that defines career success and effectiveness among business people. Primal Leadership refines that perspective to focus on how to develop visionary, coaching, affiliation and democratic skills while keeping pacesetting and commanding in proper check. There¿s good discussion of how creating positive emotions at work helps everyone be more effective, while stimulating negative emotions does quite a lot of damage. Each of the points is framed by a variety of case histories that capture the essence of the learning, and bring resonance to the points. Otherwise, one could get lost in abstraction about these principles. Setting the emotional tone is something that everyone admires in someone who can do it, but is sometimes hard to describe. I thought the three authors did a fine job of making this intangible much more tangible. I also agree that leaders can be developed, if the right attitude and processes are in place. Few people could help but improve by reading this book. My biggest insight from the book was to better understand the way that pacesetting can be debilitating when overdone so that high goals become debilitating rather than energizing. I would have liked to see more examples in the book of how effective leaders use humor in positive ways. In many organizations, humor is simply part of the jostling among people in the pecking order. I suspect that this point may be misunderstood by some readers. Humor needs to be inclusive and constructive. I look forward to seeing what new insights will be developed as this research continues. As I read the book, I found myself wondering if we are getting closer to the day when most organizations can provide personally meaningful, stimulating work to those in the organization while leaving room for appropriate balance in the lives of these people. Donald Mitchell, co-author of The 2,000 Percent Solution and The Irresistible Growth EnterpriseWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 3, 2002
?Sound thinking, the heart of real emotional 'intelligence,' is a managers most valuable leadership tool, especially in the four realms addressed by Primal Leadership - self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management. By coupling emotions with sharp thinking techniques, such as those taught in Why Didn't I Think of That? - Think the Unthinkable,you will become the kind of balanced, wise leader most likely to succeed in today's competitive world.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
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