In the age of AI and machine intelligence, emotional intelligence is more important than ever for building a company culture that brings out the best in people and drives success. Anyone leading a team or organization should read Optimal—it will open your mind and show you the inner balance and skill set that we all need to face the future.” — Marc Benioff, chair and CEO, Salesforce
“Emotional intelligence has proven itself a scientifically valid concept of considerable utility in the workplace, schools, and social relationships since Jack Mayer and I published our first scientific article on EI in 1990. No one has done more to help us understand the applications of emotional intelligence than Daniel Goleman and Cary Cherniss. In Optimal, they provide a lively overview of how to use emotional intelligence to optimize the performance of individuals, teams, and entire organizations, synthesizing more than three decades of findings. This book deserves to be studied by managers, coaches, therapists, affective scientists, and many others.” — Peter Salovey, Chris Argyris Professor of Psychology and university president, Yale University
“Powerful and deeply researched, Optimal offers actionable tools and insights that are essential to unlocking your potential, achieving stable success over time, building high-performing teams, and cultivating the most important leadership quality of all, emotional intelligence. From now on when I see a copy of this outstanding book on someone’s desk, their stock will have risen in my eyes.” — Oscar Munoz, former CEO, United Airlines, and author of the Wall Street Journal bestseller Turnaround Time
"Optimal describes how emotional intelligence, a strong sense of purpose, innovation, and systems thinking bring us to an optimal state, necessary to address our personal, organizational and global challenges—essential wisdom for our times." — Jonathan Rose, CEO of Rose Companies
“Optimal offers a masterclass in emotional intelligence and sustainable high performance. Daniel Goleman and Cary Cherniss skillfully combine cutting-edge research, engaging examples, and practical insights that are both illuminating and actionable. Their expertise has been invaluable in helping us develop emotionally intelligent and EPIC leaders at Amazon—ones who lead with empathy, purpose, inspiration, and connection. This book is a must-read for anyone seeking to enhance their leadership skills, relationships, and overall success—both professionally and personally.” — Rich Hua, worldwide head of EPIC Leadership, Amazon Web Services
"A cogent defense of the benefits of emotional intelligence.” — Kirkus Reviews
A guide for developing emotional competencies.
In his fifth book on the topic of emotional intelligence, Goleman teams up with psychologist Cherniss, co-founder, with Goleman, of the Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence in Organizations. This time, the authors draw on a “rich research bounty” to present their understanding “of the competencies that translate emotional intelligence into effective action,” within families, communities, and organizations. The authors distinguish between “flow,” which they characterize as a heightened state of full absorption, and an optimal state, which they describe as an experience of “feeling good, agility in solving dilemmas as they present themselves, and full attention on what we’re doing.” In an optimal state, an individual draws on the competencies of EI: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and social interaction. Emphasizing the value of EI in the workplace, the authors have found that it serves individuals in many occupations, including selling, conducting research as part of a team, coaching and mentoring, teaching, working in health care, and providing technical support. “Every company (and every family, for that matter) represents a unique culture, which includes its particular ways of referring to the EI skill set,” they write. “But there’s surprisingly wide agreement that everyone needs emotional intelligence.” Business leaders have revealed that they prize EI as much as cognitive ability, creativity, and a strong sense of purpose. Drawing on scientific studies and anecdotal evidence, the authors offer guidance for developing EI, such as managing stress, developing resilience, and, especially, boosting one’s capacity for empathy. Emotional empathy, they assert, is at the heart of EI. The authors recognize that EI has become integrated in much literature focused on effectiveness, engagement, and thriving at work. Readers already familiar with the authors’ previous works, or similar self-help books, will find no surprises in this latest reminder.
A cogent defense of the benefits of emotional intelligence.