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Primal Leadership: Realizing the Power of Emotional Intelligence
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Primal Leadership: Realizing the Power of Emotional Intelligence

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  7,001 ratings  ·  250 reviews
Looks at the role of emotional intelligence in leadership, discussing the characteristics of a good leader and leadership styles, and outlines the steps to becoming an effective leader.
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published March 1st 2002 by Harvard Business Review Press
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3.96  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,001 ratings  ·  250 reviews

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Polly Trout
This book was helpful to me, it had good advice and helped me clarify some thoughts and feelings I've been having around leadership that I had not previously been able to articulate. Goleman argues that one of the most important jobs of a leader is to regulate the emotional atmosphere of the community. Emotions are contagious, and people look to their leaders to set the mood and emotional tone. He also shows that effective leadership is a skill set that can be chosen and learned -- that good lea ...more
Nov 27, 2008 rated it really liked it
There are many books on the market these days describing leadership skills, but I thought this one had some particularly good insights. It places less emphasis on values like intelligence, vision, and strategy; and more on "emotional intelligence" - enthusiasm, empathy, relationship management, intuitive understanding. Using many real-world examples, the author tries to define and explain those key qualities. Good leaders bring out "resonance" among a team, while poor ones create "dissonance."

Kim Valentine
Feb 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Class assignment: I created a blog for this book at http://primalleadershipbookreview.blo... that contains videos form the authors and other reviews about this book.

According to the book PRIMAL LEADERSHIP REALIZING THE POWER OF EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE by Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis, and Annie McKee, it takes emotional intelligence (EI) to be an effective leader. The book discusses what emotional intelligence is and gives many examples of the positive effect of six different leadership style
Sep 19, 2009 rated it really liked it
This is one of the better books on leadership development that I've read. The content is definitely 5 stars but since the writing style is academic, it's not the most fun reading. It would be great for a class or an executive coaching program. Imagine what a writer like Malcolm Gladwell could do for this book!

Here are some of my thoughts and observations:

-The focus is very much on the development of emotionally intelligent leadership and how important such leaders are to successful organization
Ben Fike
Apr 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book on the recommendation of a mentor. As a church leader, I realize I'm just dipping my toe into the vast sea of business leadership literature with this book. Still, the relevance of this book for congregational leadership is immediately obvious. The authors propose that emotions matter enormously for leadership, and that leaders ignore emotional realities in themselves and the organizations with whom they lead at their own peril. This means the "Primal Task" of leadership is emot ...more
Chad Kohalyk
Sep 08, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, working
I am of two minds with this book. On the one hand, there are some useful leadership frameworks and exercises, specifically:

1. The 4 domains of EI leadership and 18 competencies
2. The 6 styles of leadership (and when to use them)
3. 5 Discoveries in learning EI leadership
4. Basically all of chapter 7 (imagining your ideal self and associated free-writing exercises)

On the other this book does a lot of work trying to show bad bosses why they are bad, which can be painful to read. As the authors note
Apr 14, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

I got through about 36-40% and had to stop. My god is it redundant. I probably absorbed a little, but nothing I couldn't have learned in a 1-5 page summary of the book- and I took extensive notes. In the end the absolutely terrible writing distracted me far too much from any real learning.

This book will likely be better for people who don't already have a psych degree and who do have far more patience than I do. I mean, some people like repetition to make sure a message real
Jeff Burket
Jun 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Originally published in 2002, it is easy for me to think there isn't a lot that is new. The reason being is that much of what this book contains formed the foundation for so much subsequent discussion, writing and thought in leadership and emotional intelligence. The book works through several sections: I. The Power of Emotional Intelligence (discusses how EI traits impact leadership and behavior); II. Making Leaders (how can one improve EI and leadership skills); and III. Building Emotionally I ...more
Jenn "JR"
Jul 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biz-leadership
Another very enjoyable book based on neuroscience -- here, the authors argue that the number one, original and most important role of a leader is emotional.

Humans are very social -- we're entirely constructed that way and we even automatically copy the posture, mood and expressions of those with whom we are connecting with, even heart rate! "We rely on connections with other people for our own emotional stability" and our limbic systems connect to each other.

People take their cues from leaders
Dmitry Kuriakov
Dec 27, 2018 rated it did not like it
С моей точки зрения, те, кто читал две другие книги автора – «Эмоциональный интеллект. Почему он может значить больше, чем IQ» и «Эмоциональный интеллект в бизнесе» – могут, в принципе, не читать эту. Можно сказать даже, что достаточно самой знаменитой книги автора («Эмоциональный интеллект. Почему он может значить больше, чем IQ»), чтобы понять суть всех остальных его книг. Ну, может не всех, но данной книги уж точно. Лично я прочёл те две книги и был очень впечатлён идеями, что высказывались н ...more
Jan 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I’m a little surprised that this rating isn’t higher.

First, I have to say that I listened to the audiobook. And the audiobook was great! This is an excellent book about leadership!

There are so many leadership books out there, but this one covers some key topics that others miss - “buy-in” and why leadership training often fails. Those are two important topics that are not discussed as much as they should be. This is important, because if you don’t know the potential problems of your leadership t
Daniel Goolman is a psychologist who has researched and written extensively on the topic of emotional intelligence. His first book aptly titled “Emotional Intelligence” was written in 1995 and is widely regarded as a pioneering work in the field. This book quickly became a bestseller and the material has been extensively used and quoted in many leadership development courses. Since then, he has written several other books on different areas of emotional intelligence. In another previous book, “ ...more
Федор Кривов
Очень водянисто и пространно. Раза в 4 бы сократить, если не больше.

Исследователи неоднократно замечали, как эмоции беспрепятственно распространяются описанным образом всякий раз, когда люди оказываются близко друг к другу, даже при полностью невербальных контактах. Например, если минуту-другую три незнакомых человека просидят лицом друг к другу в абсолютной тишине, то более эмоционально экспрессивный реципиент передаст свое настроение другим, не произнося при этом ни слова. Тот же эффект возник
Margarida Antunes
Feb 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Não terminado (aprox 50%). Tema relevante mas o autor repete-se demasiado e apesar de abordar diferentes subtemas volta sempre as mesmas conclusões e parece que andamos sempre a ler o mesmo, daí não ter terminado o livro. De qualquer das formas do que li, achei bastante interessante.
May Ling
This book gets full marks in my opinion, but I would mention that it is not for everyone. This book is idea if you 1) already have worked in a few organizations enough to experience a variety of leadership styles 2) you have attempted and both failed and succeeded in some area of leadership. This book is then perfect and provides great examples on how to move forward. At the center of this book is a belief in the plasticity of the human mind.

I disagree that one should just read the first and las
Sep 08, 2018 rated it really liked it

1. Honest performance feedback can be uncomfortable. Improves self-awareness. Opportunity for a leader to grow and be effective. The higher up the ladder a leader climbs, the less accurate his self assessment is likely to be.
- Most leaders are deprived of important feedback. It makes people uncomfortable to give candid feedback on someone else’s behavior. When people can’t see being nice with providing others accurate observations about their behavior or style, their feedback is rend
Feb 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
i've read a lot of management, leadership and self help books and most of them really aren't worth much, but this book, "Primal Leadership" is definitely one of the best so far. "Primal Leadership" builds on Goleman's classic work in "Emotional Intelligence", teaming him up with two other academics who were more on the training side. the resulting work re-states all of the good stuff from the original, but adds a huge amount of practical lessons and insights into how to increase a person's EI an ...more
May 29, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-read-2011
I have now read all of Goleman's books. They principally say the same thing which is that emotional intelligence is often more important and more effective than cognitive intelligence alone. After about 1,200 pages of getting the point drilled into my head, hopefully subconciously I've gained some insight and concepts I can practice. They use a myriad of examples. Which is great but my ability to retain it lacks because as I'm reading I'm not visualizing anything as the authors aren't really tel ...more
Jun 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
A very good book on EI and how organizations will have a better chance of success when leadership displays and lives the right EI traits. Looking through past and current organizations, I've seen the leaders demonstrate the right EI traits helping an organization and other leaders demonstrate EI traits that have created toxic environments.

This book was also a good self reflection for me to highlight areas I am doing ok on as well as areas where I have struggled in the past and where I'm working
I think that this is an excellent book about emotional intelligence and how someone can impact their leadership ability through self awareness and self control. While I noticed that some others had rated it down a star because of the writing style, I appreciated the data and research support provided throughout the book for the theories they were describing. I think that the practical business examples provided throughout the book provided us with real life reality checks. I made a great number ...more
Jul 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A surprisingly adroit application of Goleman's theory of Emotional Intelligence to leadership. It goes to show he's not just hit on a good idea, he's generally a very smart guy.
The leadership styles listed in the book the candid evaluation of each (none of this everyone is good in their own way nonsense) are fascinating to listen through.
I'm very glad to have read this at a young age so I can see what styles to aspire to and remember to utilize different ones when necessary.
May 07, 2011 rated it liked it
I like management and leadership books that base recommendations on more than anecdotal evidence. These authors summarize other researchers' studies and base recommendations on their conclusions. It's a good resource for knowing what works; however, the book identifies successful leadership approaches without delving into how to initiate those changes.
Barnabas Piper
The first half was brilliant. The second half doesn't need to exist.
Frank Calberg
Jun 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Book extracts I found useful:

Understanding values of yourself and others - and finding meaning in what we do
- Preface: One of the most important, emotional tasks of leadership is to help yourself and people, whom you serve / help / lead, to find meaning in what you do.
- Page 39: Being emotionally intelligent includes understanding yourself - including your emotions, values, purpose and strong competencies.
- Page 39: Being emotionally intelligent also includes understanding others - including a)
Angela Lam
Liked the content, disliked the writing.

The book basically covers leadership from the perspective of emotional intelligence - how it relates to our brains, the 18 competencies behind EI, 6 associated leadership styles, and how to develop them personally and in an organization. Quite a few nice frameworks and new ideas, and I particularly liked how they explain EI constructs/leadership with how our brain works, and explain why conventional training & workshops are ineffective.

But the writing
Jul 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
Like most business books, this one probably has some utility in the business world, but it would be stupid, pointless, and dangerous to apply a lot of it to non-profits, education, or public service.

Anyone who reads it will likely find something they can take away from it, although for a lot of us, that takeaway will be that we should scorched earth our entire personalities and start over in order to be successful as leaders (in the business world), which is depressing and demeaning, but there i
Danny Hui
Jul 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
My review:
The first time I heard of the term emotional intelligence, was when a colleague of mine was referring to a boss as having low EQ (emotional quotient). The concept of emotional intelligence was new to me at the time and I wanted to learn how to improve this quality in myself.

What I remember:
The book is split into 3 major parts, the power of emotional intelligence, making leaders and building emotionally intelligent organizations.

The author also introduces the concept of a resonant lead
Aug 02, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-2018
The explanations and examples in this book are mostly really dry (and somewhat vague.) Not very easy or fun to read. The gist of the book is emotional intelligence is important for managers. You need emotional intelligence to cultivate your ability at exhibiting the six different existing leadership styles, and navigate between the styles to always use the best one that the scenario calls for. The leadership styles include: visionary, coaching, affiliative, democratic, pacesetting and commanding ...more
Aug 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: brainwork, economics
If you are looking for some structure and modelling on how leadership can be analyzed and can be nurtured, this book can help.
It starts with providing a model for resonant leadership consisting of self-awareness, empathy, self management and relationship management. If you are a natural born leader, great! You have a set of these skills for sure, but to know that other exists is certainly worth a moment of reflection.
Then Goleman reviews kinds of leadership styles: visionary, coaching, affilia
Mar 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Excellent insights about why Emotional Intelligence is an important factor for leaders and successful organizations. While most leaders already have great cognitive abilities, when working with people the skills involved by EI are at least as important and have been neglected for so long.
I recommend this book to anyone who wants to understand how a flourishing community or organization should work in order to empower all its members. This book is not only for leaders, its also for people who re
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Author of Emotional Intelligence and psychologist Daniel Goleman has transformed the way the world educates children, relates to family and friends, and conducts business. The Wall Street Journal ranked him one of the 10 most influential business thinkers.

Goleman’s Emotional Intelligence was on The New York Times best sellers list for a year-and-a-half. Named one of the 25 "Most Influential Busine
“As Erasmus, the great Renaissance thinker, reminds us, “The best hope of a nation lies in the proper education of its youth.” 4 likes
“Not that leaders need to be overly “nice”; the emotional art of leadership includes pressing the reality of work demands without unduly upsetting people.” 1 likes
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