Primal Leadership: Learning to Lead With Emotional Intelligence

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Primal Leadership: Learning to Lead With Emotional Intelligence
Primal Leadership: Unleashing the Power of Emotional Intelligence

This is the book that established “emotional intelligence” in the business lexicon—and made it a necessary skill for leaders.
With New Preface by the Authors

Managers and professionals across the globe have embraced Primal Leadership, affirming the importance of emotionally intelligent leadership. Its influence has also reached well beyond the business world: the book and its ideas are now used routinely in universities, business and medical schools, and professional training programs, and by a growing legion of professional coaches.

This refreshed edition, with a new preface by the authors, vividly illustrates the power—and the necessity—of leadership that is self-aware, empathic, motivating, and collaborative in a world that is ever more economically volatile and technologically complex. It is even timelier now than when it was originally published.

From bestselling authors Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis, and Annie McKee, this groundbreaking book remains a must-read for anyone who leads or aspires to lead.


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.

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