Primal Leadership

Primal Leadership

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Daniel Goleman is widely accredited with putting Emotional Intelligence on the map. His original book on the subject became an international best seller and created a movement that made most people sit up and consider this concept in the way the live, socialize and work.

The definition of Emotional Intelligence is defined by Goleman as: “The capacity for recognizing our own feelings and those of others, and for managing emotions effectively in others and ourselves”. In this book he describes how best to leverage Emotional Intelligence to become a better leader. 

I meant to read the book many times before, mainly due to the title of the book. Primal Leadership stirs up images of cave men and all sorts of illiterate and preliterate leaders at various stages of their evolution and this did not sit well with me. However the word “Primal” in the title can be substituted with the word “Fundamental”. This resonates much better, but I doubt he would sell many copies of the book if it was called Fundamental Leadership.

In the book he describes the fundamental (or primal) task of a leader as creating an environment that is positive and allows employees and colleagues to engage with their jobs and company to produce maximum effort and results. All of this is created through having a leader with high emotional intelligence.

The authors (Goleman teamed up with Richard Boyatzis & Annie Mckee to write this book) goes on to describe different leadership styles that the emotionally intelligent leader can use to lead her staff. As with most leadership techniques in modern leadership paradigms there is no “one-size-fits-all” style of leadership, rather the leader must be attuned to the employees and the organisation to determine which style to use with what employee to get the maximum positive results.

Overall the book framed leadership nicely within the Emotional Intelligence domain. I would recommend this book to any leader regardless of the size of their team and their level of experience.

This book speaks directly to our philosophy as a company where we believe that Emotional Intelligence as a competency is core to most of our activities in the workplace and at home. Improving EI through any of our EI training programmes or by reading Sigi’s book True Emotional Freedom will benefit most people from all walks of life.