Book Summary : Primal Leadership

May 19 08:22 2005 Regine Azurin Print This Article

This article is based on the ... book: Primal ... To Lead With ... ... By Daniel Goleman, Richard ... Annie Mckee ... by Harvard Business School Press

This article is based on the following book:
Primal Leadership
“Leading To Lead With Emotional Intelligence”
By Daniel Goleman,Guest Posting Richard Boyatzis, Annie Mckee
Published by Harvard Business School Press 2004
ISBN 1591391849
306 pages

Primal leadership takes center stage in this book. This
concept goes beyond the set of conventional competencies
on the making of a leader. Beyond bottom line figures, this
book takes a leap forward with the concept of primal
leadership through a keen and in-depth understanding of
emotional intelligence and its link to leading and building
emotionally intelligent organizations.

The authors explore the idea of leadership as an emotional
function. They propose that the fundamental task of a
leader is to create resonance at work, thereby unleashing
positive traits and attributes in people. Emotionally
intelligent leaders bring organizational success to the
fore because they inspire, motivate and foster commitment
in people.

Harness the power of primal leadership in this book and
bring out the emotionally intelligent leader in you.

Primal Dimension of Leadership
The use of emotion in leadership functions is a primal
task that sets leaders apart. Great leaders move people
by channeling emotions in the right direction, whether
it is in formulating corporate strategy in the boardroom
or a series of action items in the shop floor.

Resonance Effect
The positive channeling of emotions that empowers people
to be top performers is called resonance. The culture of
resonance brings out the best in people. On the other hand,
when leaders negatively drive emotions dissonance is
created. Dissonance is not conducive to harmonious working
relationships as it can undermine people’s potentials.

Key to Primal Leadership
Emotional intelligence is the foundation of making primal
leadership work. An emotionally intelligent leader knows
how to handle himself and his relationship with the
people he works with in order to drive up performance.

Good Moods, Good Work
A good mood is essential for a team to function
effectively. It is crucial for a leader to foster
positive working relationships because emotional
conflicts in a group can hamper a team’s performance.

A study of CEOs from Fortune 500 companies revealed that
positive overall mood of top management people leads to
better cooperation and better business performance.
This argument takes the view that it is top management
that creates the conditions for workers to work well.

Resonant Leader
For emotionally intelligent leaders, resonance comes
naturally in their dealings with people. Their actions
reinforce synchrony within their team and within the
organization. The strength of an emotionally resonant
leader lies in the emotional bond he forms which allows
people to collaborate with each other even in the face
of change and uncertainty.

Four Dimensions of Emotional Intelligence
The creation of resonance is a hallmark of primal
leadership that can only be fostered by emotionally
intelligent leaders. For a leader to promote prime
resonance in a group, it is important to understand
the four EI competencies. Interestingly, these
competencies are not innately inherent but are learned
abilities. According to research, an effective leader
typically demonstrates at least one competence among
the four dimensions.

1. Self-Awareness
2. Self-Management
3. Social Awareness
4. Relationship Management

Approaches to Leadership in a Nutshell
1. Visionary
2. Coaching
3. Affiliative
4. Democratic
5. Pacesetting
6. Commanding

The Five Discoveries of Self-Directed Learning
1. First Discovery: My ideal self – Who do I want
to be?
2. Second Discovery: My real self – Who am I? What
are my strengths and gaps?
3. Third Discovery: My learning agenda – How can I
build on my strengths while reducing my gaps?
4. Fourth Discovery: Experimenting with and practicing
new behaviors, thoughts, and feelings to the point
of mastery.
5. Fifth Discovery: Developing supportive and trusting
relationships that make change possible.

Final Notes
Primal leadership is anchored on emotions. These
emotions have underlying neurological explanations
to them such as the open loop system. Thus, a leader
must work hard to obtain emotional intelligence
competencies that will make him a resonant leader
because resonance is the key to primal leadership.

A resonant leader builds a culture of resonance by
demonstrating emotionally intelligent abilities that
permeate throughout the organization. A resonant
leader aims to live a resonant life for him and his
people in order to make resonant work. It is this
kind of work that builds an emotionally intelligent
organization – a kind of organization that can survive
the changing business climate because it has built-in
processes that can sustain change.

By: Regine P. Azurin and Yvette Pantilla
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About Article Author

Regine Azurin
Regine Azurin

Regine Azurin is the President of, a company that provides business book summaries of the latest bestsellers for busy executives and entrepreneurs.

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