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My book review this week is on Daniel Goleman’s book, Leadership: The Power of Emotional Intelligence. The book is a collection of his key leadership writings.


Some takeaways include:

  • Emotional intelligence (EI) is absolutely essential for executive roles. We see EI in four areas – self-awareness, social awareness, relationship management, and self-management.
  • To be self-aware, we must understand our own “emotions, strengths, weaknesses, needs, and drives.” This awareness help us to provide constructive feedback when needed. People who are self-aware can comfortably discuss their own strengths and weaknesses.  (Loc. 350)
  • People with high levels of social awareness typically show great empathy, are organizationally astute, and have a service mindset. These people know when to offer constructive feedback. They get along well with others, listen attentively, and can spot power imbalances. (Loc. 1662)  Empathy is increasingly important for three reasons: globalization and the resulting diversity, increasing reliance on teams due to the growing complexities of the work, and a need to retain talent. (Loc. 469)
  • Leaders with good relationship management skills are inspirational and influential. They know how to manage conflict, build teams, lead change initiatives, and develop others. (Loc. 1672)
  • Self-management can be seen in one’s ability to control impulsivity. People who are good at regulating their behavior typically spend time on reflection and are more comfortable with change and ambiguity. They usually have a high level of integrity. To be effective, leaders must have the motivation to channel their positive emotions into results. (Loc. 426)
  • The best leaders are able to use multiple styles of leadership and evaluate when to use each. “Authoritative leaders mobilize people toward a vision. Affiliative leaders create emotional bonds and harmony. Democratic leaders build consensus through participation. Pacesetting leaders expect excellence and self-direction. Coaching leaders develop people for the future. And coercive leaders demand immediate compliance.” (Loc. 557)

Thanks for reading. Questions? Just ask.