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Many books about leadership have been written with the authors' different views, perspectives and counsel on leadership. The different steps to take, formulae, dos and don'ts, are all in these books depending on which book you get your hands on. But out of all these books, one cannot help but recognize and get attracted to the kind of work Daniel Goleman, Richard E. Boyatzis and Annie McKee have done in their book "Primal Leadership: Learning to Lead with Emotional Intelligence, 2002".
The writers argue that one of the main concepts in leadership is to most importantly instill a good feeling in those they are leading. They continue and say that the root most important task in leadership is emotional. The writers continue to say that for a leader to make an impact, it is only wise for them to create a positive environment so that they always bring out the best in the people they are leading.
The writers continue to point out that the primal perspective of being a leader, is what determines or evaluates whether all what a leader implies or applies will work as well as it should or could. The writers have gone ahead to justify their claim so as to get the readers understanding of their point of view.
As one continues to read this book, the following statement is brought out: in leadership, taking peoples' emotions in the right direction will make all the other things they do work to the best.
The authors have started out by talking about the brain and how it works in order to give their readers an overview of where they are coming from. Many people really need a lot of encouragement more than the constant scolding that most leaders tend to use in order to instill a sense of fear and show that they are the ones sitting on the leadership seat.
The book has given six major styles that should be used in leadership which are commanding, affiliative, coaching, democratic, pacesetting and visionary. All these have been explained in detail and their role in leadership and their importance to the leader and the people they are leading.
Words like "you can make it..., you have the potential..., you have done it before and this is not different..." would really boost ones morale more than the use of words like "failure to reach that target will send you home, I am not going to tolerate non-performers...". There is no one who needs to be down emotionally or even look down upon by another person so driving emotions positively will make the employees and the leader feel as though they are at the same level without compromising the respect that is between the two parties (Goleman, Boyatzis & Annie, 2002).
Many people might defer with this but they have properly brought out what can be termed as good and convincing points in support of what they feel. Their different long time experiences in their different fields have made them put together a good piece of work. Goleman is a world wide speaker about leadership for many years and so he has come across different kinds of people, Boyatzis is a professor and has been involved in research for more than fifteen years and McKee is a consultant who has helped many organizations brings forth very good leaders for many years.
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Enabling a group of people feel and focus on the positive things a problem has brought may bring a solution faster than helping them focus on the problem. This is well brought out by the example mentioned about the BBC journalists. The first manager tried to encourage the employees that the competitors were doing well and so they would not lack any jobs even after their departure but it did not do much to improve their moods and disappointments. However, the second executive came in and focused on reminding the employees that they were in journalism because they loved it and not because of the good pay or working in a prestigious media house. He reminded them about the role journalism played in the society and then ended with wishing them well as they pursued their careers. This leader's speech was appreciated with a loud applause and the employees left the room in a more jovial mood than they came in.
Showing the people you are leading that you are the boss and trying to instill a feeling of fear might not play a very good role towards achieving a certain goal as a leader. People like environments they are free and comfortable and not all tensed and uncomfortable. This is why leaders should lead their group in emotional intelligence (EI).
Employees, or any other group, should feel inspired and motivated. They should be able to look at a leader not only in that position but also as a mentor. Encouraging an employee constantly that they can meet a certain target will make them meet the target faster than just telling the employee to meet a target or how they will loose their jobs if their performance deteriorates.
The use of innate self awareness encourages the people being led to openly criticize a leader. Leaders are human beings and the criticism will help the particular leader in question improve on the areas they can or give explanations where they feel is important. The authors have continued to show the relationship between the IQ and EI. Most readers IQ are mostly at the same level but their EI greatly differs.
Most leaders just want to dwell on their ability to figure out problems and finding their solutions rather than their ability to motivate their employees to accomplishing a certain task. The authors have given numerous examples on real life experiences that prove that primal leadership is the most important concept in leadership.
A leader who thinks negatively and only sees the bad sides of things is most likely to influence the people he is leading in the same direction. A leader who is just full of anger and only comments when he sees a mistake or is just used to saying that the people have not done good enough even when they have done their best, has employees who are sad, sulked and never enthusiastic to perform any task since they believe that nothing they do will be appreciated.
The writers have said it all. Driving the emotions of the people one is leading in the right direction, greatly plays a big role in being a good leader. Motivating and encouraging the people one is leading is much better than trying to individually solve a problem. It is important that a leader tries to use primal leadership to work to everyone's advantage.
Leaders must know where to put a stop since a lot of encouragement with no apprehension here and there might also not be as effective. Those leaders whose EI is not very, must learn how to improve it even if it means enrolling for classes or reading a book like this.
The days where leaders use to lead by just giving commands and instilling fear in the people they are leading are long gone. It is a high time people adapt this kind of leadership and see the difference it will make.