Primal Leadership

Chapter 6 Becoming a Resonant Leader

Daniel Goleman on Primal Leadership

A Resonant Leader definition:

A leader who successfully changes in sustainable ways cycle through 5 stages.

1-Bill example

Bill case

A retail chain company was struggling to reinvent herself.
The top team leaders were in flux .
The HR leader decided to set himself as the "guy in the know".
Bill developed a sense of self-importance.
Some of the top leaders went along with Bill and others avoided him.
In the middle of the turmoil, the board asked a top leader to step down.
Bill started to spread rumors and soon Bill became the guy who "is ignorance on fire".
1- No one offered Bill an honest assessment of his behavior
Bill had no feedback that "would have helped him to begin to improve."
2- Bill saw himself as "the go-to guy"
Bill had no self-awareness
Bill had no political awareness
Bill had no empathy.


"The higher up the ladder a leader climbs, the less accurate his self-assessment is likely to be."p92
"Given the clear contribution of emotional intelligence to outstanding leadership, leaders need to know where they can improve on the EI competencies".p92

2-CEO Disease concept

"For instance, an analysis of 177 separate studies that assessed more than 28000 managers found that feedback on performance became less consistent the higher the managers position or the more complex the managers role" p93.
Women get even less feedback than men.
Minority groups also received less performance feedback.


1-Information vacuum: withhold unpleasant information.
2-Fear of commanding or pacesetting leaders.
3-Natural instinct to please the boss
4-Fear of hurting others' feelings.

3- Can Everyone Be Better Than Average?

Self-assessment in the CEO disease?


"it's the very poorest performers who exaggerate their abilities the most" p94
A study by Eric Harter found that " self-awareness of leadership abilities was greatest for CEOs of the best-performing companies and poorest for CEOs of the worst performers." p94
Harter compared CEOs' own assessments on 10 leaderships abilities .
The poorest performing CEOs rated themselves the highest on 7 abilities.
But the pattern reversed when their subordinates rated the CEOs abilities.


1-Leaders believe they can't change.
2-Subordonates believe leaders would not alter the way they lead, so no worth to go through distasteful or negative feedback..

4-Nurture over Nature

Nick Mimken case

Minken was a very successful salesman at his insurance agency.
Then, he was made the head of an agency leading 25 salespersons.
But his agency ranked at the bottom of the company across the US.
A consultant company was hired and subordinates feedback revealed " that Mimken's success as a salesman had translated into a pacesetting leadership style." p96


18 months later
1-Commanding style to setting realistic targets with his team.
2-Agency's own performances to coaching his team, finding ways to help each member.
3-Telling to maintaining ongoing dialogue.
4-Jump to conclusion to developing patience with subordinates.
5-Criticism to giving a well balanced feedback negative and positive.
6-Own goals to creating a shared vision with the team.
3 years later
Won national award for growth.
5 years later
The agency moved to the top in productivity.

Nurture over Nature ?

"There is a genetic component to emotional intelligence , to be sure, but nurture plays a major role as well." p97
Minken example :

He became adept at constructing performance plans.

He coached his salespeople to achieve them.

They began to believe in his leadership .


Mimken's example :
Emotional intelligence can be learned.
Emotional intelligence can be retained .

5-Beyond the Honeymoon Effect

Studies of the impact of training on people's behavior:

1-Impact on presentational and communication skills
"one study of sales branch managers showed a 37 percent improvement in effective communication skills one week following training." p99
2-impact on self-management and relationship
"studies of EI skills find about a 10 percent improvement measured between three months and a year and a half after training".p99
3-One study found that the half-life of knowledge learned in an MBA course was about six weeks.


" People learn what they want to learn." p99

6-Leaders Are Made , Not Born

1-Leaders first awareness of a competence usually comes in late childhood/adolescence.
2-When you are good at something you keep practicing so you become even better at it.
3-Studies: "in analysis of data from the ECI, we find that over the course of a career, people tend naturally to develop more strength in EI competencies." p101
4- Some get better with age but some don't.

Be aware!

" A solid diagnosis of a given leaders strengths and weaknesses-and a plan for development -remains crucial" p101

7-Self-Directed Learning

The Five Discoveries or the 5 stages , research based by Boyatzis.

First discovery : My ideal self

Who do I want to be ?

Write down your vision of yourself.

Reflect on your alignment between your vision and your guiding principles

Second discovery : My real self

Who am I ?

Focus on strengths and gaps

Ask for those who work with you to show you how you perform

Third discovery : My learning agenda

Create a learning plan

The learning plan or learning goals should be aligned with your dreams and also your performance.

Fourth discovery : Experimenting with practicing new behaviours

Reconfiguring your brain

Be aware of good and bad emotional habits.

Practice difficult situations until you can master your emotion.

Fifth discovery : Developing supportive and trusting relationship

Building up your safety net

To develop your emotional intelligence you need helpful performance feedback
Daniel Goleman Introduces Emotional Intelligence
Leading with Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace
Daniel Goleman - Working with Emotional Intelligence (Audio Ep1)
Daniel Goleman on The Future of Leadership


Chapter 7