I recently completed Primal Leadership: Learning to Lead with Emotional Intelligence. Book #2 of my leadership-focused reading list for 2010.
This heavily researched and referenced book by Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis, and Annie McKee explores the "soft skills" of leadership- energy, enthusiasm, attitude, positivity, etc. They posit, "The fundamental task of leaders...is to prime good feeling in those they lead. That occurs when a leader creates resonance-- a reservoir of positivity that frees the best in people. At its root, then, the primal job of leadership is emotional.
On the Meyers-Briggs scale, my "T" far outranks my "F," meaning I'm a total thinker. One of my co-workers once labeled me an emotional corpse. Great. For those reasons, I thought this would be a good book for me to read.
One of the most fascinating components of the book was the research that showed that women received less constructive feedback in men. And significantly less feedback that could be construed as "negative." I'm not sure how we change that, but I wonder if that's the reason we don't have women leading more-- their leadership development is stifled because they aren't receiving the critical assessment necessary to improve their performance.
Some things I will try to incorporate as a result of reading this book:
- Pray the vision and goal of small groups every day
- Regularly make stop-doing lists
- Make sure the vision connects to the hearts of those I lead
- Seek out, take advantage of, and create more opportunities to reach out at a more personal level with those I lead