Primal Leadership Review Essay

658 Words Feb 25th, 2015 3 Pages
“Primal Leadership:
Realizing the Power of Emotional Intelligence”
By: Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis, Annie McKee
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Reviewer: Michael L Schwartz

General Opinions:
This book, when you cut to the heart of the matter, talks about leaders involving people,
making people feel good about themselves and what they do.
Much of the book discusses why this is true by explaining how the brain operates. There
is discussion how neurotransmitters work and how neural-chemical reactions occur in the
brain. These explanations are done in lay terms so that anyone can understand them.
There are also examples given of how this has worked. And some examples are given
where, due to lack of proper implementation, this did
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The whole concept of
how one person’s “mental state” can influence all those around them was very interesting
to me. Along with that how the four EI domains (Self-Awareness, Self-Management,
Social Awareness, and Relationship Management) are learned abilities.
For much of my life I thought that these were attributes that you either had or did not
have, or that if they were learned at all it was while you were very young and you were
then “set for life”. I was glad to read that research shows that these attributes can be
learned later in life, that it just takes more time and more effort.
So, the concept, noted above, that the brain can be “reprogrammed” to operate differently
than it had been trained to operate was very “eye-opening” to me. That we are not “hard
wired” from birth is very meaningful to me. It tells me that I can continue to grow as a
person and improve myself in how I deal with others. If I only continue long enough I
can and will improve all four areas of EI, but for me, most importantly Relationship
Management.
Another important concept, for me, was that the brain can grow new cells. This indicates
that decline in mental capacities, as we age, is not necessarily inevitable. It also means
that we can develop new skills as we age. With people living and working longer, it’s
good to know that we can continue to remain (mentally) active and productive. While
I’m not (yet) what most people would consider old, I know people who have stopped
exercising, and…