Primal Leadership

HBR: Goleman, Boyatzis and McKee-2001

Executive Summary

Much has been written about emotional intelligence, social intelligence and other leadership characteristics that distinguish successful leaders.  This article by Golemen, Boyatzis and McKee reinforces much of the foundations of Engagient’s High Performance Cultural Assessment.  The authors have concluded that the general mood of a leader is critical in setting the mood of their entire work team.  The work is a next step in the discussion of emotional intelligence which clearly pointed to self-awareness and emotional maturity as critical characteristics of successful leaders.

The conclusions are built off of fundamental psychological studies on how the brain or more specifically the limbic system (our brain’s emotional centre) is an “open loop” system that was fundamental to evolution of humans to enable them to come to the emotional rescue of a fellow human being.  That basic open loop system serves the same purpose today as it did to our ancestors.  However, today it is key to our understanding of how our moods affect our employees.

Everyone has known the difference in atmosphere in working for a boss who is a motivational or inspirational leader versus the sense of dread at going to work for a boss who is all too often in a foul mood.

The even better news is that the linkage to this enlightened style of leadership also transmits itself in to a more successful organization.

The authors go on to provide practical advice to the reader on how to tackle this challenge as a leader.  They provide a simple 5 step process for you to follow:

  1. Determine who you want to be.
  2. Know who you are now (best done with clear assessment tools).
  3. Set out a plan on how to get to your desired state.
  4. Have a plan on how to make the changes stick.
  5. Get help from others.

For a full exploration of this article go to Harvard Business Review.

Primal Leadership

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The following comments are for Engagient's Employee Engagement Seminar for Managers

We needed to communicate the value of fully engaged employees to our managers and supervisors, and without a doubt, Engagient’s seminar on Employee Engagement clearly told the story. Our entire management staff now understands the value to our business in having a fully engaged workforce. Engagient made sure we had the necessary tools to move forward and we now believe this will help us differentiate ourselves against our competitors.

Don’s delivery is exceptionally engaging, straight forward, and in my experience one of the best facilitators/presenters I’ve worked with. Our junior and mid-level managers were engaged the entire day and they are definitely now on-board with our new initiative. He did an exceptional job in framing the issues, and he was able to link it closely with our company’s core values on this topic.

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VP, Administration & Business Development
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