Book Review by Avtk Ananda Ragamaya Acarya

The New Leaders

Transforming the Art of Leadership into the Science of Results
By Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis and Annie McKee

A reader-friendly and captivating book that speaks to all people in a position of influence, The New Leaders takes a look at leadership in a refreshing and in-depth way that no other book I have come across has done to date. It looks at different leadership styles, some of which are known as resonant, helping organizations and companies to flourish. Such styles include the visionary, coaching, affiliative and democratic approach. We are also shown, the more frequently identified as dissonant styles, (though when used in the right context they can be beneficial), of pacesetting and commanding.At the heart of the healthy leader lies emotional intelligence (EI). Such a person has the leadership competencies of self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management.
This leader is someone who lives not only their own dreams but also those of the institution they serve, inspiring others to be a part of the vision and encouraging them to realize their full potential. Leaders of a resonant nature have the agility and capacity to be in touch with what is needed at any given moment to help a workforce move ahead with dynamism and enthusiasm. Tapping into a myriad of studies to prove their findings the authors have demonstrated a deep understanding of what qualities are necessary for a benevolent and healthy leadership.What I find particularly encouraging is that leadership can be learnt, it is not necessarily about being born with certain qualities. Over time, the limbic brain, responsible for our emotions, can relearn and be educated to function in a more empathetic way where EI competencies can be developed.The New Leaders shows how positive change can be sustained through mindfulness and conscious learning styles as well as through developing the power of relationship and team building. The last part of the book deals with developing and sustaining emotionally intelligent organizations. Taking a look at what constitutes toxic as well as healthy organizations through dynamic inquiry, it offers ways in which one can develop, guide and maintain emotionally intelligent teams giving life as well as a hopeful and sustainable future to the organization.

I was drawn to this book knowing that the author of Emotional Intelligence could only be a part of a progressive, meaningful and revolutionary book on leadership. I was not disappointed.