Book #3 of the #ibb12bookchallenge : Primal Leadership by Daniel Goleman

Are you in a bad mood? Are you in a good mood? Is the presence or absence of leadership the reason for our moods?

This book reminded me of my 2 and half years of failing miserably working in middle management. I was 25 years old, full of energy, and lacking TRUE leadership skills. I had proven that I could achieve the results necessary to be successful; however, I was in for a rude awakening when it comes to INSPIRING long-term growth of a team (leadership) versus PUSHING short-term results (management).

These three key points in the book are what I am going to focus on the rest of this month and work towards creating as habits…

1. EQ > IQ – A big reason for my failure in management was that I assumed that my endless quest for knowledge of our industry would inspire others to have the same passion and drive I did. I was terribly mistaken. The emotional intelligence (EQ) of a leader is what makes the difference in company cultures. From their studies they found that most managers have similar IQ (110-120). However, what led to the ultimate and sustained success of a team was the leaders emotional awareness and ability to CONNECT with their people. The ability to meet people where they are and help them grow as a PERSON will have much better results than force feeding them industry knowledge and goals that are the goals of the manager, not the team.

2. HOW > WHAT (Open Loop Principle) – My mom and dad always told me as a child, “It’s not what you say, it’s HOW you say it.” As a manager I was very good at ensuring my team knew WHAT to do to be successful; however, HOW I delivered the message was like that of a dictator and ineffective. This stemmed from my lack of EQ. According to the book, interpersonal connections trigger positive feelings, emotions, hormones, etc. Using “mirroring” of both verbal and nonverbal communication are important in creating GOOD MOODS. Smiles and laughter are CONTAGIOUS on a team. Laughter often signals trust. Teams take cues from the top. HOW the message is delivered, not what the message actually is, will determine the good or bad moods created by that message.

3. PEOPLE MAGNETS – I was NOT a people magnet as a manager. My immature goal of developing long-term growth into short-term timelines frustrated me and even more, my team. I consider myself a naturally “approachable” person; however, my team would rather talk to ANYONE but me at times. Don’t do what I did, instead be a people magnet. Goleman encourages leaders to allow others to gravitate into your emotional “orbit.” NO ONE WANTS TO WORK FOR A GROUCH. Talking to management was the number one thing that left people feeling upset about work. LEADERS WHO SPREAD BAD MOODS ARE BAD FOR BUSINESS. The better a group gets along, the higher the results. Rudeness is contagious and toxic for a team.

…my ultimate failure was NOT protecting the moods and positive energy of my team. Bad moods are bad news.

Protect your FRONT LINE because they protect your BOTTOM LINE.

Your clients will always perceive your company based on the ATTITUDE of your front line. What kind of experience are you promoting for your team? That is the EXACT experience your clients will receive.

I hope you don’t have to look back on your management experience as one of spreading bad moods (even with good intentions). It’s not too late to bring positive energy to your team and create an ultimate culture of success.

I look forward to seeing you be a LEADER, not a manager.

Make it a great day my friends.

-ibbjames