HBR’s Essentials: Daniel Goleman on “What Makes a Leader” and “Emotional Intelligence”

hbr essentials

I’m in the process of reading HBR’s Essentials box set. In book one there is a great chapter on Emotional Intelligence written by Daniel Goleman. I had previously read his books on emotional intelligence and social intelligence at the beginning of college, and I really enjoed them.

The chapter really highlighted for me how focused I’ve been on improving and how terribly behind I am, from a leadership perspective, in developing my emotional intelligence quotient.

I don’t think I innately have a low emotional intelligence quotient, but I do think that because I’m so mire in the technical on a day to day basis that it makes it hard to switch gears.

Below are the 5 characteristics of high emotional intelligence, and what they mean:

Self Awareness

The ability to recognize and understand your moods, emotions, and drives, as well as their effects on others.

Self Regulation

The ability to control or redirect disruptive impulses and moods. The propensity to suspend judgement – to think before acting.


A passion to work for reasons that go beyond money or status. A propensity to pursue goals with energy and persistence.


The ability to understand the emotional makeup of other people according to their emotional reactions.

Social Skill

Proficiency in managing relationships and building networks. An ability to find common ground and build rapport.

I think that I leave a lot to be desired when it comes to these five dimensions in my current role, but I’m sure in another place, at another company, or in another world I would be a rockstar if put in the right environment.