Transcript for Review of the Book “Primal Leadership”
Host: Hello. This is John Besselman with another installment of the DHS Office of the General Counsel’s Podcast Series. Today, I’m visiting with Kenny Anderson, member of the FLETC Office of Chief Counsel and the Editor-in-Chief of the Informer. Welcome, Kenny.
Guest: Thanks, John. Glad to be here.
Host: Today, we’re going to take a look at a book called Primal Leadership, by Danial Goleman, Richard Boyatzis and Anne McKee. Kenny, we have spoken several times about this book over the course of our working relationship together
Guest: Yes, we have.
Host: You’ve read this book.
Guest: I’ve read most of this book.
Host: I already called you out and said you…
Guest: You got me.
Host: Well, I have read this book on several occasions and I use it for the Leadership Development Program, which is a program for our younger attorneys coming up through the ranks and trying to convey some leadership talents and skills to them.
Guest: And how has that been received by those students in those programs
Host: It’s mixed. I’m…that’s a good question. And here’s why.
Guest: That’s why I asked it.
Host: The, ah, the people who have read it, and I think read it earnestly, all come back very positively. Those who skim through it don’t seem to get much out of it. I think that’s true of most books. It’s not really a skimming book. My purpose here, today, with you is to attempt to get the primary elements of what Boyatzis, Goleman and McKee were attempting to say to us about how our limbic system works, our emotional system works. And focus on the six leadership styles that they describe in their book, that all emotionally intelligent leaders ought to be using.
Guest: That sounds like a good plan. I know in the book the authors have a lot of, you know, real world examples. I’m wondering if you gotten some examples of your own from your, your career, your working.
Host: Well, we’ve worked together for an awful long time. I bet we come up with a couple of them as we go through.
Guest: I’m sure we will.
Host: Certainly, I have, ah, some myself.
Guest: That way, I’m hoping, also the listener can listen to or appreciate some of what you’re saying and apply it to a situation in his or her previous experiences and career.
Host: Good. Let me start, though, with the first piece, Kenny…
Host: Ant that is where the authors talk about where does our, where do our emotions come from? They come from our limbic system, which is a piece of the brain. Something you and I have talked about before as well. It’s one of the, it’s the prehistoric part of the brain. It’s one of the first pieces of the brain that’s developed. You’ve heard me jokingly say it, the limbic system is part of the brain that causes us to act fairly quickly. It is what George Carlin said the piece of your brain that will make you run into a tree after you’ve seen a snake. It is the part of the brain that causes action to occur before you can cognitively, in the frontal lobe, think about things. It serves a very important function in allowing us to avoid oncoming traffic and things of that nature. It’s also where the emotions derive from. And here’s why it’s important. By the time a piece of information travels through your central nervous system up through your brain stem, it goes through the limbic system and an emotion is attached to that information. Then, that information makes its all, all the way to the frontal lobe, where you do your cognitive thinking.
Host: Where you do your math and those kinds of things but by the time you’re already thinking about “what should I do here” your brain has already generated an emotion to it.
Guest: It’s kind of like when my dad used to tell me to think before you speak.
Host: That’s a perfect example.
Guest: I know that might be a little hookie but its, its…
Host: It’s effective
Guest: It’s effective because you have something goes through your brain and before you utter something, maybe one shouldn’t, you think about “hey, should I say this?”
Host: Likewise, you’ve heard me say this the piece of your brain that can get you punched in the mouth.
Host: Ah, if you just say what you emotionally think without filtering it through, that filter can sometimes be described as your pre-frontal lobe as well, where you can now cognitively evaluate and form a communicative response. The limbic system can get you in trouble if you let it work unregulated. I won’t use names, but we certainly could, and everyone knows people who, who allowed their limbic system to push them around a little bit. Their emotions drive their actions.
Guest: It’s particularly troublesome when people let it happen in an email because, guess what, does that email ever go away?
Host: That’s, that’s an interesting…there you got a mixture of the,the emotion.
Guest: The emotion…
Host: The limbic system is pushing that frontal lobe to do something that, ha, is not going to be fruitful and it’s nice to have a filter. In many cases that filter can be another person. “Hey, read this before I send it.”
Guest: Yeah, I know we both been in that situation before. “Hey, what do you think of this before I hit ‘send.’” “Hey, you might want to tone down or otherwise…yeah, it sounds o.k…you’re good.”
Host: Because it’s going into somebody else’s…
Host: …limbic system, which is a demonstration of how the “open loop” works, eh, according to Goleman, Boyatzis and McKee. The open loop is the concept that your emotions affect other people’s emotions. Uh, if I were in a bad mood I can actually have an impact on how you are going to feel about work and about life that day. That may not seem fair but it happens. You recognize that.
Guest: It has happened before.
Host: One of the things I’ve talked about with the open loop in some of those classes, and students are very quick to identify…class size is typically about twenty people, maybe a couple more, couple less…but I will ask them “if we were a working group, this was a legal services office”…how many bad apples, how many people in a bad mood would it take in that group of twenty to ruin everybody’s day? And I always get one, one or two answers.
Guest: Can I guess?
Host: Yes, one is the most common answer and the second is two [laughter].
Host: We recognize very quickly that, ah, just a couple of people can affect the bad emo, the bad emotional feel for the day for most of the eighteen other people.
Guest: Or maybe a sports analogy, the old cancer in the clubhouse…
Host: It’s true. Yes. Right.
Guest: …is that what’s…being referred to.
Host: So, we have identified this as something that it’s the limbic system tags those emotions, people who don’t deal with them well can now effect the open loops or the emotional systems of other people. The second point that they wanted to make about the open loop…a closed loop would be, ah, is something where I could no effect the physiological system. For instance, you and I both have blood systems that working right now…
Guest: Right, I know that’s an example they reference in the book.
Host: Right. We, we, I, we can’t have an effect on that. But we can definitely have an effect on how we have a dealing with each other. The other example I use in relation to the two bad apples at most, out of a group of twenty, how many positive people would it take to say “I can’t wait to go to work today?” If you worked in a group of twenty people, Kenny, how many great “hey, let’s go get ‘em today. We’re going to do great. Everything’s coming up roses.” How many of those people would it take? It’s going to take more than two.
Guest: More than two to effect the other eighteen? Is that what you are saying?
Guest: of the entire group?
Host: It’s going to take a great…probably a majority. And here’s why. Here’ some studies that show that for every bad feeling, every rude comment you get it takes five uplifting experiences to get you back to an equilibrium.
Guest: I, I did not know that.
Host: An open loop is dangerous for us to have because we can definitely push people down but it’s a lot harder for us to lift them back up.
Guest: So the next time I call somebody a jerk I’ve got to nice to them five times in five different ways and they’re back to…
Host: Just to get them back to square one,
Guest: So, that means I’ve got to go six nice things to get them on the plus side.
Host: That’s right.
Host: Uh, so this leads us to the third concept before I get to those, ah, leadership styles. Goleman, Boyatzis and McKee talk about the difference between a resonant and dissonant organization. They say as leaders of an organization, we’re striving for resonance versus dissonance. O.k., a resonant organization is one in which the open loops of those that participate are constantly filled with good feeling, uplifting. They feel good about their, themselves, they feel good about their work and they feel good about the people that they work with and for.
Guest: I think just the term resonance has some, somewhat of a positive sound, a positive connotation.
Host: I do to. The key, of course, is that open loop. We have the ability in any organization to effect those around us. And note when I use that example of the twenty people it doesn’t necessarily have to be a leader in any of those, in any members of those groups. You’ve often heard me say that we’re all leaders in our own way.
Guest: And we’ve talked about informal leadership a lot. Not just the individuals who are labeled as supervisors or leaders in some way like that.
Host: And this is an example where informal leaders can have a positive or negative effect on the resonance of an organization. Of course, if it’s a negative effect, then that’s what they identify as a dissonant organization. That’s where the negative feedback causes, the unpleasantness of having to go to work. The authors describe a dissonant organization as one in which has a harsh sound to it, there’s anger, fear, or so, perhaps, even just sullen silence. Have you ever worked in a dissonant organization?
Guest: I wouldn’t say dissonant organization. There have been days, maybe, where it was dissonant, or mm, maybe a period of time when it was dissonant. Maybe something was going on.
Host: Unfortunately, many of us have had the experience of working in dissonant organizations, and it really does become a job. It’s a difficult, you, you, just…Monday mornings are the worst day of the week for a very good reason. “I don’t want to go to spend days in a row with that…”
Guest: How about Tuesday after a Monday holiday? A three day weekend.
Host: That’s a, that’s a rough one.
Guest: Has anyone ever done any study as far as absenteeism, or…in that regard?
Host: Not that I’ve seen but I’m sure its high with dissonant organizations. And, of course, the authors talk a great deal about that in, unfortunately many of us can identify much more so than working with a resonant, I’m sorry, a dissonant organization versus a resonant organization. I’ve also had the pleasure of working in a resonant organization and they are not comparable where Mondays have the same feel as Fridays, Thursdays, etcetera. And you know what you’re doing is important work. So, as we try to create folks to go forward and create greater resonance in their organizations that they are affiliated with, Golemand, Boyatzis and McKee say there are four fundamentals of being an emotionally intelligent leader as you attempt to push, pull, direct, guide or participate in bringing your organization to a resonant outcome. Those four factors are self awareness, social awareness, self management and relationship management. These are the four core values of being emotionally intelligent.
Guest: And I know they based a lot of what they talked about in this book on those four fundamentals. But I know we did a webcast sometime in the past where we just did it on those four, ah, those four fundamentals of emotional intelligence and it was very fascinating. And you could do a whole separate topic on that.
Host: To the authors of this book, Primal Leadership, you can’t have emotionally intelligent behaviors that will, la, lead to emotionally intelligent leadership without understanding and constantly practicing those four fundamentals. We talked about in the webcast as well as the authors write in the book that those four fundamentals have to be worked on regularly. You, um, er, we’re never going to be in a position to be satisfied that we’re where we need to be they are certainly things that erode and deteriorate over time if you don’t pay attention to them, you, ya, you will slip into a situation where that fundamental, well, it’s just like anything else.
Guest: Yeah. And I liked in the book the fact that on, ah, I guess on what edition of the book they have a nice list on one, ah, er, its in an appendix I think, of all the, the four fundamentals or emotional intelligence listed. It’s a quick reference. You don’t have to page through and try to figure out where it is. It’s a nice…you can tab it or mark it and constantly go back and refresh, refresh your memory.
Host: So, let me take a minute and talk about self-awareness, or, self-awareness and having a clear understanding of ourselves. Look, this is just have, having an inventory of your own emotions, strengths, limitations, values, and motives. Eh, so I ask the question of myself and others who we go through this…Are we really prepared to answer those questions for ourselves? That’s two-pronged. One is, are you able to answer those questions. What’s your, wh, what’s your real motive. What’s your real value. And secondly, are you accurate? We all have different opinions of ourselves than, perhaps, the general public might have. That’s not an uncommon thing. You’ve seen that before.
Host: You’ve certainly worked around folks that think that they were emotionally sound and they were not exhibiting or demonstrating those kinds of behaviors. The second one is self-management, then, if you do, if you are willing to ask yourself these tough questions and you’re accurate, not a foregone conclusion, then you have to ask yourself, are you prepared to manage these things. Are, are you allowing your emotions to push you around or br, bring you to conclusions? You know, I don’t want to use the player’s name but there was just recently in the news a football player who had an em, over millions of dollars, had an emotional outcome where he switched teams, and he switched teams very quickly, um, where the money, um, ah, did not appear to be different. But because of the emotional aspect of his situation, within 48 hours, he had changed his, the city, the business interests, the, the moving of family members. All these things went into the very quick “I’m leaving this situation because I’m mad at you.” So, your emotions can push you around even at the highest levels. We oftentimes see this in other stages as well. National leaders, ah, we see this with, ah, CEOs of major corporations. Your emotions are powerful motivators and if we don’t have a handle on them, we cannot manage them, they will definitely put us in positions where we don’t want to be.
Guest: I agree. And I notices that from reviewing I, I can’t remember if it was chapter three or four, two, three or four in the book, they reference the fact that the self-awareness piece is going to effect the other, the other, er, ah, fundamentals of emotional intelligence. I mean, it really makes a lot of sense, you know, if you don’t have the self-awareness, then, how can one be an effective relationship manager? I know that’s one of the other fundamentals as well.
Host: Well, if you, have you ever worked around someone who wasn’t aware of their own impacts on other people?
Host: Has, has that ever been positive in your experience?
Host: People who operate without having an appreciation of their own strengths and shortcomings generally end up contributing to a dissonant outcome versus a resonant outcome. We’ll talk a little bit more when we talk about the six leadership styles. How might a leader, then try to take those on? That’s not so easy to do.
Guest: No, it’s not.
Host: Getting other people to understand their emotional status. The third fundamental for emotional intelligence is social awareness. Leaders have to be in tune to how other feel at any given moment. And, en, again, this, the guy I like to use is the character from “The Office,” the boss in that case, played by Steve Carrell. He was a fun character to watch on t.v. because he was always doing something that was humorous but almost always inappropriate for the situation. Unfortunately, you’ve probably also worked around people like that, as well. That just did not appreciate where…is this a time to be humorous, emotional. If you don’t have a good read on the social surroundings, it’s very difficult to be an emotionally intelligent sound person.
Guest: I agree.
Host: And then there is the fourth emotional, ah, intelligence fundamental is relationship management. Ah, while this is the most visible sign of emotional intelligence, someone who has a lot of relationships, social, professional, personal, that he or she can draw on…say that person has a lot of friends, has a lot of colleagues…It’s not necessarily the most important one and I think we have to come back to what you were just talking about.
Guest: Yeah, I would think that if, if one was like that…had strong relationship management skills, then they are probably pretty self-aware, have decent social awareness and self-management. Those three would lead to that fourth piece.
Host: I think that’s correct. If you see somebody who’s operating in that world, they’ve probably…I don’t want to say mastered because it being a fundamental, it can erode…but they’ve got control of those first three. O.K., so the authors talk about those four emotionally intelligent, fun, fundamentals. Self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management. Of course, they go on into the book to, ah, at great length. We’re just providing a review of what’s going on here. And would encourage you to take a look at the book. But, without having, again, not a mastery of, but a working ability in those four areas…
Guest: Can I go back for a quick second, John?
Guest: Would this, would it be appropriate to put a quick plug for that other book, the emotional intelligence book, if anybody was interested in re, learning more specifically about emotional intelligence or is that…?
Host: Which book are you referring to? Is that Goleman’s?
Guest: The one I just got a copy of a few minutes ago. I don’t have it in front of me.
Host: Primal Leadership and then you have one called Emotional Intelligence….
Guest: Yeah, maybe that’s it.
Host: O.k. You mentioned the Emotional Intelligence book as a plug, that’s another Goleman book. Goleman wrote that by himself, yes?
Host: Is it, that the book you mentioned with the chart?
Host: He also talks a great deal about those four emotional intelligence fundamentals in there.
Guest: Yeah, there also is a, is a chart in the Primal Leadership book, the leadership styles in a nutshell.
Host: I, I’ve also…That’s the one I was thinking of when you mentioned it. Very effective. Goleman’s also written one on social intelligence which was a little…not as powerful, to me, but it’s out there. Let’s then turn our attention to the six distinct leadership approaches that the authors define that an emotionally intelligent leader should be able to employ or deploy given a certain set of circumstances. Now, as I go through these, Kenny, we probably know somebody who works in all six of them at any given time. But the, I also want to caution the listener, what the authors are saying is a, the emotionally intelligent leader is capable of using all six, given the circumstances that he or she is confronting at the time. The first four are best considered what they identify as resonant styles. Resonant styles. The final two are dissonant styles. Let’s talk about those first four. The first one being visionary leadership. Kenny, this is something that obvious. People identify visionaries in many ways. And what’s wrong with being a visionary leader. Ah, the visionary leader identifies where the group is going, empathy matters, ah, here. I think the authors in the book use the janitorial story. The CEO of a major corporation that ran parks. Amusement parks system identified that the janitorial staff was getting angry at the patrons of the park. Did you remember that story?
Guest: I do.
Host: And he realized that, well, of course they are getting angry as they walk through the park. There’s nothing but patrons throwing litter, you know, throwing food wherever they felt like it. And if it was your job to keep the park clean, that would frustrate you. You would react accordingly in dealing with them. With a slight adjustment with how they viewed their role from keeping the park clean to keeping the patrons happy. With that simple adjustment they found that they’d driven a lot of the animosity between the janitorial staff and the patrons, the paying customers, down quite substantially. So, what’s then, wrong with visionary leaders? We should always look for visionary leaders. The authors point out that it’s not always appropriate. For instance, if the art, organization is already operating at a high level, with superior expertise, etcetera, and has a very comfortable place where it needs to be, where it should be, then visionary leaders can come and…well, effectively, screw it up. But secondly…
Guest: Change something that might not need to be changed…
Host: For the purpose of change because that’s what they do. They provide a vision. Well, if they’re going in the right direction, and they’re, they got the right people in place to get there, a visionary leader style would be inappropriate because you could just detract or upset the course of the organization working in the way it wants to go. The second style that they identify is the coaching leadership style. They identify this as the least used format for a couple of reasons. One, it requires a substantial investment of time from the leader, the organizational leader, to understand what his or her people, what they need, what their skills are, what they should be, what their hopes are, where they, what they want to do with their career. That requires an awful lot of one-on-one time to have the validity of, actually coaching somebody. Otherwise, it comes off as…
Host: Micromanagement, or, er, everyone’s least favorite form of management. Ugh, and not…in all these books I have in front of me, Kenny, I’ve been reading and focusing on the last couple of years, not one sings the attributes of micromanagement. Ah, again…
Guest: We were recently, did some employee interviews in the last few months. I think one of the questions we asked was something to the effect…do you, hap, would you liked to be micromanaged. And everyone, it was just…they’re, the responses we got and the amount of emotions in the responses were “no, I do not like that. I can work without being micromanaged.” I thought that was not surprising.
Guest: It was kind of neat to see that in an interview.
Host: Especially with professionals.
Host: Uh, I think I know where that came from. I think the question might be “what’s the…what is the management style, style you are the least effective operating under?”
Guest: I think something like that.
Host: And micromanagement is the, of, it’s the only answer I’ve ever gotten in all the years I’ve done interviews as well. The coaching leadership style requires delegating of meaningful tasks. Not busy work. Uh, however, the authors also talk about the value of getting a coaching style and occasionally, you, we all have to go do this we have to coach if we want to lead our organization to a resonant outcome. But its important, imperative, that we know the difference between coaching and micromanagement. And that is difficult in some instances to do. Coaches are providing input. They are giving direction, but they are also backing away and allowing completion of tasks. And here’s probably the most important part of coaching…you’ve got allow people to fail. And that’s not always optimal, or practical in certain circumstances, especially when you’re dealing in legal services areas. Probably true in others but because we focus on legal services, I can’t think of allowing an attorney to fail and “well, that’s the way it goes.” We couldn’t do that.
Guest: Yeah…better luck with the next person or next client. Good lucj. What’s the next style of leadership, John?
Host: The third style is the affiliative leader style. I was a little surprised but this is the emotional leader. This is someone who’s connected emotionally with his or her organization. They understand the emotional needs of what’s going on. It’s an open sharing of emotions. This is hard to do. I was surprised that this was not the least used. The coaching still is. But this is more than just being nice to people. This is understanding their emotional needs. Allowing their emotional needs, on occasion, and I’m going to put that in quotes, on occasion, to be more important than the organizational needs. Because that ultimately can be the downfall of the affiliative leadership style, is someone who operates in this area only, can allow someone’s emotional needs to direct the organizational drift. If you have a small group of people who have emotional needs that are more important than the organization, then the organization’s needs aren’t met at all. There is a balance that needs to be struck and I couldn’t in a podcast or a lifetime tell you in any given circumstance what that balance would be. That what a, why a leader in that organization would have to be in tune with who he or she was working with. It requires a great deal of empathy. The plus side, of course, is you’re getting folks that are very much committed to the organization and you get a lot of satisfaction out of that, both as an employer and an employee. The downside is it can distract the organization from its’ ultimate goal. I have never worked in an organization in which the affiliative leadership style had overcome the needs of the organization. But it appears as if it would be quite frustrating if it, if that had been the case.
Guest: Yeah, I don’t believe I have either.
Host: The final resonant style is the democratic leadership style. I have worked in a world a little bit like this. We, we’re both from prosecutors’ offices. Small prosecutors’ offices.
Host: And that’s where my experience came from, in working with democratic leadership style. In this style, the leaders oftentimes put issues to the group and they attempt to find…they’re hoping to find consensus but if, need be, they’ll just go with the majority. Should we bring this case forward? Should we get a soda machine in the break room? Should we modify our work schedule? Eh, some of the traditional leadership decisions are then the referred to the group for a discussion, a debate, and ultimately, a vote. And that can also encourage people to participate wholly and completely. The downside to that is, have you ever worked in that world?
Guest: A little bit, yes.
Host: The downside is you can be overcome by meetings. Ah, a, we’re going to take a vote on something, wha. Just make a decision and move on. Let’s just…
Guest: Some things aren’t that critical.
Host: The other is that…certain leadership decisions, flat out, cannot be put into this format. And sometimes they in, inappropriately have been put into a democratic leadership model, and now people are voting on things that were very persona, etcetera, where a leader should have stepped forward and made his or her decision, and moved forward with it. And then that leaves us with the two dissonant styles, which occasionally…
Guest: Which I think is interesting that we talked about dissonance earlier and that it has a negative connotation but it can also, when used properly, in, I think, in a measured way, be effective.
Host: I think the authors go a little, even than that, Kenny. They say that, on occasion, all emotionally intelligent leaders will have to dabble in this from time to time. The pacesetting leadership style is that in which the person effectively, ah, abandons the traditional role, if you will, of managing, and I’m using that word different from leading, managing an organization while he or she also carries part of the workload him or herself at a very high rate or high pace. And this can work, I, I assume it does work a great deal in Wall Street firms and various large law firms and things of that nature where you can expect the people working in the organization are very capable, they know what they need to do, they’re going about doing it, and they don’t need a full-time leader to look after every little need, so that he or she can also carry part of the work load at a very high professional rate.
Guest: And that leader is setting the examples by doing the work.
Host: How to get it done. The downfall of that, of course, is if you’re dealing with people that are not working at the same level as the manager…I mean skill level, they don’t have the same skills as he or she has, there’s no opportunity for coaching because the leader, the person who should be coaching that group up is busy carrying their own work forward. Likewise, if somebody at that moment needs some emotional issue taken care of, pacesetters aren’t necessarily able to, to come down come out of their schedule to deal with the human functions that happen every day in every office with some regularity, if they even catch the fact that there’s an emotional issue that’s being, ah, brought into the organization.
Guest: That’s a good point, if they even catch it. If they recognize it. They may be too focused on the pacesetting.
Host: That they have their own work to get to. And then the final, which is a…has a military connotation to it. Also, a very negative connotation because of the dissonance style and that’s the commanding leadership style. “Because I said so.” There is a role for the commanding leadership style but obviously it’s, all, got a negative connotation to it. A commanding leader is telling people exactly what needs to be done, when to do it, and typically when to do it is now.
Guest: And, and I remember from the book, in times of crisis, you don’t have time to take a democratic vote and to look, check each other’s feelings…
Host: When the building is on fire
Guest: …we need to get it done now.
Host: We don’t take a vote. Its…somebody needs to come in and direct…”you need to get out now.” The, of course, the downside is, this is sometimes the easiest leadership style that’s identified. A lot of movies, media, and we’re not talking about just even recently, but historically, the person who was, who exhibited the commanding style, appeared to be the leader because he, his or her communications, affects, etcetera. So we identify very quickly with that that is a leadership style. The problem is, if you’ve ever worked for a commanding person, you are tired of being told what to do, in particular, in a professional rank. It wasn’t terrible when I work in, a younger person, worked in menial, I needed to go and be told what the tasks were for that hour or that day. Because that’s what needed to be done and someone else knew them. But as a professional, I bristle at that kind of leadership, unless it is a crisis mode. “Look, we need something done right now.” In my particular walk of life, I haven’t had that crisis mode in an awful long time. But when we were prosecutors, there were events that occurred that something had to be done right now in a courtroom, etcetera, over at the police department that required that commanding style. And you accepted it for that purpose. If your leader continued to use it…
Host: …you would, you would bristle.
Guest: It, it was one of those situations. When the leader, when the leader used it, it was, he used it sparingly and he, when he did it he meant it, so you jump and you got it done. Got the job done.
Host: As a friend of ours sometimes says, that with the commanding leadership style, ah, when you stop kicking they stop working. This book has a lot more to it, Kenny. Ah, there’s a lot of different factors in there. I really enjoy, I’ve read it a couple of times myself. We couldn’t do it justice in one podcast.
Host: Unfortunately for you, there are many other books I would also like to podcast about as we go forward. Do you have any closing thoughts on this particular material?
Guest: No, other than before today I, I looked at the book and, for the most part, I, I’d read most of the book and I hadn’t…I put it down…when did we do that last podcast? Was it…
Host: That was in January of 2015.
Guest: 2015. So, I, I prepped up for that and I referred back to it a little bit. Particularly the charts that were referenced. That listed the…quick reference charts for the different leadership styles. I find that helpful. And I put it down for a while, go back to it on occasion. But I got back into it this past weekend prepping for this and it was…I remembered some things and I thought it was very helpful and, you know, I can think, I think of examples in my day-to-day work life how…I see the different types of leaderships. In good and bad ways exhibited.
Host: I’m not embarrassed to say that I’ve gone to those charts myself. The one in Primal Leadership that breaks those six down, a family member is going through a leadership development process. A three to four month process herself through the military. And we occasionally chat and I refer myself to that chart. Again, that you’ve mentioned, to say “have you considered this, have you considered that.” Well, this isn’t always going to work for you and here’s why. And, and that’s the part of the book that I’ve enjoyed the most.
Guest: How, how has that been received?
Host: She has been more receptive, this is my daughter we’re speaking of. She’s been more receptive now than when she was younger, in talking about these issues. But also, her situation in life has, has changed where she’s now expecting to lead in some capacities so now it’s important versus trying just to convey to her someday this is going happen.
Guest: Right, yeah, right. You’re not as…it’s different maybe when you’re a student. If you don’t have any maybe, real world expectations of doing any of it. But now it’s maybe right around the corner.
Host: To tie this into our profession, as I’ve told the General Counsel and others when putting these programs together or chatting about different issues, I think mem, as a member of the bar, as a lawyer working in the federal government. Regardless of your title, we’re expected to lead every day. And we are also expected to lead people who don’t work for us. And that is a client. So…Oftentimes, the client doesn’t do what we think is the right thing for him or her as well. There…these are also powerful, bright people that are holding important, decision-making positions in their own agency. How do we lead them? And if we can master some of these six leadership styles that these authors talk about, we might be a little more effective at our own practice of law. Did you have any experience as a prosecutor working with police departments?
Guest: Working with different agencies, different individual agents or officers. Yeah, I, I have as far as how to present a better case or get them to work a case a certain way. How, how, how to approach certain officers in certain ways. Yeah, I have.
Host: Having competency is, of course, a, a necessary fundamental in any leadership situation. That shouldn’t be the end of if, though for the legal profession. This is probably a topic for a whole other podcast. Of lawyers leading people who…we can’t order to just go do this stuff. Agencies, agency decisions, law enforcement officers, key decision makers, personnel offices, etcetera. They may listen to their legal profession, their legal professionals, because they have some presumed competency from the degree and the practice, etcetera. If that’s all we’re using to lead, ah, those agents, officers, we’re probably not being as effective as we need to be, which again, leads us into other conversations. Anything else about this book?
Guest: No, I don’t have anything else, John. I’ve enjoyed our time together this afternoon.
Host: Kenny, thanks for coming to talk about Primal Leadership, by Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis and Annie McKee. A key book used in the Leadership Development Program. My name again is John Besselman. Thanks for joining us, and join us some other time for another Office of General Counsel podcast series issue. Thank you.