Daniel Goleman: How Leaders Build Trust

I spoke with my friend Bill George, Senior Fellow and Professor of Management Practice at Harvard Business School, about what it means to lead ethically. His responses struck me as especially salient in our current business landscape, so I’ve paraphrased them below. (You can read the entire conversation in The Executive Edge: An Insider’s Guide to Outstanding Leadership.)

Trust can be fleeting – especially the trust we instill in leaders. A leader might spend 30 years building trust, and then watch it disappear in 30 minutes if he’s not careful. And when leaders flagrantly violate trust, it’s often never recovered.»

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Daniel Goleman: What it Takes to Become a Socially Intelligent Leader

The Enraged Employee

When a workshop organized by an HR department drew an unexpected standing-room-only turnout, they acted quickly to move the meeting to a larger space. The trouble with the new space was that it wasn’t well equipped for easy viewing and clear acoustics. Some had trouble seeing and hearing the speaker, in particular a woman who spoke up during a break. She approached the head of HR in a rage, explained how she hadn’t heard or seen a thing, and declared the workshop a total failure.

The head of HR quickly realized that her best option was to listen, acknowledge the woman’s frustrations, and express empathy.»

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Daniel Goleman: Self-Regulation: A Star Leader’s Secret Weapon

Our emotions are driven by biological impulses. These biological impulses are beyond our control, but the resulting emotions are not. When emotions are running high, they certainly cannot be ignored – but they can be carefully managed. This is called self-regulation, and it’s the quality of emotional intelligence that liberates us from living like hostages to our impulses.

The signifiers of emotional self-regulation are easily identified. A person who knows how to self-regulate possesses:

Self-regulation is a pretty underrated skill.»

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Daniel Goleman: Four Strategies to Renew Your Career Passion

The search for personal meaning can be an ongoing quest. It’s a difficult process but it usually results in a very healthy and necessary awakening. Leaders, for example, need to work on this regularly in order to replenish their energy, solidify their commitment, heighten their creativity, and rediscover their passion.

But they cannot do so without first re-calibrating to focus on their goals and dreams.

Certain signals can trigger the need to take stock or adjust your perspective. Examples of these signals are feeling trapped, feeling bored, feeling like life is passing you by, or that your personal ethics have been compromised.»

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Daniel Goleman: The Right Balance: Managing Well-Being at Work

The woodworkers at a mill noticed something peculiar. The speed of their production line seemed to be increasing through the week, starting at a moderate pace on Monday and accelerating to a speedy pace by Friday.

And the levels of their stress hormones rose along with the speed.

This research, done some years back, revealed that as stress hormones rose day by day, their levels stayed high through the night. They did not drop until the weekend.

Meanwhile the mill workers started drinking more and spent more hours at night locked in TV-watching. They stopped socializing with their families and friends.»

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Daniel Goleman: An Open Letter to Jeff Weiner

Dear Jeff:

There’s no doubt that LinkedIn has become the world’s best place to connect professionally and build your network.

I see a way it could be even better – especially when it comes to managing your professional identity – and letting users know if you’re the right person for a job.

It comes down to the fact that character counts, not just credentials and job experience.

LinkedIn profiles understandably emphasize professional accomplishments. And that kind of information is crucial when someone scans your profile to evaluate you as a potential job candidate, business colleague, or for any other reason they might want to size you up.»

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Daniel Goleman: Can You Pass This Stress Test?

“Our people are under constant pressure, working 24/7, facing impossible demands,” the head of human resources at a global consultancy tells me.

Who isn’t these days? Stress has become a given in the workplace, with people taking fewer vacation days than ever, and staying tethered to work by their smartphones wherever they go, whatever time of day. Stress is the new normal.       

So here’s the test. When a particularly stressful event comes along – a colleague, or, worse, your boss, blows up at you, say – how long do you stay upset? Do you fret about that upsetting encounter for hours, wake up worrying about it that night, ruminate for days?          »

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Daniel Goleman: How to Make a Lasting Positive Impact

A Force for Good print/ebook and audiobook for will be available June 23, 2015. Sign up here to learn more about the Join a Force for Good initiative. Register for my talk about A Force for Good on June 25 in Washington DC here.


He was a top executive at a multinational food company, and his coach was pursing a challenging line of enquiry. She wanted to know, “What will your legacy be?”       

It’s a conversation Dr. Cherre Torok, an executive coach with a global clientele, has with the CEOS and presidents she works with – “about 90% of the time,” she tells me.            »

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Daniel Goleman: Want a Loyal Team? Choose Kindness Over Toughness

A Force for Good print/ebook and audiobook for will be available June 23, 2015. Sign up here to learn more about the Join a Force for Good initiative. Register for Dr. Goleman’s talk about A Force for Good on June 25 in Washington DC here.


Say one of your direct reports “blows it” in some way – maybe does something dumb that loses a sale, or alienates a client or colleague – and you get upset.       

How you handle that moment makes a huge difference for you, your employee – and your very ability to manage.       

You can either come down hard, reprimanding or punishing the person.»

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Daniel Goleman: The Trick to Attracting New Talent

A Force for Good print/ebook and audiobook for will be available June 23, 2015. Sign up here to learn more about the Join a Force for Good initiative. Register for Dr. Goleman’s talk about A Force for Good on June 25 in Washington DC here.


Emily is the kind of high-potential new hire so many companies want: a smart and personable newly minted MBA from a top school. High IQ. High EQ.

What kind of job would she like, ideally?

“I’d like to work in sustainability at a major corporation,” she told me.

Doing Good While Doing Well

Like so many of her generation, Emily is looking for a job with meaning, one that resonates with her values.»

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