Resonant Leadership: Renewing Yourself and Connecting with Others Through Mindfulness, Hope, and Compassion

by Richard Boyatzis and Annie McKee

Our Main Take-Away:

Leaders who have experienced great success in bringing forth a vision and charting a clear course Have most often done so by creating a “resonant” leadership message. Many such leaders experience years of success and accomplishment without interruption. A recurring theme, however, is that at some point, such leaders often experience a time when their leadership message and style no longer seem to work. The message becomes “dissonant” and is no longer well received. The authors very thoughtfully explore how such a change occurs and provide many thoughts and solutions throughout the book to help leaders care for themselves and to maintain the capacity to lead effectively into the future.

Reasons to Read:

Boyatzis and McKee make a strong case that great leaders utilize emotional intelligence very effectively. In doing so they are able to bring a “resonant” message of creativity, ingenuity, innovation, and expertise to the many challenges that face businesses and team members today. The authors explain that such leaders are inspiring and skilled at moving organizations and communities in directions that others may not have imagined possible.

Within the following pages, research-based explanations are provided for the sacrifices that are demanded of leaders, particularly leaders who are able to achieve strong results. The authors make the point that such leaders are most often highly skilled at achieving these results while demonstrating compassion and empathy for those they serve, thus practicing a model of leadership that is “resonant” to many.

The book then explores the phenomenon of “resonant” leaders who are themselves experiencing loss of effectiveness. Even though they practice strategies and study methods of bringing emotional intelligence and thoughtful practices to their leadership mission, their message is somehow becoming “dissonant”. The research into this recurring situation provides the backdrop for the solutions and strategies that the authors offer through the remaining chapters.

A key concept of the book explores the “cycle of sacrifice and renewal” for leaders. The reality of sustained time periods where leaders are required to give so much of themselves, for such an extended time, eventually leads them to “burn out” and a loss of resonance in their message. The inability of the leader to maintain their capacity to give more to the organization can manifest itself in forms of unrest, potential distrust, and a subsequent need for more drastic changes.

Following the explanation of the conundrum, the authors offer several hopeful points of consideration and solutions for those who wish to avoid this common career trajectory of many successful leaders. They also offer leaders who, having experienced such an occurrence, are searching for a way to move forward more effectively. The remaining chapters are filled with strategies for “renewal” and positive steps that can be taken to combat the pressures and forces that press negatively upon leaders in all organizations.

The book is a very helpful tool for taking care of the leader. It offers several thought-provoking views that will be most useful for the future success of the organization and most of all the leader charged with moving it forward.

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Amazon Summary:

The blockbuster best-seller Primal Leadership introduced us to “resonant” leaders–individuals who manage their own and others’ emotions in ways that drive success. Leaders everywhere recognized the validity of resonant leadership, but struggled with how to achieve and sustain resonance amid the relentless demands of work and life.

Now, Richard Boyatzis and Annie McKee provide an indispensable guide to overcoming the vicious cycle of stress, sacrifice, and dissonance that afflicts many leaders. Drawing from extensive multidisciplinary research and real-life stories, Resonant Leadership offers a field-tested framework for creating the resonance that fuels great leadership. Rather than constantly sacrificing themselves to workplace demands, leaders can manage the cycle using specific techniques to combat stress, avoid burnout, and renew themselves physically, mentally, and emotionally.

The book reveals that the path to resonance is through mindfulness, hope, and compassion and shows how intentionally employing these qualities creates effective and enduring leadership. Great leaders are resonant leaders. Resonant Leadership offers the inspiration–and tools–to spark and sustain resonance in ourselves and in those we lead.

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