Must-Reads on Emotional Intelligence for Leadership & Management

Emotional intelligence (EI) is an indispensable trait for effective leadership and management. As leaders navigate the complex landscape of organizational dynamics, understanding, and mastering emotional intelligence can make a world of difference. In this piece, we present a curated list of must-reads on emotional intelligence for leadership and management, tailored for executives who are currently in leadership positions or aspiring to step into such roles. These insightful reads offer invaluable counsel, tactics, and viewpoints aimed at boosting leadership skills, nurturing corporate performance, and a harmonious environment within the workplace.


10 Books on Emotional Intelligence for Leadership & Management


  1. “Emotional Intelligence” by Daniel Goleman 

Daniel Goleman’s groundbreaking book is a cornerstone in the realm of emotional intelligence literature. With a blend of scientific research and real-world examples, Goleman delves into the five components of EI and how they contribute to success in both professional and personal settings. This classic is a must-read for anyone aiming to enhance their leadership capabilities.


  1. “Primal Leadership” by Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis, and Annie McKee

Another gem from Daniel Goleman. This collaborative work introduces the concept of resonant leadership, focusing on the emotional impact that leaders have on their teams. The authors emphasize the importance of emotional intelligence in creating a positive and productive organizational culture.


  1. “On Emotional Intelligence” by Harvard Business Review

This compilation of articles from Harvard Business Review includes contributions from Daniel Goleman and other thought leaders in the field of emotional intelligence. This book is great for leaders who are just beginning their EI journey, providing valuable insights into how emotional intelligence shapes leadership effectiveness. Additionally, this book offers practical advice and real-life stories to illustrate how EI can be utilized to inspire and motivate teams.


  1. “Show Up as Your Best Self: Mindful Leaders, Meditation, & More” by Cathy Quartner Bailey

This book sheds light on the journey of mindful leadership, incorporating meditation and more. Leaders who possess high emotional intelligence remain composed, even when things are chaotic. A number of them maintain their calm by engaging in mindfulness techniques. If you’re interested in experimenting with this, this book offers practical insights into enhancing leadership qualities by being present and attuned to oneself and others.


  1. “The Emotionally Intelligent Manager” by David R. Caruso and Peter Salovey

Written by two pioneers in the field of emotional intelligence, this book provides practical tools for managers to assess, develop, and apply emotional intelligence. It offers actionable strategies to lead effectively, foster collaboration, and handle challenging situations.


  1. “Emotional Agility” by Susan David

Susan David’s book offers a fresh perspective on emotional intelligence by focusing on emotional agility – the ability to navigate our emotions in a healthy and adaptive way. David provides actionable strategies to increase emotional resilience, make better decisions, and thrive in the face of change.


  1. “Rising Strong: How the Ability to Reset Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead” by Brené Brown

Brené Brown’s book delves into the concept of rising strong after facing adversity. It explores how the ability to reset and bounce back from challenges can transform various aspects of life, including leadership. The book provides insights on how embracing vulnerability and emotional intelligence can lead to greater resilience and success in leadership roles.


8.”The Power of Your Potential: How to Break Through Your Limits” by John C. Maxwell

John C. Maxwell’s book explores the potential within individuals to overcome limitations and achieve greatness. Emotional intelligence relies on self-awareness. This book can help leaders develop a better understanding of their personal strengths, offering insights and strategies for leaders to leverage their inner power and drive positive change within themselves and their teams.


  1. “Applied Empathy: The New Language of Leadership” by Michael Ventura

Michael Ventura’s book introduces the concept of applied empathy as a tool for effective leadership. It explores how understanding and connecting with others on a deeper level can lead to stronger relationships and impactful leadership. This insightful read provides practical strategies for cultivating empathy and using it to drive positive change in the workplace and beyond.


  1. “Emotional Judo: Communication Skills to Handle Difficult Conversations and Boost Emotional Intelligence” by Tim Higgs

Tim Higgs’ book equips leaders with communication skills to navigate tough conversations and strengthen working relationships. Emotionally intelligent leaders don’t shy away from difficult conversations. This book offers techniques to address challenging situations with finesse and tact, promoting healthier relationships and improved team dynamics.



Incorporating emotional intelligence into leadership practices can result in improved communication, stronger team relationships, and enhanced decision-making. These 10 essential reads on emotional intelligence offer a wealth of knowledge and guidance for effective leadership and management. The collection addresses individuals currently in leadership roles as well as those striving to assume such positions. These resources assist in cultivating and utilizing their emotional intelligence for the benefit of their organizations and personal growth.

Whether you are a seasoned executive or an aspiring leader, delving into these resources can be a transformative step toward becoming a more emotionally intelligent and impactful leader.

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