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Emotional Capitalists

Author: Martyn Newman

Publisher: Jossey Bass

ISBN: Mick Yates

Summary:Building on Goleman’s EQ framework, Newman identifies seven emotions that set leaders apart, and provides a blue print for systematically building EQ and leadership skills.

Leader Values

ISBN 978 0 470 69421 3

EQ has been around a few years now, popularized by Daniel Goleman and built on 1970’s research by Reuven Bar-On. In essence Goleman had a simple message – be emotionally mature and more aware of your surroundings and your impact on people, and you will get better results. He moved us away from task focussed logic, yet allowed us all to keep our own styles. Ground breaking stuff. There are five broad competencies involved – Self Awareness, Self Management, Social Awareness, Social Skills and Adaptability – all building towards improved Leadership performance.

In this new book, Martyn Newman suggests that Emotional Capitalism is a new approach to Leadership. First, he contends that leading in the workplace is a by-product of emotions such as self confidence and enthusiasm. Second, he stresses that emotions create valuable relationships between organizations and their customers. And, third, Newman believes that these emotions and the associated behaviours can be developed.

Building on Goleman’s framework, he identifies seven emotions that set leaders apart, and provides a blue print for systematically building EQ and leadership skills. He notes:

  1. Independence and self-reliance
  2. Assertiveness
  3. Optimism
  4. Self actualization
  5. Self regard and self confidence
  6. Interpersonal relationships
  7. Empathy

Taking one of these 7 dimensions, Empathy, you can get an idea of his approach. Newman suggests two basic strategies – “Focus on the Cognitive Dimension in all Interpersonal Exchanges”, and “Treat People as Human Beings by Validating their Experience”. In the first case, he urges us to actively listen, to take an involved posture, ask questions, pause & paraphrase, suspend judgement, take an active interest in your stakeholders as people, and (overall) make other people feel they are the most important people on earth (all designed to build emotional capital). At each step Newman suggests things to consider and watch outs.  And each of the 7 chapters has a checklist of actions to consider to improve your skills and competencies.

The book is full of ideas and bullet points for improvement – and it is seems that Newman’s “Emotional Capitalist Leadership System” pulls it all together in an easy-to-follow framework (notwithstanding the commercial flavour, you can start to get a handle on this online at

If I have a critique it is that it is not always clear in the book where a strategy becomes a tactic, or where an example becomes a specific training exercise. That said, Newman does a good job of using research, case studies and stories to make his point, and the net result is a practical and yet imaginative volume.