4 Neuro Leadership Keys Driving Success

A man fluent in 2 languages recently went into a deep coma, and upon coming out of the coma, could only speak one language.

And after a horrific beating, another man,became a Mensa-qualified genius. These are true stories and reflect how much we are still learning about the brain and how it works.

Here are some neuro leadership comments excerpted from Dr. Bob Adamik:

Neuro leadership – 4 Keys Driving Success:

1. Regulate Emotions – Walter Mischel, Stanford, in research with 600 kids gave a child in a room with cookie the option to eat one now or have two later. Alone in the room, some children did eat a cookie and others didn’t eat. Dr. Mischel followed these kids for 40 years! The kids who succumbed quickly to temptation often had lower SAT scores, a higher body-mass index, and a slightly increased risk of substance abuse later in life. He found over time, the kids, now adults, who didn’t eat the cookie right away – delaying gratification – made better decisions. Interestingly, Simon Sinek recently hypothesized that the millennials are receiving a dopamine rush from their devices, and are less able to delay gratification.  Dr. Adamik refers to 1:1 conversations and personal interactions as more critical to regulating our emotions than e-mail and technology. Mindfulness, of any amount of time, helps to regulate our emotional response and engage more of our prefrontal cortex, which allows for better results and improved relationships.

2. Decision-Making – We need to create a more brain-friendly environment. One major key is to get more sleep. Sleep is important for eliminating toxins from our system. Less sleep, as we know, makes us more irritable and less capable of making good decisions. If our success depends on things like perception, judgement, problem-solving, and understanding, those things are greatly diminished by a lack of sleep. Our society today is less about carrying rocks or shoveling dirt, it’s intellectual – requiring both our minds and our hearts to succeed, not just our hands and feet.

3. Collaboration – In 1997, a Rizzolatti-Fograssi-Gallese study of mirror neurons showed that we have the ability, through visual stimulation and nerve impulses, to interpret others’ meanings through their actions. Often subconsciously we mimic the actions of others to further build a relational bond. Being part of the human race or ‘tribe” is everything to our survival. There is a very strong connection between social pain equaling physical pain. Social rewards are every bit as powerful as financial rewards. David Rock, in his SCARF model, reflects the power of collaboration in these 5 elements:

Status (survival thoughts)
Clarity (predictability of others and ourselves)
Autonomy (freedom to make our own decisions)
Relatedness (sharing with another)
Fairness (no double standards)

4. Facilitate Change – Neuroplasticity is a measure of our ability to make change and we lose neuroplasticity, like muscle, as we age. Truly grandma is less able to learn Instagram, Twitter, the iPad, and the new technology, rather than simply dismissing it as ‘new fangled” or “not necessary.” We need feedback (360, DiSC, Strength-Finders ..etc.)  to build myelin sheath around nerve fibers to create new ways to think and act.  

Confusing Choices – Blame your Brain


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