Leadership is evolving to a new frontier.

As leaders continuously face new challenges and opportunities, they often search through the latest scientific research to understand new knowledge and build new skills to continuously gain advantage for themselves and their enterprises.

Research proves that by rewiring thinking patterns and controlling human response to different social or business circumstance, leaders can relearn how to be more effective in driving personal and enterprise success. Here’s why.

Introducing the science of brain-based leadership

The most important new leadership information available to leader innovation is the emerging field of brain-based leadership. Two important areas are of interest to leadership growth; first, leaders look for opportunities to significantly improve personal performance; and secondly, these leaders strive to improve social relationships and customer experiences.

Neuroplasticity — the potential to shape the brain structure and its function

Neuro-scientific research validates what leaders always knew; that experience actually changes the brain and that there is no limit to brain development. Neuroplasticity is a concept that means that the brain structure and function change all the time. External events impact on the human brain, but human beings also are able to induce self-directed changes.

The human brain is a network of approximately one hundred billion neurons. Different experiences create different neural connections which bring about different emotions. Depending on which neurons get stimulated, certain connections become stronger and more efficient while others may become weaker.

Someone who trains to be an engineer will create stronger neural connections which, in turn, generate “neuropaths” in engineering. The price that is paid, however, is that other connections become weaker if attention is not paid to these. For example, such a person might neglect to focus on empathy and, therefore, reduce their ability to feel compassion and kindness towards others and themselves.

Qualities and skills can be trained or created. Whatever an individual is doing at any time, they are physically modifying their brain to become better at it.

Important leadership qualities, such as visioning and strategic thinking all work the same way. These are neural connections that can be strengthened. Leaders can conduct research and find out, scientifically, how to create and strengthen neural connections to improve their performance.

(Note, this article was originally published by Presidents of Enterprising Organizations as part of an insight series for executes which was authored by MaRi Eagar.)