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.)
Are you writing new music, or are you just playing notes that have been written in the past? Are you creating sounds for tomorrow, or are you just accepting sounds from yesterday? (Kai Kight on Composing Your World)
Creativity is an essential quality that enables us to survive and thrive as we co-evolve in the world of continuous change.
Zinnias blooming on the space station in January 2016. Image credit: NASA/Scott Kelly
We have entered the world of AI, deep learning, singularity and the implications of that on our identity making is not yet clear. Blockchains and crypto currencies are moving from the start-up spaces into the board rooms of big corporate. Elon Musk is building memes about going to Mars and clean sources of energy. The first zinnias are blooming in space.
New discoveries in technologies make it possible to provide precision medicine or enhanced performance. We are able to “hack” our physical health through new projects like .the Flow Dome re-creating experiences using somatic entrainment. Neurosciences are giving us new insights into the human mind, and new thinking in performance and wellbeing psychology focuses on studying what it means to flourish in all aspects of our life.
Virtual reality is meshing with art and learning to inspire, educate and enable creation. The boundaries between the virtual world and the real world are blurring as reality shows like Survivor and the Amazing Race transitioned into lifestyle promotion.
LinkedIn supports Conscious Business. The Experience Economy is alive with meaning, purpose calling and wanting to make a positive impact on the planet. Philosophy professors are publishing their discourses for free on You Tube. Creativity is becoming abundant. The science of happiness, mindfulness and yoga are now entering mainstream business.
Biomimicry has matured as a construct and method used in the corporate world as well as government. Farmers are applying science with natural technology to yield not only extraordinary productivity, but also improve vitality without the harmful effects of chemicals. Physicians are starting to not only prescribe organic food as medicine, but growing it for their patients too, and in this way re-inspired by returning to the origins of their tradition.
People are moving out of gymnasiums to practice fitness in nature while having more fun and brain health. Japanese Forest Walking is spreading. Dancing is rapidly gaining popularity for not only fitness, but addressing a variety of mental and other challenges.
Storytelling is a sought after art. Visual thinking and digital communication with empathic insight are new leadership skills.
Medical experts, economists and innovators are discovering effective traditional and indigenous wisdom, tools and practice that offer a wealth of not-yet explored methods and approaches that seem to address health challenges, biomedicine, genetic engineering and even current economic models cannot solve, offering new opportunities of partnerships of empowerment in restoration of culture, systems vitality and wellness strategies in times of disruptive change.
The future is arriving and we are already seeing novel ways we are able to create new pathways that are more environmentally sustainable, socially just and spiritually fulfilling. We have an global opportunity for inspired action that originates from our best future self.
In this world nimbleness, creativity, collaboration. critical thinking, communication and vitality will be the skills that will endure.
“If the teacher is indeed wise he does not bid you enter the house of his wisdom, but rather leads you to the threshold of your own mind.” Kahlil Gibran.
“Where attention goes, energy flows.”
MaRi Eagar is a innovator who studies and consults on leadership skills for the future.