The following is a list of 10 ideas that may be presented to Leaders as a part of a Leadership program from a Neuroleadership perspective:

  1. Great Leaders have a thorough understanding of Brain Functioning – they understand the difference between the reflexive and the reflective capacities of the brain and use this to enhance their own personal effectiveness as well as providing guidance for others – some examples are : multitasking (not an effective strategy); energy – (limited metabolic capacity of the PFC, therefore do the most difficult tasks first); Positive feedback and a positive working environment (increases dopamine levels in the brain).
  2. Focus on Goal setting
    - use the controlled Reflective function
    - When in a novel or critical situation, you have a foundation of thinking that has already been made – can enhance effective decision making (bias thinking towards goal directed behaviour)
  3. Self Reflection – builds awareness of values, needs, beliefs, purpose – this creates a default towards alignment thinking
  4. Bottom up organisation – an awareness that we are not able to control the environment, but that we are able to control our response to the environment – the importance of hardwiring positive and desirable behaviours.
  5. Top Down organisation (focusing on relevant stimuli) the importance of powerful questions in coaching others – questions that create insight and action in solutions focused and goal directed manner.
  6. RVLPC – The braking system of the brain which is used to inhibit inappropriate emotional responses. Remember that this exhausts easily, so build a set of alternative inhibition strategies for decision making/ response behaviour
    - Goals as a point of reference
    - Reframe
    - Normalise
    - Distract or refocus appropriately
  7. Optimal Arousal curve – moderation as a philosophy – Great Leaders have awareness of where they are on the arousal curve and how to stay in the “sweet spot” – avoiding excess stress, thrill seeking or risk taking behaviour, knowing the signs of burnout. They provide strategies of self management and balance in all areas of their lives. Similarly, under arousal – boredom, apathy, lack of interest are seen as the root of inefficiency and poor performance.
  8. Optimal Arousal – DA and NE:
    - Increase the likelihood of dopamine release through the creation of a positive environment, positive feedback mechanisms and having a sense of purpose and meaning. (Also opportunities for insight – which releases dopamine)
    - Moderate increase of NE through eustress, novelty, creativity, meaning, energy, excitement (manageable fear)
  9. Great Leaders have insight into the use of the PFC vs. the Limbic system - when and how the two brain systems operate and how to use this awareness to be more effective in leading and managing others – the use of the SCARF model would be appropriate.
  10. Genetic, hormonal and Environmental factors can have a large effect on Prefrontal abilities – an effective leader will know what these are and what impact they may have.

This is a brief overview of some important factors that may have the potential to empower and inform a Leader in their quest to become more effective and particularly in self Leadership and personal mastery.

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