Neuroscience Implications for Leadership


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Michael Lee Stallard's slides and audio from a webcast to members of the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD), the world's largest association of training professionals. The webcast looks at findings in the field of neuroscience and their implications for the leadership of teams and organizations.

Published in: Business, Technology

Neuroscience Implications for Leadership

  1. 1. Fired Up Leadership : How Work Environment Fires Up the Human Brain to Improve Performance
  2. 2. BACKGROUND Michael Lee Stallard is the president of E Pluribus Partners. He is a leading authority on leadership, employee engagement, productivity and innovation. His work has been widely praised, including by Frances Hesselbein, Marshall Goldsmith and Guy Kawasaki. He is the primary author of the book Fired Up or Burned Out: How to Reignite Your Team’s Passion, Creativity and Productivity.
  3. 3. Audio of this presentation can be downloaded onto iTunes at this link: NOTE: THE DOWNLOAD IS AUTOMATIC AND BEGINS WHEN YOU CLICK ON THE LINK
  4. 4. CURRENT WORK ENVIRONMENT <ul><li>Why should you care? </li></ul><ul><li>Productivity and innovation are low </li></ul><ul><li>75% of our employees are not engaged at work! </li></ul><ul><li>America: 101,000,000 employees </li></ul>
  5. 5. OUT OF MANY, ONE
  6. 6. THE FORCE OF CONNECTION <ul><li>Definition - A bond based on shared identity , empathy and understanding that moves self-centered individuals toward group-centered membership. </li></ul>An invisible force between human beings that promotes trust, cooperation and “esprit de corps”!
  7. 7. RESEARCH
  9. 10. NEUROSCIENCE <ul><li>Neuroscience has shown connection: </li></ul><ul><li>Increases dopamine which enhances attention and pleasure </li></ul><ul><li>Increases serotonin which reduces fear and worry </li></ul><ul><li>Increases oxytocin which makes us more trusting of others </li></ul><ul><li>Reduces stress hormones (epinephrine, norepinephrine, cortisol) </li></ul>
  11. 12. NEUROSCIENCE <ul><li>Scientists discovered from split brain surgery: </li></ul><ul><li>Right Brain - unconscious mind - emotions </li></ul><ul><li>Left Brain - conscious mind - logic, speech </li></ul><ul><li>Neuroscientist Michael Gazzaniga labeled left brain “the interpreter” </li></ul><ul><li>Frequently, the right brain hemisphere determines what we do and the left brain makes up a story to explain it </li></ul>
  12. 13. NEUROSCIENCE <ul><li>Scientists discovering that: </li></ul><ul><li>Stress shifts brain activity from frontal lobes to mid-brain that is less socially adept </li></ul><ul><li>Social environment: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>can change biological systems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>can even change the transcription of our genes at the cellular level </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Connection triggers a biochemical reaction that makes humans more resilient, less vulnerable to the effects of stress and less susceptible to psychiatric disorders. </li></ul>
  13. 14. PSYCHOLOGY Meaning Personal Growth Autonomy (Freedom) Recognition Belonging Respect Human needs to thrive:
  14. 15. HEALTH RESEARCH <ul><li>Research: connection = positive impact </li></ul><ul><li>Infants who are held = healthier </li></ul><ul><li>Adults with greater connection = more creative, better problem solvers </li></ul><ul><li>Patients with social support = recover faster </li></ul><ul><li>Seniors who have social relationships = live longer </li></ul>
  15. 16. PSYCHIATRY <ul><li>Lack of connection at work </li></ul><ul><li>loneliness </li></ul><ul><li>isolation </li></ul><ul><li>confusion </li></ul><ul><li>distrust </li></ul><ul><li>disrespect </li></ul><ul><li>dissatisfaction </li></ul>
  16. 17. POLITICAL SOCIOLOGY <ul><li>Since WWII, joy has declined although economic prosperity has increased dramatically </li></ul><ul><li>Experts believe it’s attributable to a lack of connection and community </li></ul>
  17. 18. ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR <ul><li>2004 Study, 50,000 employees: </li></ul><ul><li>Engaged employees are 20% more productive than the average employee </li></ul><ul><li>Emotional factors are four times as influential as rational factors when it comes to employee effort </li></ul><ul><li>Source: Corporate Leadership Council </li></ul>
  19. 20. THE BOTTOM LINE <ul><li>Connection = Flourishing, Life </li></ul><ul><li>Disconnection = Disfunction, Death </li></ul>
  20. 21. CORPORATE EQUATION + Task Excellence = The Connection Culture Relationship Excellence
  22. 23. INSPIRING IDENTITY (VISION) <ul><li>When everyone in the organization is </li></ul><ul><ul><li>- Motivated by the mission </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- United by the values </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- Proud of the reputation </li></ul></ul>
  24. 25. HUMAN VALUE (VALUE) <ul><li>When everyone in the organization </li></ul><ul><li>- Understands the needs of people </li></ul><ul><li>- Appreciates their positive, unique contributions </li></ul><ul><li>- Helps others achieve their potential </li></ul>
  26. 27. KNOWLEDGE FLOW (VOICE) <ul><li>When everyone in the organization </li></ul><ul><ul><li>- Seeks the ideas of others </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- Shares ideas and opinions honestly </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- Safeguards relational connections </li></ul></ul>
  29. 30. American Psychology Association study Leading psychologists Global study Identified 24 specific character strengths CHARACTER STRENGTHS
  30. 31. COMMITTED MEMBERS <ul><li>- committed to task excellence, </li></ul><ul><li>- promoting the connection culture, and </li></ul><ul><li>- living out character strengths and virtues </li></ul>When everyone in the organization is:
  31. 32. - coordinate task excellence, - facilitate the connection culture, and - model and mentor others in character strengths and virtues! SERVANT LEADERS Committed members who are empowered with the authority to:
  32. 33. “ Ability may get you to the top but it takes character to keep you there.” -- Legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden CHARACTER STRENGTHS
  33. 34. “… while there are indeed great, often unfathomable forces in history before which even the most exceptional of individuals seem insignificant, the wonder is how often events turn upon a single personality, or the quality we call character.” -- Historian David McCullough CHARACTER STRENGTHS
  34. 35. “ I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” -- Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. CHARACTER STRENGTHS
  35. 36. CHARACTER STRENGTHS <ul><li>1. Develop habits that reflect character strengths. </li></ul><ul><li>2. Build high trust relationships with people who want to develop character strengths. </li></ul><ul><li>3. Undertake periodic checkups - 360 degree performance reviews. </li></ul><ul><li>4. Study and celebrate the character of intentional connectors. </li></ul><ul><li>5. Select, measure and promote leaders who have character strengths and who connect. </li></ul>
  36. 37. Actionable examples 20 stories of great leaders Questions for team study LEARN FROM LEADERS Free download for the next 2 days at: