The Neuroscience of Leadership and Brain Fitness

Stephanie West Allen kind­ly alert­ed me of her blog on Neu­ro­science and the Legal Pro­fes­sion. There, I found her great post about the beau­ti­ful arti­cle “The Neu­ro­science of Lead­er­ship”, by David Rock and Jef­frey M. Schwartz.

I encour­age you to read the full arti­cle. Many Aha! insights, and a great sur­vey of impli­ca­tions of cog­ni­tive neu­ro­science. Stephanie will inter­view the authors soon-keep tuned.

Some high­lights of the article
— Lead­ers would ben­e­fit from engag­ing oth­ers in ways based on innate brain pre­dis­po­si­tions
- Learn­ing is phys­i­cal change in our brain struc­tures. You have prob­a­bly heard that “cells that fire togeth­er wire togeth­er”. There­fore, each of our brains is, lit­er­al­ly, unique.
— The Quan­tum Zeno Effect, applied to neu­ro­science, means that “the men­tal act of focus­ing atten­tion sta­bi­lizes the asso­ci­at­ed brain circuits…Over time, pay­ing enough atten­tion to any spe­cif­ic brain con­nec­tion keeps the rel­e­vant cir­cuit­ry open and dynam­i­cal­ly alive…The pow­er is in the focus.”
— Which results in “Self-direct­ed neu­ro­plas­tic­i­ty”: “With enough atten­tion den­si­ty, indi­vid­ual thoughts and acts of the mind can become an intrin­sic part of an indi­vid­u­al’s iden­ti­ty: who one is, how one per­ceives the world, and how one’s brain works”.
— One of our bot­tle­necks with learn­ing new infor­ma­tion and sus­tain­ing atten­tion is work­ing mem­o­ry, i.e., “the brain’s hold­ing area, where per­cep­tions and ideas can first be com­pared to oth­er information”
— Final­ly, “giv­en the small capac­i­ty of work­ing mem­o­ry, many small bites of learn­ing, digest­ed over time, may be more effi­cient than large blocks of time spent in work­shops”. Did you need a neu­ro­science-based rea­son to fre­quent this blog regularly:-)

The authors also believe that “change is pain”. If you need proof, please
try this quick brain teas­er.

Fur­ther infor­ma­tion on a num­ber of these and oth­er areas cov­ered in the article:
Neu­ro­plas­tic­i­ty and brain exercise 
On being “smart” and build­ing neur­al connections 
“Use It or Lose It”: what is “It”? (sim­pli­fied brain anatomy)
Ready to learn?
Work­ing Mem­o­ry Train­ing and Attention 
On atten­tion, trad­ing psy­chol­o­gy and open minds
Emo­tions and Decision-Making 
Brain Fit­ness Pro­grams and the Brain and Mind Fit­ness Revolution
Phys­i­cal fit­ness and Brain Fitness
On being positive


  1. Hobart Johnson on October 1, 2006 at 4:45

    I have looked at both blogs. There is much infor­ma­tion, per­haps too much for some peo­ple. I will need to spend much more time study­ing what you are pre­sent­ing and then I will have more com­ments. Thank you for send­ing these to me. Hobart

  2. Alvaro on October 2, 2006 at 2:49

    Hi Hobart, thanks for the feed­back. We will start an exper­i­ment this week­with a dif­fer­ent struc­ture and more suc­cinct infor­ma­tion. We are try­ing to cater dif­fer­ent audi­ences, and learn­ing how to best do that.


About SharpBrains

SHARPBRAINS is an independent think-tank and consulting firm providing services at the frontier of applied neuroscience, health, leadership and innovation.
SHARPBRAINS es un think-tank y consultoría independiente proporcionando servicios para la neurociencia aplicada, salud, liderazgo e innovación.

Top Articles on Brain Health and Neuroplasticity

Top 10 Brain Teasers and Illusions


Subscribe to our e-newsletter

* indicates required

Got the book?