Some say brains are born to lead. Others see leadership as a learned skill. I say that gene pools play a part – yet what you do daily can rewire your brain for transformational leadership. What do you say?
Your brain’s equipped to leap toward new challenges or default to harmful ruts, and you decide which way it heads out daily. Leaders play a part in their own acumen as does the amazing resilience of the human brain’s plasticity. Delightfully, the choice is yours, and you can .
Here are 20 questions that determine your brain’s leadership fate:
1. What solution did you rock lately? To address a difficulty with a proposed opportunity can lead others beyond rigid ruts at work. It’s so because ruts are really habits formed in brains, and top leaders help to reshape routines into novel ways forward. Choose winning strategies daily and your brain will store and live these leadership improvements as a reality.
2. How do you light the way? A well lit workplace setting jumpstarts brainpower to lead. That’s why natural lighting at work leads to more inspiration for leaders to spot and capitalize on good ideas.
3.When did you last thank a bloke? Workers tell you they rarely hear shout outs for personal accomplishments. How many people around you await appreciation expressed from those who lead well. Not surprisingly, people are far more apt to follow leaders who fuel serotonin, chemical hormones triggered by expressions of kindness.
4. Let go of missteps? Drop the anger, fear, and frustration brains fuel by harmful cortisol chemical hormones that come with holding grudges. Why so? Leadership turns mistakes into stepping stones forward, when you let go of your own mistakes and drop others missteps too.
5. Play with new ideas or complain about crap? Venting is bad for the brain and creates new neuron pathways to many more complaints. New ideas suggest leaders readiness to build a finer future that creative people crave.
6. Do you model or mock? Act like the leader you want others to see in you, and that leader you’ll become. That’s how brains work. Dendrite cells use your responses to the outside world to shape, and grow new connections for leadership improvement. Links based on what you do daily.
7. What’s playing in your background.?Vary your background sounds to add music for more motivation. Music changes brain wave speeds in ways that impact moods and alter your leadership ability. Baroque, for instance increases focus, while heavy metal makes leaders edgy at times.
8. Do you cultivate curiosity? Engage others around you, rather than tell people what works, and align your leadership to listener brains. Top leaders benefit from diverse intelligences while poor leaders fail to to hear much more than personal perspectives.
9. What innovations mix up your day? Lived diversity follows flexible leaders, and brainpower goes well with differences. Hebbian leaders, in contrast, rewire daily for ruts and rigid routines that kill incentives. A leader can limit focus and shrink people’s brains from stress, or lead for diverse assets through valuing differences.
10. How’d you sleep last night? At least 7 and preferably 8 hours of shut-eye reconfigure your brain to lead new life into the next day. Brain waves bring either sluggishness or peak performance, all based on how you allow them to rejuvenate in REM sleep.
12. Does research add zip to your brainpower? Open mentally to discover novel and improved ideas daily. Then be first to apply, try and test these ideas to propel a project forward. Hook even difficult facts onto one thing you know and learning increases in less time, enabling you to lead the way.
13. Do others deem you quaint? Or are you quick to change and grow? 21st Century leaders suggest change on regular basis. Expect opposition to shut down weaker leaders though. Because the brain’s basal ganglia stores old facts and creates boredom, successful leaders stand out by ways they stir working memory to generate new facts and lead change.
14. Ever survey peoples’ strengths? Multiple intelligences are common to all, led only by the best, and cultivated daily with regular use as mental tools. It takes high performance leadership to gather feedback, recognize growth, and encourage people’s strengths, based on feedback gathered.
15. Do you create or criticize? Cynical or critical leaders literally block creativity, limit talent, and stomp out innovation. Creativity offers a mental tool to take millionaire minds to new peaks, and leaders who create and value talent, will motivate abilities in themselves as well as inspire others to follow and grow.
16. Outsource brainpower? List key facts as guides and you’ll offer reminders that keep others walking forward more frequently. We now know that memory can be outsourced in ways free top leaders to focus fully on tasks in the moment. That’s how mental equipment’s designed to lead productivity forward.
17. Integrate across silos? Mind-bending ideas come from people across many fields, and it takes a skilled leader who can create segues into and around silos to capitalize on hidden and unused brainpower. Silos separate and isolate top talent, while leaders who integrate hard and soft skills tend to lead more success with the brain in mind.
18. When did you last communicate with care? Openness and honesty generate trust learning and growth to raise workplace IQs. Meta messages, from leaders who care less however, destroy relationships through implications spoken that differ from actual messages heard. Simply put, encouragement changes the chemistry of a brain through raised serotonin, when leaders ratchet up tone for all-round profitability.
19. Collaborate stellar solutions? Poor leaders hide their best ideas, as they fear their competition. Other ineffective leaders insist they do better alone. High performance minds, on the other hand, create new neuron pathways through collective brainpower. To facilitate democratic solutions for stubborn workplace problems, is to lead benefits only the best will discover.
20. Can you celebrate gender proclivities? Amazingly, women’s and men’s brain differ biologically and intellectually, yet few optimize these strengths to lead greatness for both genders. It requires risk as jolted by dopamine surges – to prosper talents in others from the opposite gender. The highly successful lead both genders to achieve cutting edge advantages.
How could these questions and a few facts about your brain increase your leadership brainpower given all the challenges and opportunities that beg for finer leadership 2010?
This article appeared in SmartBrief on Your Career on Thursday, June 30, 2010.