Brain Biology for the New Age Leader
Neuroscience advances indicate that the brain can be practically “rewired” and made more amenable to handle situations that demand out of the box thinking and carefully crafted responses. Sure, when my pizza delivery guy is late, I get frustrated and when I win at poker, I’m elated. Studies indicate that my pizza experience overpowers the mood-lift I get from my stint at poker. The human brain keeps evolving as we grow and negative instances have more of an indelible impact than the positive ones. We are however, capable of “overhauling” this natural phenomenon to serve us well.
This theory has interesting connotations when applied to the context of organizational behavior. Good leaders are not impulsive. Strong Impulses lead to inaccurate decisions more often than not, showing one’s leadership skills in poor light. Stress levels go up and “epinephrine”, a feel-good hormone, plunges. How often have you seen a CFO yell at his immediate junior on account of poor funding calls? I’m a finance man – I sure have! Similarly, it’s important not to draw too many conclusions from what is said at the workplace. Remember, everyone is under stress of sort and laying too much meaning to it just increases stress levels and spoils relationships.
You will find that your mind invariably plays out a negative scenario in your head and more often than not, comes out with an aggressive reply. Remember, people look up to you for guidance. The more accommodating you are, the more your employees will respect you. That does not mean that you are lenient if you find people shooting the breeze at your workplace. But be professional and open when required, and you’ll find your leadership traits highly revered by your peers as well as your under-studies.
The human “prefrontal cortex” is responsible for goal setting. This forms a direct link to employee performance. So what’s the operative word here? Compassion. This is an essential trait of a great leader. It’s also, on most occasions, missing.
A human resource theory promulgates celebration of small victories. It could not be truer in an organizational set up. It lifts employee spirits and automatically pushes them to perform better. Next thing you know, your bottom lines start swelling.
Finally, live in the present. Learn to veer away from negative experiences after gaining knowledge from them. You will find your leadership stakes climb sky-high.