Summary of Neuroscience for Leadership

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Many books and articles apply recent advances in neuroscience to daily life, business and leadership. This addition to that collection is fortunately more useful and down to earth than most. Leadership and management specialists Tara Swart, Kitty Chisholm and Paul Brown express complex ideas in a welcome, readable voice. They waste little time proselytizing for the soundness of their ideas or claiming to unveil a major paradigm shift. Instead, they revel in offering a clear, pragmatic guide to applying concepts from neuroscience to life and leadership. Their advice is fundamental and easily applicable. Don’t let the title daunt you – the authors aggregate and explain a lot of useful wisdom, capably translating science for a lay audience. getAbstract recommends their eye-opening conclusions to everyone interested in neuroscience, self-improvement or leadership.

About the Authors

Tara Swart, CEO of The Unlimited Mind, is a senior lecturer at MIT. Kitty Chisholm is a founding director of Boardwalk, which helps women achieve their leadership potential. Paul Brown teaches organizational neuroscience at Monarch Business School, Switzerland.



Your Chemical Systems

The chemical processes and stimuli in your brain and body drive your actions. Two chemical systems control your behavior: your brain’s neurochemistry and your endocrine system. These complex systems interact. They “break down” under stress, like a car driven too hard. Understanding these systems is pivotal to taking care of yourself and improving your performance.

Neurotransmitters transfer signals between neurons, and they either stimulate or calm you. Neurotransmitters use hormones to send messages to your organs, keeping your lungs breathing and your stomach digesting food. Neurotransmitters are like the gas for your car: They need the electrical spark from your nerve cells. Like your car’s oil, hormones keep processes working smoothly. Your brain evolved to deal with a particular set of challenges. It controls your body’s disparate systems, integrating them into a unified whole.

Four main networks work within your brain. The “default network” supports introspection and creativity; pleasure triggers the “reward network.” Emotion and repetition shape the “affect network” and support intuition. Your “control network” enables self-control...

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