Summary of The Leader’s Brain

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The Leader’s Brain book summary

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Neuroscientist Michael L. Platt’s brief overview of the field of applied neuroscience focuses on current and near-future uses of the science in society and at work. Platt argues that enhanced understanding of the brain – combined with wearable technologies and artificial intelligence (AI) – will revolutionize health and human performance. Readers can test Platt’s tips on employees at work, making this quick read potentially valuable. The book provides leaders and workers who are unfamiliar with the advances in the field with plenty of practical – if somewhat scattered – advice.

About the Author

University of Pennsylvania professor Michael L. Platt is former director of the Institute for Brain Sciences at Duke University and founder of the Wharton Neuroscience Initiative.


Human beings evolved to be social animals who need community, especially in times of crisis. 

People with strong social connections lead longer, healthier lives, earn more money and prove better leaders. When Google sought to learn what traits made the best managers, they found programming expertise and technical acumen mattered little compared to coaching ability and helping others navigate their careers.

The COVID-19 pandemic frustrates people’s coming together for mutual support, making this an especially stressful time. In experiments, monkeys grew more socially connected and inclusive following crises; perhaps post-COVID-19 humans will too. Recovery from the pandemic will require leaders who understand universal and individual social needs. 

The expanding field of neuroscience – which psychology, economics, biology and behavioral science informs and data powers – offers insights into human needs, desires and motivations.

The field of neuroscience helps us understand what motivates people, how they learn and what drives top performance...

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