6 electric ideas changing the way we manage: Part 3

07 July 2016 -


In the third in our series we take a look at how brain training can make you a better manager

Matt Scott

Your brain is a complex beast, made up of 86 billion brain cells sending messages at just fewer than 300 miles an hour, it is responsible for making you a conscious, living, breathing human being.

Not only that – it is responsible for making you you.

Through a series of experiences and, more importantly, relationships, your brain is moulded into a form that makes you unique – quite a remarkable feat for something that fits so neatly inside your head.

But, despite hundreds of millions of research dollars spent every year, relatively little is known about the world’s most complex structure.

But that is starting to change.

New research into how modern business leaders’ brains work is unearthing extraordinary insights.

For example, leaders tend to be less stressed than subordinates; are more likely to have a well-developed prefrontal cortex (PFC), responsible for focusing attention, self-control, planning and complex problem-solving; are great storytellers; and set clear goals for themselves and others.

But, most importantly, neuroscience is revealing that leadership can be learned.

Through practice and focused attention, managers can boost the performance and capacities of their PFC, improving some of the key skills required for a position in leadership.

The process isn’t easy, however, and while mentoring and mindfulness techniques will help speed up the process, science is yet to find a substitute for good old- fashioned hard work and dedication.

This electric idea is drawn from CMI Management Book of The Year shortlisted book Neuroscience for Leadership: Harnessing the Brain Gain Advantage by Tara Swart, Kitty Chisholm and Paul Brown

To find out about all the shortlisted books and inhale some of their management magic, visit yearbook.managers.org.uk

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