CogniFit's Science blog: Neuroleadership Creating Leaders

Neuroleadership Creating Leaders

We live in times when while many want to be leaders, in essence very few really are. These are times when great leadership is needed more than ever, and it simply doesn’t exist or not in the quantity and quality history has taught us to see.

Traditionally, in a simpler world, leadership was seen as telling others what to do. That leadership status came mostly by heritage rather than merit. But great leaders in the past shared the same traits as the ones needed nowadays. These include having a clear vision of what a different future will be, understanding what may block the path to get there, and engage as many people as possible into that vision. Great leaders bring the best of each individual and the best of each team. But after all, great leadership is as much a matter or capacity as it is of being quick at learning the outside environment.

So the first question would be: is it possible for everyone to be a good leader, or if it is something naturally born? The answer seems to be in neither of the options. Unfortunately, not everyone has the traits and the ability to be a good leader, but even if you have them, you’ll not necessarily become a great leader.

Great leadership isn’t something you can read or learn in a book, it isn’t a simple rule or principle one can read in a trendy book. Great leadership is a combination of several factors and behaviors. Yes there is something born with you, either you have it or not. But it’s not enough, great leadership needs understanding. The understanding of the outside world, capacity to learn, ability to move quickly in a different direction if needed, openness to listen. In reality the whole concept of great leadership is dependent on brain plasticity to come through.

If leadership is then based on each individual’s brains, it is expected that the neuroscience field would try to understand more about it. There are many advantages in learning how to maximize leadership by learning what influences it. This is not only important for the personal life, but it is instrumental for the professional life.

This is where neuroleadership comes to life. Neuroleadership is a field of neuroscience focused on bringing scientific knowledge into the areas of leadership development, management, change, education, and coaching. There are mainly four domains emerging as the central learning domains in this field: i) decision making and problem solving; ii) Staying cool under pressure; iii) Collaborating with others; iv) Facilitating change. In the end, this is the basis of great professional performance which is also the basis of a great leader.

The neuroleadership is a very recent field of knowledge, which means most is still to be developed, but it shows how important and how much the knowledge of the brain can change the way we perceive how we as human beings can be in the future. Will we all be leaders in the future? Probably not. For the reasons explained before and also because that is not desirable in a society. But the development of neuroleadership will surely bring new insights on how to maximize leadership abilities, and thus help the human kind to be better led.