Leaders Are Made, Not Born – Brain Plasticity

24
Mar 2012

For years arguments have raged as to whether leaders are born or made. New research on neuroscience points strongly that our experience continually shapes our neural connections in an effect known as “brain plasticity”. Leaders in many cases can be MADE.

So you CAN teach old dogs new tricks. With repetition and commitment, new neural connections are made and leadership behaviours altered.

I have been greatly impressed by the neuroscience work of my friend Professor Paul Brown and recommend you read David Brooks (The Social Animal) and John Medina (Brain Rules).

Two simple sayings are influential:
1. “Neurons that fire together, wire together”.
2. In neural terms, “use it, or loose it”.

So there is hard neuroscience behind our soft skills. It pays to continually keep your brain active, in middle and old age, with learning new skills (helping minimise the risk of Alzheimer’s).

Work with someone to make healthy connections and learn from experience to become a better leader. It’s sometimes cheaper to learn from others mistakes. I’ve made more than my fair share!

Warm regards
Professor Jonathan Perks MBE

Other Articles

Are You Accountable? Solid or Dotted Lines

January 08, 2012
How accountable are you REALLY in large organisations? The scale and complexity of global organisations encourages them to fudge accountability and responsibility. Everyone is responsible; so no on…

Friend or Foe?

June 18, 2011
In his audiobook ” your brain at work” David Rock shares some helpful insights about why we act as we do in meetings at work. Our initial brain wiring sees new colleagues as threats, in…

How are you leading your “clever” people? A powerful new book speaks about this.

January 30, 2010
I recommend the book by Rob Goffee and Gareth Jones called “clever”. Makes me realise that I’m very fortunate to have recruited and be working with a very clever team of board and…

Copyright © Jonathan Bowman-Perks MBE
Powered By Spotlight Studios