What Science Says About the Brain and Leadership Skills

Inside the June 2013 issue of Inc. magazine there is an interesting article that highlights scientific research on the brains of leaders. David A. Waldman, a management professor at Arizona State University has been studying the neurological patterns of successful entrepreneurs and senior managers to see what they have in common. Waldman and his colleagues report that there appears to be similar electrical patterns in the brains of effective leaders, and that it may be possible to teach the right frontal part of your brain to operate more effectively using neurofeedback training. Basically, Waldman’s team believes that neurological rewiring can boost leadership skills.

How many upwardly mobile employees or established executives would risk “rewiring” to be better leaders? Are there other, less intrusive ways to become a better leader? According to Deloitte, U.S. companies spend $13.6 billion annually on leadership development, and Training Industry notes that 62 percent of businesses say that their employees lack crucial leadership skills.

Another study conducted by the Rotterdam School of Management reports that individuals with high testosterone and low cortisol levels are more likely to be seen as confident and dominant. Supposedly, low testosterone and cortisol level are linked with nervousness and hesitancy. But what does perceived confidence and dominance have to do with a person’s leadership skills and ability to lead? If women naturally have lower testosterone and higher cortisol levels, how does this factor into this study’s theory? The National Association of Women Business Owners conducted a survey where 85 percent of female business owners believe that there will be more women launching companies this years than in past years. It would be interesting to see what they think about the Rotterdam study.

One thought on “What Science Says About the Brain and Leadership Skills

  1. good stuff–I’m gonna use in the grad course I’m teaching Steve Woodsmall, PhD Major, USAF-Retired Website about me

    “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” –Edmund Burke

    >________________________________ > From: “Foreman & Associates, LLC” >To: steve@woodsmall.net >Sent: Thursday, October 10, 2013 11:12 AM >Subject: [New post] What Science Says About the Brain and Leadership Skills > > > > WordPress.com >Foreman and Associates, LLC posted: “Inside the June 2013 issue of Inc. magazine there is an interesting article that highlights scientific research on the brains of leaders. David A. Waldman, a management professor at Arizona State University has been studying the neurological patterns of s” >

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