25 years ago, my leadership skills were on life support, but over time my toxic patterns were broken as I repeatedly chose to perform actions that created value, built community, and increased my influence. Neuroscience and positive psychology research have led us to a better understanding of how to improve our leadership behaviors and shift from a fixed to a growth mindset. To take neuroscience for a test drive and begin to reshape your own brain to become a better leader, there are three time-tested decisions you must make:
1. Practice New Behaviors
You become a leader by first unlearning and subtracting old habits. Then shift to a growth mindset, showing curiosity and openness. When you surround yourself with leaders exhibiting character and emotional intelligence — soak up their wisdom, and model new habits and behaviors. Then apply your new learning and knowledge, and add experience to your everyday life. “Application and practice is the key.” [3:40]
“You must be willing and motivated to change and grow as a leader.” [4:30] Your intentions to become a great leader someday have to be heart-based. In other words, great leaders connect to the hearts of their followers to gain their trust. Both the head and heart need to be in the game. Without the heart, you’re stuck in autocracyland — focusing heavily on the end results while treating people like cogs — and forgetting the relationships that will achieve even greater results while making people’s lives better.
3. Seek Feedback
“To develop leadership skills, you must be motivated to seek out and receive feedback from others to see yourself more clearly.” [5:54] This will take great courage. You have to be willing to go down deep to explore old habits and behaviors below the surface that need to be identified and changed. In other words, unlearning and subtracting old behaviors and learning and adding new habits.
Which of these ideas do you agree with?
What would you add? I’d love for you to continue the conversation on LinkedIn. Tag my name and use #loveinactionpodcast. Let’s keep it going.
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