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TitleThe Leading Brain: Powerful Science-Based Strategies for Achieving Peak Performance
Author
LanguageEnglish
File Size2.0 MB
Total Pages254
Table of Contents
                            PRAISE FOR THE LEADING BRAIN
TITLE PAGE
COPYRIGHT
DEDICATION
CONTENTS
INTRODUCTION: THE SCIENCE OF LEADERSHIP
PART 1 | REACHING YOUR PEAK
	CHAPTER 1 | FIND YOUR SWEET SPOT
	CHAPTER 2 | REGULATE YOUR EMOTIONS
	CHAPTER 3 | SHARPEN YOUR FOCUS
PART 2 | CHANGING YOUR BRAIN
	CHAPTER 4 | MANAGE HABITS
	CHAPTER 5 | UNLEASH YOUR UNCONSCIOUS
	CHAPTER 6 | FOSTER LEARNING
PART 3 | BUILDING DREAM TEAMS
	CHAPTER 7 | THRIVE ON DIVERSITY
	CHAPTER 8 | CULTIVATE TRUST
	CHAPTER 9 | DEVELOP THE TEAM OF THE FUTURE
FINAL NOTE: KEEPING THE BRAIN IN MIND
NOTES
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
INDEX
                        
Document Text Contents
Page 2

Advance Praise for The Leading Brain

“ is the best integration of neuroscience and leadership that I
have ever seen.”

—Dr. Jonathan Schooler, neuroscientist and professor, University of
California, Santa Barbara

“Breathtaking. It’s both a lecture on modern sciences and kind of a thriller. I’ve
never read a book on management so fast.”

—Peter Gerber, CEO, Lufthansa Cargo

“Real leadership begins and ends in the brain. Science has changed the world
throughout the ages and thanks to this book, it can now finally also change
leadership for the good of mankind.”

—Liam Condon, member of the board of management, Bayer AG, and
CEO, Bayer CropScience

“What an interesting and helpful book. Fabritius and Hagemann have introduced
the most important findings of modern neuroscience to the business community
—offering us a host of new skills to excel at work, and even with friends and
family. It’s highly original, remarkably informative and insightful, even
humorous in many spots. I am so happy to have read it! You will be too.”

—Helen Fisher, PhD, senior research fellow, The Kinsey Institute, and
bestselling author of

“Enjoyable and informative. Covers much of what I teach my students, that they
must take command of their own psychological machinery to be successful in
any endeavor.”

—Ken Singer, managing director, Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship
and Technology, University of California, Berkeley

“Hagemann and Fabritius have gathered or generated great analogies and stories
that support a skillful demystification of brain science without dumbing it
down.”

—Jeremy Clark, director, Innovation Services, PARC

“Amusing and inspiring . . . and, for me, it was indeed a page-turner.”
—Marcus Krug, head, SAP Intrapreneurship, SAP AG

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these situations, more is quite often less. Normally our ability to concentrate
intensely is an advantage. But in this case it actually limits our ability to make
the kind of connections that lead to creative insights.

As we’ve already seen, your intense focus relies on the three key
neurotransmitters—dopamine, noradrenaline, and especially acetylcholine—to
shut out all extraneous stimuli. But what constitutes extraneous when it comes to
a creative insight? Ah, there’s the rub. Unfortunately, this is a case in which the
prefrontal cortex actually does too good a job of shutting out extraneous
material. Possible avenues for solving the problem are dismissed out of hand. In
fact, this quite often happens unconsciously, so you aren’t even aware that they
ever were options. Dysfunctional teams often have living, breathing versions of
the prefrontal cortex. You know the type. They’re the ones who, when someone
makes an unconventional suggestion, reflexively say, “Nah! That’ll never
work!” and often succeed in shutting down all further discussion in that area.
That’s what creates the impasse in creative insight, the prefrontal cortex’s overly
strict elimination of distractions that may not be distractions after all.

To measure the activity in our brains that leads up to a eureka moment,
neuropsychologists often use what are known as insight problems. Here’s a
typical example:

Rachel and Rebecca were born on the same day of the same month of
the same year. They share the same mother and the same father, and yet
they aren’t twins. How is this possible?

In general, less than 20 percent of the people tested on problems like this
arrive at the solution. Yet those who do often know right away that their answer
is correct.24

If you need to better understand the sort of tunnel vision that leads to the
initial impasse in creative insight, you need look no further than the first three
words of the problem: Rachel and Rebecca. Your PFC, in a well-meaning but
wrongheaded effort to streamline your problem-solving process, probably
jumped to the conclusion that the two girls are twins. Thus, when you reach the
end of the problem and are told that they aren’t twins, it’s too late. Your PFC is
already trapped in its previous mind-set.

The reason the impasse is critical is because your conscious mind takes it as
a signal to give up. The PFC basically says, “You mean I did all that work to

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eliminate distractions and you still haven’t solved the problem? I’m going out
for a beer. You’re on your own.”

And with that, the PFC releases the tight grip it had on the incoming stimuli
that could’ve bombarded you with brain-draining diversions. Suddenly, they all
rush in. It’s almost as though you’ve been wearing earplugs and a blindfold and
have now removed both. The sounds seem more intense, and the normal room
light momentarily makes you squint. Things that you ignored become almost
impossible to discount. Your PFC is off having a beer and has left the
unconscious parts of your brain holding the fort back at work.

That is when the magic happens.

The Moment of Insight
Creative insights come from a region of the brain located just above your ear
called the anterior superior temporal gyrus (aSTG). Whereas concentration is all
about precision, creative insight is all about making connections.

Suddenly it dawns on you that twins aren’t the only children who can be
born on the same day of the same month of the same year. Rachel and Rebecca
have another sibling who was born the exact day that they were. They aren’t
twins. They’re triplets!

One of the key predictors of an imminent insight is a steady emanation of
alpha rhythms from the right hemisphere.25 Alpha waves signal a departure from
goal-oriented and intentional thoughts and are a sign of deep relaxation.26 They
appear to shut out visual stimuli that might serve as a distraction to the problem
solving.27

Three hundred milliseconds before you arrive at the answer, there is a spike
in your brain’s gamma rhythm, its highest electrical frequency.28 Gamma
rhythms are believed to come from the binding of neurons. Your brain is almost
literally connecting the dots.29

What’s key is that the mental calculations that lead to creative insights are
unconscious. “If Archimedes had consciously monitored his own thoughts in the
bath,” neuroscientist Joydeep Bhattacharya of Goldsmiths, University of
London, explained, “he never would have shouted ‘Eureka.’”30

The Confirmation
One of the peculiar elements of a creative insight is the strange sense of certainty
that you feel when you finally arrive at the solution. The prefrontal cortex lights

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* D told the truth. B committed the crime.

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