The Neuroscience of Leadership

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The
 New
 Leader
 
Insights
 from
 Neuroscience.
 
  The
 intention
 of
 this
 article
 is
 to
 share
 with
 you
 a
 summary
 of
 a
 tiny
  portion
 of
 the
 latest
 research
 in
 neuroscience
 as
 it
 applies
 to
 both
  leadership
 and
 culture,
 and
 outline
 some
 practical
 ways
 in
 which
 you
 can
  apply
 insights
 from
 this
 field
 to
 your
 leadership
 and
 organisation.
 Many
  of
 the
 competencies
 that
 underpin
 these
 insights
 are
 becoming
  imperative
 now,
 given
 what
 is
 happening
 around
 the
 world.
 
 You
 can’t
  afford
 to
 wait.
 
 
  It
 has
 been
 said
 that
 people
 judge
 their
 leaders
 by
 their
 behaviour,
 and
  the
 organisation
 by
 its
 systems.
 Think
 about
 that
 for
 a
 moment.
 If
 this
 is
  even
 half
 accurate,
 then
 both
 leadership
 behaviour
 and
 organisational
  systems
 require
 the
 leader’s
 attention.
 Organisational
 systems
 are
 for
  another
 article.
 
  Leadership
 and
 culture
 are
 key
 foundations
 for
 an
 effective
 quality
  management
 framework
 and
 support
 increased
 productivity
 at
 an
  organisational
 and
 individual
 level.
 
 
  A
 progressive
 leadership
 style
 is
 essential
 to
 fostering
 a
 supportive
  culture
 in
 which
 people’s
 productivity
 is
 developed
 and
 is
 underpinned
  by
 specific
 leadership
 and
 culture
 attributes,
 which
 are
 essential
 for
 an
  organisation
 to
 achieve
 their
 stated
 outputs.
 
 
  “What
 will
 the
 Quality
 Manager
 of
 the
 next
 decade
 look
 like?
 What
  competencies
 will
 characterise
 the
 Quality
 Manager
 or
 Practitioner?”
 
  If
 you
 want
 your
 people
 to
 go
 the
 extra
 mile,
 be
 highly
 engaged,
  contribute
 their
 discretionary
 effort
 and
 take
 pride
 in
 their
 work,
 then
  having
 a
 meaningful
 bigger
 picture,
 or
 vision,
 that
 is
 positive,
 compelling
  and
 relevant
 to
 associate
 with
 is
 crucial.
 
 
  You
 have
 probably
 heard
 the
 story
 of
 the
 stone-­‐cutter.
 
  In
 the
 days
 of
 misty
 towers,
 distressed
 maidens
 and
 stalwart
 knights,
 a
  young
 man
 was
 walking
 down
 a
 road
 when
 he
 came
 upon
 a
 labourer
  fiercely
 pounding
 away
 at
 a
 stone
 with
 hammer
 and
 chisel.
 The
 lad
  asked
 the
 worker,
 who
 looked
 frustrated
 and
 angry,
 “What
 are
 you
 

doing?”
 The
 labourer
 said
 in
 a
 pained
 voice:
 “I’m
 trying
 to
 shape
 this
  stone
 and
 it
 is
 back-­‐breaking
 work.”
 
  The
 youth
 continued
 his
 journey
 and
 soon
 came
 upon
 another
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