Leadership & The Brain’s Design

We see intellect and clear thinking as the characteristics that get someone in the leadership door. Without those fundamental abilities, no entry is allowed. However, intellect alone will not make a leader. The neural systems responsible for the intellect and for the emotions are separate, but they have intimately interwoven connections.

This brain circuitry - that interweaves thought and feeling - provides the neural basis of being intelligent about emotions. And, despite the great value that business culture often places on an intellect free of emotion, our emotions are, in a very real sense, more powerful than our intellect. In moments when our sense of safety is threatened, our emotional centres – the limbic brain illustrated below– commander the rest of the brain. There’s good reason for this special potency of emotions. They are crucial for survival.

But what happens to our ability to lead when the rational part of our brain shuts down and why?

By Patrik Andersson, executive coach at Amazing Leaders

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Graphic purple brain