The Brain Science of Bad Decisions

decision makingEach day, intelligent leaders make mistakes, with devastating consequences.

Our daily decisions are generally small and innocuous. Others are incredibly important, affecting people’s lives and well-being. I hear about such bad decisions in the work I do, and have found a book that sheds light on what happens.

4 Strengths of a Winner’s Brain

What do you think it takes to be able to achieve success in work and life? I ask my executive coachin clients this question all the time. I usually get a variety of answers, almost always including a high IQ. But science doesn’t support this view. Many times a high IQ isn’t relevant to high-achievement.
In their book The Winner’s Brain, authors Jeff Brown and Mark Fenske write about strategies great minds use to achieve success.
Here are the four strengths of what can be called “winners’ brains:”

  • Focus: Winners’ brains are adept at tuning out distractions and choosing the best way to focus on a task to achieve a desired outcome.
  • Energy: Winners’ brains learn how to maintain a bottomless supply of effort.
  • Persistence: Winners’ brains have learned to persist longer than average ones.
  • Practice: Winners’ brains adapt in exceptional ways over time, harnessing neuroplasticity to create new strengths through deliberate practice.

We don’t have to win a gold medal, an Oscar, or receive a multi-million dollar paycheck to be considered successful. Some people are winners by virtue of being successful at their jobs, raising families, creating art or whatever they’ve chosen as worthwhile goals.
People aren’t born for success, nor does being raised in advantageous environments ensure success. Nature and nurturing the brain works best for improving brain power.
Our brains change based on what their owners choose to do. People who achieve true success are often forced to overcome obstacles and in doing so, rewire their brains to get where they want to go.
As we mature our brains evolve accordingly.  We have a significant amount of control over this development. Through deliberate, proactive practice, we can change the way we think and behave.
What do you think is most important as far as developing the strengths you need for success?

Are You Bored—or Boring? The Brain Science Behind Boredom Part 2

3 More Reasons People Are Bored at Work:
Conformism, Underwhelm and Overwhelm

Part of the reason 2/3 of people aren’t enthusiastically engaged in their jobs is boredom. But underlying boredom are some contributing factors that can be fixed… if you have the courage to speak up.

You find yourself conforming.

It’s not unusual for people to start “sleeping on the job” once they hit year 3 or 4. At this point, they know their coworkers, processes and technology aren’t perfect but have adjusted to inherent limitations. Interest in opportunities for improvement begins to wane.

Are You Bored—or Boring? The Brain Science Behind Boredom Part 1

2 Reasons People Are Bored at Work – Can’t Get Your Mojo in Motion

As an Executive Coach, it is often necessary to “read between the lines”. People often talk about symptoms without digging deeper on the underlying issues that contribute to feeling disengaged. I have learned that even people with complex, multi-faceted leadership roles can suffer from “boredom”. In this series of posts we will take a look at boredom, and what that word may really mean.