It’s all in your brain: On becoming a great leader20 Sep 2016
Being a good leader is typically characterised by the ability to transform and improve a team, process or organisation. However, to be an extraordinary leader, you need to be able to work continuously for improvement. In the same way a professional athlete hones their physical characteristics, a great leader will work on their mental capacity.
Leadership training offers participants a way to overcome emotional and cognitive bias.
Yet this can be hard: While management or leadership training can help you attain the skills you need, there are other complementary actions you can take, such as communication skills training.
Remake your brain, remake your company
Being a good leader makes someone an important asset for a company or organisation, however, being a great leader makes them invaluable. To move from one category to the other is not simple.
Engaging with a leadership training course can offer you the skills to success in high-value roles, yet there are also ways to build on this training.
According to neuroscientist Eric Haseltine, great leaders need to overcome Darwinian scripts, a concept used by evolutionary psychologists to understand behaviour. In the face of obstacles to human survival, these deeply wired guides encourage behaviours that address proximate threats – rather than the issues and obstacles further afield or in the future.
Many of the great commercial leaders have had a long-term focus. Take Bill Gates for instance in a 2003 Fortune article, he wrote: “There was no near-term thing. It always was this many-decades thing where there were no shortcuts, and we’d sort of put one foot in front of the other.”
How can I overcome these?
Jean Monnet – the architect behind the European Union – said that “people only accept change when they are faced with necessity, and only recognise necessity when a crisis is upon them”.
While this may be a dire perception of humanity, it is nevertheless an apt one. Yet, there are ways that you can work to overcome the short-sightedness that Darwinian scripts help produce.
Speaking to McKinsey and Company, Dean of the Harvard Business School Nitin Nohria said that leaders all have long-term aspirations and they usually involve making their company better than it already is. However, when it comes to planning and strategic action, few think more than one to two years into the future.
Great leaders are able to manage and engage with the uncertainty long-term decision-making can create. One way to achieve this is to refocus on depth instead of breadth, and develop the ability to think deeply about the possible long-term consequences of complex problems.
To ensure this kind of thinking is profitable, it is essential to have processes that offer comprehensive information and up-to-date data. If you would like to know more about becoming a superior leader and the importance of accessing in-depth information, make sure you contact a qualified and experienced leadership training provider today.