A collection of papers about “neuroleadership,” which combines scientific studies of the brain with psychological studies of leadership and management.
This textbook-style collection of academic papers is the first collaboration between NeuroLeadership Institute director Rock (No Winner Ever Got There Without a Coach, 2012) and Ringleb, the executive director of the Consortium Institute of Management and Business Analysis. Here they organize papers by dozens of contributors from a variety of backgrounds into several thematic sections. They include an introduction to the neuroleadership field, an overview of recent research, and studies of specific topics, such as problem-solving and regulating emotions. The book ably explains neuroleadership to the novice, and offers examples of how a more thorough understanding of the relationship between brain function and emotions might improve decision-making and other types of interactions. Many papers draw on the “SCARF” model, an acronym that describes five key components of a person’s mental state when interacting with others: status, certainty, autonomy, relatedness and fairness. Some papers focus strictly on research, such as fMRI imaging that allows scientists to understand the brain’s responses to decision-making and self-awareness, while others take a more practical approach. Case studies examine the utility of neuroleadership concepts in a training program for NASA managers and in executive coaching situations, and one paper addresses the ways that the SCARF model may be used to improve student engagement with educational environments. Although the book is clearly intended for specialists, with thorough citations attached to each paper, the writers largely manage to avoid academia’s excessive jargon and impenetrable prose. It’s not casual reading, but it is an effective, coherent and enlightening introduction to a complex field that has the potential to shape many aspects of interpersonal relationships.
A wide-ranging guide to an emerging subdiscipline of psychology.