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Is Neuroplasticity an Effective Leadership Tool?
Every healthy brain has neurons. Those neurons store and carry information related to your thoughts, education, and experiences. These neurons travel in pathways in the brain, which are called neuropathies. The information carried by neurons helps you move, speak and think. In addition, those paths help you understand the world and connect one subject to another. For example, you can use math to estimate the number of people in the room compared to the number of chairs. If there is an insufficient amount of chairs, the neurons help you make a decision about how to add more chairs.
In contrast, neuropaths help you assess a dangerous situation, as well as a method to eliminate it. This can be fight, flight or freeze. Some call this instinct. I maintain that it is much deeper than instinct.
When you were born, you had very few neuropathies in your brain. At the age of two, you grew significantly more paths. At ten, your brain was filled with so many neuropathies that it looked like a huge intersection of multiple highways. The growth of neuropathies is the result of the data you received or better said, inherited, from your environment.
For many years, it was believed that humans could only grow a limited number of neuropathies. This would fit into a philosophy of: you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. It means that the personality and thought process you developed at the age of ten will remain the same for the rest of your life. In a way, this has been a fact of life for many people.
Neuroplasticity has changed that. Scientists now know that the brain has the ability to form and reorganize synaptic connections, especially in response to learning or experience or after injury. In other words, it is possible to grow new neuropathies. With new neuropathies you are able to develop entirely new perspectives or thought processes.
Advances tend to have that effect on the brain. If you can imagine, in the 1920s, the NY Times wrote an article insulting the intelligence of Robert Goddard. Goddard claimed that man would one day fly to the moon. The NY Times thought it was absurd. In hindsight, this was a normal thought process for the NY Times. The neuropaths of the masses had no memories or information about the reality of the moon flight. It appeared as a strange dream and not worthy of intellectual discussion.
In 1969, the NY Times wrote a letter of apology to Goddard. Because man went to the moon, everyone’s neuropaths held information that it was a reality.
In your personal or professional life, neuroplasticity is very important. In business, if staff and management can grow new neuropathies, they will increase their ability to invent new processes, products or services. Why? Actual neuropaths allow you to see the world only based on what you already know. The most you can do is make improvements, which is adding new ideas to existing neuropathies. Young neuropaths allow you to see things you didn’t know you didn’t know. In other words, it allows you to create new paradigms. Once new neuropathies are created, most of them seem like common sense. The challenge, however, is working through the frustration and uncertainty that accompanies young growing neuropaths.
As you can see, neuroplasticity practices are not commonly followed. Those who purposefully practice neuroplasticity can be considered disruptive leaders. They are the people like Goddard who saw possibilities without evidence. Others like Tesla and Edison were the so-called crazy people who dared to imagine what was unimaginable by the masses. However, they are the very people who changed the world. To immerse yourself in the world of neuroplasticity practices is to live in a world of breakthroughs.
What do you think? I would love to hear your feedback. And I’m open to ideas. Or if you want to write me about a specific topic, connect through my blog www.turnaroundip.blogspot.com.
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