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 Table of Contents  
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 249-251

Leading from Your Upper Brain™

The Frisina Group and Center for Influential Leadership, Columbia, South Carolina, USA

Date of Web Publication24-Dec-2018

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Michael E Frisina
The Frisina Group and Center for Influential Leadership, Columbia, South Carolina
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/IJAM.IJAM_60_18

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How to cite this article:
Frisina ME, Frisina RW. Leading from Your Upper Brain™. Int J Acad Med 2018;4:249-51

How to cite this URL:
Frisina ME, Frisina RW. Leading from Your Upper Brain™. Int J Acad Med [serial online] 2018 [cited 2023 Jan 29];4:249-51. Available from: https://www.ijam-web.org/text.asp?2018/4/3/249/248334

There is a revolution taking place exploding decade's long false beliefs about individual and organizational performance related to the tension between the human performance brain and the human survival brain. This neuroscience revolution is fundamentally shifting learning and development strategies completely transforming what leaders need to be in a behavior-centered approach to performance and the traditional technical skills they need to know to drive performance to the highest level. More than technical skill and intellect, individual leadership behavior is the singular most important predictor to a team's performance. Sadly, very few leaders know that this dynamic exists or how to leverage leadership behavior to drive performance.

Based on my Health Administration Press best seller, Influential Leadership – Change your Behavior, Change your Organization, Change Healthcare, I have created a universal, systematic, and integrated approach to leadership development applying the latest research in brain science to leadership performance focusing on self-awareness, collaboration, and performance sustainability.

If you understand these dynamics and how they affect you and those around you, you can learn and live in a dynamic thinking model that will greatly affect your personal focus and enhance your productivity, teamwork, and problem solving. Eventually, you will translate your personal performance as the leverage to engaging your team members, achieving your strategic objectives, while navigating risk into an unknowable future, and creating leverage to clinical and business success.

  A Neuroscience Approach to Driving Performance Top

“If you realized how powerful your thoughts are, you would never think a negative thought again.”

-Peace Pilgrim.

What would you do if you discovered a way to turn on your brain and enable you to be happier, to be more prosperous, and to achieve the goals you set for your life?

Based on the foundation of the latest neuroscience research on the brain, you can learn how thoughts impact your body, mind, and spirit. Based on your thinking patterns, you can promote positive and productive behaviors that lead to mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual health. Think poorly and you can alter the cell structure of your body, lower your immune system response, and become less healthy in mind, body, and spirit. What you are thinking every moment of every day becomes a physical reality in your brain and body that affects your optimal mental and physical health. Gaining the ability to think effectively, choose effectively, and behave effectively is the hallmark of all high achievers and life success regardless of a person's chosen field of endeavor.

Understanding epigenetics, how the brain responds to physical stimuli of electromagnetic and chemical flow in the brain, triggers groups of genes to act in a positive or negative direction based on your reactions to life events. Events plus your response to events determine the outcomes of your life. Negative responses create negative outcomes, and positive responses drive more positive and optimal outcomes even in the most challenging of life circumstances.

Dr. Walter Doyle Staples, writing in Think Like a Winner! says, “I credit one simple concept with getting me started on my journey to achieving my life goals. After a great deal of study and contemplation, I came to the realization that people have in their lives today exactly what they keep telling their brain they want.” In his book, Above Life's Turmoil, James Allen writes, “You believe that the circumstances of your life: your poverty, your sickness, your hopelessness, is separate from who you are – that these are things happening to you. You fail to realize that much of your outward circumstances are the direct cause of your own thinking. When you change your thinking, you change your emotions. When you change your emotions you change your behavior. When you change your behavior, you change your life circumstances.”

In her outstanding book, Choose the Happiness Habit, Pam Golden writes:

“Take the story of two brothers who are twins. One grows up to be a homeless alcoholic. The other becomes an extremely successful businessman. When the alcoholic is asked why he became a drunk, he replies, ‘My father was an abusive, drunk’. When the successful brother is asked why he became successful, he replied, ‘My father was an abusive drunk’. Same background, same environment, same upbringing, yet each one making very different choices and each one achieving very different outcomes.”

Bob Proctor tells us to “keep reminding yourself that you have tremendous reservoirs of potential within you, and therefore you are quite capable of doing anything you set your mind to doing.” Finally, in the old classic, The Message of a Master by John McDonald, he writes, “The cause of confusion prevailing in your mind that weakens your thoughts is the false belief that there is a power or powers outside of you (your gender, your race, your socio-economic status, your family history, your poverty, your school district) greater than the power that is within you. There is only one thing that ever stops forward momentum in any person's life to achievement – the false belief that the power outside of you is greater than the power within you.”

You are free to make choices about how you focus your attention, and this affects how the chemicals and proteins and wiring of your brain change and function. Neuroscientists are proving that the relationship between what you think and how you understand yourself and the world around you – your beliefs, dreams, hopes, and thoughts – has a huge impact on how your brain works and ultimately what you achieve in levels of performance excellence.

  Academic Medicine Implications Top

Individual leader behavior is the singular most important predictor to an organization's performance. Medical faculty has a highly influential role in the technical skill development of physicians but in their behavior capacity as well. As leadership effectiveness and culture are predictive to individual engagement in an organization, these two elements in graduate medical education bear the same burden to predictive outcomes. Consequently, the importance of structured, behavior-based individual and team programs in academic medical environments is essential to producing the clinical outcomes desired by fostering the environment that allows the brains of physicians to function at a highly technical response capacity. The question is clear, are you behaving in ways as academic leaders to foster high levels of clinical performance? Are you leading the brains of other people to higher levels of performance?

The link to neuroscience and thought is that thoughts are real, physical things that occupy mental real estate. Moment by moment, every day, you are changing the structure of your brain through your thinking. When we are thinking positively, productively, and when we hope for something better, we alter the physical structure of our brains in a more positive, productive direction allowing our brains to function in the high capacity for which they are created. Rudolph Tanzi, PhD, says there are four roles you can learn and manage every day to take control of your thoughts so you take control of your life:

  1. Lead your brain – you can give your brain-specific orders every day
  2. Reinvent your brain – create new neuropathways and connections inside your brain to become more productive and to achieve your goals
  3. Teach your brain – train your brain into new habits and new skills
  4. Use your brain – you are responsible for keeping your brain in good working order.

Your brain is the gateway to your future. Your brain cannot do for you what it thinks it cannot do. Primitive reactions to external threat stimuli (fear, anger, jealousy, and aggression) can overrule higher brain function necessary for higher-order cognitive function (problem solving, critical thinking, teamwork, unit, clarity, and cohesion). Learning how to create a robust response capacity – mental resilience – you can learn to take control of your thinking and ultimately learn to take control of your destiny. And that is worth thinking about today.


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