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Inspired Leadership - The Brain Science of Inspiration

Inspired Leadership

I was highly motivated by attending an online Enlightened Business Summit moderated by Chip Conley Founder & Executive Chairman, Joie de Vivre Hospitality - California's largest boutique hotel group. I’ve been sharing a great deal of what I learned with all of my consulting and coaching clients.

Chip is the author of PEAK: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo from Maslow. Conley inspired TED attendees this year with his revolutionary approach to sustainable business.

Forty top business leaders, thought leaders and authors offered their unique insights into creating enlightened and successful businesses. They inspired participants to make our life, business, and our world better through innovative ideas from the frontiers of conscious capitalism.

What is the secret to creating sustainable businesses that marry passion, purpose and profits? Inspirational leaders engage others by tapping into neuroscience research and starting with why we do things.

The Brain Science of Inspiration

Leaders who want to succeed should clearly communicate what they believe and why they’re so passionate about their cause, according to business consultant Simon Sinek, author of Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action (Portfolio, 2010).

Most people know what they do and how they do it, Sinek says, but few communicate why they do what they do.
“People don’t buy what you do; they buy into why you do it,” he writes.

Those who start with why engage others’ brains long before explaining how they intend to get things done and addressing what they need to accomplish.

Martin Luther King Jr. engaged the world’s hearts and minds when he started his speech with those four famous words: “I have a dream.” He stressed that people of all races needed to bond for a better future. He didn’t say, “I have a plan,” or explain how he intended to change laws and practices.

Starting communications with “why” works because it’s based in biology. While messages are simultaneously processed by all parts of the brain, the area most responsible for decision-making registers subconscious thoughts, lacks language, uses gut intuition, and is heavily influenced by feelings and drives for survival.

This part of the brain wants to know: What’s in it for me? Is this pleasure or pain? A threat or something that will make my life easier? Can I trust the messenger? Does he/she have my best interests at heart?

When you share your greater cause and higher purpose, listeners filter the message and decide to trust you (or not). When listeners’ values and purpose resonate with your own, they are primed to become followers who will favorably perceive subsequent messages.

You cannot gain a foothold in someone’s brain by leading with what you want them to do. You must first communicate why it’s important.

The Shift from Why to How and What

Leaders who start with a strong why will ultimately focus on the how and what of their businesses: metrics of success, shareholder interests and short-term results.

Their why can become fuzzy once they attain a certain degree of success and become entrenched in the battle to achieve better results.

Strive to be one of those leaders who never lose sight of why they do what they do and why people should care. Only then will you inspire your people to attain sustainable success.

Are you working in a professional services firm or other organization where executive coaches provide leadership development for leaders who are motivated by a higher purpose? Does your organization provide executive coaching to help leaders develop a more sustainable business? Enlightened leaders use their emotional intelligence and social intelligence skills to communicate a shared dream with employees.

One of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself is “Am I an inspiring leader who shifts from how and what  to why?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching for collaborative leaders who are curious about creating sustainable businesses.

Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-I, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help you create a happy and prosperous business where everyone is fully engaged. You can become a leader who models emotional intelligence and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company or law firm.

About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist and executive coach. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies and law firms assess, select, coach, and retain emotionally intelligent leaders.  Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

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