Podcast: Activate your brain and become a better leader

"Should I be irritated, should I be stressed?” These questions can lead you to become a better leader say Jaakko Kopra, medical advisor and former research scientist, and Ben Nothnagel, senior advisor at Aalto EE and developer of leadership programs.

Paula Salovaara, 18.12.2018

Together, Kopra and Nothnagel are developing tools to help leaders increase their everyday performance at work. The tools are based on interpreting research on cortical connectivity and the impact that stress and habit may have on cortical connectivity and performance.

"Cortical connectivity is the most important leadership competence”, says Kopra. It is a state in which our prefrontal cortex – the thinking part of the brain – is orchestrating our thoughts, behaviors, and emotions. Kopra and Nothnagel argue that when we manage to retain or establish cortical connectivity, we access our current competence, which increases our situational intelligence and leads to behaviour that represents our best self.

In this podcast, Kopra and Nothnagel discuss decision making, problem solving, and creative thinking, which are all tied to cortical connectivity. They also explain the concepts of Enoughness and Situations Smart, that Nothnagel has introduced to Leadership Development Programs at Aalto EE.

"If your mother taught you to count to ten when you got mad, she was on to something. She was actually giving you simple advice to activate your pre-frontal cortex, which limits habitual reaction”, says Nothnagel.

You can listen to an earlier podcast about leadership with Ben Nothnagel here.

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