Think you don’t have a good head to be truly successful? Advances in brain research prove that leadership qualities can be acquired
In 1990, President George H. W. Bush and the U.S. Congress proclaimed it the “Decade of the Brain.” The following 10 years saw huge advances in brain research, including a better understanding of neuroplasticity. The Encyclopedia Britannica defines neuroplasticity as the “capacity of neurons and neural networks in the brain to change their connections and behaviour in response to new information, sensory stimulation, development, damage or dysfunction” — in other words, the capacity for the brain to change. Thirty years later, our understanding of neuroplasticity is even more sophisticated, yet most of us still don’t put much thought into how our brains work. But it’s worth understanding that our brains are capable of remarkable change and can be rewired to learn new things at any age—you can teach an old dog new tricks.
Terry Small, B.Ed., M.A., is a leading learning skills specialist and an expert on how the human brain learns. A former teacher who is now a public speaker on brain health, he is the author of the Brain Bulletin blog, which has more than 35,000 subscribers worldwide. For the past 35 years, he has presented his ideas on the brain to over 258,000 people in 23 countries. His philosophy is simple: “Success is a skill anyone can learn.”
We spoke with Small about how our ever-better understanding of neuroplasticity can help us become better leaders.