When Things Go South

What do we do when things go south? In this episode of the Innovative Leader, we talk about leadership awareness and how to navigation of the frontal lobe (sage) vs limbic system (lizard).

Emotions are real, and play a very powerful force in leadership. As such, we need to learn how to recognize them, address them in a kind way, and lead through them.

The human tendency is to rationalize, and minimize emotions. But emotions are the basis for all our actions. Neuroscience has demonstrated this over the past decade. So to lead well and to follow well, we have to deal with, and leverage emotions.

Especially when things go South, when things go wrong, and when what we hoped would happen doesn’t.

So what do we do?

1. Have a solid foundation physically: when we’re hungry and tired we make bad decisions. Consider a good meal and a good rest before making important decisions.

2. Label what you’re feeling and thinking. Acknowledge and be aware of your emotions.

3. Mindfulness. This is the practice of returning control to the frontal lobe, the gray space in your pre-frontal cortext. You do this by calming your mind and coming to a place of stillness and presence.

4. Visualizing – Rewrite the story and chart a new course mentally. Does visualizing work? Dr. Bazatto at the University of Chicago did a 30 day study of basketball players to see if visualizing free-throw shooting could bring improvement. He compared it against players who actually practiced shooting free throws, and players who did nothing. What he found was astonishing. Of those who practiced their free throws over 30 days, they showed a 24% improvement, The players who only visualized shooting free throws showed a 23% improvement. Those who did nothing showed no improvement. Additionally, when David was doing his doctoral work, he found a similar study, and decided to trie it on his own with exercise. Listen to hear the story of what happened!