The neuroscience of leadership

Rock, David (2010) The neuroscience of leadership. [Doctorate by Public Works]



This doctorate summarizes 13 years of thinking, experimentation and research into the issue of improving human performance. Specifically, the issue of how to drive change in human performance, through conversation. This focused on non-clinical populations, and generally with very high functioning people. My work initially focused on the act of ‘coaching’. At its simplest, coaching is the ability of one person to enable another to improve their performance. Through intensive observation, I built a coaching model that enabled a significant improvement in people’s ability to facilitate behavior change in others. The model was based on the realization that people needed the ‘aha’ moment for change to occur. An effort was made to understand how to best bring others to their own insights. An approach was developed into a set of codified techniques and taught to thousands of professionals worldwide, including inside large organizations. Through a desire to understand the deeper mechanisms occurring in moments of insight, I became fascinated with brain research. Initially focused on the neuroscience of insight, I soon became interested in the neuroscience behind other mental experiences central to effective workplace functioning, such as selfawareness, social skills, decision-making, and emotional regulation. Because no formal body of knowledge existed that explained the neuroscience underneath everyday work situations, I reached out to and was mentored by specific neuroscientists. I soon saw value in creating a field of study that brought neuroscience research into the field of coaching, leadership development and organizational change. A new field of knowledge was created, called the Neuroscience of Leadership, which is now being driven by an institute, an annual summit, a journal and academic education. This thesis explores my 13-year learning journey, the key research that was undertaken, the mentors who supported my learning and the publications I produced. It finishes with a discussion about the development of the Neuroscience of Leadership field, and the future of that field.

Item Type:Doctorate by Public Works
Additional Information:

A project submitted to Middlesex University for a professional doctorate.

Research Areas:A. Middlesex University Schools and Centres > Institute for Work Based Learning
B. Theses and Doctoral Context Statements > Doctorates by Public Works
ID Code:7914
Deposited On:24 May 2011 15:51
Last Modified:14 Nov 2014 15:15

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