The part of our brain that helps us survive is known as the reptilian brain. This section controls our breathing and other bodily functions. It’s also the part that goes into high gear the second we feel threatened. It turns on our “flight or flight” mechanism, which is wonderful if we need to immediately get out of harm’s way. The problem with our reptilian brain is two-fold, though. One is that it’s turned on way more often than it should be and number two is that we don’t even recognize that we’re using it most of the time.
Will you use lizard logic this week?
January 20, 2013 By Leave a Comment
For leaders, like you, it’s important to operate from the prefrontal cortex, or CEO, part of your brain when you need to make decisions. Recognizing when you are using your reptilian brain and when your team is doing the same is imperative to high-level decision making practices. If the person you are speaking to is in fight, flight, or freeze mode, or if you are, chances are you about to use lizard logic to solve a problem. The biggest problem with this way of thinking is that your brain limits the amount of choices you have as it’s only job is to be sure that you stay safe immediately. Here’s some resources about the reptilian brain that you might find helpful:
WATCH THIS: This 2 min video is about how the reptilian brain handles email. Turns out that when there is a lack of information, our reptilian brain defaults to the negative. If you send emails out to your team, you want to watch this one.
READ THIS: contains a summary of what the reptilian brain is and what it does. You’ll learn how your lizard is reactive and how it relies on your cortex to create the imaginations for whether something is safe or not along with how it sees the past as the “eternal now”.
KNOW THIS: How advertisers use what they know about the reptilian brain to sell products to you and how participants of focus groups don’t seem to know what they really are thinking.
We can go a long way in our career using our survival mechanisms. It’s when we begin building the skills, resources and behaviors of true leaders that we begin the process of transforming ourselves and our team members. As I watched Lance Armstrong last week, I realized that there are many, many survivors among us, but the pack starts to thin as we identify true leaders and only a few among us stand apart as champions.
If you didn’t have it in you to a champion, or weren’t one already, you wouldn’t be reading this. Stand up and out this week by using the highest level thinking possible. Remember to exercise, eat spinach and salmon, take fish oil pills, and feed your brain with the type of knowledge and input that will propel you and your team forward. Winning doesn’t happen by accident.
At Cortex Leadership, we are so inspired by the new participants beginning their Leadership journey this month. They are standing up and standing tall as leaders and champions! Welcome to the next stage of transforming your life as a leader!