The Biology of Leadership (Part 1)

Businessman silhouetteAbout a decade ago, Daniel Goleman wrote the book Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ. In it, Goleman makes a case that empathy and self awareness are key leadership qualities.
Today, Goleman and Richard Boyatzis, a fellow researcher out of Rutgers, are exploring a new topic – social neuroscience. Social neuroscience is what happens in our brains when we interact with others. In a recent article for Harvard Business Review (HBR), they talk about good leadership qualities.
“The salient discovery is that certain things leaders do—specifically, exhibit empathy and become attuned to others’ moods—literally affect both their own brain chemistry and that of their followers,… Indeed, researchers have found that the leader-follower dynamic is not a case of two (or more) independent brains reacting consciously or unconsciously to each other. Rather, the individual minds become, in a sense, fused into a single system. We believe that great leaders are those whose behavior powerfully leverages the system of brain interconnectedness.”
While brain interconnectedness sounds like something from a sci-fi movie, in a follow-up post to this one, I’ll explore this concept further and share why it makes sense. If you want to dive into it now, check out the spring edition of OnPoint from HBR.

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Tom Salonek

About Tom Salonek

Tom Salonek is the founder and CEO of Intertech, a Minneapolis-based technology consulting and training firm. In 2005, he was named one of Minnesota’s Top Business Leaders under 40. Intertech has been named twice to INC 500’s list of fastest growing companies, and is also a seven-time winner of the Business Journal’s Best Places to Work award. In 2003, Salonek founded the Intertech Foundation to financially assist families with critically ill children. Tom Salonek has completed executive education at the Harvard School of Business and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is a past instructor at the University of St. Thomas Management Center. He holds a degree in Computer Science from the University of St. Thomas. Salonek has written more than 50 articles on business, leadership and technology. See to learn more about his firm.
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