The Hemispheres of the Brain

Chapter 7  pg’s 164-165  Lead With Love By: Gerry Czarnecki

Few readers of popular or professional literature have escaped reading about the differences that exist in the physiology, and apparent functioning, of the brain’s hemispheres. Most of us, at one time or another, have been asked to define our own thought patterns as either “left brain” or “right brain” thinking.

 This model of brain functions is used to explain, or stereotype, the behavior patterns of individuals. With the manifestation of a logical thought process, the label of “left brain” is attached. Show a creative effort and the label becomes “right brain.” The scientific study of these stereotypes is sufficiently credible to assume that the labels frequently are reasonable approximations of the dominant personality, but seldom does a simple label define the whole personality.

 As an example of these stereotypes, each of the six previous LEADERSHIP principles probably would be viewed with either a right- or left-brain bias. When the leader practices love, she will be right-brained; when she sets expectations or makes assignments, she will be left-brained; when she focuses on development, she will probably be labeled a right-brained leader; when evaluating, the label is likely to be left-brained; when rewarding, right-brained. Obviously, interpreting each of these behaviors in such a binary manner would be naïve. Although many believe people have a dominant or “more prevalent” inclination, it is probably much more reasonable to use the model as a way to differentiate between types of behavior, rather than to generalize a dominant pattern for the totality of a leader’s behavior.

 One thing should be clear; it is very easy to believe that the right brain is responsible for the love thinking and behavior. Logic is probably not the essence of our ability to love. It may be logical to love, but it is probably not logical that we actually love. Hence, love may be found “in the right brain”; it is clearly recognized by the left brain as the logical action to achieve success as a leader.

 From these simplistic observations, it is clear the emotional and creative aspect of the brain function is critically active during many leadership activities; although, there are certain aspects of leadership that require a strong focus on the more “scientific” aspects of thinking.

 The deployment of the “systems” principle is clearly one such aspect. While systems are the structure that assures organizational execution, system design can benefit greatly from a clear understanding of a related discipline called “systems thinking.”

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