Using neuroscience to lead with impact and excellence

Leading through this ever-evolving time of global uncertainty presents exciting opportunities as well as significant challenge. Now, more than ever, leaders need to navigate change, innovate and inspire their teams to not only overcome today’s uncertainties but to propel their organisations into the future.

We were delighted to be joined recently by Dr Alice Penn, international speaker and Executive and Transition Coach. She helps business leaders understand HOW the brain works and the latest research behind the neuroscience of leadership.

She has very kindly shared with us her top tips, from a neuroscience perspective, to help you with your leadership.

Lead from self

It is essential to lead yourself before you can lead others. Create space to have more innovative and transformative thought in your day-to-day life, this is critical to your success as a leader.

Prime your brain and activate that default mode network which is responsible for spontaneous imagination. To activate the default mode network, you need to remember to simply do nothing. Do nothing. Let your mind wonder. In fact, combining it with some kind of movement, walking or running, can really help you generate more innovative and transformative thought.

Vulnerability based trust

The most important ingredient in leadership is vulnerability based trust. This level of trust will allow your team to be able to work hard and come together for the greater goal. From a scientific point of view, this means generating oxytocin and getting it flowing, not only within yourself but within your team too.


In order to lead your business effectively, you really need a clear and consistent message, a clear and consistent narrative. This is best done and most memorable when you use storytelling.

From a neuroscience point of view, you need to be able to get those hormones flowing and engage the brain in a way that makes the message more memorable.

It’s worthwhile sharing some of your own personal stories and make yourself that little bit more vulnerable.

Most importantly, when it comes to leadership, you need to stop and ask yourself the questions;

what sort of leader do you want to be?

how do you want to show up in your work?

what sort of impact do you want to make?

Use that as the vision to guide you as you lead your team and organisation.

If you are interested to find out more about this topic then feel free to reach out to Alice via the links below or email any of the MD2MD team who can put you in touch.

Watch Alice’s top tip video in full for yourself here

Watch here

Read more about Dr Alice Penn & view her past and future events at MD2MD

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