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The Leading Brain summary

Friederike Fabritius & Hans W. Hagemann

Powerful Science-Based Strategies for Achieving Peak Performance

4.2 (96 ratings)
15 mins

Brief summary

The Leading Brain by Friederike Fabritius and Hans W. Hagemann explores the latest neuroscience research to provide insights and strategies for improving performance, creativity, and leadership skills.

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    The Leading Brain
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    Peak performance requires a certain amount of stress, and the optimal level depends on your testosterone levels.

    If you’ve ever played tennis or baseball, you’re probably familiar with the sweet spot. This is an area on a bat or tennis racquet that will give you the best control or most power when hitting the ball. But what you may not know is that there’s also a sweet spot for getting the most out of your job performance.

    We all have a mental zone that allows us to do our best and most productive work, and research shows that it takes just the right amount of applied stress to get us there.

    The link between stress and performance was discovered in 1908 by psychologists Robert Yerkes and John Dodson, who found that rats were better at navigating mazes when given mild electric shocks. However, they found that when the shocks were too intense, the rats would panic and try to escape. So there was a sweet spot, where just the right amount of added stress would help produce peak performance.

    The same holds true for humans as well: when the stress levels are at just the right intensity, we’ll reach our optimal levels of attention and focus. Too low, and we’re likely to be unfocused and bored; too high, and we’ll be so panicked that we won’t be able to focus on the task at hand.

    So what is the perfect amount of stress?

    Results show that men, on average, require more applied stress than women to reach that sweet spot of peak performance. Researchers believe this is due to their higher levels of testosterone, which is associated with risk-taking and thrill-seeking behavior. So, to perform at their best, those with high testosterone levels will require a more thrilling, or stressful, scenario.

    Since our testosterone levels decrease with age, research shows that the level of stress required for the best work results also decreases over time.

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    What is The Leading Brain about?

    The Leading Brain (2017) dismisses the trends and gimmicks surrounding productivity in favor of hard science about how the brain really works in the everyday stress of a nine-to-five job. There is plenty of research and scientific data on how to create productive habits, build the perfect team and keep staff working at their best.

    The Leading Brain Review

    The Leading Brain (2017) offers valuable insights into the neuroscience of leadership, providing practical tips on how to enhance our cognitive abilities and lead more effectively. Here's why this book is a worthy read:

    • Packed with research-based strategies, it equips leaders with the tools to optimize their decision-making, productivity, and emotional intelligence.
    • By combining neuroscientific principles, case studies, and actionable exercises, the book bridges the gap between theory and practice, enabling readers to apply the concepts in their own lives.
    • With its engaging storytelling and emphasis on personal growth, the book keeps readers captivated, rendering complex neuroscience concepts accessible and relatable.

    Best quote from The Leading Brain

    Of an estimated 90 percent of Americans who make New Years resolutions, 92 percent fail to live up to them.

    —Friederike Fabritius & Hans W. Hagemann
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    Who should read The Leading Brain?

    • Psychology students
    • Managers and supervisors looking to improve their leadership skills
    • Readers interested in self-improvement

    About the Author

    Friederike Fabritius is a leading neuropsychologist with years of experience helping some of the world’s top business leaders. She’s also the head of the Neuroleadership Practice Group and a popular keynote speaker at conferences around the world.

    Hans W. Hagemann is an expert on innovation and leadership who specializes in conducting transformative workshops. He is also the cofounder and managing partner of the Munich Leadership Group.

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    The Leading Brain FAQs 

    What is the main message of The Leading Brain?

    The main message of The Leading Brain is understanding how the brain functions can enhance leadership skills.

    How long does it take to read The Leading Brain?

    The reading time for The Leading Brain varies depending on the reader's speed. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is The Leading Brain a good book? Is it worth reading?

    The Leading Brain offers valuable insights to improve leadership abilities. It's definitely worth reading.

    Who is the author of The Leading Brain?

    The authors of The Leading Brain are Friederike Fabritius and Hans W. Hagemann.

    What to read after The Leading Brain?

    If you're wondering what to read next after The Leading Brain, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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    • Peak by Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool
    • Your Brain at Work by David Rock
    • Relentless Solution Focus by Jason Selk and Ellen Reed
    • Dopamine Detox by Thibaut Meurisse
    • Indistractable by Nir Eyal
    • The Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle
    • Quick Confidence by Selena Rezvani
    • Move by Move by Maurice Ashley