Neuroscience of Leadership

The neuroscience of leadership is fast becoming the most talked about approach to leadership development.

In today’s knowledge economy, it is how you use your brain that provides the competitive edge


“Neuroscience is where the intellectual action is these days”

HBR logo                         “We seem to read about neuroscience everywhere these days”


Financial TImes logo       “The possibilities for neuroscience are almost limitless”

Click here to know more about NeuroLeadership TREAD training courses available


The new field of Neuroscience of leadership explains how we all can increase our critical thinking skills and even intelligence. The recent discovery of the on-going “re-wiring” or malleability of the brain has caused us to question traditional learning methods. Recent breakthrough studies have proven that specialist coaching exercises can enable a person (in a relatively short time) to change their brain’s physical structure, alter their mind’s perceptual experiences and effect lasting changes in behaviour, expectations and choices.

Neuroscience of leadership draws from fMRI scans

Neuroscience of leadership draws from fMRI scans

Current research in genetic determinism suggests that “Leaders are born, not made”. Everyone has “natural,” genetically-defined tendencies that support or undermine their ability to lead and to be effective interpersonally. However, those natural abilities don’t completely define the results of our actions. Neuroscience shows us how we can all (regardless of position and age) continue to learn, adapt and improve ourselves. Some individuals may be born with a genetic head start, but all truly effective leaders are made, not born.

Neuroscience of leadership: linking our knowledge of the brain to leadership

Neuroscience of leadership: linking our knowledge of the brain to leadership

Today, many of the practices we employ in coaching, leadership development and learning are effective because they’re consistent with–and take advantage of -the way our brains function. At the same time, neuroscience not only provides us with some new and exciting change tools but can also tell us which coaching practices, tool and techniques are ineffective and need to be updated or replaced. Clearly we are at a point where all people involved in people development need to incorporate neuroscience into their practice.

A new field has emerged – called NeuroLeadership. The term was developed by David Rock a key founder of the field to describe the convergence of applied Neuroscience and Leadership.

For the first time, the neuroscience of leadership is emerging and some fascinating studies are exploring ways to lead more effectively, with the brain in mind.

The Neuroleadership Institute was formed and a Masters in Neuroscience of Leadership was developed.

The Institute also runs annual NeuroLeadership Summits around the world during the last 6 years. Last year it

was Sydney’s turn. Kristen Hansen was co-MC with Josie Thomson.  This year it will be held in October in San Fransisco.

Kristen as MC for Asia-pacific NeuroLeadership Summit introducing Jessica Payne, world's leading researcher sleep, stress and memory and Claire Hatton, Industry Director at Google

The field of Neuroscience of leadership has generated an annual  NeuroLeadership Summit. Kristen Hansen was MC at Sydney’s 2013 summit. Here introducing Jessica Payne, world’s leading researcher sleep, stress and memory and Claire Hatton, Industry Director at Google

The Neuroscience of Leadership – Neuroleadership Summit

Much of it, the result of David Rock’s passion for understanding the reasons coaching people is so effective.

David Rock is founder of Results Coaching Systems, one of Australia’s first and largest coaching company’s. Over the last 10 years David became emersed in the science behind effective thinking and leading.

Kristen Hansen is now studying the “Masters of Neuroscience of Leadership” and brings the research and strategies to individuals and corporate through her coaching, training and speaking.


The Neuroscience of Leadership: Neuroleadership TREAD

Kristen now trains and speaks on the following key topic areas from the Masters course.

Neuroscience of Leadership: Kristen Hansen presenting at Google at Neuroleadership Interest Group

Neuroscience of Leadership: Kristen Hansen presenting at Google at Neuroleadership Interest Group

1.       Decision Making and Problem Solving. Understanding multi-tasking, improving memory, attention, problem solving and ability to generate insight and creative solutions.

2.       Emotion Regulation. Understanding the limbic system, strategies to regulate emotions, manage stress and the role mindfulness plays.

3.       Collaboration. How to be an effective leader by understanding that the brain is a social brain and strategies to keep your team working “toward” you and the company rather than ‘away”.

4.       Facilitating Change. How does the brain change, how does it respond to change and which strategies are effective for change processes.

The Neuroscience is information is so new, it attracts interest from all areas and Kristen now speaks on a range of topics related to the above, but targeted to a specific audience, such as:


EP-Tread-V2Slide-White-SQ-25314NeuroLeadership TREAD: Think, Regulate, Engage, Adapt and Develop with the brain mind. This is an overview of the key research findings from the field of Neuroleadership and a snapshot of her core training modules. It helps leaders with strategies on decision making, insights, stress management, motivation, change and coaching and performance management; all looked at through the lens of the brain.

See client testimonials or speaking and presenting for more information and testimonials from Westpac, State Trustees, Specialty Fashion Group, AHRI.

Click here for a selection of TREAD testimonials.

A range of topics is available: the neuroscience of emotional intelligence, insight, coaching, stress management, motivation, leading change, performance management, peak performance and influence.

Be The Leader People Naturally Follow: how to develop a team that strives for peak performance and is happy to follow your lead. Knowing how to tap into the intrinsic motivators within the brain is the key to effective leadership.

 The Neuroscience of Leadership: Useful links

Useful Links (related to above)

Neuroleadership Interest Group

Accelebraining Blog

The NeuroLeadership Institute