Exercising leadership requires knowing yourself well enough to choose when and how to intervene or do things differently. These qualities are key to making progress because human brains are not wired to enjoy change. Neuroscientific research has shown that our brains and nervous system prefer the way things are, no matter how complex, rather than face the unknown. Managing Self is a leadership competency because progress requires taking risks and stepping outside your comfort zone for the sake of something you care about.[4]

To deepen your self-knowledge—improving understanding of your actions, behaviors, decisionmaking processes, conversations, questions, and choices—turn to the latest in neuroscience, which has discovered new insights into the key drivers of adult learning and behavior. The biggest influencer of our actions and behavior is a complex dance between our brain, body, and nervous system. The field of neuroscience has made significant breakthroughs in understanding the origins of our behavior by looking deep into our brains with advanced neurotechnology. These new insights into our brains are now being applied in the real world through an interdisciplinary approach by neuroscientists and experts in leadership practice and change management. You will find two innovative brain-based models, SCARF and SEEDS, at the end of this chapter to better understand how to collaborate, influence others, and mitigate biases in your brain.

Listed below are six additional skills to help you manage yourself in a variety of situations and environments so that you can create positive change.



[4]O’Malley, E., & Cebula, A. (2015). Your leadership edge: Lead anytime, anywhere. Kansas Leadership Center Press.