What I want to share with you over several posts is how your thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes are actually your brain’s default neural network that’s been established over time. When it comes time to act, these are patterns that translate into your natural behavior responses. These neural pathways have a lot to say about your business success.
Ironically, I was motivated to read Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In – Women, Work and the Will to Lead from all the media hoopla, and found many of the points she was making about women and leadership roles relate to an understanding about behavior that comes from brain research.
Sandberg writes from her own corporate experience and perspective and is not suggesting that every woman should be heading to the corner office. But, what she is communicating is how and why women are missing the opportunities available to them.
What this means on a brain level is that men may be activating more on the brain’s frontal lobe area where the cognitive skills of analyzing, decision making, planning, problem solving and reasoning are generated. And, it’s not that women do not posses the same abilities, but rather they may not always be fully capitalizing these same mental skills for their business success.
The brain is basically an electro-chemical network system and takes in information and sorts it into systems of operations. Certain parts can become programmed as default patterns based on similar messages the brain receives. Messages can be as innocent as “… girls don’t do that” to subtext messages that say “we don’t pay you the same as men because we don’t expect you to commit to your career the same way men do.” All messages good and bad over time will formulate an overall self image and level of self confidence.
Sandberg refers to —
- how self confidence is tied to social and cultural expectations about the roles of women
- how women themselves may be stymied early on in their careers with the anticipation of marriage and motherhood and what it will mean to their careers
- how many capable women when given the opportunity to take on new or greater responsibilities will underestimate themselves and decline
The primary question becomes how do you get women to have the self image and level of self confidence to take advantage of the available opportunities for their business success? The basic answer is that the default system of the brain has to be updated. This can be accomplished in many different ways, but ultimately new messages are needed to change the thoughts, beliefs and attitudes into a new neural default network.
A good portion of business success is about how well you’re activating and capitalizing your cognitive brain skills. If you’re dissatisfied with your business success, then it’s time to take a barometer reading of how you perceive your self image and your level of self confidence.
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