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Is Neuroscience And Psychology Enough To Succeed As A Leader?

The Reality That Leaves Most Leaders Struggling To Succeed

By Cody Dakota Wooten, C.B.C.Published 8 months ago 7 min read

As someone who is always looking to become their best, and help clients become their best, I have seen and gone through many "Leadership Programs".

Something that has been becoming more popular in recent years has been programs that are "Neuroscience-Based".

I have been through a number of these types of programs.

In the worst cases, they don't understand Neuroscience or Psychology at all.

In the best cases, I have found that, although Neuroscience and Psychology are important to Leadership Success, these programs are lacking by themselves.

These programs mostly focus on Flow States, which are essential to the highest levels of success.

However, what I've found is that when we solely focus on the Brain, Leaders will get hijacked by other parts of their Psychophysiology.

Human Beings have highly Interconnected Systems in the Body, and problems in one area will directly hinder our Brains.

Here are the other areas that you need to understand as a Leader if you hope to have the highest levels of Success.


Our bodies and how they physically move have a dramatic impact on our Brain's ability to perform.

2 areas within Physiology are especially important for Leadership Success.


The first is Respiration - How we breathe.

What most people don't know is that how we breathe directly impacts Stress Levels.

Something I always say - All Stress Adds.

So if you are breathing improperly, the Stress from that will Add to your Work Stress and all of your other Life Stress.

One portion of how Respiration causes Stress is through Posture.

Improper breathing leads to bad posture, which further creates Stress throughout our bodies.

Contrary to popular belief, our chairs are not the primary problem for bad posture, and getting rid of chairs or changing them doesn't fix Breathing.

The other portion is many people have developed a Habit of Improper Breathing, and that type of Breathing puts our Nervous System into Fight/Flight Mode.

As it has become a Habit, it means that without thinking, most people are breathing in a way that constantly is causing Stress.

These factors Add more Stress to our lives, making it harder for Leaders to handle the Stress of their work.

Kinesiology And Embodied Cognition

The second area of Physiology that is important for Leaders is Kinesiology.

There are many factors in our lives today that have led to most people being unable to Move Naturally.

From our Shoes to the flatness of our Environments.

How well or poorly our bodies move has a direct impact on how well our minds function.

This study is generally called "Embodied Cognition".

It impacts things like Memory, Creative Problem Solving, and more!

The worse our movement becomes, the worse our Brains function.

There is also a tie-in here - often, the worse we move, the more likely we are to become sick and more susceptible we become to diseases.

These diseases include Psychological diseases such as Dementia and Alzheimer's.

Plus, consistent and proper movement has been linked to decreases in Stress, which is extremely important in our world today.


The next important field to Leadership success is Neurocardiology or the study of the "Heart-Brain".

Just as our Brains have Neurons, so do our Hearts.

However, the Heart thinks independently of of Brain, and these 2 systems communicate back and forth.

What makes the Heart-Brain particularly important for Leaders is that they create Electromagnetic Fields that communicate back and forth with the Heart-Brains of other people.

These Electromagnetic Waves have been scientifically measured anywhere from 3 - 15 feet away from individuals.

This means that anyone you pass by, up to 15 feet away from you, will directly impact your Heart-Brain, and you will impact them as well.

What do these Electromagnetic Waves communicate?

Our Emotions and State-of-Mind.

As our Heart receives this information, it decides how it wants to react while also providing that information to the Brain so it can make further decisions.

Where this becomes further important in our world today is with Stress.

When we, or anyone we are around, are feeling Stress, it directly impacts our Heart-Brain.

For those who are interested in understanding this better, HRV Coherence helps us understand this.

As Stress is communicated back and forth, it can cause either us or those around us Stress.

Even if you think you can hide your Dis-Stresses from others, our Heart-Brains betray the Truth.

The more that Stress is communicated, the worse everyone's Stress around us becomes.

This is a major reason why so many people are refusing to return to the office, DESPITE companies for months making "Mandates".

As Leaders, our ability to use our Heart-Brains to aid our Leadership becomes a seemingly unexplainable Superpower to others.

Our failure to properly use our Heart-Brains leads to more problems.


The next area of great importance to Leadership is Neurogastroenterology or the Study of our Gut-Brain.

Yes, just like our Brain and our Heart, our Gut (Or more accurately our Digestive System) also has Neurons throughout that think and communicate with our other systems.

What the Gut-Brain is primarily focused on is Energy Distribution, or how Mg-ATP is created and where it is sent throughout our bodies.

When we can create plenty of Mg-ATP and get all of the Nutrients our bodies require, our Gut-Brain is very happy.

However, when we don't, our Gut-Brain begins a set of Survival Mechanisms within the rest of our Bodies.

As more of these Survival Mechanisms occur, more and more Stress is created.

All Stress Adds.

The less Energy we create, the more Systems our bodies will shut down.

In fact, not only will Systems shut down, but so will our Genes.

When these Genes shut down, we also become more susceptible to Diseases and Sickness.

At the same time, rates of Anxiety and Depression also go up, as many of the Hormones that impact our Brain are considered "non-essential" to Survival.

As more of these Systems shut down, our bodies undergo more Stress, which causes Stress-Damage, also known as Oxidative Stress.

In theory, we should be able to "clean up" this Stress Damage, but if we are not getting enough Energy, or we are not receiving the proper Minerals, we become unable to Repair the Damage.

This leads to Oxidative Stress building up, leading to more Dis-Stress, less Resiliency, faster Magnesium Burn (aka faster decreases in Energy), and less ability to Recover.

This can then directly block us from being able to attain Flow States.

When you combine these with the Stress of the Brain, as well as this Stress being communicated via Neurocardiology, it creates a HUGE problem for Leadership Success.

Plus, the #1 cause of people going to the Doctor's Office is Fatigue - aka Lacking Energy.

All a Direct Aspect of Neurogastroenterology.


This is perhaps the most talked about, but most constantly misunderstood aspect of Leadership - Eudaimonology!

The easier way to understand this is the Study of Flourishing.

Now, there are many Leaders who "talk" about Flourishing, but when you look at their lives, teams, and organizations it becomes easy to tell that they have no idea what Flourishing actually is.


Well, Flourishing is a combination of factors.

Within the lives of Leaders, over time we all see when their lives are terrible.

Burnout, Sickness, Unhappy Families, Workplaces that Despise Them.

These all indicate a lack of Flourishing.

One aspect of Flourishing is that you must be an Exemplar - people look to you because of "who" you are, not what you have accomplished.

When people live in alignment with who they are and who they want to be, that is the first indicator of true Flourishing.

The phrase that has caught hold in recent times is "Authenticity".

If you lack that, you aren't even on the right track.

However, it is not enough!

The reason is that "All Flourishing is Mutual".

Most people who "talk" about Flourishing only discuss it from "their" perspective - but fail to understand that it is about "more" than them.

True Flourishing requires those around us to also be Flourishing.

If our Teams are not Flourishing, if our Customers are not Flourishing, and if our Families are not Flourishing, then we are also not truly Flourishing.

That is why there are people who "have everything", but still have miserable lives.

They fail to understand that Flourishing is not a Solo Game.

The question we have to ask ourselves then is how do Leaders truly Flourish?

We can tell because Leaders who truly Flourish are Designing a Regenerative Legacy.

They are Exemplars, who are living in alignment with who they want to be.

They are actively improving all of the systems described above (Brain, Nervous System, Heart, Gut, etc.) so they both have a better life themselves, but can also positively impact the people around them.

They are also working on helping everyone around them Flourish because they understand that Flourishing is Mutual.

You see it not only in their lives, but their Family, their Teams, and their Customers.

Then, the Leaders that have the greatest impact, also spread that Flourishing to the Environments they are a part of, up to and including the Planet.

That is the essence of Eudaimonolgy.

Many areas of our Brains are directly impacted by how well we are Flourishing.

Feelings of Connection, Security, Authenticity, Generosity, and Reciprocity have been shown to have tremendous impacts on positively improving our Brain functions.

Missing these in our lives has also shown extreme decreases in our Brain's functioning.

As Leaders, all of these factors will directly impact our ability to Think.

It is why Neuroscience and Psychology, although important to Leadership Success, will NEVER be enough alone.

You must understand the Fullness of Human Beings if you want to become a Legendary Leader.

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About the Creator

Cody Dakota Wooten, C.B.C.

Creator of the Multi-Award-Winning Category "Legendary Leadership" | Faith, Family, Freedom, Future | The Legendary Leadership Coach, Digital Writer (500+ Articles), & Speaker


[email protected]

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Comments (1)

  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarran8 months ago

    I've heard about the gut brain, heart brain and the others but not of how breaching improperly adds up all the stress. This was a very fascinating and informative read!

Cody Dakota Wooten, C.B.C.Written by Cody Dakota Wooten, C.B.C.

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