What Does the Brain Have to Do With Business?


Srini Pillay, M.D. brings a fresh and new perspective to self-help with a highly credible background. After graduating as the overall top medical student, he trained in psychiatry at McLean Hospital (the nation’s premier freestanding psychiatric hospital for the past 20 years) and Harvard Medical School. He graduated as the resident with the most number of awards at any training program at Harvard Medical School and one of the top three award winners in the US. Thus, he has a distinguished record of excellence in the field.

He has seventeen years of experience in neuroscience research (neurochemistry and brain imaging) and his work has been funded by Harvard Medical School, NARSAD and the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA).

Pillay illuminates the rapidly-emerging links between modern brain science and the corner office. What does neuroscience have to do with leadership? Everything! In Your Brain and Business: The Neuroscience of Great Leaders, srini-pillay-book- smallerPillay discusses recent advances in brain science and neuroimaging and how they can dramatically improve the way leaders work with colleagues to drive successful change.

What does the brain have to do with business other than just running our body and functioning? Is this just a theory or do we know now that it actually matters?

At the core of any business are people. When we think about people we would think about people at all levels of the corporation, and we think about people having to execute certain strategies. The reality is that people are really the life force of any business. So the connection between the brain and business is not really just theoretical because the reality is that the more we understand about the brain, the more we are going to understand about people.

For example, what does brain science teach us about positive thinking?

Dr. Pillay is a radical optimist. Optimist in a different way than people might initially imagine. Positive thinking is really a very important variable when it comes to running a business. We need to release the brains intentional center with positive thinking.

If we let our brains be taken over by the negative things going on in the world, we are allowing the Amygdala, which is the fear center of the brain, to be over-activated. Because the Amygdala is connected to the pre-frontal cortex in the brain, the Amygdala starts to disrupt what is going on in the thinking centers of the brain and we are not able to do what we need to do.

As a result of that, we need to stabilize the frontal cortex, or decrease the activation in the Amydala. Positive thinking helps to do both of those things. The practical element about positive thinking is that it frees up the frontal cortex, which then allows you to make decisions, it allows you to access risks, it allows you to be innovative. We need to spend as much time focusing on solving problems rather than simply focusing on the problems themselves.

Nothing that is fictional has ever been highly probable. If we constantly make our decisions on life based on what is possible, we are actually leaving out something exceptional from our lives.

Dr. Pillay sees optimism as something that gives the brain permission. Basically, it says to the brain, I think something is possible. I may not know the solutions, I don’t know how to get there, but because I think it is possible, I think you should stay on line. So the brain does stay on line, in particular, the part of the brain that is important in this process, the posterior parietal cortex (GPS of the brain), and tries to navigate you towards the way you need to go.

Even if we don’t know the solutions to our problems consciously, the unconscious brain is incredibly powerful, and it can actually come up with a solution if you give it permission to do so. Positive thinking is really about the brains permission for the unconscious brain to start coming up with possibilities to solve the problem(s) that you have in life.

Did you know that if your brain is taken over by fear, loneliness, prejudice, or mistrust, it actually starts to slow down?

Join us as we talk more with Dr. Pillay about the fascinating subject of “Brain Science” and how it can help you succeed in life and in business. You can listen to the complete recording, without commercials, above.

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