“Your Brain and Business: The Neuroscience of Great Leaders”: it’s a new book by Dr. Srini Pillay, who provides evidence-based research on the importance of “trusting your gut”.
Intuition—a “preemptive sense that something is happening” –occurs because our brains make up their minds with early subtle information, says Srini Pillay, M.D. In other words our brains, at a subliminal level, are capable of recognizing patterns , accurately evaluating situations and coming up with a plan.” Many leaders are highly intuitive, says Dr. Pillay, but too often struggle with how much to trust their gut reactions, and in that struggle lose something extremely valuable, both personally and professionally. Brain science can help us understand why to harness intuition and how to do this more effectively.
Dr. Pillay’s insights are well worth paying serious attention to. A highly respected psychiatrist (Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School) and Invited Faculty at Harvard Business School, he is also a neuroscientist with 17 years of brain imaging research at Harvard as well as a successful business owner and executive coach (www.neurobusinessgroup.com). Having closely studied the role of intuition, Dr. Pillay provides evidence-based research on the importance of “trusting your gut” in business and devotes an entire chapter to this in his new book, Your Brain and Business: The Neuroscience of Great Leaders (FT Press, 2011).
In the book, which is now being used as a basis for leadership development in several companies, Dr. Pillay tells the story of a client he once coached who did trust her intuition even though all factors pointed her in a different direction. She interviewed for a senior management position with a significant pay raise, more flexibility, and more responsibility, The Fortune 500 company wanted to hire her. But as she walked around meeting people she detected fear and threat from the employees. With no rational reasons, just the “discomfort” she felt, she turned down the offer. A few months later, the company had suffered a collapse that led to a significant restructuring that would have left her without a job. As Dr. Pillay concluded, “It was fortunate she was listening to these signals from within. I think this is an excellent cautionary tale for anyone to consider.”
Dr. Pillay is also the author of Life Unlocked: 7 Revolutionary Lessons to Overcome Fear (Rodale, 2010), which won the Books for a Better Life Award for Best Motivational Book for 2010 award, and in which he offers perspectives on empathy, remorse and the brain. That book, also voted one of the top five health books for 2010 by Men’s Journal, will be out in paperback this August 30.