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Monthly Archives: January 2013

Your Brain On Improvisation

Musician and researcher Charles Limb wondered how the brain works during musical bimprovimprovisation — so he put jazz musicians and rappers in an MRI to find out. What he and his team found has deep implications for our understanding of creativity of all kinds: Your Brain On Improv

Other Charles Limb-related Articles:

Music on the Mind – Hopkins Medicine Magazine

Keynote: The Creationist – John Hopkins scientist Charles Limb on the music in his mind – The Urbanite

Your Brain On Jazz: Neural Substrates Of Spontaneous Improvisation – Podcast from the Library of Congress

 

Leadership Self-Awareness

By Randy Sabourin

I often find myself in the situation of giving professional advice on who in a group of “up and coming” professionals will be a good leader. I coach executives in large and small organizations in a variety of marketplaces and there seems to be one critical common denominator among these leaders: the more self-aware they are about their strengths and weaknesses, the more successful they are. More than this, however, these individuals are not only self-aware, they are willing to do something with their self-knowledge.

Being self-aware is a little more difficult than introducing yourself to yourself in the mirror or than reading (and dismissing) your latest 360 evaluation. Understanding yourself is a complex and ongoing process, one you need to be dedicated to in order to see results. I recently tried an app that tracks the calories you take in at every meal. I’ve never been a dieter, but I found the process very interesting because I became aware of what I was eating, when I was eating and what my caloric intake was. Based on that information, I started making decisions about what or how much I would eat: I became aware of what I was eating. As the experience continued, I recorded the details of each meal less and less frequently: I felt I had gained an understanding and didn’t need the feedback/monitoring any longer. Sure enough, the success I had gained by being aware soon faded and I was back to the same eating habits. I started using the app again and I became back in the groove: reaching my goals, staying aware, and receiving positive reinforcement.  The same awareness and feedback cycle is needed in order to increase your leadership self-awareness. Continue reading

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