The Neuroscience of Leadership

Friederike Fabritius, M.S., is a trained neuropsychologist, a certified coach, a popular keynote speaker, an internationally recognized management consultant, and co-author of The Leading Brain.

More about Friederike

Friederike Fabritius, M.S., is a trained neuropsychologist, a certified coach, a popular keynote speaker, an internationally recognized management consultant, and co-author of The Leading Brain.

More about Friederike

BOOKS

The Leading Brain

The Leading Brain book cover

A cutting-edge guide to applying the latest research in brain science to leadership - to sharpen performance, encourage innovation, and enhance job satisfaction.

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CONTACT

VIDEOS

Creating a Brain-Friendly Work Environment

Small steps you can take to help you thrive in the workplace

The Secret DNA of Peak Performance

Why do some find it easy to work at their peak, while others feel the goal is frustratingly elusive?

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PRAISE

When I think of all the positive feedback and interested questions from the audience, I realize that when you conveyed your message of team collaboration, you did more than simply engage our senior executives on a personal level, you gave them something that is both inspiring and truly useful. Your words will help us on our road to achieving a cultural change. My heartfelt thanks for your contribution!

— Dr. Heinrich Hiesinger, CEO, thyssenkrupp
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Questions and Answers

What do companies need to reach the highest performance?

Although dopamine, noradrenaline, and acetylcholine are what you need for peak performance, I have developed a friendlier framework to make things easier to remember: It's Fun, Fear, and Focus.

When you have fun with the task at hand, that is, when you really enjoy what you are doing, you release dopamine. Dopamine makes your brain more efficient, helps you learn better, and allows your prefrontal cortex, the region of the brain for rational and analytical processing, to function better.

After fun, there's fear, which releases noradrenaline. And when I say "fear," I'm not talking about horror movie fear. I mean the little bit of uncertainty you feel when you're slightly over-challenged, when you're forced to step just outside of your comfort zone.

The last of the three factors is focus. It's only when we truly focus that a chemical called acetylcholine is released in the brain. Of the three factors we need for peak performance, focus may be the toughest to achieve. We are surrounded by distractions. If you are multitasking, you aren't focusing. And if you aren't focusing, you can't achieve peak performance. So, close your door, clear your desk, turn off your phone, and truly focus on doing your best. If it isn't too easy, that's OK. As we've seen, a little fear is good. And, in the end, you'll do more than just perform at your peak. I think you'll have fun!