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How Your Brain Works at Work


For years we’ve heard the same mantra. Employees who are successful multi-task.

Over the years, I believe that I been successful as a teacher, a fundraiser, a salesman, a senior executive and now as a consultant. I knew early in my career that I could not multi-task. I must focus on one task at a time.

Research findings from the NeuroLeadership Institute, first published in the Wall Street Journal this past spring, proves my point.


The research also found what I’ve always known…working up to a deadline is stressful and unproductive. That’s why I believe in completing tasks before a deadline. I was once asked in a phone interview to “Give an example when you missed a deadline and what did you do?” I replied in all honesty that “I’ve never missed a deadline.” How is this possible? Because I’m a planner. Completing a task well in advance of the deadline allows me to step back several times in the process of completing the task, think through all options, and complete the task with very little, if any, stress.

Other NeuroLeadership Institute research findings:

  • Uncertainty, such as feeling that your job or your company's future is under threat, causes pressure and leads to bad decisions.

  • Good thinkers look past the facts.

  • Good leaders who articulate a vision inspire people.

To read the full article in the Wall Street Journal, go to this link: The Inner Workings of the Executive Brain

If you need a subscription to the Wall Street Journal to read the article, here's the article in PDF: The Inner Workings of the Executive Brain

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