What do positive deviance, motivation, the middle-aged brain, and positive leadership have to do with one another? Plenty

By William Seidman I’m excited about some of the reading I’ve been doing — in diverse areas — because it reinforces some of the most exciting ideas we’ve been talking about for so long, and working on with our clients. Daniel Pink’s research on motivation, detailed in his book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us and Barbara Strauch’s findings, reported in her book The Secret Life of the Grown-Up Brain (hear her “Fresh Air” interview here ) combine nicely with what we know about positive deviance and, also, the impact of positive thinking on positive leadership (Kim Cameron’s Positive Leadership: Strategies for Extraordinary Performance to come together in exciting ways. Positive deviants are invaluable to organizations.  They are rarely found among the youngest, but often among the middle-aged. It’s hardly a coincidence that Barbara Strauch reports — refreshingly — on good studies that show that while processing speed may decline with age, wisdom and a host of other positive human attributes increase in middle age and continue to increase for many years. Motivation, Pink shows, is key to improving performance. Cameron shows that positive thinking enables positive leadership, which in turn improves performance. Organizational performance and personal brain function improve with great coaching. It’s gratifying to see that good scientific studies validate these interrelationships — because this is what we’ve been doing.]]>

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