Focused Leadership: In October 2015 Dr Thomas Hellwig and Axel Esser from the HGS Neuro-Team held a joint workshop for 80 participants of the International Leadership Association (ILA) conference in Barcelona.
Michael Hamacher, CEO of an automotive supplier, has asked the head of accounts to come for a performance review. Customers have complained repeatedly about receiving incorrect invoices which need time-consuming corrections. When asked about this, the employee refers to a colleague, saying she postponed urgent tasks and did not accept any respon-sibility for this. Michael Hamacher wants to know more about these events, and begins a lively discussion about the colleague's approach to work. The real reason for the interview is almost forgotten. Michael Hamacher only remembers this when his employee is already out the door.
What happened? "Michael Hamacher has lost the original focus" experts like Axel Esser from the HGS Neuro team would diagnose. Active attention, also known as focus, is an important tool of successful executives. For good reasons, the concept of Focused Leadership has become increasingly important in recent years. It owes its success to the combination of proven manage-ment models and recent findings in neuroscience.
Axel Esser and psychologist Dr Thomas Hellwig both have extensive experience in Focused Leadership. In mid-October 2015 they explained their approach in practice to 80 participants of a joint workshop entitled "Focused Leadership - Leveraging Findings in Neuroscience for Leadership Development". The event took place during the 17th International Conference of the International Leadership Association (ILA) held in Barcelona, which gathered more than a thousand participants from all over the world. Today it is known that focus is reflected in physical and chemical changes in the brain. Thus, as Esser and Hellwig explain, the course is set for thought and action. So focusing on one's own person is a requirement for self-awareness and control of one’s emotions - qualities that are essential for good leadership.
For example, if Michael Hamacher can maintain his focus in the next performance review, he will direct the dialogue in a constructive, solution-oriented direction and, together with his employee, will achieve optimization potential.
But how can one train one's focus? Axel Esser and Thomas Hellwig explained this too. The basis is mindfulness, a form of meditation, as well as neurofeedback as a control instrument. Neurofeedback allows the user to observe and to consciously control their own brain activity using EEG. In this way they learn to modulate patterns of stimulation and inhibition, and are soon able to consciously regulate excitement and relaxation.
Thanks to this ability executives like Michael Hamacher can keep a good overview, even in conflict situations.