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Archive for September, 2011

Got gumption?

September 19th, 2011 Kevin No comments

Gumption is a Scotch-Irish word that appeared first in the 1700s. There is no specific word origin mentioned. “Gumption” in context: “He’ll make it through this tough time because he’s got so much gumption.”

What does it mean?

It means many things to many people. In business, it means doing whatever it takes to get the job done.

I mean, what’s the real definition?

Well, there are a variety of definitions. They have to do with a person’s fortitude, courage, and certainty for what they are doing. Initiative, resourcefulness, enterprise, these words give you the idea.

So, what is this post about?

This post is about gumption. I believe gumption is critical in today’s business environment. If we’ve “got gumption,” wonderful things will happen for company profits, people, mission and purpose.

Any tips for how to get it?

Yes. There is a formula that helps build gumption. Here’s the formula: with an open mind and generous heart add equal parts of (1) belief, (2) will power, and (3) intention.

Can you give an example of the formula?

Sure. If I hear about a new skill that helps improve my work performance, I will have gumption to learn that skill when I believe the practice will help me improve the skill, have the will power to do the practice, and have the intention to practice the skill as instructed to achieve the maximum benefit.

That’s it?

Well. There is lots more, and that is good for now. See where gumption shows up in your work life and when it is lacking, help folks learn the formula. Good luck!

Kevin Leahy, founder

Knowledge Advocate, LLC

Categories: People, Thoughts Tags:

Introducing the Mind Athlete™ Program

September 2nd, 2011 Kevin No comments

Coming October, 2011. Learn more here:

MindAthlete@KnowledgeAdvocate.com

What is the Mind Athlete™ Program?

It is a brain training program that teaches you about the different areas of your brain and their functions. Exercises and special commands help you control your brain and manage it to best serve your needs.

You’re saying I can communicate directly with specific areas of my brain?

Yes, with coaching techniques. Here’s one way to describe the program to others: it is a coaching program for your brain. For example, the program helps convert negative self-talk into positive self-talk.

Does this program draw on prior traditions?

Yes. Ancient traditions of meditation and prayer tip us off to the benefits of self-regulating our brains. Getting to know ourselves and brains better is a primary instruction of ancient philosophers: “know thyself.” It works.

What about more recent research?

Before the most recent brain breakthroughs positive thinking and self-hypnosis added to the foundation of why direct communication with the brain works. Early researchers applied science to confirm observable benefits, like reduction of pain, overcoming depression, controlling emotions, and the like. Particular individuals include Milton Erickson, working with self-hypnosis to overcome childhood polio, and Lev Vygotsky, working with inner speech to better understand self-regulation and control. During the past 100 years, management science and leadership research also showed us what practices work best when managing and leading others. That work plays a critical role in this program.

And in modern times, what science do you rely on?

The core sciences that form the basis of this work include communications science, neuropsychology, neuroanatomy, behavioral economics, linguistics, and evolutionary biology. The science required to help us understand how our brains work and why must draw on many different disciplines.

What authority do you have to offer this program?

I am a coach and have been one for more than 10 years. Coaching witnesses for trial and executives for better performance focuses on positive reinforcement, examination of beliefs, and intentional control and regulation over thoughts and behaviors. Specifically, I coached scientists and medical doctors how to present information to juries, and cross-examined adversary experts on the basis of their knowledge as well. As a trial lawyer, doubt and proof were corner stones of my approach in the courtroom. Now, they form the ethics of how I share insights about our brains and how to coach and train them. A key area of my work at law was human memory. My experience cross examining medical and scientific witnesses and preparing their testimony made use of the practical application of psychology, behavioral sciences, influence, and control. What I learned at law plays a critical role in how I share this coaching program.

You mention that I can talk to my brain, do I use English to do that?

If English is what you speak, that will be a key asset for you when communicating with your brain.

Do other message systems apply, like the use of images, sounds, and non-verbal cues?

Yes, large areas of our brains respond very well to non-verbal cues and messages. This is why, among other things, imagination and visualization are such critical performance management tools.

I thought my brain communicates with energy, including electromagnetic force?

It does. It also attends to commands in your native language and intentions formed with image, sound, touch, gesture, feeling, etc.

I can coach and manage my own brain with special commands?

Yes. The power of positive attention and mindful intention have been scientifically validated in peer-reviewed articles using tools like fMRI machines, EEG technology, SPECT scans, and the like.

So if I learn more about my brain and communicate directly with it, I become its leader?

That is the goal of the program. It is a process, like any other, that takes time and practice.

Who is in charge of my brain right now?

I don’t know, that depends on your will power, energy resources, and patterns of self-regulation and self-control. Some people are already amazing mind athletes, this introductory program is not for them.

And the point of your program is to let me take direct and conscious control of my brain?

Yes.

Will your program help me control urges for food and drink better?

It can. The program shows you how to use the section of your brain devoted to will power and focus that energy on the system within your brain responsible for anticipating rewards and release of  dopamine.

So my will power can get together with my dopamine system and help me with my urges?

Yes. Remember that retraining your anticipation system to anticipate differently takes work.

Will your program help me control emotional outbursts?

It can. Emotions bubble up from the middle of your brain. This program lets you integrate the front of your brain more closely with it. You learn to reframe and reconsider things with the front of your brain too.

Can it improve my ability to focus?

That is one of the goals. Many studies indicate focus increases when we exercise the parts responsible for it. We get better at focusing with conscious effort, so with know-how and practice, focus can improve.

Will I listen better to others?

If that is an area you wish to work on, yes, you can. Knowing where your auditory functions reside and how your brain allocates resources to them can help you improve your listening skills over time.

Will I learn how to build rapport and be able to match how other people use their brains?

Yes. A part of the program teaches about where personalities, habits and traits tend to reside. Knowing that helps you call upon those areas as needed to match the traits and behaviors of those important to you.

It sounds like your program treats my brain like a team, is that right?

Exactly. The program relies on the metaphor of a team, and as with a team, you coach it to improve its overall function. Specifically, you use self-talk to call upon specific areas to do specific things for you.

In other words, I become the “team manager”of my brain?

Yes. Best practices from management science guide the process and sound coaching methods lead the way.

I am the”team leader” of my brain?

Yes. The program incorporates best practices and great insights from 100 years of research on leadership.

I can control even the parts of my brain that are normally beyond my intentional control?

Yes, and some parts are easier to manage than others. Please know that this work takes belief and practice. If you do not believe you have the right to control your brain more, I guarantee this program is not for you.

How does your program work?

1) first you learn about the different areas of your brain and what they do

2) then you learn exercises that help you coach those areas and let you interact directly with them

3) finally, you learn special commands that help you control, manage, and lead your brain to great results

The program lets you communicate directly with different areas of your brain and treats them like team members. Best practices from management and leadership science ensure we make the right efforts.

What’s the result of the program?

By doing the exercises and learning the commands, you become a great coach, manager and leader of your brain and a true mental champion. You can then better help others improve their own brains too.

I’m interested; where can I sign up?

Sign up here: MindAthlete@KnowledgeAdvocate.com

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Kevin Leahy, founder

Knowledge Advocate, LLC

Communication specialist, master questioner, brain trainer

Categories: Brain power Tags: