The most effective leaders, it turns out, have brains “wired” to lead. A new study suggests adaptable leaders may have the best brains for leadership roles.

The study, which focused on 103 U.S. Army officers ranging in rank from officer cadet to major, linked adaptive leadership skills with brain functioning and psychological complexity measures among active leaders.

Researchers say this fusion of neuroscience and leadership research could one day revolutionize how organizations assess and develop effective and adaptive leaders.

“Once we have confirmed how the brain works in these leaders, we can create an ‘expert’ profile,” said the study’s lead author, Sean Hannah, Ph.D., of Wake Forest University.

“This profile can help us develop brain training methods to enhance brain functioning in leaders, such as the neurofeedback techniques that have been successfully used with elite athletes, concert musicians and financial traders.”

The study, “The Psychological and Neurological Bases of Leader Self-Complexity and Effects on Adaptive Decision-Making," further discusses psychological complexity. To read more, view "This is Your Brain on Leadership" on EHS Today.