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  • Writer's pictureNick Petrie

Bringing the Body into Leadership Development

For the last 60 years, much of leadership development has focused on what happens in a leader’s head. However, maybe that’s only half the equation. New, thought-provoking studies suggest that our memories, fears, and ambitions are not just stored in our head, but carried in the cells of our bodies (see the book - The Body Keeps the Score).

Neuroscientists point out that we have not one, but two brains; one in our head and one in our gut and that most of our senses are below the shoulders not above. According to neuroscientist Daniel Siegel, “The mind is embodied, not just enskulled.” Kate Ogden points out, “Chronic postural and movement tendencies serve to sustain certain beliefs and cognitive distortions, and the physical patterns, in turn, contribute to the same beliefs.”

The implication for leadership development is that if we want to support adults to develop and evolve, the most direct path may not be through the head but through the body.

I’d never used to think about this for leadership development, but now think about it a lot. What has been your experience?

To speak to Nick about bringing vertical leadership development into your organization send a linkedin message or email


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