Business advice is plastered in articles, tweeted to the high heavens and pushed under our noses on a regular basis. Half of the time it’s not evidence led and and is based on little more than our own impressions. Even we’ve been guilty of this in the past.
But we want to get under the skin of what science really says about business – the hard facts of it all. So you can walk away from this article knowing that what we say can be backed up!
The Science Behind Business Leadership
Taking on a leadership role in business is something that many people aspire to. But what if I told you, you can actually predict the type of people that will become leaders? According to a study using meta-analysis the most widely noticed characteristics of leaders were people who are more adjusted, sociable, ambitious, curious and have higher levels of cognitive ability.
For the people who are already in a leadership role, science can predict whether you make a good leader! In another study, they found that those with integrity and emotional intelligence tended to lead successful teams.
Prepare for a myth buster! Gender makes no difference in an effective leadership. Although it is a common observation that leadership is predominantly male, this is mainly down to social reasons. The science says that the potential for a woman to be a leader based on their competence is the same for that of a man.
Motivation to Work
Motivation is the driving force behind every action. Psychologists uncovered three sources that indicate why it’s so hard for some people to get motivated in a workplace setting.
It’s all about how you think of a task. Resistance is the biggest thing that holds people back. The way your thought processes take over when a task is set, will pre-determine how you approach it.
Thinking “I have to”, “I don’t want to” and “I can’t do this” are the three ways to automatically kill off motivation. Flip your thinking and make sure you pay attention to how you approach the tasks you’re undertaking.
Another interesting finding uncovered by scientists is the link between dopamine levels and willingness to work. A study on rats found that the ones with lower dopamine levels did not have the motivation to climb over a wall where the big pile of food was placed. Whereas those with high levels of dopamine were more inclined to do so.
So this tells us that by consciously aiming to increase your dopamine levels, this will propel you or your workforce to throw themselves into their work.
Something to be aware of that was recently found by scientists, is the discovery on willpower. As told in Forbes’ article, it was discovered that willpower is actually limited, you only get so much of it in one day. Think of it as a muscle, when exercised it gets fatigued.
When it’s used up people will lose the ability to concentrate and do the right thing. This was backed up by a study that showed that judges made more rulings in favour of the prisoners at the start of the day when willpower was at a high. Rulings made later on were said to be down to “decision fatigue”.
The Science Behind Success
Wouldn’t it be brilliant if there was a formula for success? If we could wake up each day and follow a few simple steps and gain our life long dreams. It’s a bit more complex than that unfortunately.
Although success cannot be predicted or guaranteed, there are some steps you can follow to improve your chances of hitting your career goals.
The parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for relaxation and heart rate, could be the key. Psychologist, Richard Boyatzis, states that there is a link between engaging our parasympathetic system and compassion and creativity in the workplace. It is also said to improve optimism and working relationships.
How can you work on this? Activities such as yoga, taking regular coffee breaks and engaging in leisure activities can be a world of good for the workplace.
Routines to Get Your Goals
Waking up in the morning is hard for all of us. But how we go about our early routine could play a part in workplace success.
Science says that you should always perform your biggest task first thing in the morning. This is when willpower is at an all-time high. As we’ve mentioned before, willpower is limited, so it will only deplete.
A popular routine, used by many, is making sure you write down what your tasks are for the next day. This gives you a focus and goal for the day ahead.
Another interesting routine used by Steve Jobs and Ron Friedman is to ask yourself a question in order to rationalise what it is you want to achieve.
Jobs revealed asking himself every morning if today was the last day of his life, would he want to be doing what he is doing today? Friedman took a similar approach and asked if he’s leaving the office at the end of the day with a sense of achievement, what is it he has achieved?
Why not give it a go and let us know how it goes?
Don’t Worry, Be Happy!
Happiness is what we all strive for. And a lot of people believe that from gaining success at work, will come happiness in life. In fact, it’s the opposite.
Science shows that happiness precedes success and when you truly find it you increase your chances of success in the workplace. It has been revealed that simply by working harder or for a longer amount of time you are doing more damage than good.
So do whatever makes you happy – it’s key to a fruitful career!
Have we convinced you on the way science says you should conduct business? Then listen to us when we tell you why you need our multichannel ERP. It provides you with the ability to manage your entire business from within one piece of software – that’s something that even science couldn’t do! Claim your FREE demo here today.