Your Brain and Business: The Neuroscience of Great Leaders Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

ISBN-13: 978-0137064441
ISBN-10: 0137064446
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

“If you’re interested in the hot topic of how neuroscience can make you a better leader, this is the book to read. Pillay offers solidly researched, practical insights into the many ways brain science can be used on the job: to improve relationships, negotiations, change management, and more. I found the advice for coaches particularly enlightening. Leaders at all levels and in all types of organizations will find this book a tremendously helpful resource.”

--Jocelyn R. Davis, EVP, Research and Development, The Forum Corporation, and coauthor of Strategic Speed: Mobilize People, Accelerate Execution


“Pillay has a unique ability to link the science of how our brains work to very practical implications for leadership. The implications and applications go far beyond the business world and provide insights for better managing relationships in all spheres of our lives from an ‘inside out’ perspective, giving us a scientific basis for the value of introspection.”

--Subhanu Saxena, member, Global Pharmaceutical Executive Committee, Novartis Pharma AG


“This is an extraordinarily practical tool for coaches, and those going through coaching assignments, to understand how the brain can play a role in how you work with people and create a context for meaningful and sustainable change. As we learn from Dr. Pillay’s book, leadership effectiveness is influenced by the functioning of the brain and the translation of intangibles such as trust, fairness, and openness in everyday interactions with people and organizations. Neuroscience has provided additional ‘tools’ to understand the scientific basis upon which great leaders build effective and high-performing teams and businesses.”

--Paolo Gallo, Chief Learning Officer, International Multilateral


What does neuroscience have to do with leadership? Everything.

Recent advances in brain science and neuroimaging can dramatically improve the way leaders work with colleagues to drive successful change. As the brain is increasingly examined in the context of personal and organizational development, remarkable insights are being uncovered: insights that are leading to powerful new strategies for improving business execution.


In Your Brain and Business, Harvard psychiatrist, brain-imaging researcher, and executive coach Srinivasan S. Pillay illuminates the rapidly emerging links between modern brain science and the corner office. He reveals powerful ways that neuroscientific insights can be used practically by today’s executives and presents new lessons for coaches who want to help their clients overcome common leadership problems.


Discover how leaders and coaches worldwide are already applying this knowledge to dramatically improve personal performance--and learn how you can do it, too.


  • How positive thinking impacts the business brain
    Building on “strengths-based” approaches that encourage the brain to learn
  • Guiding leaders and managers to more effective relationships
    Applying the fascinating neuroscience of social intelligence
  • Innovation, intuition, and impostors
    Overcoming the intangible vulnerabilities in the brains of great leaders
  • Transforming the idea of change into execution
    Clearing the pathways from thought to “action orientation” to real action
  • Coaching the executive brain
    Specific interventions that target different brain regions and processes

About the Author

Srinivasan S. Pillay, M.D., is a certified master executive coach, brain-imaging researcher, and Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at  Harvard Medical School. He is also the Founder, CEO, and President of NeuroBusiness Group--an executive coaching company with coaches trained in the application of brain science to profitability and personal satisfaction in the business environment. Dr. Pillay has taught these methods with very high acclaim to executives from many companies, including but not limited to some of the world's best consulting companies, The World Bank, The MITRE Corporation, Genzyme, Novartis, Arab Banks of North America, CEO Clubs of Greece and  Boston , Coca Cola, PepsiCo, and Microchip. He has worked with coaches in a teaching or collaborative capacity from The Forum Corporation, Mobius Executive Leadership, and Triad Consulting. In addition, he has been invited to present his work in BostonNew YorkLos AngelesLondonSwitzerlandGreece, and Singapore, and his most recent presentations have been to executives from Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Dr. Pillay is also the author of Life Unlocked: 7 Revolutionary Lessons to Overcome Fear (Rodale, August 2010), and he also writes for The Huffington Post and Psychology Today.


He is extensively sought out as a speaker and by the media. Select media appearances related to his business experience include The Financial Times in Greece, Epoca Magazine in Brazil, Forbes MagazineThe Pittsburgh Post GazetteInvestors Business DailyAtlanta Journal Constitution, and the Sarasota Herald Tribune. Aside from his work on applying brain science to improving business performance, Dr. Pillay is also regarded as an international expert in burnout, stress, and anxiety, having been the Director of the Outpatient Anxiety Disorders Program at Mclean Hospital, consistently ranked the top freestanding psychiatric hospital in the  United States  for the past 20 years. Dr. Pillay lives in NewtonMA, and works out of  CambridgeMA .

Product Details

  • File Size: 4882 KB
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 5 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: FT Press; 1 edition (November 15, 2010)
  • Publication Date: November 15, 2010
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004C04PFA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #452,065 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Sam Santhosh VINE VOICE on April 6, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The book is supposedly meant for coaches of business leaders. Explaining the brain functions and structure, Mr.Pillay attempts to show how leaders can perform better in managing their organizations and getting the best out of their employees. The book is organized into four sections - (a) the Introduction covering the broad principles of how brain science applies to coaching and communicating (b) Relationship section explaining how positive psychology helps in coaching (c) Intervention section on how to effectively convert ideas into actions (d) the Conclusion, where the different brain regions and how the interventions affect them, are explained.

Each chapter lists a number of concepts, their application in business contexts and their connection to 'brain science' which according to the author is a division of neuroscience. Considerable technical jargon is used for explaining the various parts of the brain and how it relates to business activities. Most of it are quite unnecessary, repetitive and irrelevant. Over 35 to 60 references are provided for each chapter making the whole effort look a very impressive and scientific endeavor. However the book drifts from science to pseudoscience by morphing raw scientific facts and hypothesis into seemingly sophisticated tools for solving business management problems without using the rigor needed for good science. Many of the issues raised are real but simple psychology would be sufficient to provide answers to them. Recent discoveries like mirror neuron systems are twisted out of context to make them look very relevant for business leaders.
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Format: Hardcover
I have never worked in the business world and I don't consider myself an Einstein. but I worked for 20 years as a Registered Nurse in the medical field and was considered a productive and innovative employee with positive evaluations for my work performance. Now that you know where my brain is coming from, let me tell you what I think of this book. I found the information to be fascinating and applicable to all situations, not just interactions in the business environment. I must admit it is heavy information but it is presented in a way that is understandable with actual examples where appropriate. The book uses a concept and application format where the author first explains the concepts involved and then explains how these concepts of Neuroscience can be applied to human interactions, especially in the business field with leaders, managers and coaches. Each chapter ends with a conclusion and a summary chart to simplify the information in a quick reference format. I wish I could share all the concepts I learned from reading the book about positive thinking, trust, intuition, and enhancing brain functions, but if I did that then you would not want to read the book, because you would have all the information. If the power of the mind and brain interests you, then I am sure you would find this book captivating as well. It was well worth reading for the information I learned especially on the topics I listed.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from The Investor Relations Group, a media contact for the author. I was not obligated to provide a positive review. The opinions in this review are my own.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I love the topics and the idea of connecting coaching, leaders, and the science of the brain. Each chapter is overflowing with a large topic: such as change and the science and current thoughts behind it. Most of the chapters follow this pattern of defining a concept, construct or brain finding then an application or relevance to the leader and in some cases coaching language. Each chapter could have been a book. However, as a leader, professional coach, and an adjunct professor I was overwhelmed and confused by the lack of flow or disconnectedness of the topics.

It almost seemed like a research paper on proving why soft skills, such as empathy, relationship building, social skills, and being calm are not really soft skills, but hard skills that enhance leadership. Each chapter has footnotes, attribution, and concludes with hefty references. Chapter three for example has six pages, listing 84 references used! Yet it's not quite a research paper. There is plenty of evidence, it just not connected well and left with too many "mays", "maybes", and "sometimes".

It could be a guide for coaches. Many of the applications for coaches and leaders are well known and in practice already. This book validates it. Sometimes my reaction to the application was a "duh". For example, pay attention and don't let go of intuition. There is a scientific reason for this. This pattern of how to coach leaders and why based on brain science is repeated throughout the book. Not being a brain scientist, I can't imagine saying something like this to a client, "by knowing that brain activations underlying motivated reasoning, hence rational thought is only part of how we make decisions.
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