Neuroscience and the Connection to Exemplary Leadership

With the world today facing serious problems, yet offering enormous opportunities thanks to rapid scientific advances, the need for exemplary leaders has become greater than ever before.

These exemplary leaders need to have a clear and energizing vision for a better future. But having a vision is not enough—the key is turning the vision into a reality and deploying that energy as an agent of change. This requires the leader to be effective at two things, among others, day in and day out. First, they need to be an effective decision maker, making tough decisions that involve a lot of risk and uncertainty but are very consequential for both the leader and their organization. Second, the leader has to be an effective decision shaper, influencing the decisions of key stakeholders both within and external to the organization. And, importantly, doing all this work day in and day out requires sustained excellence, which means that it is also essential for exemplary leaders to build and maintain the mental resilience and vibrancy to win both the outer game and the inner game.


Course Introduction


Framed as a retreat and adopting a systems-level approach, this course leverages simple yet powerful frameworks grounded in neuroscience to give you practical tools to build the skills and habits that will get your brain and body working together to manage stress, shape your personal success narratives, and build the sustained excellence necessary to become an exemplary leader.

Key Topics

  • Neuroscience frameworks that underpin key elements of exemplary leadership
  • Type 1 and Type 2 mindsets and the X-Framework
  • Neurobiology of stress
  • Techniques to manage stress
  • Importance of narratives
  • The IKEA effect
  • Tribal instincts
  • Ambidextrous organizations
  • The triangle framework
  • Decision confidence
  • The placebo effect

This course will use video lectures, journal prompts, and exercises to provide you with time for reflection as well as the opportunity to build the skills and habits essential for exemplary leadership.

Course Faculty


Marineh Lalikian
Director, Stanford LEAD Online Business Program Executive Education