Is Your Brain a Flashlight or a Lantern?

July 7, 2023

Is Your Brain a Flashlight or a Lantern?

May 29, 2023

Neuroscience teaches us that a young adult's brain is fast and focused, with a similar value to having a flashlight on a night hiking trip. It can move quickly and offers precision control so that you can quickly see the path ahead of you. There's a certain intensity to a flashlight and a young brain.

Brain science also teaches us that an older brain works holistically and systemically with broader peripheral vision, sort of like a lantern. A lantern casts light over more expansive areas, just like an older brain can move more adeptly from the left brain to the right brain and back. A more aging brain is also better able to see blind spots.

Some leadership situations require a flashlight - limited time to make a decision, a need to focus on something that must be solved. Other situations require a lantern - the time to be curious and open to new solutions and the willingness to explore blind spots.

As a leader, ask yourself, "What's needed right now: a flashlight or a lantern?"

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