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The CEO of the Brain - Meet the Prefrontal Cortex

What determines how well an executive or a CEO performs? What distinguishes high versus low level performance leaders?

Well meet the CEO of the brain, the prefrontal cortex. It is the part of the cerebrum that lies directly behind the eyes and the forehead. More than any other part of the brain, this area dictates our personality, our goals, and our values.

The prefrontal cortex is responsible for executive control of the brain. It is responsible for orchestrating all aspects of brain function. The frontal lobe is responsible for initiating and coordinating motor movements; higher cognitive skills, such as problem solving, thinking, planning, and organizing; and for many aspects of personality and emotional makeup.

The Executive Functions are located in that exact region and in many ways act like the CEO of our brains. The tasks that a CEO of a company must manage include the ability to analyze, organize, decide, and execute. Around the time of puberty, the frontal cortex of the brain matures, allowing individuals to perform higher-level tasks like these:

  1. Analyze a task

  2. Plan how to initiate and address the task

  3. Organize the necessary steps to complete the task

  4. Develop timelines for task completion

  5. Adjust or shift the steps, when necessary, to complete the task

  6. Complete the task in a timely fashion

The goal of coaching is to work together to create structures, support, skills and strategies that assist clients to stay focused on their goals, follow through on the steps listed above, face obstacles, and address issues related to time management, organization, and self-esteem. All in an effort to develop new skills, gain clarity and function more effectively.

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