Balancing Rules and Risks

Have you noticed how re-directed rules tend to unleash fresh opportunities? It’s much like the flight risks of a baby osprey I observed in PEI this summer. The young bird dipped and dived without hesitation, to simply keep pace with its mother’s lofty exploits. Rather than meet minimal flying standards, the bird soared above its entire fishing village.

How do you stretch your mental wings?  Fly beyond minimal regulations, and innovation moves you upward, much like the soaring osprey.

Fly beyond minimal regulations, and innovation moves you upward

Here are a few mental rules to beat winds of your own upper air:

1.  Risk more – regulate less. Risk on purpose and with passion for a finer future for all. Rather than meet minimal regulations, risk giving, encouraging, and facilitating extravagance in others. Interestingly, your  brain requires dopamine (a reward chemical) to take good risks, and yet dopamine increases symbiotically with each risk you take.

2. Fixate on people around you. Listen with your brain to invite more diverse solutions to pesky problems you or your teams face.  Use personal strengths – to foster talents others possess. I’m hosting  a “Gift-of-the-Magi” event soon to draw out hidden and unused talents of people around me at the moment. What would it take for you to listen more with your brain to facilitate other’s strengths?

Risk on purpose and with passion for a finer future for all.

3. Care and challenge.  Care about others by challenging yourself to see struggles and strengths through their eyes.  To care is to act ethically on each person’s best insights, even those that differ from your beliefs. Did you know that compassion and care come from an intrapersonal intelligence. Or are you aware how this IQ domain increases with each compassionate act?

4. Pull mental power punches. The brain knocks out stress by raising its hormone for wellbeing, serotoninEven folks who blamed others for their problems in past, can lower stress and transform fault-finding into serotonin’s delightful dividends. Stress simply flees in response to balanced choices that release serotonin’s magical molecules. How so? Watch this!

5. Uncover practices worth cherishing.  Then jump on them. Select top priorities with those around you and then set up a practical strategy to hold yourself accountable to do them. For instance, start a team project daily by trying out possibilities suggested from participants. Each time we act differently, we grow new neuron pathways for more of the same.

Care about others by challenging yourself to see struggles and strengths through their eyes

Unbalanced rules retain a bad rap, and with good reason.  Like I have, you’ve likely experienced broken dictates that reduce you to minimal standards, and tend to rob innovative opportunities.

In contrast, mental alertness prompts you to simply dip and dive like an osprey out for adventure on another fine day.  In response, your brain will begin to unpack new dreams that you and others around you, can cherish.

Worth risking a few dips or dives?


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Image credit: thakala / 123RF Stock Photo

Dr. Ellen Weber, is recognized globally for brain-compatible tools that build personal and organizational wellbeing. She gets game-changing results with large and small groups who look to people as capital and expect profit to result. Dr. Weber contributed to ASTD’s annual Leadership Manuel and addresses global leadership summits where the Mita Leadership approach helps to shape a new kind of leader. She also develops secondary and college whole-brain learning tools that transform lectures into award winning brain based tasks. Director of Innovative Change at the Mita International Brain Center. Weber also teaches leadership renewal at The Bittner School of Business. Her well respected workplace improvement program includes ground-breaking brainpowered tone tools to lead innovation and renewal. Her MBA Leadership course, Lead Innovation with the Brain in Mind currently impacts both online and real time leader development.

  • Dr. Ellen Weber

    Thanks all for this site and for the arena to discuss new ideas. Two calls came in this morning to show me how we’ve entered a new climate and why the old culture rarely copes.

    One – a leader from GM – told me how folks got dropped “by the rules” but without the risks to keep them or communicate with them.

    Another call came from a group that planned a leadership conference and then cancelled it when the president closed his door and refused to engage any of his fellow leaders.

    It’s time to look past broken rules to find risks that will enable many speakers to my right here! Let’s do it together! Best, Ellen


    Wonderful summary of how we can improve ourselves principally by resetting our thoughts to be more aware of others.


  • Dr. Ellen Weber

    Oh Lynn – Thanks, what an apt description of how the human brain reboots, in the direction of inner generosity. It takes practice – and it’s easy to forget to do. But what fun when it happen and even more so when we get to lead it:-)

    I’m looking forward soon to collaborating on a project related to empathy – and I see that concept inspirited into your thoughtful big picture view.

    Thanks for giving us another look through your wide angle camera. Best, Ellen

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