Soul-Chaplain Institute - Regenerating the Noosphere
For no light matter is at stake; the question concerns the very manner in which human lfe is to be lived.
Plato

"We are stuck with a human psychology shaped by millions of years of life in small communities...we need to structure the world around us in a way recognizable to this psychology"
Frans De Waals
Modern minds, primate brains
 

Co-creating meaning since 2001  
 
"The real problem of humanity is this - we have paleolithic emotions, medieval institutions, and god-like technology"
E O Wilson
 
"We keep forgetting that we are primates - and that we must live with the primitive layers within us"
C J Jung
 
Our behaviour evolved in a social context of intensive relationships in hunting communities of 30 to 50 people; we have been hunters for 99% of our existence, and it was in this context that our behaviour was selected. Part of this inheritance is our skill in dealing with human relations on a small scale
“The Imperial Animal” by Lionel Tiger and Robin Fox
 
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Our 'modern' brain is an ancient brain with some modifications.
Your brain is the structural and functional product of a few hundred million years of emotional development, a few hundred thousand years of intellectual development, a few thousand years of cultural development, and hopefully a few decades of personal experiential development. This history in inescapable, and everything you feel, think and do is shaped by it.
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Why leadership happens
No individual can survive alone in the desert
Ghazi bin Muhammad
1. Leadership behaviours are seen in social animals including primates, canines, dolphins and elephants
2. In these animals survival depends on the group and individuals cannot survive to maturity alone
3. Groups exist through collaboration, strong interactions, mutual dependence and applied experience
4. Some behaviours promote this and benefit the group - it is these behaviours that can be said to lead the group
5. Any such behaviour is an Emotionally Competent Stimulus (ECS)
6. Leader-follower behaviours are mediated through mirror neurons
7. Seeing a leader exercise a leadership behaviour is an ECS
8. A recognised and trusted leader is an ECS
9. Leadership is largely a visual phenomenon and LEADERS NEED TO BE VISIBLE
 
Some leadership behaviours are innate – some are learned by mimesis. In all social animals these behaviours are transmitted by both heredity and culture.

Mirror neurons, leadership and neuronal resonance

Ancient brains and modern life - some causes and counters of depression

Re-tuning modern minds to ancient instincts - building resilience
 
Primate leaders must attend to all in the group, including infants, successfully responding to challenges from the outside environment and social disruptions within the group. If a group permits an antisocial incompetent to lead it, it may not survive the consequences of its misjudgement
Lionel Tiger and Robin Fox
 
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Two consequences of this are:
 
Leadership skills improve with maturity and experience.
To ask if leaders are born or made is a meaningless "chicken and egg" question; in the history of life there were eggs long before there were chickens.
 
It is easier to be led - or deceived - with your eyes open. If you want to know if someone is telling the truth, close your eyes and listen.
 
1. Mirror neurons allow the observation of a leadership behaviour to produce a corresponding response in a follower’s brains
 
2. The response is initially emotional
 
3. Rationalisation, narrative creation and articulation only come after the emotional response
 
4. Follower decisions to act are primarily unconscious, as the earlier parts of the decision process are not controlled or accessed by consciousness.
 
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Leadership in hunter-gatherers
 
This is archetypal or "natural" human leadership behaviour, shaped by 3 million years of evolution on the plains of Africa - around 120,000 generations of accumulating change.
 
1. Hunter-gatherer groups have no formal leadership structure
 
2. Issues affecting group welfare become the subject of verbal and non-verbal communication. Non-emergencies not requiring immediate response are discussed and decisions made by consensus
 
3. Group needs elicit leadership behaviours from individuals with experience and expertise - in hunting, defence, care of young, crafting, gathering, finding water, etc. 
 
4. No individual holds a position of overall leadership over all group activity
 
5. Individuals are relatively free to do as they please within constraints of need and custom
6. If unresolved disagreement arises over the most appropriate response to an issue or challenge the group may split and go separate ways
 
6. Such communities have no government, except that imposed upon them by outsiders

"Before agriculture, governments didn't exist...hunter-gatherers were egalitarian anarchists - they didn't have chiefs or bosses, and they didn't have much use for anyone who tried to be boss. Bushmen today still laugh at wannabe 'big men'. Perhaps we could learn from them."
Gregory Cochran and Henry Harpenden
in 'The 10,000 Year Explosion: How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution'
 
The development of cultures has created organizations and heirarchies which are, for the most part, antithetical to this kind of behaviour.
 
Organizations with "flat" heirarchies - such as hi-tech, innovative and creative industries - more effectively reflect these aspects of human nature, with a consequent positive impact on job satisfaction, welfare, organizational effectiveness and performance.

 
You may not be interested in neuroscience, but neuroscience is interested in you
 
 
 
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