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Resonant Leadership: Review of Book

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The problem is that today that recovery cycle between stressors is so short as to almost be indiscernible—sending loads of stress hormones like adrenaline, cortisol, and other nasty hormones coursing through our bodies. Such negative stressors can turn an otherwise decent person into a toxic, dissonant victim who can spread the disease at epidemic speeds, especially if that person is a leader. And what’s the worst part of it? Those infected with the Sacrifice Syndrome cannot see their slip into the abyss, instead often seeing others as incompetent, lazy, and useless. Unfortunately, dissonance is the default human setting, to protect us from that which would harm us. While that worked well when we had long recovery periods in our earlier evolutionary stages, it does not work well in today’s high-speed culture. Negative attractors come to us in batches of emails, texts, or tweets that overstimulate and push us into a destructive dissonant downward spiral that’s unfortunately invisible to us. In short, we need relief and renewal or are destined to crash, by default.

2. The Renewal Cycle: Just as The Sacrifice Syndrome can infect anyone, especially leaders, with negative attractors, causing dissonance that can be their eventual undoing and a source of individual and corporate cultural rejection, the Renewal Cycle has the opposite effect. In the Sacrifice Syndrome, the negative stimulus (dropping revenues, a difficult boss or employee) enters the right part of the brain and gets transmitted through the Sympathetic Nervous System. This stimulates the release of hormones (adrenaline and cortical) which is really good when you’re really in trouble…not so great when released several times a day.

On the other hand, positive attractors, things that happen that are pleasant, even gratifying (being loved, praised, honored) trigger the opposite side of the brain, and the lucky person secretes either oxytocin (women) or vasopressin (men)—both of which reduce blood pressure and make us calmer, more relaxed, and more able to solve problems more quickly and easily. Such a cycle basically reboots our brain and resets the positive balance, especially when we’re out of balance because of The Sacrifice Syndrome.  And, like the negative attractors, such positive attractors are very infectious. In fact, the quickest way to attract someone to your positive wavelength is through smiling or music—both of which are hard wired into our limbic, primordial brains. The authors offer three types of positive attractors to get this Renewal Cycle started: Mindfulness, Hope and Compassion.

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