The Perceived Leadership Style of Neuroleadership


NeuroLeadership (NL) maintains that there is a neurobiological need for humans or employees to identify with their leaders and the etiology for this are mirror neurons and other social/developmental attachment processes that condition the neurbiology leader/follower behaviours. It is hypothesized therefore, that there ought to be a way of testing the NL theory of ‘need’ combined with the variable of ‘identification’ along with ‘plasticity’ if there is a neuobiological etiology. For this study, this is referred to as the ‘mirror neuron system’ (MNS). NL claims that MNS’s can be lead and impactfully motivated using particular management methods and strategies. The following proposes a controlled study that will ask:  what is the best perceived leadership style that could measurably deliver a neurobiologically defined form of leadership with the most impactful outcomes? Second, how can we test one of the core scientific claims made by NL regarding MNS’s?


Social value or social cost are readily illustrated by some basic health facts. The social determinants of health as defined by the World Health Organization include: education, access to health-care, political, economic, social, and cultural areas with a ‘causal impact. Combined, these social health variables constitute a “continuum along which groups are, to varying degrees, excluded or included” (WHO 2017). The combination when attended to, provide the “empowerment” to individuals  “challenge and change the unfair and steeply graded distribution of social  resources to which everyone has equal claims and rights” (WHO 2017). Like ‘social determinants’, ‘social cost’ and ‘social value’ have an important impact on material outcomes.

Mental health claims and productivity loss, employment retention among ‘millenials’ and cross-cultural are organizational problems intricately connected to the intersection of social variables and health. Social value and better health add social capital, and organizations are expansively and rapidly researching and investing in ways to capitalize in improving the management of social value. By improving ‘social value’, the resulting health improvements are causing increased productivity — so, the theory goes. The fiscal considerations of ‘Social Capital’ has even captured the attention of right-wing thinkers at places like the RAND Institute (Fukuyama ). In social theory texts, housework is the common example that shows how this adds ‘social capital’ because less time is spent doing personal, but necessary for work or profit generating activities. How one measures this form of ‘capital’, is problematic and informs this study. One strategy in organizational behavior/management that leverages ‘social value’ as ‘social capital’ emerged in 2006, and is called NeuroLeadership (Rock 2006; Rock 2008; Rock 2012).

The following is a proposal to conduct a double or single blind study that defines what leadership style (LS) best defines or describes NeuroLeadership (NL). Along with defining LS a proposal to study the neurobiology of mirror neurons will be presented. The same material, procedures and subjects in the following proposal can be measured in the (1) management sciences single/double blind study to define LS and in (2) mirror neuron systems (MNS). This study will use the NL SCARF method to implement a ‘Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Program’ (MBSRP). The MBSRP will suppose ‘one team leader’ (TL) and at least ‘one team member (TM). Both the effectiveness and efficacy NL will be evaluated by this study, and this proposal will start with an outline of key problems and questions that NL raises. These ‘key problems’ will be discussed in relation to how this study proposes to ‘control’ or ‘mitigate’ their impact. Mostly, these problems will be presented to define where the most fruitful areas of MS and NS intersect in a way that warrants greater study.

Key Methodological Problems: Epistemology, Philosophy of Psychology, Logic and Defining Social Value.

The problem of other minds is illustrated by the conceptual question regarding qualia (Jackson ), and the Chinese Room Argument which is a thought experiment that challenges some key assumptions in the field of Artificial Intelligence. In the philosophy of psychology, the problem of other minds is epistemological, and it asks how we can know what someone else is subjectively thinking. Qualia is the term to describe the qualitative difference that individuals have regarding pain (Jackson 1982; 2006). In medical diagnostics, patient interviews as forms of diagnosis face considerations like qualia routinely. Severity of pain is relative, and while the same ‘pin prick’ might be explained by a neurobiological model, however, the subjective perspective that is ‘qualitative’ will remain outside of that model.

The second problem with defining ‘other minds’, can be understood by a thought experiment that helps to illustrate what is being hypothesized about mirror neurons. The thought experiment is called the ‘Chinese Room Argument’ (Searle 1980; 1982). This thought experiment demonstrates the limitations of Artificial Intelligence (AI) should science progress to the place where the ‘Turing Test’ is satisfied+. Searle asks the reader to imagine themselves inside of a room where Chinese characters are slipped into slot for your benefit or function. You are given a Chinese character (P), and a lexicon. You read the Chinese character passed to you, and look at the lexicon for the rule associated with the character(Q). You look at the ‘rule’ and see that an other Chinese character is to be returned f(P.Q)(P=>Q).

Searle makes the receiver of Chinese characters, a non-Chinese speaker. The Turing Test maintains that if a machine can mimic intelligence, it is intelligent. However, Searle poses this thought experiment to ask the reader to think if they are really conscious of being Chinese, given that they are effectively communicating in that language? There is much more to processing language or communication than just rules. The problem of other minds is further illustrated as not just (epistemological), but also ‘ontological’. It presents problems in terms of explaining ‘consciousness’ in a reductive’ or ‘eliminative’ method that explains away subjectivity and self awarenss as brain states.

Another thought experiment from a paper titled ‘What is it Like to be a Bat?’ likewise illustrates the philosophy of psychology problem that neurobiology will always face (Nagel 1974). The thought experiment asks the reader to ask what it might be like to negotiate the world or move through space through ‘sonor intelligence’ like a bat. Humans move through space via many human constructs like sidewalks, roadways and elevators. Our relationship to space is defined by those environments, and even more so, the other inhabitants sharing the same space. We might try and avoid colliding with a person by anticipating how they are going to move, and by reading social cues like their eye focus or whether they are even looking, such as a person who is on their phone.

That human reaction is socially defined to avoid a collision in a way that involves ‘self definition’ or ‘what is it like to be a human’ (Nagel 1989). If one was to be repelled by the oncoming pedestian by radar, the relationship to the ‘other’ and the ‘self’ would be qualitatively different. It is argued that the subjective notion of ‘what it is like’ to be someone, cannot be reduced to a brain state. It can be explained in causal terms, but it still remains outside of a ‘reductive’ model to fully explain the phenomenon of ‘what it is like’, to be someone. Likewise, it cannot be reduced to a computational or AI model of subjective consciousness that is like asking a mercury filled thermometer to describe the weather.

Nagel maintains a position about the nature of ‘mind’ called ‘property dualism’ (Nagel 1989). Logically, the basic law of identity or Leibniz Law is not satisfied because there are different ‘predicates’ that can be made between the neurologist explanation about an individual’s self reflection, and the reflecting that they view in their own minds eye.

Leibniz law states that any A = A if and only if every thing that can be said of one ‘A’ can be said of the other ‘A’. The metaphysical problem of this law for Leibniz was one expressed through its application when ‘space’ is considered. We might have two objects that are composed of the same matter that is equal to the number of molecules or atoms, but they will still be different if they occupy space (Braddon-Mitchell and Jackson 2006). If two objects are real, they are different by the single predicate that locates it.To be in the same place at the same time, violates the law of non-contradiction (Churchland 1989). Nagel argues that there is a ‘property‘ dualism at play with mind because the ‘subjective or qualitatively different subjective’ point of view or viewpoint will never mirror or be equal to the brain state that describes it. 

There is something ’emergent’ about consciousness, but self-consciousness in general. Just imagine the current ability of doing a functional or FMRI that allows for the observation in real time aspects of an individual who might be picturing a memory from their childhood. That memory was shaped socially, and there in lies the dualism or ‘property dualism’, and for present purposes, it is a limitation or problem that states that ‘subjectivity’ is a problem in the current study.

NL uses a number of concepts that concern the ‘self’ that are pre-defined in the discipline of philosophy, as problematic just the concern over ‘mind’ outlined so far. The same criteria of identity when applied to the notion of self, arrives at the problem of a reality that is continuasly changing. The self is that which is houses the predicates that describe it or the attributes that define a personaliy, a character or persona.

However, this approach that tries to define the ‘subject’ that maintains these changing predicates or attributes that are never fixed for the balance of anyone’s life-time(Perry 2008). There is a circular problem with regard to self definition, and it is an argument that states that even if a self had a perfect list and perfect understanding of all the attributes that accurately describe or define the individual.

Even if this criteria of a ‘perfectly accurate set of attributes’ is met, it would follow that there would still be a difference between the self that knows itself, and the self that is in the very act of knowing. There will always be a circular or logical problem regarding self-knowledge. To know oneself is to posit a self that is separate from the self who is trying to know itself (Pears 1993). To separate or create a circular problem, is an important reason to abandon the ‘self’ in terms of defining it in this study.

If ‘self worth’, ‘self value’ and ‘self efficacy’ are going to be defined, they will face the problems of ‘identity’ that create a circular problem regarding self-knowledge, the epistemological/subjective problem of knowing what someone else is thinking, and the problem of reducing ‘mind’ solely to neurobiological processes without an account of subjectivity.  There is increasing demand on organizations to define ‘values’ and ‘corporate vision’. At the same time that employees and consumers of a given organizations’ goods or services, demand to ‘identity with the values’ of an organization, a ‘moral compass’ that is ‘value neutral’ needs to accomodate for an increasingly diverse demographics (Thompson 2014).  

The political and psychological notion of ‘mutual recognition’, raises and provides a framework for the ‘values’ that individuals want to see themselves reflected in, but does not actually define ‘values’ within the framework (Hemingway 2004). The following will examine some of the important philosophical concepts that inform or define this proposal in terms of outling some important problems and limitations, and second, these philosophical concepts will be used to describe the ‘value neutral’ NeuroLeadership (NL) theoretical claims. The following will examine these method problems.

In social psychology, G.W.F. Hegel’s concept of ‘mutual recognition’ is elemental the theories of Franz Fanon and the psychological problems he observed in the patients he treated during the period of Algerian independence. In the developmental theory called the ‘Mirror Stage’ of Jacques Lacan, there a ‘logic’ based on Hegel’s concept of recognition, and finally, in the developmental psychology of Mary Ainsworth or attachment theory, a form of mutual recognition is pivotal. Hegel, Fanon, Lacan, and Ainsworth start with an egocentric view of personality which maintains that an infant has no subject distinction from the external world that it inhabits and relates to(Ainsworth et al 2015).

This developmental bond creates a permanent need to see one-self in the ‘other’. ‘Mutual recognition’ is the perfect harmony between a subject and its object, in the sense that an individual who has a self-conscious view about themselves further desires that others see or identity with them on those very same self-defined system or value-set(Groh et al 2016). The satisfaction for the need for mutual recognition says that I desire to be recognized in the very same manner that I recognize myself. In terms of contemporary psychology, this can be described as a form of metacognition, the capacity to consciously think about what one is thinking.  For Hegel, ‘vanity’ is a form of metacognition in that an individual ‘desires’ the ‘desire’ of another(Williams 1998).

Other forms of ‘desire’ Hegel argues, are ‘animal desires’ (food, sex, and survival). Therefore, ‘mutual recognition’ as a positive human motive, is a higher form of thinking that maintains the truth that any other is seeking the basic same ‘desire'(Williams 1998). One individual acknowledges that (1) they have a definition of ‘self’ or self-values and (2) that definition needs the confirmation of another self and (3) that very other self is seeking the same. A perfect world or body politic might facilitate ‘mutual recognition’, and it might be said that beyond the kind of system that Hegel wanted to engineer, any single instance of social interaction ‘ought’ to aim for it a less than absolute form of recognition. Communication is better enabled when the social needs of the other are acknowledged and accomodated for(Main 1985). Further, the very failure of ‘mutual recognition’ equally informs Hegel, Fanon, Lacan, Ainsworth and important areas of NL that will be the focus of this study.

One of his clinical ‘social psychology’ observations about post-colonial France serves to illustrate in brief Hegel’s key idea. Fanon observed a ‘dissonance’ in the transition from French colonial rule to independence and autonomy, argued that the problem could be defined as ’caused’ by the failure of ‘mutual recognition’. A ‘revolution’ is a failed one if the winners cannot recognize themselves in the system that is supposed to have been acquired or, won. The important thread in Hegel’s concept that is a thread that weaves Fanon, Sartre, Lacan and the developmental psychology of Mary Ainsworth and NeuroLeadership (NL) together, is a human ‘need’ to be recognized in the way that one recognizes themselves.

The primary dyadic attachment between infant and mother is broken once the child recognizes themselves as distinct, but what follows is that the child continues to desire to recognize themselves in “the (m)other” labels it.  What Fanon observed clinically in Algeria, were mental health problems particular to individuals who would have had a ‘disruptive’ developmental attachment and separation or individuation through a critical growth phase: “the lack of affective self-valuation is to be found only in persons who in their early childhood suffered from a lack of love and understanding” (Fanon 1986 55).

Self-value in the framework of ‘mutual recognition’, is shaped and constructed by a dynamic where the ‘self’ can see themselves in the other. The individuals who did not have a ‘secure attachment’ or had a ” ” , had an event more difficult time recognizes themselves or valuing themselves in the colonial transition. Fanon described a transition for some cases where a ‘dissonance’ was occuring when individuals who did not have ‘self value’ because they could not ‘recognize themselves’ in the body politic under French rule, were unable  obtain the ‘self value’ that was offered precisely because they could not see themselves in the new body politic.  For Fanon, the failure of ‘mutual recognition’ between the state and its citizens defines the failure of a ‘revolution’ itself.

The desire and need for self value in the work place in NL is an important theory where an intersection occurs between ‘ethics’ and self-valuation meets neuroscience (NS) and developmental psychology. As is argued by Thompson (2014), NL needs a value-neutral ‘moral compass’ that incorporates important aspects of these biological social needs. The following proposes to demonstrate that from an organizational behavioural framework, self-value needs to be incorporated because it is valid NS and integral to understandint the leadership style and effectiveness of NL theory. However, the very incorporation of self value is problematic because neither the ‘self’ nor ‘value’ can be objectively defined (Thompson 2014). 

NL builds an organizational ‘behavioural’ strategy on the neurobiology of social need that emphasizes three main areas of scientific interest. First in terms of importance to the NS of NL, is the pleasure or reward seeking behaviour against the ‘pain avoidance’ behaviour and its etiology. Second, is NS of ‘plasticity’ or Neuroplasticity (NP), and finally, or third, the NS of Mirror Neurons.  NL argues that there is a causal relationship between (a) ‘job satisfaction’ or ‘relative hapiness’ and (b) increased productivity. If the brain itself is ‘hard wired’ to seek ‘pleasure’, it would follow that strategic leadership planning should place job satisfaction as a foundational goal. Job-satisfaction in management strategy is more often the consequence or byproduct of another motivational design or incentive structure/instrument.

By inverting or revolutioninizing Aristotle’s teleogical model of happiness, NL defines ‘happiness’ as a means to greater productivty, or for the sake of an other, rather than an  ‘end in itself’. For Aristotle, happiness is a ‘universal’ end that all humans aim at, but humans have ‘particular’ or ‘individual’ ends that are done for the sake of the ‘universal’ — the common goal of seeking happiness itself. An individual (particular) might seek wealth to achieve the further ‘universal‘ end of happiness, but they seek happiness for its own sake. Or, happiness is not aimed at for any further end or goal which is why it is universal. The theory that happiness is neurobiological and that it can be managed, is revolutionary because it is putting the cart before the horse.

Rather than seek wealth to be happy, we ought to seek happiness to achieve wealth. The obstacle created by this schemea, means that we have to actually define or know it in physiological terminology, whereas a model that views it as a byproduct merely leaves it undefined, and therefore, that which individuals define for themselves. The philosophical problems of defining hapiness is one of the core questions of Western philosophy that has trascended its whole history(Solomon 2009). Recognizing the diverging views of happiness defined in his teacher’s work (Plato), Aristotle made the teleological definition an ‘axiom’ that accommodated more subjective/solipsistic views that would have ranged from the hedonism of the Epicureans (followers of Democratis) to the ‘higher pleasures’ of the Philosopher King’s in Plato’s Republic. The pursuit of happiness as an axiomatic human purpose is also systematized in both utilitarian and deontic ethical theories. One of the ongoing problems with any moral framework, is the distinction between what is the case and what ‘ought’ to be the case.

The mere mention of competing theories of ‘self’, ‘self actualization’, or ‘self fulfilment’, ought to be sufficient to raise concern, even if there is no one definition of happiness that is being supported (e.g. Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, Mill / Utilitarianism or Kant/ deontic). One of the most central set of facts about ethics, is that they have a tendency to fail over the problem of ‘relative value’ (Wittgenstein 2014). An action is valuable only when an aim is known. If a car stops and asks for directions, it is assumed that their ‘aim’ is to arrive there soon or conveniently. If that ‘aim’ was not defined, the directions could have circumnavigated the globe to get a few miles away ( Wittgenstein 2014). This exemplifies an important line between ‘facts’ and ‘values’, but when values are talked about in terms of facts. If it is a fact that the people asking for directions aim at arriving at their destination quickly, then such and such a route is valuable. Value is difficult to define, when the aim is happiness. First of all, it is not a fact that humans do ‘aim’ at happiness. It is a theory, and it is one that is argued in philosophy, but also, one that NL bases its NS on.

The birth of modern management science in Taylor’s (1880;s) is premised on this very model of hapiness. If it is philosophically difficult to define, leave it to the employee to define the pursuit of their own happiness or self-value.  Understanding the importance ‘undefined’ but ‘axiomatic’ structure of motivation, and goal directed behaviour could be done through a ‘profit incentive’ reasoned Taylor(Grachev 2013). Happiness as an ‘undefined byproduct’ of management theory is an important ‘dominant’ trend. In management sciences, modelling or motivational design has been capable of ingoring its meaning(Birkenshaw 2014). But, it begs the question of answering a philosophical problem. We cannot define what will make an employee ‘happy’ because it is a solipsistic or qualitative problem — a philosophical problem of the ages. However, we can take as ‘self evident’ that a given individual will measurably pursue profit for their own vision and definition of fulfilment.

More so, management science becomes a ‘science’ in Taylor’s theory and era, precisely because this goal driven behaviour toward self-fulfilment translates into ‘motivation’ becomes measurable in the form of output/productivity increasing at a rate higher than the rate of incentive compensated for the same output. Taylor’s approach places ‘happiness’ as the ‘byproduct’ of labor’s reward system, or measurable financial incentive structure(Sharifzadeh 2014). In essence, as a byproduct, management scientific approach’s are largely assuming that it is just a variable that is better captured by the concept of ‘self interest’ or the predictable behaviour of a self-interested autonomous agent.

In a very similar way that goal directed but ‘solipsistic’ or ‘subjective’ happiness is axiomatic in modern managment theory, consider the basics of ‘game theory’ and its application to both economic modelling but also in its application to incentive designed structures or relationships between ‘competitors’ or ‘participants’ in a game. A basic illustration from Nash’s economics Nobel Prize winning ‘equilibrium theory’. Economics modelling uses game theory in modelling that uses this very question of ‘aim’ or ‘intention (LeVeck 2014).

Game theory and economic modelling, has to take the assumption(s) of a ‘self interested player’. Game outcomes in B2B relations of at least two parties, can be Win-Win (WW) or Win-Loss relationship (WL) in terms of the basic matrix of possible outcomes. That both parties enter the relationship for the sake of ‘winning’ is a given. However, that they seek eachother’s mutual winning is not a given, or it is an unknown. Nash maintains that a further assumption should be that the other participant might be also seeking a WL outcome.

Because one cannot know if the other participant is seeking a WW outcome or a WL outcome, it is mathematically in the best interest of either player to assume the worst of the opponent. If one assumes that the other party is seeking a WW outcome, and they are not, there is a probability that one could lose everything and the other party wins exclusively. Risk management or the probability assumptions that game theory maintains, entails that a potential WL outcome is in the ‘self interest’ of any player’s consideration (Sanfey 2007). As Gore Vidal succinctly puts this: ‘It is not enough merely to win; others must lose’. The ‘pessimistic’ view of human nature for this ‘self evident’ strategy was not ignored by Nash (Camerer 2003; Holt and Roth 2004).

The original model or game for this aspect of the EQUILIBDEF came from game that he called “Fuck You Buddy” while studying with the ‘father’ of modern Game Theory,  Von Neumann at Princeton(Curtis 2007).  This two-player game with an ‘assumption’ about self-interest  in the era when he was laying the groundwork for his economic model. The very title of Nash’s game encapsulates the ‘assumption’ of self interest that it is premised on. Like Taylor’s undefined yet axiomatic assumption of goal driven behavior driven by self-interest, economic modelling using Game Theory shows how ‘happiness’ is an undefined and therefore, a ‘byproduct’ in the modelling schematic. Nash was actually ‘critical’ of his own assumption, and his vision or definition of human reality was not that pessimistic.

He viewed ‘altruism’ as an ‘actual’ motive fotr behavior, even though that did not fit in with the probability model that maintained that such a possible motive ought to be rejected on a mathematical or risk minimizing game strategy. Nash was troubled by the fact that there could be predictable outcomes of behavior where the game strategy was based on an outcome of LW, which is how he defined the general dynamics of altruism (Curtis 2007).  Predictability or replication are also an issue with the study of meta-cognition and self-value or self-wroth.

In this study, the problem of ‘self-value’ will be presented within a basic framework of ‘self-interest’ will address two problems. The notion of ‘value’ is subtracted from the experimental framework and that allows for greater controls in regard to isolating the NS of NL, and therefore, a more accurate definition of the LS of NL. Second, because a self, selfhood or a self-defined notion of value are critical to NL, organizational culture, and the MBMP that will be a tool for evaluating LS. The idea that is putting forward, argues that a study can be designed that uses the NL theory of self, but merely developes a design that states the ‘self’ is a ‘self interested agent, and we know they are self interested as a minimal or basic truth, precisely because they have volunteered for the proposed NL and MBMP. ‘intentionality’

Self-value, self-actualization, self-efficacy and self-esteem are all relevent to current business challenges because of a number of socially emergent factors. There is a generational concern identified in regard to employee retention among milennials because of a conflict of ‘personal value systems’ or ‘world-views’. Retention strategies like improving and/or expanding ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’ CSR practices and ‘Organizational Citizenship Behaviors’ have had a double impact of meeting the retention problem with millenials, but also the ‘global’ demand of a social/culturally diverse work-force demographic.

To expand on an analogy raised in relation to game theory assumptions, to some cultures and age cohorts, the outcome of a Win-Win business strategy might be valued so highly that there are problems of ‘Cognitive Dissonance’ when it comes to accepting a WL strategic directive. Or, for example, accepting that the person on the opposite side of the bargaining/negotiating table might be seeking a strategy that aims at a WL outcome for themselves. The measurable performance improvement outcomes that have resulted from CSR and OCB interventions or strategies, support in a general way, the claim that NL makes regarding the offering of a ‘value neutral’ science that adds ‘social value’ or a qualitative rather than a quantiative outcome, but a ‘value’ is added nonetheless.

Again, to further the analogy with Nash’s own problems with ‘altruism’, there is an increasing recognition that conventional motivational explanations of behaviour in organizational behaviour, and in the approachs adopted in Social Psychogy, Industrial Psychology and Educational Psychology have to be ‘unlearned’ as much as a motivational model that mirrors brain functioning must be ‘learned’.

One of the very core areas of neurobiology that is being examined in this study, concerns the basic structure of ‘mutual recognition’. NL strategically manages and leads by way of ensuring that workers are seen and understood in the same terms that the workers see themselves. Remember, one emergent feature of contemporary work environments, concerns the employee need to ‘recognize’ themselves in the ‘value system’ and even ‘co-workers’ of their organization. The value of recognizing themselves in the ‘corporate vision’ is one of the outcomes of the mirror neuron system.  It is being hypothsized in this study that this area in particular is central or key to our understanding of NS in relationship to LS.

Further, it is being hypothesized that this area will continue to present obstacles to its adoption of a NL organizational strategy in management. These can be expressed as ‘problems’ in philosophy, and ‘problems’ that could continue to create obstacles to NL research. Consider the following threats that describe the personal traits that provide for NL, and also, the presumption that these same traits will be cultivated among those who are being ‘lead’. A NL strategy will theoretically will be instruments for ‘leaders’ and those who are coached or managed  (a) an emotional intelligence (EI)  (b) a framework where moral development and trust are fostered (c) an increase of empowerment for leaders and those lead (d) consideration and empathy and (e) social networks and social support (Ramchandran 2011;Ghadiri, et. Al, 2013). These are instruments of social behavior because they are based on NS. The NS informs the strategies of NL, and these are some of the areas that are social manifestations or behaviors that will be tested, by examining the impact of leadership in a controlled or double-blind setting.

The goal of NL is the cultivation and management of self-confident, and self-motivated individuals who are also both ‘self regulated and ’emotionally regulated’ (Habermacher et al. 2014).  The general description or ‘goal’ of adapting NS to NL is productivity(Rock 2008; Landsberg 2015). As an outcome that is measurable, improved productivity must necessarily have an underlying cause that can be discerned in NL. In NL, NS is the measurable ’cause’ that they are inferring, and which this study proposes to test. NL bases the strategy of creating a self confident individual, by using some of the key ideas of Daniel Gore’s definition of ’emotional intelligence'(Ringleb 2012; Gadiri et al. 2013; Habermacher et. al. 2014). Rock in particular cites Gore’s original 1996 definition of ’emotional intelligence’ as key to his foundation(2009;2010;2012).

Emotional intelligence has further expanded since the mid 1990’s when Rock began using his main theories. Emotional Intelligence is based on the NS of ‘pleasure seeking’ behaviour’s, and they are correlated to the neurological processes that are ‘conditioned’ more than an individual is born with. To look at how the brain was conditioned, and then functioned, Gore used ‘attachment theory’, and the research and publications of John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth (Ghadiri et. al. 2012; Habermacher et. al. 2014). Bowlby’s seminal work titled Attachment, Separation and Loss and Ainsworth’s research outline the options for ‘self formation’ as characterized as organized, disorganized, and avoidant(Ghadiri et. al. 2013; Habermacher et. al. 2014). In the one to one and a half to two and a half year stage of development, a child negotiates their independence and dependence. We now know that a child being soothed produces oxytocin at greater levels than almost any other stage of life.

Likewise, the new-mother is doing the same. The developmental term called ‘mirroring’ is what NL uses describe this ‘dependence/independence’ negotiation(Brown 2012; Ghadiri 2012, 2013. Just like the notion of ‘mutual recognition’, attachment theory maintains that humans want others to see them, just as they see themselves. When someone recognizes you in the way that you want to be recognized, that person is mirroring on a ‘social’ plateau, and at the same time there are neurological changes occurring with that process. A form of conditioning occurs where a mother and a developing child create a primal emotional attachment or ‘dependence’ and ‘bonding'(Ainsworth 2015). The bond is pleasurable or, addictive in the very same terms that an individual could be addicted to a narcotic, the experience of gambling or sex. The quest for ‘mutual recognition’ in this sense of a mother and child bond is broken by the logic that a child wants to see themselves in the ‘other’, but also be recognized as independent from the other (Bowlby 2008).

Their independence is something that requires mirroring, and that need can be thwarted for a number of reasons. Supposing a mother is distracted, even by the need to care for a new-born. A mother who is not available during this phase, might contribute to a ‘disorganized’ attachment(Habermacher et. al. 2014). The down-side of a disorganized attachment, is that it finds itself expressed in the adult world as an individual who does not expect that their world will ‘recognize’ them. An individual who experienced disorganized attachment, is likely to be an adult who lacks confidence(Ghadiri et. al. 2013). In the emotional intelligence framework, it is important top stress that confidence leads to motivation, and greater output/productivity. A child who is mirrored, is someone who will become a self-confident and self-motivated learner. Consider the following basic activity that has had proven results in the self-confidence of children: if parents spend twenty to thirty minutes per day allowing the child to completely define the activities (if safe), over time this builds esteem. A child will ‘bond’ with the productive pleasurable brain chemicals at the very same time that their ‘autonomy’ and ‘independence’ is being both recognized and nurtured (Shanker  2010).

In sum, defining both the ‘subject/individual’ person or knowing them presents methodological problems in the areas of logic and epistemology. Further, defining ‘value’ is a relative problem. To place a high premium on ‘self value’, NL is making suppositions that need to be isolated from ‘folk psychological’ terms. This study proposes to address the issue of ‘value’ and ‘self’ as problematic by using a game theory model. Each participant is a ‘motivated agent’ who is acting out of ‘freewill’ and ‘self interest’.

They are participating in a study that they will help design, and it is a practice that will ultimately benefit them. There is an incentive that can be said to enhance the idea that any participant is a self motivated and free individual. Further, if the entire MBSRP is kept ‘self defined’ and without any need to define ‘value’, it will follow that ’emotional intelligence’ will be disconnected from NL assumptions about ‘self’ and ‘value’. This study will look at a way of measuring the performance of NL without defining what type of ‘self value’ or managing of ‘self value’ creates ‘social capital’ that in turn, improves performance. The NL theory will be measured by emotional intelligence, but in a ‘value neutral’ and controlled structure that likewise ignores problems of subjectivity, mind, and personal identity.


NL shares many of the same key neurological assumptions and frameworks that inform Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program (MBSRP) programs . Both ‘stress reduction’ and the inter-related variable of ‘job satisfaction’ have proven outcomes in job-performance measures through the implementation of MBSRP’s. Conversely, there are no controlled studies of NL. In the following study, team members (TM) will work collaboratively with a team leader (TL) to design, implement and monitor a MBSRP. LS will be evaluated for NL and some assumptions regarding MNS through the mechanism of standardized metrics/tests, along with the control or blind control of the TL. The TL ‘may’ or ‘may not’ be voluntarily participating in the very MBSRP that they are managing/leading/coaching.


The design will benefit from the selection of individuals who have very different demographic variables. In this proposal, a working assumption is that a MBSRP will consist of a ‘team leader’ (TL# > 1) and ‘team members’ (TM# > 1) The wider the demographic variables among participants (both TM and TL), the better the accuracy of outcomes. Likewise, the greater the number of participants in both TL and TM, the more accurate the outcomes. Leadership is being evaluated in a way that there is a practical need to test MBSRP’s that might be easily delivered across different organizations. More significantly, the theoretical considerations are two-fold: isolating the style of leadership (LS) from the individual who is engaged in leading the MBSRP is critical, and second, along with the control benefit of diversity for evaluating the LS, are the measurements surrounding MNS’s where the accuracy of the NS of NL is evaluated. In theory, culture, age, and other demograpghic variables should not matter. There is evidence to support this hypothesis. In one study that examined the impact of an MBSRP intervention among nurses with Islamic backgrounds (Baysak 2015, the same positive outcomes were found in a study of Dow Chemical Inc. employees across many different departments, and with many different demographic variables (Aikens 2014). There are a growing number of similar studies that likewise succeed across wide demographic considerations, and across a wide range of organizational types, and, organizational cultures.


The study will invite individuals to participate voluntarily in a ‘team lead’, MBSRP. A leader and a team member will work toward the (a) defining (b) research (c) planning (d) implementation (e) management (f) monitoring and (e) evaluation of a daily single-hour MBSR program. This program will continue for a period of (x)weeks. It is key that each participant define (a) to (e) with consent and personally defined targets and rotuines. The employee/participants will know that the very same MBSR program that they are (freely) co-developing has been offered to their leader (co-developer). The participants will be ‘blind’ to the control of whether or not the leader who is collaborating with their own MBSR has voluntarily decided to do the same for themselves.

The blind study design effectively will test the impact of leadership in terms of NL neurobiology, and measure simultaneously the ‘style’ that most effectively delivers a MBSR program. The leader of the MBSR program will be evaluated with the instrument of the Multifactor Leadersship Questionnaire (MLQ) because it has been used in many similar studies to aid in defining the following leadership styles:  (a) Transformational Leadership Style (b) Passive-Avoidant Leadership Style (c) Transactional Leadership Style (d)  Laissez-faire Leadership Style. At the same time that the participants will be monitoring the leadership style of their leader/collaborators  in thei self-defined and administered MBSR program,  they will also be using a defined range of metrics/instruments to measure the progress of stress reduction and job-performance.

The anticipated results should include a greater understanding of what style of leadership describes the NL that most effectively reduces stress and causes other outcomes, and benefits. The anticipated results of this study design will also, prove or disprove some of the efficacy of MNS and various other neurobiological assumptions that they claim inform their management theories.

Key Metrics.

(A) The Perceived Stress Scale The Perceived Stress Scale (PSS-14) was used to assess partic-

ipants’ levels of psychological stress. The PSS-14 is a well-validated stress measurement tool whose items are designed to tap into how unpredictable, uncontrollable, and overloaded individuals find their

lives. In Google Scholar, the following search results were found out: “Perceived Stress Scale” AND “PSS” = 12,400. There are many peer reviewed studies of the PSS in similar research programs that need to be analyzed as a key procedure in this study.

(B) Five Facets of Mindfulness Questionnaire. Because researchers consider mindfulness to be a multidimensional construct with facets that include the ability to observe, describe, act with awareness, refrain from judgment, and nonreact, the well-validated Five Facets of Mindfulness Question-

naire (FFMQ) to assess potential improvements in all five mindfulness domains. The FFMQ is a self-report instrument consisting of 39 items, which measures a trait-like, general tendency to be mindful

on a daily basis.


  • Observe
  • Describe
  • Act aware
  • Nonreact
  • Nonjudge

(C) Job Satisfaction Survey (JSS)

Google Scholar Search:  “Job Satisfaction Survey” AND “JSS” = (peer reviewed studies > 1,530)

  • Pay (.75) Pay and remuneration
  • Promotion (.73) Promotion opportunities
  • Supervision (.82) Immediate supervisor
  • Fringe Benefits (.73) Monetary and nonmonetary fringe benefits
  • Contingent Rewards (.76) Appreciation, recognition, and rewards for good work
  • Operating Procedures (.62) Operating policies and procedures Coworkers (.60) People you work with
  • Nature of Work (.78) Job tasks themselves
  • Communication (.71) Communication within the organization
  • Total (.91)

(D) Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale This is an important metric to evaluate resiliency. The CD-RISC consists of 25 items, which measure an individual’s sense of personal competence, tolerance of

negative emotion, positive acceptance of change, trust in one’s instincts, sense of social support, spiritual faith, and an action-oriented approach to problem solving. Research has shown resiliency to

positively impact job performance, organizational commitment, and organizational citizenship behavior.

Google Scholar Search: “Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale” = 3,780 peer-reviewed studies.

(E) Lifestyle Survey Questions

(1) average number of servings of fruits and vegetables

daily; (2) average number of fast food meals per week; (3) days per

week with at least 30 minutes of exercise; (4) average hours slept

per night; (5) the number of high stress episodes per week; and (6)

the number of days per week a participant felt too burned out to


(F) Shirom Vigor Scale Vigor and work engagement can be evaluated with the 12-item Shirom Vigor Scale. Shirom conceptualized vigor as consisting of three facets, physical strength, emotional energy, and cognitive liveliness. The first facet, physical strength, references one’s sense of high energy when carrying out daily tasks at work. The second facet, emotional energy, refers to one’s capacity to emotionally invest in relationships with clients and coworkers, as well as the ability to express sympathy and empathy. The last facet, cognitive liveliness, refers to one’s feelings of mental agility and flow of thought processes. In addition, the Shirom Vigor measure is a common approach to work engagement developed by researchers. The Shirom Scale measures the three components of vigor,  which reflects Kahn’s (1990) original concept of engagement. This concept includes the use of physical, emotional, and cognitive energetic capacities at work. Some researchers believe that the Shirom Vigor approach to engagement may be the better measure in determining the effect of

engagement on organizational outcomes.

Google Scholar Search: “Shirom Vigor Scale”  (peer reviewed studies > 1,040)

(G) Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ)

“Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire” AND “MLQ” = (peer reviewed studies > 8,710)  References.


To be defined by size and scope of prospective study.

  • SCARF Method


First:  Expand Literature Review to include:

– methodology – metrics and study design

– NL assumptions about NS

– the new demand for defining corporate value or vision

Five Facets of Mindfulness Questionnaire

–  The Perceived Stress Scale