United Kingdom, July 2009 - Peak performers have significantly higher degrees of brain and psychological development than the average population, according to a new study of brain functioning and measures of psychological development.
Subjects in the study included world champion athletes, top-level managers, and leaders in a variety of fields, who were compared with average-performing control groups.
The study, entitled, Higher Development, Brain Integration, and Excellence in Leadership, was published in the recent issue of Management Decision [(2009, Volume: 47, Issue: 6)], a leading management journal published by UK based Emerald Group Publishing.
Management Decision is well established in its field with a 46 year history and presents high quality management research and provocative content highlighting current management practice.
The study was collaboration between Oslo University College, the Norwegian School for Sport Sciences, and Norwegian Olympic Preparatory Centre, and Maharishi University of Management (MUM) in the USA.
Previous research by co-author of this study, Fred Travis Ph.D., has indicated that similar characteristics of brain integration and psychological development measured in peak performers can be systematically developed through the practice of Transcendental Meditation™. This technique has also been associated with the development of self-actualisation as described by psychologist Abraham Maslow.
Harald S. Harung, Ph.D., associate professor at Oslo University College, was the lead author of the article. “There is a growing agreement among researchers that leadership development is, in essence, self-development. The primary dimension in developing leadership is to develop the personality, the consciousness of the potential leader,” said Dr. Harung
Dr. Harung said the study also found that subjects who have been practicing the TM technique for less than seven years had a similar level of brain integration as peak performers, while the control group of meditators practicing the TM technique for at least 20 years had significantly higher measures than the world-class performers and leaders.
“The qualities that we find in world-class performers are those that develop with the Transcendental Meditation, both individually and collectively,” said Dr. Harung.
Co-authors included Fred Travis, Ph.D., director of the MUM Center for Brain, Consciousness, and Cognition; Dennis Heaton, Ph.D., co-Director of the MUM doctoral program in management; and Warren Blank, Ph.D., a top U.S. management and organizational development consultant.
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