In his book “The Shallows: What The Internet Is Doing To Our Brains”, Nicholas Carr argues that our reliance on the Internet is changing how our brains operate. As we become more reliant on the Internet, and electronics in general, our brains are required to do less memorization and deep reading. With facts and data being just a few keystrokes away, why tax our brains with memorization? Why read a complete article or book, when with a few clicks several summaries and reviews give us what we need to know?
The Internet has made things much easier for our brains. But the brain is like any other muscle and needs to be exercised or it will atrophy. Leaders must ask themselves: How they are challenging their direct reports to exercise their brains?
One leader asked each of his direct reports to read the first chapter of a popular personal development book and send him a brief review of what they read and how their executive team could be more effective. The direct reports enjoyed the exercise, the leader enjoyed the improvements, and the team became stronger.
Leaders who empower their direct reports to develop their brains will enjoy success too.