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Scaling the Peaks of Resilience: Insights from the Anterior Mid Cingulate Cortex (aMCC)


In the words of visionary leaders like Steve Jobs and Sam Altman, perseverance stands as the linchpin of business success. Their insights resonate deeply where resilience is the rope that tethers success to perseverance. I recently discovered the latest research on the anterior midcingulate cortex (aMCC) and its role in building resilience people and teams, let's draw inspiration from these leaders' wisdom and explore how their principles align with the neuroscience of resilience.


Leaders who understand and build resilient teams can guide their teams to long term success. Data shows that more resilient teams perform better in the long run.


The good news is the latest research also shows there’s an area of  the brain, the anterior midcingulate cortex (aMCC), that when activated, can lead to the ability to be more persistent on tougher, long-term tasks. Some people call this perseverance grit. Recent studies suggest that a developed aMCC correlates with greater resilience, highlighting its significance in navigating the unpredictable business landscape.


This enlightening research reveals that resilience, once thought to be an innate trait, can be cultivated, and strengthened. Much like preparing for a challenging ascent, fostering a resilient team requires some training. Certain repeated tasks enhance the size and connectivity of the aMCC, bolstering team resilience. I found climbing for 18 hours or camping in 50 mph winds in 20-degree temps did the trick for me; it made me grittier. As I say in my keynotes, it’s very beneficial to get comfortable being uncomfortable for a lot of reason. It has physical and emotional benefits. Fortunately, the research shows that you don’t have to do to that extent of climbing a mountain. I typically recommend 1-minute cold showers, 20-minute hot saunas or other uncomfortable activities which works. But, the research on the aMCC indicates that as little as 30 seconds 3 times can help.


The “catch” is that is must be an activity that you don’t get joy from. If you’re someone who loves running, going out for a long won’t help. But, if you’re a runner, sprint the last 30 seconds as hard as you can, 3 times per week.  That will engage your aMCC. Take up activities that are hard. Practice a new language or instrument 3-4 times per week.


Creating a supportive and collaborative environment at work can also activate the aMCC, fostering a culture of resilience among team members. By incorporating these strategies, leaders can equip their teams to weather storms and scale new heights.


The data around the aMCC offers valuable insights into building a resilient business team. Employing the tacts to build it will foster a culture of resilience ready to conquer any peak.


Begin by practicing hard things yourself and then challenging others on your team.

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