Books on the Brain (Literally)

I recently read two books about the brain (yes I’ll admit that I read books like these on the beach in Maui). I found them both fascinating. I enjoyed them not only for insights into my own thoughts and behaviors, but for the insights and perspective they provide for working with clients, colleagues as well as family and friends. If you have an interest in some of the contemporary understanding of the most important organ in your body, you might want to check these out.
Magnificent Mind at Any Age by Daniel G. Amen, M.D.
Daniel G. Amen, MD has been around for a while. In fact I had the opportunity to visit his clinic in California back in 2002 (no, it wasn’t for me – though I would love to have my brain scanned). At the time, his work was still considered fringe, but he is now a headliner on the Public Television and speaking circuit. In this book, Dr. Amen talks about the brain as what it is – a physical organ. I particularly appreciate his focus on natural ways to improve the health of the brain, while not discounting medication. I think he strikes a good balance.
Dr. Amen writes about how different parts of the brain are involved in different aspects of thought, feelings and behavior. Successful and unsuccessful behaviors along with specific diagnoses such as ADHD, Depression and OCD are categorized by the health or deficiencies in different areas of the brain. The prescriptions for improved health through natural or pharmaceutical means are different depending on which part of the brain is the focus. This makes sense and reinforces the fact that one size does not fit all.
His Brain, Her Brain by Walt Larimore, M.D. and Barb Larimore
I had the opportunity to see Dr. Larimore speak a few months ago at a nearby church. He was very engaging and entertaining while being educational. He and his wife present the material the same way in their book. “His Brain, Her Brain” presents research into some of the physiological differences between male and female brains as the result of the impact of different hormonal activity from before birth. While the book is primarily oriented toward married couples, anything that increases our ability to understand another person has value in all aspects of life. There are definitely many things in this book that I wish I had learned at a much earlier age. I have not evaluated all of the studies and research referenced in the book but I found the results, as presented, to be consistent with my life experience.
What do these books have to do with business? Well, all business is really personal. It all comes down to people. Systems, processes and technology are meaningless outside of the context of the people who have some stake in them and the outcomes they produce.

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