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Three Atlanta area researchers reported evidence confirming that there is only a 1.2% difference in the genetic coding of the genes of chimps and humans. However, there are significant differences. In any particular part of the brain only about 10% of our gene activity differs from those of chimpanzees according to researcher Katie Pollard, an associate professor with the UCSF Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and the UCSF Institute for Human Genetics.
The difference in the molecular evolution between humans and chimps is very small, but significant. “Only one in 100 base pairs is different” according to the research by Pollard and others. This likeness presents opportunities to learn more about humans and diseases. In particular, chimps are immune to AIDS and Malaria.
There are many examples of the small creating outcomes that are big. At 211 degrees water is hot. At 212 degrees, it boils. Vince Lomabardi said “inches make a champion”. Thomas Edison said “many of life’s failures are men who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. Yes it’s the little things that make the difference.
I can still remember as a college football coach drilling the little things, like keeping your shirt tucked in, stance and starts, tackling drills, first step drills, quick hand and quick feet drills. All these little things accumulate to give the ever so slight edge that enabled an athlete to just barely get off of a block and make a tackle.
So what does this mean for corporate leadership? It has a lot to do with coaching and mentoring. If you are committed to helping others with personal development then I want you to realize that there is only one small change that you need to make a very big difference. That is the small change of accountability.
If the brain was connected to a functional magnetic reasoning machine, fMRI, you would actually see what areas of the brain are using energy during particular tasks. Show a person a picture and the visual area lights up. Play some music and the auditory cortex is active.
When someone makes a commitment the outer cortex is activated and then an area of the brain referred to as the limbic area becomes active. This means that the individual has declared their action and now the brain is searching for emotional memories of danger associated with that action that are life threatening. This is a subconscious process. The subconscious brain fires 400 times faster than the conscious thinking mind.
The individual commits to making so many prospecting calls per day. The brain sends a signal from the cortex to the amygdale, a structure in the limbic area. The amygdale sends a signal to the hippocampus searching for stored memories of danger, like rejection. This is called a cortical limbic loop and the signal comes back to the conscious mind first through your physiology, a knot in your stomach and then through your thoughts about how busy you are and you just don’t have time to prospect.
You need to hijack this circuit. You do that through a behavioral contract. The behavioral contract consists of the check in and accountability. Accountability has two parts, the check in and the enforceable consequence for non performance.
The driving force here is genetic coding. We are all coded to avoid the highest level of perceived pain. This is not an option. This is an instinct. You will avoid the highest level of perceived pain, period. The key is to make this avoidance the actual execution of the desired activity. Here is how you do it.
Let’s say you make a commitment to exercise five times this week. It’s Sunday, your commitments are due this evening and you’ve only worked out four times. You don’t feel like going to the gym, you’re tired, you’ve worked hard all week and all you want to do is just relax. Your brain searches and finds how painful and inconvenient exercise is. Before you avoid it however, your brain continues to verify that this indeed is the highest level of pain and it comes to your behavioral contract.
Lets’ say you contracted for five workouts this week or you would pay a fine of $100. Now your brain has something to be in reference to. What is more painful, going to the gym or paying $100? Most likely you will hold the fine as more painful and away you go to the gym.
You have just witnessed a behavioral contract in action. You are still the very same genetic avoidance machine that you are genetically coded to be. You have just manipulated the gene expression with your contract.
Apply this with one small action this week and watch what happens. Use this with another person and you will be the business mentor that you’ve always wanted to be! I’ll bet that you and the other person will do what you said you would do!
High Performance Training, Inc.
Bob Davies, M.Ed. Psychology, Springfield College, B.S. Health, Rutgers University MCC Master Certified Coach International Coach Federation
20992 Ashley Lane, Lake Forest, CA 92630-5865
NEW To view a 3:15 minute video of Bob discussing the limits of human perception, observations and the "gorilla" click here:
Bob Davies, named in the top 100 greatest minds of personal development world-wide by Excellence Magazine.
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High Performance Training, Inc.
20992 Ashley Lane
Lake Forest, Ca 92630