Open-Loop Systems

As a Physician, I am confronted daily with the human body’s closed-loop systems. Take the cardiovascular system, for example—the heart beats, blood is pumped from the heart through an intricate network of tunnels that nourish the extremities of the body, and the blood returns. My circulatory system functions rhythmically throughout the day and is self-regulating. Interestingly, the circulatory system of other’s around me does not affect mine.

The same cannot be said about our emotional systems. A growing body of research on the human brain reveals that the moods of those people around us affect the emotions that we all experience as individuals. Consider a mother and her crying infant; her calming emotions are transmitted into a chemical message that helps her child become more peaceful. The same effect can be seen on medical floors in hospitals across the country, as the blood pressure of patients—even those that are in comas—can be lowered by the comforting presence of a loved one. Perhaps not too surprisingly, this open-loop design serves the same purpose today as it has for millennia.

As a Leader, how are you impacting the experiences of those around you? Your choice to give praise or withhold it, to constructively criticize or tear down, or to unite others around a commonality of purpose or not, all impact the brain chemistry of those around you. So, your leadership influence in this open-loop system shapes their ability to create, be innovative and entrepreneurial, and achieve to their highest potential. Practically applying this knowledge about your power to impact others in your sphere of influence can help you dramatically transform your team and organization to become high-performing, productive, and profitable.