How, What and Why Leadership?

Practical neuroscientist Stephen Hager uses a highly witty, playful example of childhood experiences with Santa Claus to communicate keenly how standardization helps people and businesses. He describes how to use new, mindful thinking in order to adopt new behaviors and get new results. In his presentation, he helps participants think about, focus on and improve results, making the connection between what a person thinks and why that is highly related to results.

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Video: Removing Barriers to Peak Performance

Many of our beliefs are faulty and therefore impede and block us in achieving peak performance. Learn how to overcome barriers to your success.

Stephen Hager is an expert on practical neuroscience and how to apply it to address barriers that originate from inside our brain, which is a vault of stored information. Many of the beliefs stored there are faulty and impede and block us in achieving our greatest potential. Luckily there are ways to recognize and overcome these barriers. In this presentation, Stephen focuses viewers on:

  • Strategies to recognize and diminish negative limiting beliefs
  • Shifting yourself into higher, positive emotional states
  • Characteristics of various parts of the brain and how to access the brain state where barriers are overcome
  • Identification of a performance target and how to create a series of thoughts that make the achievement of your outcome likely
  • Getting rid of negative programming and barriers to peak performance
  • Thinking and speaking about what you want instead of what you don’t want

Stephen Hager is owner of Neuidentity, a training and consulting firm. You can reach him by visiting his website: or calling him at (618) 786-2837

Three Skills to be a Successful Entrepreneur

No man is an island. No business is either. It’s helpful to learn from those who are a few steps ahead or are walking stably beside you. Now is the time to accelerate progress through networking and collaboration in order to enjoy exponential improvements and growth. Our panel of fourteen experts offers invaluable insights into the question: What are three priority skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?

From our Experts:

Tom Ruwitch

1. Persistence... Entrepreneurs are bound to fail from time to time in their journeys. You can't quit the first time you fail.

2. Interpersonal skills... You must work well with others if you want to be a successful entrepreneur. Working alone in a garage is a mythical image.

3. A willingness to let go and delegate… You can't do it all yourself. Build a team. Establish structure. Don't try to juggle it all.

Stephen Hager

1. Fire in your belly to do something different, better and take-on risk

2. A picture of success, vision and desired outcomes with leaky boundaries

3. Surround self with people smarter and different than you who support your picture of success

Adam Kreitman

1. The ability to sell

2. The ability to delegate

3. The ability to learn from failure (or, better yet, the failures of others)

Steve Smart

1. The ability to lead with vision: The ability to see, define and rally others to a future state is critical for long-term success.

2. The ability to incorporate the right talent: No one can do it all on their own. It becomes critical to recognize that fact, develop a high performing team and delegate well.

3. The ability to manage change: With a growing business, change is happening all over. Within the organization, within the industry and in the business world in general. Being able to manage change and lead the organization in the midst of it is important.

Jared Peno

Along with personal traits such as perseverance, self-motivation, and focus, I think having the following skills is vitally important to an entrepreneur's success:

1. First, you must have a marketable service or product. If you don't, then you have nothing to sell and no platform for becoming an entrepreneur.

2. Second, you need to have vision. When you are starting out, take advantage of your ability to adjust to demands and trends quickly; always have an eye for opportunity.

3. Lastly, and I believe most importantly, you need to be able to grow your personal network. Entrepreneurs sell solutions and the more people you know the more people you can potentially help. Your worth as an entrepreneur is directly tied with how well and how many people you can help. Creating an ever-growing network of people allows for more relationships and more opportunities for you to solve problems.

These are just a few of the Partner responses.

Check out this article in the academy to get all responses

Video: How to Get Calm and Focused for Peak Performance

Stephen Hager, expert in practical neuroscience, shares techniques and processes for getting and staying in top mental, physical and emotional condition needed for performance excellence. He shares the following information so viewers can:

  • Understand conditions and qualities of peak performance
  • Recognize common obstacles to peak performance and overcome them
  • Adopt key practical neuroscience strategies to increase peak performance, including
    1. Five steps to getting and staying calm
    2. Four steps to getting and staying passionate
    3. Three steps for getting and staying focused

Stephen Hager is owner of Neuidentity and you can reach him by visiting his website:

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Video: Brain Strengths

Most people don’t know their sensory and cognitive strengths and weaknesses. When they do, they can leverage this information to be financially and socially effective.

What is brain strength and why is this important to entrepreneurs? Practical Neuroscientist Stephen Hager talks about the importance of understanding the unique make up of each person for how they like to learn, think, communicate, solve problems, make decisions and work productively.

Stephen discusses neuro-diversity starting with how people process information (sensory), including the strengths and weaknesses of each modality and our cognitive function (how we focus on and use information). He describes the importance of knowing our primary and secondary sensory styles and equally our blind spots, which indicates the style that’s our weakest and least favored. The three sensory styles and their prevalence in our world are:

  • Visual: 29% of the population.
  • Kinesthetic: 60% of the population.
  • Auditory: 11% of the population.

Our cognitive preferences are:

  • sequential (details – trees) or
  • global (big-picture – forest)

Most people don’t know their sensory and cognitive strengths and weaknesses. When they do, they can leverage this information to be effective. Stephen Hager focuses on the significance of these styles for entrepreneurs and their connection to social and financial success. For more information, check out Stephen’s video article outlining next steps, visit his website: or call him at 618-977-5258.

How Entrepreneurs Brains are Wired for Success

Are you willing to flex and stretch your perception of an entrepreneur? The “entrepreneurial spirit” is alive and well and may perhaps include you.

Entrepreneurs are a rare and perhaps undervalued group of people who dream, act upon their dreams, and sometimes succeed in achieving what are perceived as superhuman feats. Typically, we think of entrepreneurs as people who create new businesses with different and improved products and services.

Are you willing to flex and stretch your perception of what an entrepreneur is and does? My rationale is that the “entrepreneurial spirit” is alive and well in more people than we think, perhaps in you. Limiting our entrepreneurial gifts to creating business enterprises robs us of the potential for some really big and positive changes in other areas of our lives.

What characterizes an entrepreneur’s values, beliefs and behaviors? How are they wired for success? Why do some people succeed and others fail? The following sections provide two checklists for entrepreneurial success and failure. The lists are based on the author’s expertise in practical neuroscience and his experience working in both entrepreneurial and traditional environments. You will learn whether the entrepreneur’s pathway is right for you, and how well equipped you are to embark on this wild and wooly journey with great outcomes.

The Successful Entrepreneur’s Brain

How many of these characteristics do you possess? You may be further along the pathway to entrepreneurial success than you think. Imagine any three or more of these characteristics as your initial “stepping stones” to living the life of your dreams.

  • Strong desire to do things one is unable to do in traditional settings
  • Vivid and compelling future outcomes become your GPS
  • Willing to change, learn, adapt, and flex
  • “Can-do, will-do” attitude
  • Positive mental attitude
  • Attitude of gratitude
  • Balancing self-interests with best interests of others
  • Effective communication skills
  • Imagination plus practical thinking and action
  • Creates a small, diverse “dream team”
  • Practices cooperation and collaboration, rather than competition
  • Willing to live in an outer world of risk and uncertainty
  • Resilient in the face of obstacles, ridicule, and failure
  • Intuition and inner drive that can overpower logic and reason
  • Strong inner fortitude to ignore and bypass fear
  • Staying on-course, no matter what
  • Picking one’s self up after failure and moving forward
  • Continuous learning and improvement
  • Thrill of exploration, experimentation, and discovery
  • Chosen pathway is fun each and every day

Obstacles to Entrepreneurial Success

Combinations of three or more obstacles will likely limit or cripple your potential success as an entrepreneur or change agent. These “deal breakers” may be more important than the characteristics listed earlier as contributing to entrepreneurial success. Caution: Your desired outcomes may not be what you think if you resonate with these obstacles.

  • Fear of failure, economic risk and ruin, ridicule
  • Flying solo rather than having diverse co-pilots
  • Resistant to changing self, but wanting others to change
  • Attempts to manipulate and control people and situations
  • Values competition over cooperation and collaboration
  • Poor communication skills
  • Dominating self-interests
  • Needing to be perfect and right
  • Low tolerance for errors and mistakes
  • Waiting for the right time and place
  • Procrastination
  • Negative mental attitude
  • Desiring extrinsic rewards more than intrinsic benefits
  • Living in the past, which limits imagination
  • Obsessive use of data and facts
  • Absence of self-confidence
  • Belief that you are not ready and the time is not right
  • Low trust in your brainpower and caring nature to create
  • Abiding by other people’s opinions and decisions
  • Believing that “Fun” is something you experience after you succeed

In summary, expand your thinking about entrepreneurism to include what you can positively change in your home and work to improve the quality of life for all. Leverage your positive entrepreneurial brain characteristics in nearly everything, not just in building business enterprises; any one characteristic will serve you and others in positive, life fulfilling ways.

I challenge you to make one difference in one area of your life; you will multiply the effect and reduce the time needed for success, when you enlist someone like you to join with you. “Don’t Fly Alone.” The power of your brain, combined with your caring nature, is the greatest power in the world. You can do it!

Stephen F. Hager is a co-founder of The HADRON Group, Inc, along with Deanna S. Phelps. Hadron is the world’s leading developer of practical neuroscience solutions for entrepreneurial, career, personal, and educational success. Stephen is a lifelong learner, author, public speaker and seminar facilitator. He has dedicated his life to educate and help leaders, teams and organizations live better and less stressful lives through practical neuroscience. You can reach Stephen at; the consolidated web site for The Hadron Group

Video: The Practical Neuroscience of Productivity

Video run time 22:39

How many of these experiences can you relate to?

Overwhelm, strained relationships, not enough time, not being understood, health concerns? These are all symptoms that you are out-of-touch with how your brain is wired for a successful life.

When you are working with the way your brain is wired for success, rather than against it, you will experience:

  • Getting the right things done in less time
  • Reduced stress
  • More free time
  • Cooperation and collaboration vs. competition

Alignment of your brain strengths, mood state, skills and competencies will yield higher productivity and a higher quality-of-life.

Alignment = Productivity + Quality-of-Life

Practical neuroscience is your unrecognized solution to being the very best you can be.

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Three Steps to Become the Captain of Your Life

How did you feel when you first heard or read the expression, “you are the captain of your soul?”

It struck fear in my heart, when I heard this in church as a young child. I had no benchmarks for what it meant to “be the captain of your soul” except for religious personalities, famous humanitarians and potential suffering. This was not my map for life as an inquisitive and sensitive 11 year old. I did think it was important, but didn’t know how to deal with it.

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Five Common Pitfalls Entrepreneurs Should Avoid

Avoiding or correcting any of five pitfalls for entrepreneurs may be the tipping point to achieving your goals and improving the quality of your life.

I have personally experienced and observed all these behaviors since becoming an entrepreneur in 1979. Most of these pitfalls have relatively quick and simple escape routes using practical neuroscience and common sense. The pitfalls are listed in no particular order of priority; all are important to avoid for a happy and fulfilling life.

1.    Lack of Focus

Some entrepreneur’s brains are like a nuclear fission reactor that self-fuels and regenerates itself with a continuous stream of new and better ideas. This creates a scenario where the entrepreneur may be doing excessive multi-tasking without getting meaningful work accomplished. Sometimes, when projects get close to completion, an entrepreneur loses interest and wants to move on to something new and different, leaving the project without a sustainable infrastructure. “Focus” is the operative word. If you relate to this pitfall, consider bringing in trusted advisors who share your vision and have strong Sequential thinking skills to help organize, prioritize and develop a logical and orderly work plan around your ideas and concepts.

2.    Low Self-Awareness of Strengths and Limitations

Many entrepreneurs’ passion for their dream causes them to jump into a new endeavor without taking the time to see how well equipped they are for the journey. All too often, the well-intentioned, good-hearted entrepreneur learns through trial and error that they should have taken an inventory of their strengths and limitations. Very few entrepreneurs consider the alignment of how their brains are wired – to learn, think, create, solve problems, make decisions and communicate – with their chosen life path. Reliable, statistically validated online instruments provide this important but overlooked knowledge.

3.    Trying to Do It All

Most entrepreneurs feel they can and should do almost everything themselves; the result is some things taking longer to do, others less than well done, and little time left for personal relationships and taking care of themselves. The solution is to have trusted advisors, with knowledge and strengths different from theirs, who can advise them on where to apply their strengths and when to assign work to people better suited to the tasks.  Strive for a diverse team of trusted advisors with skills and experience in the areas of finance, human resources, sales, public relations, technology, research and development, marketing, business planning and hands-on tactical implementation. Covering all the applicable bases with competent and committed people is a sure and safe way to maximize the probability of success.

4.    Compromising Health and Relationships

Health and relationships are listed together because they seem to walk hand-in-hand. Working long hours takes its toll on your physical, mental and emotional health. When you experience stress and your health is at risk, it’s likely that your rapport and communication with people you love and care about are also suffering. Correction of any of the three previous pitfalls will help alleviate stress and free up more time for restful sleep, proper diet, exercise and fun. Make personal health and relationships a component of your total picture of success.

5.    Believing Happiness is an Upcoming Event

Happiness comes from within and occurs in the present moment. Event-driven happiness is distressingly temporary and short-lived. Work happily and passionately in everything you do, each and every day. Waiting and expecting to achieve sustainable happiness and fulfillment from a future event robs you of the joy of the journey.

In summary, being aware of these five pitfalls help you live that life you dreamt of when you first catapulted into the wild and crazy world of entrepreneurship. I hope you use these insights and ideas for a better life and better relationships. Please share your knowledge and best practices with fellow entrepreneurs. How many entrepreneurs does it take to build a better world?

Do You Have What it Takes to be a Successful Entrepreneur?

True entrepreneurs know and understand the magnetism and exhilaration of exploration and discovery.

Having been an active entrepreneur since 1979, I can look back and reflect on the driving forces that keep my internal GPS calibrated to live this roller coaster ride without a map or track. I can compare my entrepreneurial life with traditional work environments, as I spent 18 years with a major corporation prior to serving worldwide businesses with my skills and competencies as an entrepreneur. Naturally, I tend to hang out with other entrepreneurs like me, the “birds of a feather flock together” syndrome. I hope my experience, insights and Ideas nudge new entrepreneurs to launch into this crazy and wonderful field of endeavor.

Being an entrepreneur is not for everyone and certainly not for the feint hearted. It’s definitely not an easy, guaranteed path to success. The word “entrepreneur” makes me wonder if the “neur” (neuron) part deals with using your brainpower to form new enterprises. True entrepreneurs create products, services and businesses, characterized by something new, better, different or having higher value. By definition, the entrepreneur’s pathway is an experiment because the concepts, ideas and outcomes are unproven. The territory and domain of entrepreneurs is the unknown. They must have fortitude, faith and vision to follow this life pathway. True entrepreneurs know and understand the magnetism and exhilaration of exploration and discovery. They experience disappointment, setbacks, loss, risk and the full spectrum of human emotion, perhaps more than anyone else. They can rarely explain to others why they do what they do; they just know they were born to be on this path.

Being a “me too,” or replicating what someone else has accomplished with a sustainable profit, is not, in my mind, being a true entrepreneur. I enthusiastically encourage and support launching small businesses using established and proven business models; franchises are a good example. Adding more locations or factories to meet market demand is also an example of replication. Small business is the true core and catalyst for economic growth and job opportunities. At one time, however, every successful small business began as the entrepreneurial dream and pursuit of someone wanting to break out of the norm and do something different. There are opportunities to use the “entrepreneurial spirit” to make continuous improvement in businesses of all sizes.

The following is a short list of characteristics of true entrepreneurs I have observed in fellow compatriots and myself.

  • Passion to do something they are unable to do working for someone else
  • Vision and “gut feel” for creating something new that has enduring value
  • Knowledge of their personal strengths and limitations without allowing limitations to limit them
  • Resiliency and determination in the face of adversity and failure
  • "Never, ever give up" attitude (A Winston Churchill quote)
  • Instinct for what to do and who to go to for help
  • “Ready, Fire, Aim” may be a way of life with increasingly better outcomes over time

In conclusion, entrepreneurs make the world a better place to live, learn, grow and prosper. They spawn small businesses that become the larger businesses that power our world economic engine. Entrepreneurs are the leading edge for change. Let’s honor, respect and support these brave men and women, who may appear foolish at times, but have a dream and dare to live it.