Leadership seminar at New York Academy of Sciences posted

The leadership development seminar I led in April at the New York Academy of Sciences has been posted as an e-briefing.
Now you can see me speak where Einstein and Darwin did, or at least they were members.
You have to be a member to see the video, but the academy has great events. I recommend joining. You do love science, don’t you?
Here’s the overview of the e-briefing:


Leadership coach, entrepreneur, and former physicist Joshua Spodek spoke from a scientist’s and entrepreneur’s perspective on developing personal leadership skills. The two-day, eight-hour interactive seminar took place April 5 and 7, 2011 at the New York Academy of Sciences and was designed to provide a foundation for the continued development of skills of personal leadership, self-awareness, and emotional intelligence.

According to Spodek, business literature and top business schools are increasingly focusing on these skills as the basis for leading others and oneself. In addition, research indicates that ability in these areas correlates with business and personal success. Scientists typically receive little or no exposure to these topics through their graduate and post-graduate training; therefore, this workshop was designed to fill that void by introducing the importance of these skills and the methods for acquiring them.

The first day began with Spodek presenting context to the study of these skills and providing a simple model for the human emotional system based in evolutionary psychology, positive psychology, and cognitive behavioral therapy. Instead of acting as a model for psychological research, this model was designed to increase self-awareness and emotional intelligence in the individual. After hearing a description of the model, the seminar participants were given a practical method for its implementation. Throughout the two days, the seminar included exercises, audience participation, and anecdotes to help put the material into practice for the audience.

The second session delved even more deeply into the practical application of the model and method presented in session one. Spodek discussed how to begin applying this understanding of the emotional system, build awareness, overcome objections and obstacles, help others, enlist others to help, and manage ruts in motivation and poor habits. The day closed with a review of some stories of exceptional historical figures showing high personal leadership skills whose experiences offer sources of inspiration.

Overall, this session was a primer for science PhDs with limited business experience who wanted to learn how to increase their personal leadership skills.

The multimedia you have to be a member for.
Thanks to everyone who attended and helped make it happen, especially Monica Kerr of the NYAS.

Leadership and personal success through self-awareness and emotional intelligence are popular pursuits outside the scientific community—for example, in business, sports, politics, etc. But why not in science? In part because their literature has shaky and often non- or even anti-scientific foundations. If the practices work, though, they are repeatable and amenable to study. Shouldn’t we scientists should be able to understand and apply the material better?
This two-session course examines and teaches these pursuits from the perspective of scientific fields such as cognitive behavioral science, evolutionary psychology, and positive psychology, respecting nature and avoiding unscientific perspectives. The presenter is a PhD scientist and successful entrepreneur and coach. He brings a new perspective to those fields, showing how a scientific approach can improve leadership and professional and personal success.
The fields are fundamentally experiential so the course involves simple exercises to increase self-awareness, emotional intelligence, and leadership.
Benefits of the course include improved:

  1. Personal leadership skills, particularly self-awareness and emotional intelligence
  2. Interpersonal skills like decision making, negotiation, perceiving others, influence, motivating others, and teamwork
  3. Ability to transform great challenges into professional and personal growth
  4. Awareness of your values and what brings you meaning, purpose, importance, and happiness, both professionally and personally
  5. Focus on what is important, professionally and personally, decreasing time and resources wasted on unimportant things
  6. Ability to experience reward from your efforts
  7. Calmness, patience, and understanding

You will leave the course with tools to continue your development on your own as well as a network of like-minded people, both as resources and for accountability. The course also makes all other leadership resources—books, videos, seminars, etc—more valuable through better understanding their foundations.

  • Day One: Tuesday, April 5, 6-10pm
  • Day Two: Thursday, April 7, 6-10pm

Light refreshments to be provided.

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