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  • Writer's pictureSophia Chin

The Miracle Drug for Performance

Updated: Jun 18, 2020

Photo credit: Masriera y Manovens, Francisco. Young Woman Smoking, 1894. Prado, Madrid, Spain. Web

Join the free webinar on “Using Purpose to Unlock Innovation” to learn how you can unleash your team’s performance and growth in less than 1 day. Register here.

“There are many big boys in the leadership coaching business, why choose you?”

Hmm… I could show you glowing testimonials from our clients, or talk about our world-class panel of experienced coaches or our methodology based on the latest neuroscience research. Or I’ll tell you the truth…. I don’t know.

I do not know why you should choose me. I don’t know how you think - no two brains are alike. But what I DO know, down to my bones, is that this is what I love to do. I’m genuinely interested in helping people lead through change to innovate rapidly, engage customers better and deliver results faster. The work is deeply meaningful to me, and I’m grateful for clients who enable me to play my small part in making the world a better place.

Passion. Purpose. It gives us our competitive edge, our “special sauce”. Some people say it’s all fluffy. Not to me. When faced with uncertainty and trying to double the business every 6 months with minimal resources, when we’re running in circles and nothing seems to work, when I’m on the verge of giving up…. Purpose whispers in my ear, “No, you can’t. You have unfinished business here.”

It’s a fight to stay true to myself. That’s why our workshops are called the FIGHT CLUB… and not the Fluffy Bunny Club.

Making Work Personal

In Apple, they don’t want their employees to fit into the corporate culture. Apple wants them to contribute to the corporate culture by being themselves.

In Google, they talk about the impostor syndrome - feeling inadequate and incompetent, despite evidence that indicates expertise and success. Deep down these people feel like complete frauds, and they burn half their time and energy trying to be someone else. Time and energy that could have been invested in creative thinking and problem-solving.

Encouraging people to be themselves at work is not only human – it’s ESSENTIAL to unlocking growth & performance in a high-pressure, highly disruptive environment. In other words, if you want innovation, you gotta make work personal. And science proves it.

How the Brain Works

“We canot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.” - Albert Einstein

All the great founders and inventors had it – the proverbial Aha! moment. That light-bulb moment. It’s when they have generated what neuroscientists call an “insight”.

According to neuroscience research, right at the moment of insight, a delicious cocktail of neurochemicals including dopamine is released, giving us a rush of positive energy. That sense of euphoria that comes from taking drugs? Yup, same dopamine effect. This dopamine hit gives us the motivation and commitment to take actions towards the desired outcome. These actions will help us generate further insights, creating another dopamine hit, leading to new actions. It becomes a virtuous cycle of pleasure and action towards our desired outcome. The road ahead may be extremely challenging, but the virtuous cycle is hard to resist, i.e. addictive.

Conditions for Insight

Insights are generated from the non-conscious part of the brain. It’s the part of the brain that holds all our hardwired information and habits, beliefs and attitudes. It's so much a part of us that it's invisible to us.

Compared to the conscious part of our brain, the non-conscious brain has a massive capacity. Imagine that the conscious brain is a cubic foot and the non-conscious, by comparison, is the size of the Milky Way Galaxy. 1

What does all this mean? Well, pretending to be someone else at work is like trying to get to Mars in a horse-drawn carriage, without the dopamine hit.

If you are in a high-pressure, high-performance job, and you’re needing some magical thinking, skip the harmful (and illegal!) stuff and talk to us instead about getting some Purpose Dope. As with all universal truths, Making Work Personal is easier said than done. I can teach you the theory of how to do it yourself, that took me years to learn, or we can work together to get that virtuous cycle going in a short time.

1 Rock, D., Your Brain At Work, 2009, Harper Collins

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PERSONNA is a leadership development company focused on the people side of transformation. We hold a simple belief that everyone is an extraordinary and powerful force for positive change. When you make work personal, naturally you become a better leader.

We’re here to help people become better leaders, build highly-effective teams, and create a culture of trust & collaboration in their organisations. We provide leadership branding, leadership coaching and group experiences. If you are curious to learn more drop us an email to

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