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How to Master Your Mind to Unleash Extraordinary Levels of Leadership with Dr. Julia DiGangi


Challenging the notion that pain is purely negative might empower us to reach our highest, happiest selves.

In this episode, Dr. Julia DiGangi discusses how we can use emotions, even difficult ones like fear and anxiety, to unlock greater confidence, resilience, and meaning in our lives. She provides a neuroscientific perspective on integrating our emotional and behavioral systems to increase personal power.

Dr. Julia DiGangi is a neuropsychologist expert in the connection between the brain, leadership, and emotion. Her lab and clinical work have been conducted at Harvard, Columbia, Georgetown, the University of Chicago, and more. She has worked with leaders at the White House Press Office, global companies, international NGOs, and US Special Forces. Her book, Energy Rising, is published by Harvard Business Review Press and was released in September 2023.

[00:00 – 07:15]  Emotions Direct Behavior

Emotions are neuroelectrical impulses communicating behavioral directivesIntegrating emotion and behavior increases personal power. Severing emotion from behavior causes depletion

[07:16 – 21:45] Emotional Contagion

Emotions spread unconsciously between people. Struggling team members affect the leader’s emotions. By matching low emotions, leaders lose their leadership role

[21:46 – 27:03]  Emotions Create Meaning

External rewards often leave emotional emptinessProblems feel problematic because of associated negative emotions. Emotions mediate questions of success, meaning, and purpose

[27:04 – 36:02] The Harm of Avoidance

External rewards often leave emotional emptinessNegative emotions define problems, shift emotions to shift problemsAvoidance requires self-betrayal and accrues distrust

[36:03 – 50:32]  Releasing Trapped Emotion

Exposure therapy releases emotion trapped from traumaNeural patterns compel harmful avoidance behaviorsSocial support provides space to heal emotional injuries

Key Quote:

“One of the most powerful things we can do in this lifetime is integrate our emotional system with our behavioral system.” – Dr. Julia DiGangi

Connect with Dr. Julia DiGangi!



This episode is sponsored by Mack International, a specialized executive search and human capital consulting firm serving the family office/wealth management markets. Please visit their website here for more information.

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