A Deep Understanding of People and Culture
Science of Trust
Science of Emotional Contagion
Science of Gratitude
Science of Sustainable Behavior Change
Science of Goal Pursuit
Science of Social Influence
Great Scholars and Researchers
The Late Paul Lawrence
Paul R. Lawrence, was a renowned sociologist and a pivotal figure in the intellectual history of Harvard Business School. Well into his eighties, Lawrence developed a new unified theory of human behavior, based in his close reading of Charles Darwin and great scholars across 100+ years in the fields of psychology, economics, sociology, and the recent neuroscience of human behavior. In 2002 he cowrote with HBS colleague Nitin Nohria Driven: How Human Nature Shapes Our Choices sharing people are driven by "four primary innate drives which are hard wired in the human brain"—the drives to acquire, bond, comprehend and defend. In 2010, Lawrence published Driven to Lead: Good, Bad, and Misguided Leadership.
Paul provided mentorship to Mary Beth McEuen relative to the application of his body of work to business leadership and stakeholder engagement processes.
“Businesses need to redefine what it means to be a ‘high achiever’ in the ‘new paradigm’. Think of a high achiever that you truly admire. Likely they are not a ‘high achiever’ in the out-of–date sense of vast fame and fortune. Rather, they are a ‘high achiever’ on all four drives and will die a highly fulfilled man or women in Maslow's sense. They will have an ample amount of money and status but they will also be a high achiever in their rich relationships with others whose lives they have helped fulfill, in their defense of self and others from hazards, and their contributions to knowledge and new ideas.”
- Correspondence from Paul Lawrence to Mary Beth McEuen, dated March 28, 2011, paraphrased to remove specific people's names.
Paul Zak is the Professor of Economic Sciences, Psychology & Management at Claremont Graduate University. He is also the director of Neuroeconomics Studies, an author and an entrepreneur. He was one of the first scientists to integrate neuroscience and economics into a new discipline: neuroeconomics.
His pioneering research has identified brain processes that support virtuous behaviors such as trustworthiness and generousity. In his Trust Factor: The Science of Creating High Performance Companies (January 2017), applies neuroscience to organizational culture to demonstrate that high trust improves the triple bottom line and it explores ways in which managers can create and sustain a culture of trust.
This book was “dedicated to Mary Beth McEuen who first convinced me that trust is vital in organizations. Thank you for your trust and friendship.”
“Leaders have to concentrate on being Caring because of neurochemical changes that arise when one becomes the boss. In men and women, ascending to a leadership position causes testosterone to rise. Testosterone inhibits the brain’s synthesis of oxytocin, the neurochemical that makes us care about others. You can spot those with high testosterone through what are called dominance displays.
Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards calls this “lead-singer syndrome” when describing the indulgent behavior of Mick Jagger. If you’re the lead singer or CEO, your elevated testosterone can turn you into a jerk because testosterone tells your brain the world revolves around you. But extraordinary performance never happens alone.”
- Paul Zak, in ‘Trust Factor’