Book Review by Dr. Nicky Howe, Southcare CEO
The first thing that caught my attention with this book was the cover – a very ingenious model with the 12 keys. As you read through the book you realise the model is a great reminder for how to create a high performance brain. A quick flick through the book suggests it is easy to read, and it is. However the content is rich with stories, the latest research and is witty and practical. It is jam packed with lots of information and is written in a style that makes it easy to understand. Dr Jenny is a natural storyteller, through the various stories she shares, she makes the points with intelligence and ease. I also really liked how Dr Jenny creates various emotions within the reader to deepen the learning for the reader and the point she is making. The images of the brain are great, not too much to make the light hearted faint! These brain images are used in a way that helps us non-medical people understand our own brain and they help the reader to comprehend the key concepts and how we can put each concept into action.
The book is well structured – three key parts of a high performance brain each with four keys:
Creating a high-performance brain
A section dedicated to creating a high-performance brain founded on our lifestyle choices. These four keys include nutrition, exercise, sleep and stretching our mental muscle. I found this section a really practical refresher. I reflected on how I rate against these four keys and recognised the impact on my own brain performance when one or more of these are out of kilter. I think the brainy facts and research are extremely useful in reminding and reinforcing the reader why these foundational elements of brain health are so important to continually training your brain for high performance. The practical tips that are offered are very useful and we can take these tips and use them for ourselves and for our workplace. I notice I am now really encouraging staff to take regular meal and brains breaks and advocating why ‘al desko’ eating restricts our opportunity to develop working relationships with each other.
Operating a high-performance brain
This section is about Focus, Mindset, Healthy Stress and Mindfulness. It explores how to operate a high performance brain by addressing firstly how we focus. Dr Jenny uses a terrific example which is a great reminder of how we can go off on tangential diversions and never achieve what we set out to do. As a side I love to play pool and I know when I don’t narrow my attention span on the shot, I miss sinking the ball. As a leader this section was great at reinforcing the need to ‘fight for your three priorities’ each day so that 70-80% of our work day is working on our own priorities. Language does create reality and Dr Jenny demonstrates how the impact of a fixed mindset over a growth mindset can be so limiting. The section on healthy stress and Mindfulness are both so useful, rich with information about how you can support yourself, your work colleagues and family.
Integrating a high-performance brain
This section is dedicated to Change ability, Innovation, Collaboration and Leadership and brings the book together. I found this section of significant importance given the amount of change we experience and how we need to be able to adapt, change, innovate and collaborate in order the survive and thrive in a global economy. Dr Jenny continues to enlighten the reader through stories that educate, facts that support her propositions and very practical steps we can take to improve our brain and in-turn our performance.
This is much more than a book of well-expressed ideas. It is also highly practical, providing relevant tips, examples and excellent exercises for readers wishing to engage in immediate application. I firmly believe that this book will support those people committed to improving their own brain performance, the quality of their life, the workplace and business.
Other Brain Fitness Resources
Watch this video where Dr. Jenny Brockis talks with Dr. Nicky Howe, Southcare CEO, about things we can all do to improve our brain fitness. Being socially and physically active is a huge part of your brain fitness regime, see the seniors activities on every month at the Southcare Social Centre. Read this article Perth services for seniors that assist you to live well. Visit Jenny’s website to stimulate your future brain.