Leadership and Neuroscience: Dr. Marcia Ruben Leads Training Exercise for Leaders

NeuroStroll™ Exercise Led By Its Designer

Marcia w Diagram

Recently, Professor Marcia Ruben, PhD (above, right) led an experiential exercise called a NeuroStroll™. She created the exercise to help current and future leaders identify and strengthen the parts of their brains and minds that contribute to success. The event, titled “Know Your Brain; Boost Your Effectiveness: Have a Goal? Take a NeuroStroll™,” was co-led by Debra Pearce-McCall, PhD (above, left). Dr. Ruben is an Associate Professor, Chair of GGU’s Management Department, and Director of its new stackable Leadership Programs, including the Master of Science in Leadership. The 2016-2018 recipient of the Russell T. Sharpe Professorship, she has incorporated the latest scientific knowledge about the neurochemistry of social interaction in leadership settings into five MBA and Leadership courses: Leadership and Management; Personal Leadership; Teamwork in Organizations; Executive Coaching; and Leadership Theory, Research, and Application.

The Sensing Experience discussion

Attendees identified a personal development/leadership goal such as building confidence in making a presentation, running a meeting, speaking up when they disagree, being more direct, networking in a room of strangers, or showing empathy to others. Next, they participated in a series of experiences representing the acronym S.T.R.O.L.L: Sensing, Thinking, Regulating, Orienting, Lasting, and Leading Yourself. Dr. Ruben and Dr. Pearce-McCall facilitated the process.

GGU Participants (l to r): Patrick Gonzales, Kristel San Miguel, and Ben Nguyen

As a part of the 2.5-hour session, participants completed a pre-survey and a post-survey, contributing to data on the NeuroStrollTM’s effectiveness for current and future leaders.

Dr. Ruben notes: “Leaders who are aware of the neurochemistry of social interaction are better able to regulate themselves, lower defensiveness, and bring everyone’s best thinking and ideas to the table.”

If you are interested in the issues raised by the NeuroStrollTM, you can look for Dr. Ruben’s article, Know Your Brain, Grow Your Leadership, on her Leadership Tangles blog. You can follow her on Twitter at @TangleDoctor.

More About Marcia Ruben, Ph.D.


Marcia Ruben, Ph.D., began teaching full-time at Golden Gate University in 2012 and was appointed to the Chair of the Management Department at GGU in 2014. She was awarded the Judith E. Browning Award for Outstanding Teaching in 2015. She was awarded the 2016-2018 Russell T. Sharpe Research Professorship. In 2017, she was promoted to an Associate Professor. Marcia continues a private executive leadership development practice. Marcia earned the Certified Management Consultant designation from the Institute of Management Consultants USA in 2002. She is also an accredited executive coach and completed a year-long evidence-based coaching certification program.

Marcia earned the Professional Certified Coach (PCC) designation from the International Coach Federation in 2010. Marcia earned her PhD in Human and Organizational Systems from Fielding Graduate University. She earned an MA in Human and Organizational Systems from Fielding Graduate University and an MS in Counseling from California State University, Hayward. Marcia graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a BA from University of California, Berkeley. She has co-authored several articles that are recognized as thought-leaders in the change management and coaching industry. Her article, Untangling Conflicting Organizational Agendas: Applying Emotional Regulation, SCARF, and Other Neuroleadership Principles to a Case Study, was published in the 2015 Neuroleadership Journal.

Request information about GGU’s Leadership programs >>

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.