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Lead with the Working Memory in Mind

Watch for leaders where you work - who use more of their working memory – and you’ll see people with solutions where others see only problems. 

No wonder working memory and working memory problems are a hot wineGlass.jpg
topic in today’s science and learning circles. 

I like to think of working memory as a fine wine that energizes gifted leaders. A small bit goes a long way!
It’s really the brain’s temporary, and rather tiny capacity or operation center for the immediate. How so? Your working memory draws data bits from long term memory and processes these along with new information sources.

Can you see why this brain part creates a hot seat of problem solving operations?   Or why it’s used more by great leaders who leave a lasting legacy of change?

Working memory’s also the place to contain bits of information and idea scraps for the purpose of using them now.  It differs … both in size and use  … from the brain’s basal ganglia which stores the stuff of a lifetime.

Successful leaders tend to hold the information and circuits required for the processing – until results can be seen at work. 

Interestingly, the more difficult the processing, the less resource is available for the storing information. Working memory is less effective for leaders who use up too much time or draw on too much circuitry to process ideas. Why so?

Wasted time or circuit overload creates loss of stored  information and also interferes with circuits needed to process and apply theoretic concepts into innovative practices that work.  

Rather than disrupt creative processing in your working memory by interfering with the items stored there for immediate use, simply retrieve the info and do something with it.  Results will impress you – according to research in the most recent  Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning Memory and Cognition.

Know anybody who leads more with the working memory? You’ll recognize them by the way they apply new ideas for exciting changes that both work and last. What do you think?

6 Comments/Trackbacks


This is a vivid and useful analogy. Do you have any thoughts about how your blogging activities aid or hinder your working memory?

Thanks for stopping by Galba, blogging does activate the working memory - because it keeps facts and ideas alive long enough and in ways that will likely move more of them into the longer term memories. It is in a very real sense "writing to know" a thing and it works:-) Thoughts?

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