PRAX Leadership Launches Groundbreaking Approach to Developing Leaders in the Automation Era

Summation

  • The methodology matters to people as much as organizations, because secure, content, productive individuals are the lifeblood of any successful business, and such people often elevate the happiness and performance of those around them.
  • In an age when automation and technological advancement are rapidly transforming industries, PRAX Leadership emerges as a beacon of innovation, reshaping the landscape of professional development and leadership.
  • Alex offers a hypothetical but likely familiar story of a firm that spends hundreds of thousands of dollars on a leadership conference.

In an age when automation and technological advancement are rapidly transforming industries, PRAX Leadership emerges as a beacon of innovation, reshaping the landscape of professional development and leadership. Founded by brothers Andrew and Alex Geesbreght, PRAX combines cognitive, science-based methodologies with practical applications to forge a new path for individuals and organizations aiming to thrive in times of change.

In its inevitable drive for greater efficiency, the market will continue to embrace ever greater degrees of automation. From sewing machines and steam engines to self-driving cars and smart contracts, society digests automation shock waves that are disruptive yet evolutionary. When encountering these transitions, many people understandably give in to their fears of change and the unknown. However, others recognize opportunity and find ways to generate positive advancements for themselves, their organizations, and the world around them.

What separates these two groups of people?

According to Andrew and Alex, the ultimate answer may be happiness. If that sounds trite or naïve, consider one’s performance under the opposite of happiness: calamity and melancholy.

“Everyone, and especially CEOs, face periods of turbulence and uncertainty,” says Andrew. “All your threat circuitry is firing. ‘Will I maintain my status, my compensation?’ How do you keep from burning out? The ability to control your thoughts and emotions makes all the difference during those seasons, and happy, centered people simply exhibit better responses.”

Cheery songs and pop-psych encouragement might advise us to “don’t worry, be happy,” but the reality is that many professionals lack the skills, tools, and methods for infusing their lives with happiness. This dearth derails them from all manner of fulfillment.

Conversely, PRAX offers a cognitive, science-based approach to guiding people through a proven methodology that ends with personal discovery and fulfillment. Much of that methodology ties to the field of neuroleadership, the interface between neuroscience and leadership, that emphasizes decision making, problem solving, emotion regulation, influence, collaboration, and facilitating change. The methodology matters to people as much as organizations, because secure, content, productive individuals are the lifeblood of any successful business, and such people often elevate the happiness and performance of those around them.

But That’s Not How It’s Usually Done

In 2021, Andrew Geesbreght earned his master’s degree in psychology, then combined it with his experience in business and clinical research. Much of PRAX emerged from that blend of experience. However, brother Alex came from an even broader business background. Individually, each brother offers considerable experience and valuable perspective. But the real magic behind PRAX is the two of them together — Andrew the analyst and academic, Alex the more intuitive, EQ-driven extrovert. They operate PRAX and serve clients like two sides of the same brain, each essential to a greater whole.

Over the years, both learned a wealth of lessons about conventional corporate approaches to so-called professional development. This includes positive lessons on what contributes to stable, content, productive workforces as well as countless observations of where companies took wrong turns, often starting with a failure to focus on individual needs.

“Businesses that spend hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars on development, they’ve lost the reality that you don’t develop departments,” says Andrew. “Departments are arbitrary things. We develop people.”

Alex offers a hypothetical but likely familiar story of a firm that spends hundreds of thousands of dollars on a leadership conference. The company flies in dozens of executives, sets them up in five-star hotels, and pays for “a fancy psychologist” and other speakers. People listen to lectures, nod dutifully, head home, and…nothing changes. However, the C-level brass get to check a “professional development” box and feel that mission-accomplished glow. Alex says he often speaks with CEOs who believe they can “improve culture, even by one percent,” through such tactics. Alex counters that there is no changing culture without first changing individuals.

Arguably the chief issue Andrew sees with big-team events is the utter lack of practice.

“When you look at optimal learning pyramids, what’s at the very bottom? Lectures. They’re the most passive, least effective way to learn. Yet this is what organizations spend the most money on. It’s just mind-boggling.”

Andrew references the Harvard Business Review ’s discussion of The Learning Pyramid from National Training Laboratories. The Learning Pyramid shows that participants exhibit a mere 5% retention rate from lectures. Next are reading (10%), audio-visual (20%), and demonstration (30%), all of which are passive teaching methods. Participatory methods include practice (75%) and teaching others, which notes a stunning 90% retention rate.

PRAX flips this pyramid on its head and emphasizes active learning. The company takes its name from praxis, a Greek word that embodies purposeful action and practical engagement.

“PRAX is the most active way to learn and therefore retain,” says Andrew. “But it has to be at an individual level, and it has to be over the course of time; a journey, a pathway, not an event. Those are the principles of truth we apply to organizational leadership development.”

Matter and Methods

In 2021, LinkedIn cited a survey showing that “44% [of executives] believe that people lack sufficient soft skills to help businesses succeed.” This follows on a 2019 LinkedIn article stating that, “92% of talent professionals say [soft skills] matter as much or more than hard skills when they hire, and 80% say they’re increasingly important to company success.”

Circling back to where we started, a dearth of soft skills ties directly to happiness — or, rather, a shortage of it. There are no overnight fixes for a personal scarcity of soft skills. However, PRAX does offer three heavily researched, practice-based programs designed to help guide professional learners into happier, rewarding futures.

PRAX links learner contentment to aspirational values and, conversely, finds that discontent springs from not living by those values. But aspirational values are not like aspirational cars or condominiums. Rather, aspirational values encompass the mindset, behaviors, and priorities of who a person ultimately longs to be. When there is a clear disconnect between those values and a person’s everyday actions, performance drains and confidence plummets.

Everything at PRAX focuses on a range of “competencies,” which derive from traditional leadership literature blended with the most proven brain-based science available. This includes the emerging field of neuroleadership, which Nature magazine described as “an applied field of social cognitive neuroscience that aims to analyze and understand the behavior of leaders.”

Spotlighting two of these nine competencies may give an indication of PRAX’s approach. The first explores whether a person is living their life congruently with their values. Often, the answer is at least a partial no, so introspection and redefinition of values come into play, followed by practice. Practice roots those values into habit over time and often helps people through the cognitive dissonance that accompanies discovering when one’s values compete with each other.

Perhaps counterintuitively, the second of PRAX’s nine competencies is practice itself. For many people, practice means rote repetition, much like learning multiplication tables in grade school. 

PRAX approaches practice as a cycle of study, planning, training, reflection, and feedback-driven response. This cycle exposes weaknesses in the learner’s practice protocol, turning potential seeds for self-sabotage into healthy progress and a values-aligned life course.

PRAX’s ultimate objective is to provide companies with the ability to speak a common language of well-being and self-leadership throughout the organization. PRAX achieves this by offering a bifurcated product catalog, which includes both skills development classes and a Transformational Growth series, both of which embody the ethos of PRAX.

The four programs in the Growth series each have their own objectives and target demographics, while uniting companies with thematic “Praxian” nomenclature and teachings. Leader ; Pathfinder; Pioneer; and Sage are ascending products that meet individuals where they are, while allowing those who choose to do so, an avenue to pursue their journey of self-discovery on a deeper level.

While the aforementioned Growth series can best be described as a self-leadership pathway to enhance individual well-being and capacity by focusing on “who you are,” PRAX’s Architect skill classes are aimed at “what you do” by highlighting critical elements of organizational performance and competence. Attendees can choose from an ever-growing curriculum, which includes Designer, Administrator, Promoter, Storyteller, Networker, Manager, and Practitioner.

Proof in the Practice

While the Geesbreght brothers note that everyone comes to PRAX with different levels of readiness, and they follow different paths through the curricula, they point to the story of Colby, a graduate of Pioneer – the 13-month program aimed at C-level individuals. Colby was a CEO who came to PRAX “thirsty for growth, but uncertain what that looked like,” because he didn’t know what needed fixing. At the beginning, he said his values were to amass wealth, including a yacht and other extrinsic rewards. He drank five days a week, compulsively overate, and made loads of money — which came to an end when rates in his service business nosedived.

In the Pioneer program, Colby began to uncover his true intrinsic values, focusing especially on his wife and children. Along the way, he learned to take himself and his wellness more seriously. He dropped over 60 pounds and emerged from Pioneer, as Colby himself says, “rejuvenated, revitalized, and re-energized in ways I never thought possible. … PRAX’s distinctive methodology doesn’t offer shortcuts; instead, it taps into the profound potential lying dormant within individuals who are dedicated to the journey. It’s about consistently showing up, putting forth the effort, and welcoming gradual progress.”

“Knowledge alone isn’t the answer,” says Andrew. “I mean, pick any ‘truth’ you’ve heard for a long time. We all know blue light before bed is bad…but nearly all of us do it. People need knowledge, then motivation, and then habit. One of our biggest barriers with executives is getting them to take what they know and apply it to themselves with motivation in order to achieve change.

PRAX: Doubling Down on Humanity

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) estimates that “anywhere from 9% to 47% of jobs could be automated in the future.” Dr. Kai-Fu Lee, former president of Google China and author of AI Superpowers, estimates40% to 50% of jobs “will be technically and economically doable by AI and automation” by roughly 2035. The slightly more optimistic McKinsey notesthat “while few occupations are fully automatable, 60 percent of all occupations have at least 30 percent technically automatable activities.”

As noted at the beginning, many see this trend as a source for despair. We will be assimilated.

And yet…

“We believe the quality and skill of human beings matter to company performance,” says Alex. “We also believe that everything produced, whether by hand or code or robot, will only impact one group: humans. Humans will continue to be the emotional, physical, and financial recipients of anything created. By focusing on personal development, PRAX helps better prepare humans to work alongside whatever automation is coming, so their organizations can more effectively touch and add value to other humans.”

In short, PRAX wants learners not to recoil from automation and change. It wants to equip them with the skills and grit necessary to lead that change, and it has the proven, neuroleadership-driven programs to make that happen.

Medical Device News Magazinehttps://infomeddnews.com
Medical Device News Magazine provides breaking medical device / biotechnology news. Our subscribers include medical specialists, device industry executives, investors, and other allied health professionals, as well as patients who are interested in researching various medical devices. We hope you find value in our easy-to-read publication and its overall objectives! Medical Device News Magazine is a division of PTM Healthcare Marketing, Inc. Pauline T. Mayer is the managing editor.

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