It’s not very often that I get to mention that I have a Science Degree with a genetics major….  (Possibly not today either!)

Anyhow, I heard a really interesting interview recently with a geneticist* on the topic of ‘methylation’.

Methylation is ‘a process where you don’t have to change the sequence of the gene to change the function of the gene. It’s a chemical layer or coding that you put on the gene that turns it up or down.’

In this research they were studying ants and have used the process of methylation to trigger growth in ants. This results in more ants of bigger sizes than would otherwise occur, via encouraging the expression of growth genes. Interestingly, the ants’ growth does not happen beyond the normal growth range. So we don’t get 2-foot long ants but we do get more big ants within the standard range of ant sizes.

The process used to produce this growth is both social and chemical – how the ants interact (social) and what they are fed (chemical).

This got me thinking about how we could ‘methylate’ leadership… How do we create the social and chemical conditions for leadership to be fully expressed and fully developed within the ‘normal range’ of leadership abilities?

What social and chemical conditions increase the expression of the leadership gene? And what conditions decrease expression of the leadership gene?

Might be time to consider:

  • What are you doing in your environment to encourage leadership development?
  • How well are you methylating leadership?
  • What else could you be doing to produce more leaders in your environment?

Have an Extraordinary day.



* Professor Ehab Abouheif from McGill University, Quebec Canada was interviewed by Red Symons Breakfast show ABC Radio 774 Melbourne on 24 March 2015.



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