Dr Bill Price talks to journalist, Al Gibson on the Neuroscience of Things Spiritual. (see video below)
Dr Bill is a neuro-based Executive Leadership Coach and happens to be a former pastor who has led several growing congregations. Following a run-in with burnout, he had to reinvent his life and ministry so who better to talk about the ‘Neuroscience of Things Spiritual’.
Al Gibson: Dr Bill, you are executive coach of international reputation and a specialist on neuroscience. I’ve known you since the days when you were a pastor in South Africa, now you’ve storming the world of coaching using neuroscience. How did that happen?
Dr Bill Price: It actually happened by accident! I was in the ministry for about two and a half decades and was earmarked to become a Moderator in a particular denomination. However, my wife and I went through some painful experiences in the local church. We ended up standing in front of a large congregation that had to vote on whether we should be there or not.
Though we won the case, we faced rejection from a group of elders and I felt it was time to leave. This led us to move into international ministry. However, this ultimately resulted in me experiencing horrendous burnout which set me up for a road accident that changed my whole career. While feeling completely overwhelmed one day, I steered my car towards a 26-wheeler truck and whispered, “Okay God, here I come ready or not…”
I missed the truck by millimetres. A gust of wind pushed my car to the side of the road and I was spinning under a bridge in a cloud of dust. And that is where I had my transformation moment, a meeting with God that changed my life. I decided to leave the ministry and embark on a journey of healing. This resulted in a counselling / mentoring process, during which time I met a dynamic Messianic Rabbi who introduced me to neuroscience. He told me I should study neuroscience for three reasons:
1. to discover the mysteries of the universe;
2. to discover the glory of God; and
3. to discover the uniqueness of humankind.
And indeed my study of neuroscience has turned my life around. I have worked as a Human Resources Director, Executive Coach and received an honorary PhD for coaching high-profile leaders in Africa. Today I continue to work with leaders of leaders in business as well as in church denominations, as a coach to executive thinking and strategy.
Al Gibson: So what actually is neuroscience and how can it be spiritual?
Dr Bill Price: Okay, so let’s start with understanding human biology and the brain. Our brains only weigh about three pounds but they are absolutely amazing. If we were to compare our brain to today’s technology you could say they are the hardware and the ‘Neuro’ is the software program they run.
Having studied neuroscience, I realise how we need to pay attention to who we really are and work towards transforming our minds. Through neuroscience, we can change the neuro programs that send the messages around our bodies, through the axons and synapses that make up our neurology. Every habit or thinking pattern or mindset has a neurological program connected to it. This makes it possible for us to alter behaviours. For example, calm your mind, and stop feeling under so much pressure. This can be achieved purely by paying attention to one’s thoughts, beliefs, habits, etc.
So today I work with people on the neuroscience of leadership, strategic thinking, teamwork, relationships etc. From a business perspective, this often means exploring the neuroscience behind marketing, customer service, selling etc. So why not consider the neuroscience of spirituality? Or as I like to call it the neuroscience of things spiritual.
The Neuro Biological System
I believe God created us as a “neuro biological system”, with built-in intelligence, communication skills and interconnectedness. He has breathed all these things into us, in what we call ‘the wind of God’ or ‘ruach’ in Hebrew. And this God-breathed intelligence doesn’t stop there. He also breathes his creative life into us. This is known as ‘nephesh chayyah’ in Hebrew.
This knowledge challenged my traditional perspectives of how mankind is made up. In psychology or what theology calls the ‘Greek model’ we as human beings are said to comprise of body, soul and spirit (emotions) – in three neat circles. However, neuroscience is more aligned with the Hebraic model that sees each person as a complete unit rather than separate compartments. Our neurology is our overall consciousness and it is all about being awake, and aware.
This is why Jesus talks so much about being awake and why the Apostle Paul talks about renewing our minds. (Romans 12:2) When we pay attention to who we really are and how our minds work, that is transformational. God has created us to be complete in ourselves. A deep level of meaning is built into each person. Our godly purpose is built into our neurology, our magnetic north. So we don’t have to beg for it, pray for it, or look for it, it’s already within, we just have to unearth it.
Al Gibson: So how do you help coach people, especially those who have a spiritual connection?
Dr Bill Price: I come alongside all kinds of people from leaders to businesspeople etc assisting them with their strategy, leadership, teamwork. We create a cohesive process, with a commonality of focus so they can achieve their goals. I teach them how to manage their mind and thoughts so they are no longer a victim of their comfort zone or the cognitive biases that control their beliefs. I also show them that they no longer need to be a prisoner in this VUCA world in which we live. We can overcome volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity in our lives. And of course, all of this is measurable to ensure maximum ROI.
I’m like a sherpa leading people up Everest. I take leaders to their mountain tops, however as one stands at the pinnacle of your dreams you realise you’ve only reached halfway, because you’ve got to go down again. And so I help leaders go up and I also help leaders go down. And going down is even harder than going up!
From a spiritual perspective, as a former minister, I guess I could be accused of being ‘too preachy’ in my approach but that’s not the case. On the contrary, I deeply respect each person I coach because I see them as being created in the image of God. However, my role is not to preach. Rather I am a dream-unfolder, strategiser and orchestrator.
From a Biblical perspective, this is similar to what Jacob did with Joseph, inviting him to: “Tell me the dream that’s in your heart”. So, I come alongside people, including Church leaders, to help them turn their dreams into reality.
This requires intentionality. Something I learnt at an early age from a school teacher. He pulled me aside and said, “Bill Price you are the world’s greatest dreamer…” What does a 16-year-old make of a statement like that? I just said, “Thank you” and started to walk away. However, he pulled me back and said, “I need to tell you something else. If you’re going to make your dreams come true you have to stay awake.”
That is a truth I have never stopped sharing all these years. This is the perfect illustration of how the neuroscience of things spiritual requires us to wake up, be intentional, fully conscious of all God has for us in life. In this way, we can learn to Lead, Live and Love that much better. That is what this blog is all about.
Lead – the art of excellence in leading like an exceptional neuro-based leader;
Live – the skilful and mindful and brain-based neuroscience way to live on purpose and not by mistake; and
Love – being attuned, and connected to your inner world in meaningful brain-based ways.
Thank you for reading our leadlivelove.blog and please feel free to email me any feedback at email@example.com or ask any questions you have about the neuroscience of things spiritual.
I love to take leaders on an immersion journey. This consists of 12 coaching sessions focused on delivering an unfolding strategy for your organisation, or denomination. During these sessions, you can learn the powerful principles of neuroscience including the neuroscience of things spiritual. Please get in touch for more information.
The Neuroscience of Things Spiritual
Dr Bill Price is a global coach who is passionate about neuroscience and hosts regular ‘synapses’. These online sessions focus on diverse topics offering ideal opportunities for self-development and optimisation using neuroscience techniques and tools. In the video below, he talks to Al Gibson about the Neuroscience of Things Spiritual and a series of upcoming synapses he will present on the topic.