Mita Brain Manifesto for Mental and Emotional Renewal

My research discovered an evidence-based approach to improve motivation and achievement growth. My five-pronged Mita model includes proven brain based tools, an awareness of new neural discoveries and active learning tasks to accomplish things never before accomplished by using parts of your brain never before used in this way.  My work questions, “What are the consequences when you alter the fixed IQ question, “How smart am I?” to ask a more flexible IQ question, “How am I smart?”  

With several prestigious awards from different countries, the name Mita has become synonymous with brain-powered tools for leading innovation with the whole brain in mind. Learner and leader ready materials are also illustrated on an  award-winning blog to support brain based efforts to learn as we lead and lead to learn.

Mita’s practical approach to grow mentally and emotionally now revolutionizes leading and learning, through cultural diversity, current brain facts, a unique manifesto, and over eighteen well-respected learning theories. See many countries now using Mita‘s brain braised approach.

All Practical Applications for Mita  Originate in:

  1. Recent discoveries in the cognitive and neuro sciences rolled into ready-to-roll tasks and tools for leaders and learners.
  2. Proclivities from many different cultures that helped to frame Mita’s authentic approach
  3. The seventeen well-respected learning and assessment theories below
  4. Unique manifesto that originated from the above three fact pools.

 Why do Mita active learner and leader tasks gain higher motivation and achievement?


Mita Leadership Growth  Chart – Proven for Higher Motivation and Achievement


Mita brain-powered tools – are renewed workplace practices that raise motivation and innovative productivity.  These tools draw upon integrated research from recent neuro and cognitive discoveries, from more than one dozen leading and learning theories listed in the Mita manifesto, from proven practices that earned achievement awards, and doctoral degrees from several cultures in international settings.

Theories in Mita™ growth chart show evidence in learning strategies

♦    Problem Based Leadership – is people centered with an emphasis on teams who identify and solve problems collaboratively, and reflect on their experience. Based on learning theories of Vygotsky and Dewey and others. Leadership in this theory grows through facilitating strategies that include open ended questions, challenging the status quo, case based reasoning, and question generating.

♦   Multiple Intelligences –  proposed by Harvard’s cognitive scientist, Howard Gardner,  in 1983, accurately defines intelligence as a wide variety of capabilities humans display. People differ in their mix of intelligences and all 8 intelligences can be increased through use.  I have known and respected Dr. Gardner for 30 years, as I have followed and applied the multiple intelligences to innovative leadership in many countries. Strategies in this book include questioning through spatial, linguistic, logical mathematical, musical, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalistic intelligences.

♦    Authentic Assessment –  as described by one widely known advocate for authentic over artificial testing, Grant Wiggins, claims that evaluation is more accurate when people effective perform tasks that integrate acquired knowledge, rather than simply memorize, or recite back facts. Conventional evaluations such as paper and pencil responses or one answer questions, are replaced by evaluations that simulate real world tests of a person’s ability. In Mita the tasks become tools for leading innovation in successfully constructed workplace settings.

♦    Inquiry Based Investigation – as illustrated by Piaget, Dewey, Vygotsky, Freire and others, typically refers to science advocates in research and application of research. Inquiry based growth calls for participants to do inquiry, know about inquiry, and reflect on inquiry outcomes, based on the background knowledge of principles, concepts and theories – along with hard and soft skills. It should be noted here that in Mita™ questioning approaches – 50 Mita smart skills combine traditional hard and soft skills, and include brain facts that have emerged in the past decade.

♦    Reflective Thinking – is used in Mita as Dewey and Schoen used it as an active, persistent, and carefully considered belief about knowledge, with evidence in reflective practice. Leaders learn to create more accurate conclusions through reflection thinking that offers an awareness of what they know and what they expect to find out. Leaders guide innovation through actively participating in and facilitating reflective thinking, in ways that lead them to question, Where to from here?

♦    Differentiated Knowledge and Skill Acquisition – People are valued human capital – all at differing developmental stages – and leaders who consider different workplace preferences, also tend to  accommodate a variety of skill development opportunities. To lead innovation is to welcome different approaches to  a shared set of high standards. Mita engages Anderson’s 2007 that shows how differentiated learning and leading includes people’s preferences and interests. These will later be evidenced in Mita’s 2-footed questions which relate people interests and experiences to workplace skills.

♦    Constructivism – shows how humans generate knowledge, skills and meaning from their experiences. Piaget included people’s play and other activities as significant to their cognitive development, and Mita uses that sense of inclusion in leadership strategies. In Mita Certifications and roundtables, leaders learn in informal settings to explore brain facts and to practice brainpowered strategies in ways that generate discoveries and improve their own leadership growth.

♦    Socially Constructed Meaning – comes with workplace settings that encourage team inquiry, wait time in discussions, reviews of what is known before expectations of mastery over unknown skills. People are view as complex and multi-dimensional which is why questions are used to seek reasoning and evidence, facilitate thought processes and to encourage innovative results. This is done through peer mentoring, small group projects and skills taught for tone that values opposing views and builds goodwill with those who disagree. Mita™ engages Vygotsky’s notions of how people make finer meanings within a social context. This includes constructivist von Glasersfeld’s sense that there is no single valid methodology and that qualitative research is a valid approach for accurate results in social sciences.

♦    Evidence Based Practices – refers to the empirically supported applications of brain based approaches with higher motivation and achievement for all participants.  In the past decade, evidence based practices have been encouraged by groups such as the American Psychological Association and others in diverse fields – so that members are expected to carry out investigations that support or reject their interventions and leadership practices. Pressure for evidence based practices comes from many population groups, which increasingly demand evidence of useful and innovative approaches at work.

♦    Performance Based Approaches – All skill development in Mita Leadership Certification is designed for performance based responses. In other words Mita applied scientific and proven principles about how people learn, think, remember, and apply.  To that end the sessions provide clearly stated targets. Each module is designed to directly apply to the participant’s work beyond brain based certification. The sessions negotiate specific components that relate to interests, and abilities of participant leaders and learners. All sessions offer opportunities to practice skills and get immediate feedback. In order to become certified all leaders demonstrate competency in brain based smart skills identified for quality workplace performance.

♦    Expeditionary – holds at its heart, quality standards for integration of many intelligences, and diverse activities that promote a diverse workplace culture, enhanced leadership practices, and good tone that leads to responsible citizenship evident at work. The emphasis here is innovative projects, teams and involving participants in original research that involves experts in the field and contributes to higher quality productivity. Innovation is encouraged at all levels, as is robust skill development within a positive workplace and across differences beyond the organization.

♦    Situated cognition – holds that knowledge and skills are often situated in workplace activities, and is integral to the tasks, content and culture in which it is developed and used. Proponents of this brain based concept, include Collins, Brown, Newman and others. A situated view of knowledge in Mita leadership certification, holds that conventional training tends to ignore the influence of workplace culture and it’s effect on what is learned and applied. The situated nature of skill acquisition infers and ongoing need for research and development, which includes the situated nature of knowledge acquisition.

♦    Experiential leadership and learning – relates to the process of drawing meanings from direct experience. Related back to Aristotle’s notion that people learn by doing, proponents such as David Kolb helped to familiarize ideas about experiential learning, based heavily on Dewey and Piaget’s work.

♦    Discovery Based Practices – include questioning why, what, and when, and how, and is supported by theorists Piaget, Bruner, Papert and others. In Mita certification, that to discover knowledge for oneself is to position facts and skill development in ways that better solve workplace problems. Solutions grow more evident, when they are discovered as useful, and this theory assumes the workplace setting where leaders model and encourage others to learn by doing, and tracking successful results.

♦    Whole Brain Learning Practices – Use many of the approaches here to explore and express knowledge from both the right and left side of the brain. From the left use logical, language or mathematical skills – from the right use big picture, visual, visionary or creative skills. Combine right and left brain skills to use both sides as you communicate well with others, build and strengthen teams, solve problems and make thoughtful decisions.   

♦    Brain Based Leadership – The brain facts Mita draws from are those not typically contested, but they include neuron discoveries related in this book, that are supported by solid science. The idea here is to integrate the facts, in ways that improves leadership practices. As brain facts emerge through the many technologies that can see and track brainpower, commonly accepted brain facts are included in Mita strategies.

♦    Lateral Thinking – is used in preference to more traditional “Critical Thinking approaches in Mita™ leadership methods.  Rather than look for gaps in other people’s process, lateral thinking tends to add value to the work by posing questions such as, What if…? Have you considered alternative possibilities such as …? In addition to your ideas here, what would result if …? Lateral thinking in Mita™ leads to the application of new ideas. It’s been our experience that critical thinking tends to reduce or criticize new possibilities in ways the work against the human brain. Rather than naysayers, bullies or cynics who jump in to diminish innovation, lateral thinkers extend ideas through questions. The result in Mita certification, is collaborated inventions.

♦    Mita™ Leadership Approaches question new opportunities and engage curiosity through developing brainpowered smart skills. All sessions draw from the Mita™ Manifesto for questioning, which has shown empirical evidence for both higher motivation and higher achievement, in several studies, cultures and countries.

The Mita Manifesto Below Illustrates how  Theories Inform Brainpowered Learning

I. QUESTION new opportunities and you’ll engage curiosity as fuel for change.

It’s only through understanding your brain that you can increase brainpower for more successful outcomes:

Manifesto 1 – Question possibilities with confidence

Manifesto 2 – Question traditions and change

Manifesto 3 – Question with curiosity of youth

Manifesto 4 – Question research to support new risks

Manifesto 5 – Question myths to update practices

Manifesto 6 – Question roles in personal relationships

Manifesto 7 – Question IQ through multiple intelligences

Manifesto 8 – Question improvements with both sides of brain

Manifesto 9 – Question solutions to each problem faced

Manifesto 10 – Question improvements through MI growth

II. TARGET improvements and then create a plan to apply and follow for change.

Manifesto 11 – Target improved communication through tone

Manifesto 12 – Target one priority to improve at a time

Manifesto 13 – Target improvements in one new growth area

Manifesto 14 – Target innovative results through disagreements

Manifesto 15 – Target peaceful prosperity through opposing views

Manifesto 16 – Target active engagement to replace passive talks

Manifesto 17 – Target mental plasticity for new skill growth

Manifesto 18 – Target chemical and electrical circuitry for growth

Manifesto 19 – Target gender differences to optimize both

Manifesto 20 – Target mirror neurons from ethical people

III. EXPECT growth on an ongoing basis by charting and measuring improvements

Manifesto 21 – Expect quality adventures well past senior years

Manifesto 22 – Expect the capabilities you want others to see in you

Manifesto 23- Expect peace by facilitating winning solutions

Manifesto 24 – Expect an innovative culture without bullies

Manifesto 25 – Expect a community where racism rarely appears

Manifesto 26 – Expect calm under pressure by taming amygdala

Manifesto 27 – Expect higher results from humor unleashed

Manifesto 28- Expect to speak and feel heard

Manifesto 29- Expect names to stay central by more  frequent use

Manifesto 30 – Expect to remember by outsourcing key facts

IV. MOVE intelligences into action and inspire people to toss in their talent.

Manifesto 31 – Move good tone in response to cynical encounters

Manifesto 32 – Move mistakes into stepping stones to success

Manifesto 33 – Move beliefs into shared actions through MI use

Manifesto 34 – Move beyond technical glitches for innovative results

Manifesto 35 – Move people as capital for higher ROI

Manifesto 36 – Move renewal into stretched dividends through acting without fear

Manifesto 37 – Move younger people into pathways of growth

Manifesto 38 – Move MI renewal to fix broken systems

Manifesto 39 – Move innovation by viewing problems with solutions in mind

Manifesto 40 – Move intelligent practices to increase productivity

V. REFLECT to Ensure Change is an Ongoing Practice for Improvements.

Manifesto 41 – Reflect on growth by one significant change

Manifesto 42 – Reflect on growth possibilities in unexpected setbacks

Manifesto 43 – Reflect for ongoing change through a doable plan forward

Manifesto 44 –  Reflect on doable realities to replace limiting myths

Manifesto 45 – Reflect on one key change that can sustain growth

Manifesto 46 – Reflect on ways to implement improvements from every encounter

Manifesto 47 – Reflect shared values to apply for an ethical climate

Manifesto 48- Reflect on approaches to use online tools to advance innovations

Manifesto 49 – Reflect on approaches to engage all for mutual dividends

Manifesto 50 – Reflect on smart skills that combine hard and soft

Mita™ ‘s brainpowered approach fosters innovative leading and learning. Proven to bring higher motivation and achievement, Mita transforms daily practices into transformational tools for higher productivity. Mita clients include business and university leaders who see innovation as the way of the future, and is collaborated at all levels to model the power of collective brainpower for renewal.

Samples of Recent and Ongoing  Mita Work

PBS – Mita is selected as the core innovative model for renewed learning and leading K – University.

Science Direct – Mita Model to reconfigure university learning – with Dr. Margaret Denny

St. John Fisher University – MBA Business Leadership – with Very Positive Feedback from all participants. At the invitation of the Dean, I designed and teach an MBA leadership course (and wrote the text) using the Mita brain based approach. The course, Lead Innovation with the Brain in Mind, is offered yearly.

Government leaders in Buffalo, New York

Secondary Faculty in several countries – Mita certified.

Rochester Chamber of Commerce – Quality Council – Mita won award for leadership excellence

Guardian Life staff and University leaders – Kingston Jamaica – selected premium keynote on Mita renewal for Higher Education

Waterford Institute of Technology – (WIT) Ireland – University faculty and leaders Mita certified – with earned PhDs in the work

Chile – SA – University faculty, leaders, government and business leaders Mita certified

Highlands – Senior Residence – Rochester, NY – The aging brain institute

Canadian University Faculty and Leaders– Toronto Canada – conference

World Business Forum 09 – radio City NYC – Selected Mita bloggers and award winning articles.

Chonqing – China – Senior Business Leaders and Faculty  – Mita ethics and leadership – Mita awards

Pittsford NY Business leaders in Pittsford, NY

Spensorport Business Leaders in Spensorport, NY

Fairport Business Leaders in Fairport, NY

Oakland University faculty and leaders – in Oakland, Michigan

Regional School Prof Dev and Chair – New Innovative Proj of Dr. Bill Cala – to Decentralize Poverty

Batavia Business Leaders in Batavia, NY

CEO Roundtable MITA session – for Larsen Engineers CEO, Ram Shrivastava Rochester, NY

Quinnipiac – Business Leaders and Faculty

Creativity Conference in Florida – invited keynote on Mita innovative change

Singapore Polytechnic  Institute – Invited speaker on Mita Brain Based change Approaches

Capitol Finance Magazine – Feature article invited to show Brainpowered Business Problem Solving

HR Magazine – Mita Featured Prominently in Work Smart Feature article

Democrat and Chronicle Newspaper Featured the Mita Center’s work

Hamilton Spectator – Invited Feature on Mita Brain Based Approaches for leaders and learners

Westchester County Leader’s Conference – Mita Brainpowered  Renewal

Mercy Secondary School Faculty – Mita Certifications – Rochester, NY

University of Buffalo – Master Program – Mita applications in Secondary Science Teaching

Chautauqua  Institute – Mita Renewal Institute for Business leaders and Learners

East Strasburg – University faculty and leaders renewal

Monterrey Mexico  University, Business and Medical Renewal with Mita brain based approaches

St. John Fisher University– Mita Renewal Conference for Leaders

MITA Books on renewal approaches – translated into Chinese

Chapters Book Store – Ontario – Canada, Invited Mita Renewal talks and book signing

Barnes and Nobles – New York – Invited Mita Renewal talks and book signing

RBA – Rochester Business Alliance – Conference for leaders – won award for excellence

NPR Interview – Mita Renewal & several interviews on Mita innovation at respected internet sites.

Red Car Model by Laura Goodrich – Mita addressed brain based issues (by invitation) for the series

Calgary Keynote on Mita Assessment – for brain based renewal – Calgary AB – Canada

CBC – Interview on Mita renewal for leading and learning in coming era

PhD Committee member (because of Mita brainpowered approach) for Leader of Entrepreneurial Innovation

Board Member for Non-profit Summer Camp to help needy youth.

YOUR TURN! Join our Brain Based Circles! Would love to meet you at any of the following!

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Created by Ellen Weber, Brain Based Tasks for Growth Mindset

17 thoughts on “Mita Brain Manifesto for Mental and Emotional Renewal

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  8. Jeanne Dininni


    I’m so late reading this yet so glad I’ve finally gotten around to it! It’s an amazing post! So, so many helpful insights here that I couldn’t even begin to comment on them individually. Thanks for sharing such an incredible body of brain-based wisdom and challenging us to apply it to our lives. I definitely plan to put more of these principles to work in 2010!

    Thanks again!

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