Skip to content

The ‘Veli Ndaba Neuro Engineering Leadership Effect’

 How you see yourself determines what you see for yourself.” Veli Ndaba – ‘The Engineered Mind – to LEAD’

The ‘Veli Ndaba Neuro Engineering Leadership Effect’ centres around both my personal story and my skillsets. If you take my skills of understanding neuroscience and engineering and put them together, you get NeuroEngineering. I apply this discipline to both leadership and in changing leadership cultures. It all starts in the mind. The brain and the entire nervous system respond to the environment. So the culture in our workplace influences our nervous system, it can makes us more stressful if it’s full of negativity. If however, it’s full of positivity, it can trigger positive chemicals called neurotransmitters inside our brains. We need to address both our culture and what’s happening in our brains to create an optimal environment and that’s neuroscience.

The engineering element gets a bit more technical and looks inside the brain on how neurons operate and relate to each other. Neurons, also called nerve cells, are the brain’s building blocks and they form information highways between different parts and regions of the brain. This explains how these information networks and highways are formed, maintained and improved as well as how they relate to the body. The major skills I learned from engineering which are Structure, Systems, Maintenance and Innovation are infused in this discipline and form part of the engineering feed.  We were created and evolved in a more technical way and the structures in the brain need to be understood at a deepest level if we are to operate optimally. My goal is to help people, especially leaders, to understand the structural components of the brain, the structural dynamics between departments and leadership and use this knowledge to improve self-leadership and how to lead others.

I’ve been very fortunate to have had a background in engineering and an exposure in neuroscience and to apply both of them. My major goal is to build the bold and strongest leaders in Africa. I want to take this continent from a place of darkness and how the world currently sees it and build the strongest leaders in all sectors – public and private. I truly believe that by applying this discipline of neuroscience and engineering to that feed, we will raise a generation of leaders that will be bold and strong to take Africa forward, that’s what I am committed to.

My personal story of having been plunged into mental darkness by my family members’ tragic loss, inspired me to search for the light and it is this personal experience that I am sharing with everyone and using it as a vehicle to apply this discipline of neuroscience and engineering to bring in leadership mental light.

The vehicle I’m using to drive this is the ‘Veli Ndaba Neuro Engineering Leadership Effect’ – #VNNLE. Let me share this one example of how I apply this technique in Goal-Setting.

Scientists think goal-setting works by assisting the frontal lobes. As the supervisor, the frontal lobes are responsible for reasoning and planning. Concentrating on a specific goal allows the brain to bring structure to chaos and keeps the amygdala – the emotional centre of the brain in check. To bypass the amygdala, you must apply what I call SSS technique – Small Simple Steps. This is when you break a big task into small manageable chunks and there’s science behind this.

The amygdala which is the fear control centre in the brain is the one that is in charge of pushing the emergency button for a Fight, Flight, or Freeze. Anything that it considers threatening, it acts. So, the science behind breaking a big task into smaller manageable tasks is to bypass the amygdala. When you present it with something so small that is non-threatening, it allows you to do it, it doesn’t push the panic button, that’s how you bypass it. To the contrary, if you just present it with a big goal that it doesn’t have a clue on how it will achieve, all it sees is failure signs all over it and it then does what it does best, push the panic button and bring every good intended action to a complete stop!

In problem solving, we use the technique called elimination technique. When the problem kept on coming up after it had been solved, using the World Class Manufacturing (WCM) Methodologies, we applied a KAIZEN Technique to it. In this KAIZEN technique, you would invite others to list all possible causes of the problem in front of that equipment or machine you had a continuous problem with. You would them take one step at a time to eliminate what wasn’t the cause. This is how I apply different engineering and neuroscience techniques in helping people bring leadership mental light by understanding the brain structures, functioning and application of that into leadership and culture in the workplace.

Let’s be honest, you can never rise to low expectations. Rising higher is about raising your understanding of how both your brain and mind work. Your expectations in life are all about what you see for yourself. Do you see yourself as someone who is able and deserving of whatever you desire? It’s all in the neuroscience and engineering – call it, the ‘Veli Ndaba Neuro Engineering Leadership Effect’ – #VNNLE. Let me empower your leadership team to improve their level of self-awareness and self-mastery for them to tap into the employees’ collective genius.

Veli Ndaba is a NeuroEngineering Leadership Effect Speaker and Trainer, Mind Coach and Author of four books (You Are Born to Win, Your Dream is Calling You and SWITCH ON! And Set Your Soul On Fire!), Newspaper Columnist and Entrepreneur. To book him to speak at your next event or to help you and your team unleash your greatness, contact him on, or +27 83 304 9773