Saturday, April 18, 2009

The evolutionary basis of Leadership

I was thinking over beers yesterday about the idea that we are hard wired to either lead or follow. Why is it that we care that someone is charismatic, why do we care if someone has guts...? why do people with these attributes emit a 'Social Gravity' per se?
It is one thing to state that most leaders appear to have dominance and charisma... but that is a proximate explanation, noticing that A then B. The interesting question... is what are the 'possible' reasons WHY we are slaves to this 'Social Gravity'. So then I found this interesting paper on the University of Kent's website titled "Leadership, Followship, and Evolution". The articulation is good and I think the arguments are interesting. I've noticed that a lot of things in Business such as Leadership and Organizational Design follow a correlation schema of finding people who are effective and then teasing out the visible attributes that we can dis-aggregate out. This is informational but we still have a hard time finding the real causal linkage. This sort of approach seems to have some merit in the future. If you can understand the ultimate reasons behind some of our behaviors, you can more surgically identify what actually matters more in many cases.

1 comment:

caroline said...

Good one, try this

http://www.spring.org.uk/2008/11/7-reasons-leaders-fail.php