What Kind of Leaders do People Love?

Ones that look like them. As Freud noted, people are basically narcissists. One needs to look no further than the leadership ranks of his or her organisation to find anecdotal evidence. Indeed, extensive academic research shows leaders are especially enamoured with their own capabilities. Not surprisingly, they tend to attract and select people who are comparable to them.

The biases in play are reinforced by subordinates who more readily see leadership potential in colleagues who behave similarly to those already in power. When these findings are applied to a global context, a foundation for explaining cross-cultural differences in leadership expectations begins to emerge.

Companies headquartered in places such as Western Europe, US and Australia require their leaders to be ambitious. These organisations look for self-starters who independently take initiative. Their high-potential evaluation and leadership selection models evidence these criteria....

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