Key ingredients to motivate employees, per Dan Pink: autonomy, mastery, and purpose [Source: Huffington Post]
As of April 2012, 15% of Fortune 500 boards have one or more female members. Organizations with boards which are characterized by 30% gender diversity “outperform those with no women by a wide margin measured through multiple metrics” [Source: SmartBlog on Leadership].
This poses a chicken-or-the-egg conundrum: are organizations more efficacious because of their gender-diverse boards or are more efficacious organizations more likely to be more equitable in their recruitment of board members?
In The Wisdom of Psychopaths, research psychologist Kevin Dutton highlights some psychopathic qualities which are frequently billed as essential to corporate leadership, e.g.:
- Beguiling charm
- Focus under pressure
In stressful situations, most people become agitated. Psychopaths, however, tend to calm during “moments of heightened tension.” This emotional self-control may be one of the enviable qualities we should strive to emulate.
This comparison prompts us to consider: is psychopathy a good thing in business leadership? Should we strive to emulate its characteristic qualities or re-evaluate our rubric for a successful business leader?
From, Do psychopaths make good CEOs?
“Almost 1 billion women will enter the global economy for the first time in the coming decade…fundamentally shifting how the world works.”
From, “How one billion women will shake the business world.”
This contradicts my experience, but nonetheless intrigued (and inspired hope):
“Men with shaved heads are perceived to be more masculine, dominant and, in some cases, to have greater leadership potential than those with longer locks or with thinning hair, according to a recent study out of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.”
From, “Study shows baldness can be a business advantage.”
A Kellogg School of Management study underscores that the more flattery we receive, the more we allow our self-impressions to be inflated. According to this study, this holds true for CEOs and constitutes “the Icarus Paradox:”
- “’What we are saying,’” Stern explains, ‘is that with CEO status, the greater the status, the more flattery and opinion conformity will be directed towards the CEO. And the more flattery and opinion conformity directed at the CEO, the greater the CEO’s self-enhancement.’”
- “The results showed that CEOs subject to flattery were more likely to believe themselves to be better leaders and more adept at strategy. Firm performance data, however, did not bear that out. Firms with flattered CEOs were less likely to change strategy when company performance dipped.”
- Stern and his colleagues call this the “Icarus Paradox.” “The high levels of flattery and opinion conformity that high-status CEOs receive can foster self-enhancing cognitions that lead them to become over-confident in their strategic decisions and in their ability to correct performance problems with the current strategy,” the authors write.
From, “Flattery’s Dark Side – Why you may want to consider how much you compliment.”
Women are not promoted as frequently or as far as men are. How much of this is attributable to circumstance, prejudice, or women’s preference?
“Women who are offered promotions ‘generally feel they need to know 80% to 90% of their current job before they feel ready to step up into a new role,’ she says. But if you are smart and knowledgeable, “probably somewhere closer to 40% to 50%” is all that you need. Men, on the other hand, feel no such constraints.”
“The Journal report was based on the comments of a task force set up to study the obstacles that women continue to face in the workplace. According to a McKinsey study quoted in the article, women get 53% of entry level jobs and ‘make it to ‘the belly of the beast’ in large numbers.’ But then ‘female presence’ drops sharply, ‘to 35% at the director level, 24% among senior vice presidents and 19% in the C-suite.’”
From, Do Women Shy Away From Promotions?
“According to a team of researchers led by the Wharton management professor Adam Grant, introverted leaders typically deliver better outcomes than extroverts.”
This, from a neat case for recruiting introverts to your team, written by Susan Cain who recently published a book on the topic and has been highlighted by TED, et al.