Selected: Why Some People Lead, Why Others Follow, and Why It Matters
Mark Van Vugt, Anjana Ahuja
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
A groundbreaking, evolutionary science-based exploration of the history of leadership that explains how and why some men and women evolve into good or great leaders, and some do not.
We are all leaders or followers — or both. We can recognise leadership in almost every area of life: in the workplace, among friends, within families, in politics and religion. But what makes a good or bad leader, and what makes an outstanding one? Selected examines how and why leadership has evolved over tens of thousands of years, and presents a bold and compelling new "mismatch hypothesis": the slowness of evolution means that there is a mismatch between modern leadership and the kind of leadership that our Stone Age brains are still wired for. This makes for all sorts of tendencies, problems and solutions that no author has yet discussed but that affect all aspects of our lives.
Full of fascinating examples drawn from a diverse range of spheres, from politics and commerce to sport and culture, Selected explains why taller political candidates usually win, why women chief executives attract such hostility, why we like it when the boss asks after our children and what prime ministers and presidents can do to improve their chances of electoral success.
This is the first book of its kind — reaching into business, psychology, politics and current affairs — to explore how leadership affects us all. It also offers the first truly scientific theory of leadership: where previous books have provided anecdote, it details empirical evidence. Selected provides deep insight into our personal and professional lives at a time when the world urgently needs to acknowledge great leadership.
between Lawrence and God? God doesn’t think he’s Lawrence.’ Then comes the mental maths: with a remuneration of $57 million, Lawrence earns 1,000 times the salary you’ve been promised.2 You might want to be Lawrence, but the likelihood is that you’d feel more comfortable answering to John. Why? It’s hard to articulate; the feeling is based more on instinct. You could go out for a beer with John; you’d feel like a serf sipping sake with Lawrence. By the way, these are not mythical CEOs but real
followership: group cohesion, uncertainty (not knowing which is the poisonous mushroom) and the possibility of emulation. These provide adaptive justifications for followership (in other words, followership in these situations makes the person more likely to have offspring). And so the mode of followership depends not just on commitment level, but also on the nature of the adaptive problem that leads to the followership behaviour. We propose a new taxonomy of followership based on evolutionary
have a say in whether you make an investment or not. Each time I will simply remove the startup money from four members I choose to make sure your group gets the bonus.’ In contrast, the democratic leader introduced ‘himself’ like this: ‘Hi: I will be your group leader during the tasks. In order to ensure that you win the group bonus please let me know whether you are willing to contribute or not. I will then remove contributions from four of those who have volunteered. If not enough people
be mapped on to a 24-hour period starting at 00:00. The last 13,000 years don’t even start until the clock has ticked past 23:59. Our evolved leadership psychology is out of synch with the new times. But before we can convince you of a mismatch, we should first revisit the reasons why we believe that our leadership psychology is largely a consequence of evolution, rather than, say, upbringing or social conditioning. As we have seen, humans evolved for at least several hundreds of thousands of
about more than one figurehead – are actually among the most successful. 2. Find a niche and develop your prestige In Robert Greene’s entertaining book The 48 Laws of Power, the eleventh law states: ‘learn to keep people dependent on you’. Greene writes: ‘To maintain your independence you must always be needed and wanted. The more you are relied on, the more freedom you have. Make people depend on you for their happiness and prosperity and you have nothing to fear. Never teach them enough so