manifestations of hubris
June 12, 2016, 4:12 pm
Filed under: brave new world | Tags: , , , ,

photo: Andras D. Hajdu

The ancient Greeks had a vote in which the most popular senator was ostracized because they understood the corrupting influence of power. Often it’s the most aggressive person who advances and not the most qualified, capable or instinctual, and it’s painful to be left behind. The talkers take charge of the knowers and feelers; confidence manages competence. Hubris is mistaken for leadership ability.

“In my view, the main reason for the uneven management sex ratio is our inability to discern between confidence and competence. That is, because we (people in general) commonly misinterpret displays of confidence as a sign of competence, we are fooled into believing that men are better leaders than women. In other words, when it comes to leadership, the only advantage that men have over women (e.g., from Argentina to Norway and the USA to Japan) is the fact that manifestations of hubris — often masked as charisma or charm — are commonly mistaken for leadership potential, and that these occur much more frequently in men than in women. ”


“This is consistent with the finding that leaderless groups have a natural tendency to elect self-centered, overconfident and narcissistic individuals as leaders, and that these personality characteristics are not equally common in men and women.”

Why do So Many Incompetent Men Become Leaders? Harvard Business Review

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