New Ideas, Old Brain Quick Bit #9: The Leader You Like Isn't the Leader You Need


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By Nick Hobson. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.
We tend to like people who are prototypical or representative of the group. In the context of organizations, this social bias means we like leaders who we think are gold standard examples of the group we work for. This in itself isn’t a bad thing, per se. But in terms of leadership selection in current organizations, there’s a backfire effect. Consider: the prototypicality bias, as it’s called, is a mental heuristic, a quick rule of thumb we apply to decide whether we like or dislike or are accepting or not of another individual, like (in this case) a leader who we think is a defining character of the group. Heuristics, as you know, are prone to systematic error: So, do we always want to select leaders who are prototypical?

74 episodes