Beware of dysfunctional leadership traits

June 01, 20171 minute read

Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, an expert on talent management and people analytics, believes that “what it takes to get the job is not just different from, but also the reverse of, what it takes to do the job well.” In an article published in Harvard Business Review, he cautions women against emulating male traits rather than embracing their own strengths.

In his view, the reason behind the underrepresentation of women in management is because displays of confidence are often misinterpreted as signs of competence. The problem, he writes, is that “arrogance and overconfidence are inversely related to leadership talent — the ability to build and maintain high-performing teams, and to inspire followers to set aside their selfish agendas in order to work for the common interest of the group.”

He also cites a study showing that female managers are “more likely to elicit respect and pride from their followers, communicate their vision effectively, empower and mentor subordinates, and approach problem-solving in a more flexible and creative way (all characteristics of “transformational leadership”), as well as fairly reward direct reports.”

Chamorro-Premuzic is the CEO of Hogan Assessment Systems, a Professor of Business Psychology at University College London, and a faculty member at Columbia University. He is the author of numerous books and articles, which can be found here.

Other interesting articles in HBR’s Women in Leadership Series include: