"Humans have evolved a leadership brain," says HBS professor emeritus Paul R. Lawrence. "Good leaders are people with a conscience who respect and reward all the four drives of other stakeholders [the drive to acquire, to defend, to bond, and to comprehend], even as they respect and reward their own drives." Inspired by the writings and insights of Charles Darwin, specifically his 1871 masterwork The Descent of Man, Lawrence's new book, Driven to Lead: Good, Bad, and Misguided Leadership, offers managers an integrated understanding of the complex decision process at the heart of good and wise leadership. In the following excerpt, Lawrence describes how various forms of globalization—classic trading, international sales, and transnational outsourcing—reveal examples of good, bad, and misguided leadership behavior through the lens of humans' four drives.
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Entries in behaviours (43)
Extroverted leaders get the best results, right? A draft research paper to be published in the The Academy of Management Journal
Extroverted leaders get the best results, right? Not so fast. Research to be published in a forthcoming Academy of Management Journal finds that team performance improves under extroverted leaders if the team is passive, but declines if team members are proactive. Download the draft of this paper soon to be published by Adam M. Grant, Francesca Gino, and David A. Hofmann.
Scientists may have found a physiological explanation for the power of positive thinking. When optimists and pessimists attempt the same task, their different attitudes are reflected in different neural activities in their brains. Can the power of positive thinking cure illness and disease? Researchers at the California Institute of Technology found that participants in brain-scanning experiments who thought they were doing well on a complex task had greater neural activity in a high-level area of the brain called the posterior parietal cortex (PPT). Different neural activity was observed in the brains of participants who thought they were doing poorly. The implication in those results is that personal attitudes may pre-program us to succeed if we are optimists, and protect ourselves against failure if we are pessimists. Does that mean that optimists are more likely to succeed, as other experiments have suggested?
Americans like to own their homes, and the rules and conventions for ownership are generally well understood. So it's easy to forget that in many corners of the globe the rules are more ambiguous--and more open to challenge. Indeed, there are an estimated one billion squatters in the world today--people who, mostly out of necessity, are living on property they do not own and cannot afford. Squatters rarely have a voice, but in a few industrialized cities where they do, their claims are usually founded on the idea of improvement. If an owner abandons or neglects a property, shouldn't another human being be allowed to take shelter, invest sweat equity in making it a home, and lay some claim to it? In other words, does hard work improving a property convey some right to occupancy, even ownership?
We live in a world full of benchmarks and rankings. Consumers use them to compare the latest gadgets. Parents and policy makers rely on them to assess schools and other public institutions, and sports fans like them for help in sizing up their favorite teams. But what about when rankings are used at the office for appraising staff performance? It's often assumed that employees who are benchmarked against each other work harder, to either hang onto a high ranking or raise a low ranking. However, Iwan Barankay, a management professor at Wharton, calls that assumption into question in a new study titled, "Rankings and Social Tournaments: Evidence from a Field Experiment."