Posted On August 20th, 2020 by Profit Network Australia
I have been reading a lot lately about a new and different way of thinking about Leadership and Leadership Theory and would like to share a new concept that has been but forward to you.
The traditional business leadership theories identify two main ways that leaders exert their influence over groups and are know by names such as Democratic v Autocratic, personalised v positional and of course, Directive v Participative. However, according to an article by Emma Young in the 14th July 2020 issue of New Scientist a New Theory proposed. This new theory has been put forward by Evolutionary Biologists and they have named the two New Leadership Styles “DOMINANCE” and “PRESTIGE”.
New Theory Facts:
This new theory connects the two previous leadership styles with deeper human drives and motivations.
It is believed by using the new theories that it can explain lots about the state of the world today and gives examples like US-China Trade War and the under-representation of women in boardrooms.
Evolutionary Biologists have provided a range of evidence that these two new leadership styles are rooted in biology and tests such as personality testing clearly reveal the core traits for each new style.
So what are the key elements of the Dominate/Prestige Model:
Dominate Style – “Dominance Leaders exert influence by demanding support and instilling fear”.
Other traits are that they also install fear in would-be dissenters and threatening sanctions for anyone who fails to toe the line. Examples given in the top end are any Machiavellian ruler (Attila the Hun to Stalin) with more modern, milder dominance leaders such as Trump, Putin. Being physically imposing is often key to their approach, so such leaders are almost always men. Personality tests of group leaders reveal that those adopting a dominance style score higher for aggression, disagreeableness and psychopathy ( a collection of traits including lack of empathy and remorse) which we have seen lately with Trump’s statements in regards to COVID-19 in America such as “Death is Death”. Dominance leaders, especially male ones, tend to have high testosterone levels, which come across as more masculinised faces and bigger bodies. Also in regards to non-verbal displays dominance leaders have more expansive bodily gestures to signal their status to others.
Prestige Style – “Prestige Leaders use their superior personal attributes to influence”.
A Prestige leader influences people through their superior personal attributes such as knowledge, wisdom and vision. These leaders also are charismatic and use their skill at rhetoric to win over followers. Examples historical and modern are Confucius and New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern. Women aren’t restricted to prestige leadership alone, but it is thought by some that female leaders generally operate this way because women’s responsibilities for childcare and food-gathering throughout most of human history have left them with an “evolved psychology” that is more cooperative, in general, than men’s. Personality tests of group leaders reveal that Prestige leaders are strong on agreeableness and conscientiousness with an example being the action of Jacinda Ardern hugging a women following the Christchurch mosque killings in 2019. While biologically studies have shown that Prestige leaders have higher levels of the PROSOCIAL Hormone – Oxytocin.
Here at Profit Network Australia we like to communicate new theories that will influence business owners/ leaders and if you want to know more then please look up this article online at www.newscientist.com. We would also recommend that you may like to read “Women and Leadership – Real Lives, Real Lessons” by Julia Gillard and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala that indirectly reinforces this new leadership theory.