Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Businesses The Almighty Buck Science

If Humble People Make the Best Leaders, Why Do We Fall for Charismatic Narcissists? (hbr.org) 339

Numerous studies and real-life examples show humble, unassuming people as leaders improve the performance of a company in the long run. The humity, exuded by these leaders, can be contagious. Yet, instead of following the lead of these unsung heroes, an article on Harvard Business Review argues, we appear hardwired to search for people who exude charisma. The article looks into why such is the case: One study suggests that despite being perceived as arrogant, narcissistic individuals radiate "an image of a prototypically effective leader." Narcissistic leaders know how to draw attention toward themselves. They enjoy the visibility. It takes time for people to see that these early signals of competence are not later realized, and that a leader's narcissism reduces the exchange of information among team members and often negatively affects group performance. It's not that charismatic and narcissistic people can't ever make good leaders. In some circumstances, they can. For example, one study found that narcissistic CEOs "favor bold actions that attract attention, resulting in big wins or big losses." A narcissistic leader thus can represent a high-risk, high-reward proposition.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

If Humble People Make the Best Leaders, Why Do We Fall for Charismatic Narcissists?

Comments Filter:
  • Simple math... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by prince hal ( 583343 ) on Monday April 10, 2017 @12:42PM (#54207679)
    Because we're idiots.
    • Re:Simple math... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Baron_Yam ( 643147 ) on Monday April 10, 2017 @12:56PM (#54207823)

      Because we're primates that evolved living in small family groups, and our social instincts developed before we were intelligent enough to understand their shortcomings.

      And now that we do have these relatively fantastic brains... most people don't bother to try.

      • Re:Simple math... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Monday April 10, 2017 @01:18PM (#54208037) Journal

        This is how I read it as well. A lot of neurological and psychological machinery evolved in a considerably different habitat than most humans now live. We're wired to be hunter-gatherers; small and generally fairly mobile groups where leaders were far closer to those that they lead. If you look at other primates, and in particular our closest relatives the Great Apes, you can see how a combination of physical strength and bravado are usually what make for an alpha male; basically the tribal leader. But in those relatively small groups, challenges to the leadership are relatively frequent, so that a shit leader isn't going to last very long at all.

        Civilization has rewritten the rules, in no small part because what's good for a tribal hunter-gatherer society like our ancestors or like chimpanzees, just doesn't scale up at all. But our every instinct, written over millions of years of hunter-gatherer society, remains attracted to charisma (and physical appearance as well). We really are still just hairless apes; big brains, but a lot of social instinct that gets in the way, and it's going to take a lot longer than the mere 10,000 years or so that we've been developing urban civilization to evolve a different psychological toolkit.

        • > our every instinct, written over millions of years of hunter-gatherer society,

          I was going to correct you, as I believe anatomically modern humans have only been around for 200kya or so... then of course I recognized that we didn't pop out of the ether at that time, and the evolution of our social behaviour probably started with our first social ancestor - and that could have been shortly after animals colonized land 360 million years ago.

          Sometimes I am surprised by how fast evolution can go, other time

          • There's no doubt that the evolution of H. sapiens certainly came with significant behavioral changes, but even our species, for much of its time, has spent it in small groups. Large societies, and in particular complex dense urban societies, are a very recent innovation, and the evolution of governing such societies has been one of either trying to map instinctual dominance hierarchies on to these large populations, or try to find ways to circumvent them.

        • Yeah, that's it. The meanest chimp, the loudest baboon end up as the leader. We get Trump.

        • Re:Simple math... (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Monday April 10, 2017 @02:27PM (#54208661)
          There's another factor you're failing to consider. While it'd be nice if we could spend years researching every topic before making a decision, frequently (and arguably the majority of the time) that is simply not an option. There's value in how quickly a decision can be made. Often, a mediocre quick decision can yield a better outcome than a well-researched, well thought-out decision which takes months or years to arrive at. This is why militaries organize themselves into ranks and chains of command - because in combat, the situation changes so quickly that if you spend hours or sometimes even minutes trying to completely understand the it, your conclusions will be obsolete by the time you reach them. You have to make a decision quickly based on the incomplete and imperfect information you have at that moment.

          That's why people are attracted to charismatic and confident leaders - because their ability to make quick decisions frequently has value. And once a decision has been made you can only compare to a hypothetical (what if a different decision had been made?). And confidence is great at swaying people away from thinking the hypothetical is better than the reality.

          You're actually using a classic coping mechanism for those not on the winning side of a decision - denigrating the decision maker by claiming this quick-decision process does not scale up at all. It scales up just fine. It's just that as you scale up, the number of decisions which need to be made increases. So even though the percentage of decisions which are better served by well thought-out research remains the same, the number of them also increases.

          If we really want to progress as a species, we have to avoid falling for either extreme of this argument. Certain decisions are better made quickly, even if there's incomplete or imperfect information. Other decisions can wait and are better if made after careful and thorough research. Both methods have merit. The test of our intelligence is whether we recognize them and treat them appropriately. Or whether we'll blithely apply a one-size-fits-all decision-making strategy just because we happen to like or dislike charismatic people.
          • It goes far more deeply than your explanation, I believe.

            Your "limbic" brain is a decision maker and reacts to fear and lust and more basal stimulus. The thinking brain, call it the pre-frontal cortex, takes a lot of work to use-- to think and consider alternatives and consequences.

            The narcissists are very good at appearing to use sound decisions, but they are sound decisions *for then* and not necessarily for you. They create reactive sound bite communications and even NLP communications to create an Us vs

          • I'd rather put it that certain classes of problems require quick solutions, even where an optimal solution cannot be worked out. So yes, I agree that some situations demand immediate decisions, and then you try to figure out how to make that solution work in the medium term. By the same token, the "decision paralysis" overanalysis is certainly a grave risk where a crisis is approaching. Firemen are a classic example of where you have a few rather basic rules, along with an understanding of the physical prop

          • While 'quick decisions' have a merit in its own, it is still better if someone competent about the topic in question makes them, than a guy who has no clue.
            On top of that a smart guy/team will do a 'postmortem' or retrospective. Analyze in hindsight, what facts he had, what knowledge he was supposed to have and had, what reasoning would have been the best, which reasoning he followed. If his decision was correct, and if it was not, how the mentioned assessments can help him to improve.

            However there are peop

        • Re:Simple math... (Score:5, Interesting)

          by AthanasiusKircher ( 1333179 ) on Monday April 10, 2017 @03:03PM (#54209041)

          We're wired to be hunter-gatherers; small and generally fairly mobile groups where leaders were far closer to those that they lead.

          While I'm sure you're right about some of this, I think perhaps an even bigger effect is reinforcement through social norms. What are the "myths" of our modern societies? When we tell stories of "heroes," what are they like?

          And from fairy tales and fables through our modern blockbuster movies, we tend to emphasize the powerful, charismatic leader who takes risks, instead of the quiet, stable dude who actually gets stuff done day-to-day without seeking the limelight.

          Sure, we get the occasional "inspirational" story of the humble, quiet dude who finally gets recognition after laboring in obscurity for decades. But most of the "humble" types we see in fiction only become main characters when they start to act in unusual ways that bring attention, perhaps even becoming literal "superheroes" in much recent fiction. The standard superhero trope of the quiet guy who evolves special powers to save humanity is perhaps the ultimate beta-male fantasy: you skip all the social factors, physical prowess, etc. that get you attention and power and instead just are granted the power directly.

          Part of this is the nature of drama, too. Do we really want to read a book or see a movie about a guy who labored steadily in his office for 40 years and contributed to the company through all his quiet deeds? Or do we want to hear the guy make speeches, and have high-profile successes (and failures), and have "drama" as he works his way up?

          Even our news is shaped this way. It's a major factor in Trump's success. He clearly managed to get "free publicity" from news organizations most days during his election. Whether you liked him or hated him, he knew how to draw people's attention (both good and bad).

          Humble people just don't tend to draw that sort of attention -- not in our fiction, not in the news, etc. The closest we get is the occasional story about the value of "introverts" or whatever, but it's not enough. Until our dominant culture celebrates the humble folks in stories, in our news, etc. and acknowledges their superior results on a regular basis, there's no way they'll be valued as much.

          • by Quirkz ( 1206400 )

            ... the quiet, stable dude who actually gets stuff done day-to-day without seeking the limelight. ... Do we really want to read a book or see a movie about a guy who labored steadily in his office for 40 years and contributed to the company through all his quiet deeds?

            This sounds like a challenge. Then I started thinking about it, and the best I could come up with is a scenario with a duo, with one active but ineffective front-man and a quiet but competent support. That's not totally unfamiliar, I realized. Maybe Don Quixote and Sancho Panza? Of course, who's still the title character? And even there, I think that's more true in the book, while the play version glorifies Quixote's dream, while the book mocks him more. There's also maybe Inspector Gadget, if you count a sentient dog and a crime-solving pre-teen girl as "boring, normal" people.

            Actually, for a long time I've wanted to write the story of a bunch minions working for a super-villain. The lab rat who is in denial she's doing anything but normal cultures, the welder who keeps his head down and is building the volcano fortress anyway because the hazard pay and benefits make it worthwhile, the professional procurement agent who, frankly, had more difficult and morally questionable assignments working for the dot-com before it went bust ... I figured you could put in glimpses of the titanic struggle in the backdrop while showing how much success or failure came down to the efforts of the little guy. (Confession: I'm at least partially inspired by the Scorpio episode of the Simpsons.) Back in the day I wanted to title it Minions, but I think that title's taken now.

    • A person can be smart; people (in the most inclusive sense of the word) can be very, very dumb.
      $PEOPLE can be fairly easily hacked; appeal in the right way to their emotions or instincts, and you effectively bypass their higher reasoning capabilities and have them act entirely on hardwired instincts alone. For instance, people in a sufficient level of distress (whether caused by real circumstances, or perceived circumstances), presented with a 'savior', will put themselves entirely in that persons' hands.
    • Re:Simple math... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by wizkid ( 13692 ) on Monday April 10, 2017 @01:15PM (#54208005) Homepage

      There's some truth to this. But on this last election cycle, Bernie is probably pretty close to a the humble side, not the wacko side of the scale. If the dem's handn't shot him down and let him win. I don't think we'd have trump in the big house.

      There are a very large number of people out there that don't want a bunch of gangsters like the clintons in office.

      • Yep. The real problem is that at the end of the day we're only presented with gangsters and conmen to vote for.

        Of the 300+ million people in the USA, how did the vote come down to those two?

        (Simple: It's the people in suits who decide who we get to vote for)

        • by chihowa ( 366380 )

          Absolutely. Looking at all of the candidates offered over the last (how many?) electron cycles, I think that we'd legitimately get better results by randomly selecting a pool of candidates from the general population.

      • by gtall ( 79522 )

        Nah, Trump would still have won because he could tell bigger lies. Bernie was lying too about how he'd pay for all the baubles and trinkets he was offering. So was Trump, but Trump had a bigger bag of lies that would work with a bigger group of people. Personally, I think Bernie would have lost the popular vote.

    • To put it another way, we evolved from chimp-like apes and are still merely apes. Just because we can talk and use symbols to communicate doesn't make us non-ape-like. We still collectively follow the shiny red ball at the expense of logic (or a shiny orange ball of fur).

      I see at work almost half of what's done is waste due to lack of planning and office politics. The "leaders" are posturing buffoons who are mostly clueless about the subject matter and easily steered by bullshit-artists. None of the yes-men

      • Actually we are equally far away, genetically, from Chimps as from Bonobos. Which again are equally far away from each other, genetically as from us (more or less).
        Both have completely different social behaviour, especially regarding sex and cooperation. There is a new book, analyzing the various cultural differences in mankind especially regarding sex, marriage, family and homosexuality etc. The authors try to find explanations for the cultural differences in man kind and compare/connect them to either
        Bono

    • Re:Simple math... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Austerity Empowers ( 669817 ) on Monday April 10, 2017 @01:25PM (#54208087)

      Because we're idiots.

      No we're not, we're just ignorant. The charismatic narcissists tell a good story, they tell us they can fix it, they tell us they understand what's wrong, they relate well to us to the point we think they also see what we see and they can fix it. That's politics, but these same people succeed in business to for the same reason, except they merely need to swindle a considerably smaller group of people.

      The guy who tells the truth, that we have bad problems and they may not be entirely fixable, or that the middle class must necessarily bear the lions share of the tax burden, or that many of our perceived problems are more about not making the huge profits from WWII reparations that our parents benefitted from, and instead having huge debt from various police actions since then which we shouldered the costs for, that while there is a better way to live our country is largely ruled by a small group of wealthy self-interested pricks that we cannot effectively stop all at once, but must work collectively, both nationally and internationally to ensure they such people do not have a place on earth in the future.

      Do you want to vote for that guy? He's probably right, but his story is depressing and he's telling us uncomfortable things.

      • Re:Simple math... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by sims 2 ( 994794 ) on Monday April 10, 2017 @02:17PM (#54208559)

        I don't remember that guy being on the ballot.

      • by hey! ( 33014 )

        You have to condition your results based on the circumstances of your study. If you do a study where you put a bunch of strangers together in a situation where they have to pick a leaders, of course the results will be biased in certain ways -- toward extroverts, narcissists and sociopaths. People who, for better or worse provide information (or misinformation) about themselves to strangers.

        But think about how unnatural such a situation would have been through greater than 95% of the evolutionary history

    • by Sloppy ( 14984 )

      I don't think it's because we're stupid. I think it's just because we're not super-smart. (And good thing we're not, because then we'd be up against some amazing liars!)

      You are probably a bad-ass motherfucker at something, and possibly several things, the more Rennaissance-Man-like you are. But you can't be an expert at everything [goodreads.com] (you just can't). So you're going to fall back to less-impressive (but still .. sorta decent) heuristics, both when you try to do those things, and also when you try to figure out

    • Rationally, nobody wants to be a leader because it is too much extra work and because big decisions generally have the worse predictability of the outcome. The expected return on investment for being a leader generally sucks. Look at who volunteers to be president of small community organizations and scale that up. Since most rational people are lazy and only look for good ROIs, nobody rational wants to become a leader.

      Of course if you are delusional, you might want to become a leader. We might be better o

  • by colin_faber ( 1083673 ) on Monday April 10, 2017 @12:47PM (#54207725)
    As this is something that I've thought about for some time. I believe the big reason here is not that people are stupid, or uninformed, I think it's more a matter of where they fall for the fuzzy decisions in life, either on the more logical side of things or emotional. Generally humble, quiet, non abrasive types tend to not evoke the same kinds of emotional response that you would see with charismatic narcissists. A fantastic example of this was the 2012 presidential election, emotions ruled.
    • by Joce640k ( 829181 ) on Monday April 10, 2017 @01:23PM (#54208071) Homepage

      People are very bad at risk assessment.

      Trump sold the voters on the danger of ISIS and Islam when in reality only a tiny fraction of a percent of the population has ever been killed by them.

      He then proceeded to dismantle the healthcare system with the blessing of his voters despite the fact that millions of people are killed by curable illness every single year.

      Go figure.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        He then proceeded to dismantle the healthcare system with the blessing of his voters despite the fact that millions of people are killed by curable illness every single year.

        This comment proves that people can be quite ignorant. I am sure that Joce640k is a very intelligent person, but this statement is just plain dumb. Last I checked, Obamacare is still the law. In fact Trump and the Republican leadership can't seem to even convince their own party on how to replace this it, even though that a main reason many of them won their election.

        Logic would then tell you that the millions of people killed by curable illness are actually the fault of Obamacare at this point in Trump'

      • People are very bad at risk assessment.

        Trump sold the voters on the danger of ISIS and Islam when in reality only a tiny fraction of a percent of the population has ever been killed by them.

        He then proceeded to dismantle the healthcare system with the blessing of his voters despite the fact that millions of people are killed by curable illness every single year.

        Go figure.

        People do stupid things (like vote Republican) when angry and/or afraid.

        We elected a charismatic narcissist bullshit artist and now they're surprised when they find out that he lied to them? Go figure indeed.

      • by CrimsonAvenger ( 580665 ) on Monday April 10, 2017 @04:26PM (#54209687)

        He then proceeded to dismantle the healthcare system with the blessing of his voters despite the fact that millions of people are killed by curable illness every single year.

        The CDC doesn't agree with you, it seems. Our annual deaths from curable illnesses is more like 200K than "millions".

        Pkus there's the whole "dismantle the healthcare system" thing. No, he didn't. he didn't even dismantle the ACA part of the healthcare system. He asked Congress to do so, they didn't....

    • by Xyrus ( 755017 )

      Unlike 2016, where clearly logic was the primary driver? Riiiiiiiight.

      People, in general, are ignorant. But Duning-Kruger and various other "I R DA SMART" complexes prevent people from accepting that they're ignorant. A large part of that is due to the fact that ignorance is equated with stupidity and weakness in our society. No one likes to be considered stupid and weak, and it is far easier to stick with your uninformed beliefs than to actively challenge them. Add this to the large inertial mass of apathy

    • As this is something that I've thought about for some time. I believe the big reason here is not that people are stupid, or uninformed, I think it's more a matter of where they fall for the fuzzy decisions in life, either on the more logical side of things or emotional. Generally humble, quiet, non abrasive types tend to not evoke the same kinds of emotional response that you would see with charismatic narcissists. A fantastic example of this was the 2012 presidential election, emotions ruled.

      I think it comes down to abstraction, a great way to make something sound like a great idea is to gloss over the complications. Giving a realistic assessment is a great way to sound muddled and uncertain.

      This election was a good example, Trump described everything as "great" or "terrible" and never went much further, other than to assure people he understood all the complications. If you think healthcare has problems it can be very reassuring to hear someone say they have a great plan that will fix everythi

  • In a business where someone can be simply appointed this isn't an issue. But in a democratic process these people have to be marketable, and boatloads of confidence in ones job/abilities seems to be the best way to accomplish that.
  • please list for me the humble leaders of the biggest corporations in the world

    • please list for me the humble leaders of the biggest corporations in the world

      Not "the biggest", but I saw a segment on 60 Minutes last night about Hamdi Ulukaya [wikipedia.org] Founder & CEO of Chobani [wikipedia.org] and he seems to fit.

      • but that's the point, a company like Chobani with $750M yearly revenue is small fry next to the big corporations of the world. Humble leaders are found in some of the small fry companies...so what?

        • by kqs ( 1038910 )

          Brin and Page of Alphabet (Google) don't seem particularly narcissistic. You don't consider Google a big corporation?

    • Rex Tillerson, former CEO of Exxon/Mobil, the 7th largest corporation in the world. Now Secretary of State of the United States.

      He started as a production engineer and worked his way up.

      Don't confuse the leaders of companies with founders. I think you'll find more narcissists among the founders of companies than of the non-founding leaders.

    • Or, somewhat harder, point to a humble person who'd make a good leader.

    • by sjames ( 1099 )

      Sam Walton rode the bus to work and packed a bag lunch when he was running WalMart. It didn't turn into a hellhole until he died.

  • I believe it has a lot to do with most people being very results oriented. They are wired to believe successful results are due to good decisions and poor results are due to poor decisions. While this is usually or at least often correct, it is quite commonly a false correlation.

    If you look at a large high risk high reward people, obviously some of them will be successful. And they are very likely to be more successful than those who took less risks. Unfortunately no one pays attention to the large number o

  • If you put the charismatic people in positions of leadership, it's often the place they can do the least harm. If you put them into some kind of productive role they will just screw things up.

    That is also why you never want to give leaders much ACTUAL power to affect people. This is where many governments have screwed up royally. The charismatic leaders are able to do things that affect a lot of people now, causing massive widespread suffering.

    The preventive measure is to make sure power is well distrib

    • It's not like charismatic people need to be put *somewhere* in any given company. There are plenty of unemployed people. If they were actually so bad for these companies to warrant putting them in the positions of least harm potential, we may as well make all the humble unemployed people CEO's, and fire all the narcissistic CEO's to reduce harm even further.

  • Be an asshole instead. When I was lead video game tester at Accolade/Infogrames/Atari (same company, different owners, multiple personality disorder), I was humble to the testers on my team and an asshole to management. The testers, especially the older testers, loved me. Management not so much because I was willing to fight for my project and my testers.
  • Speak for yourself (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    "We" didn't fall for the narcissist. "We" didn't fall for the fake news. "We" weren't all oblivious to the Russia connections. Some of us recognize Hannity, Limbaugh and the like as the entertainers they are, appealing to people's basest instincts, responding to daily requests of the GOP, and accepting advertising dollars from companies linked to Russia.

  • I could argue this scientifically and rationally from behind a burned-out and slightly irradiated russian T90 battle tank with my parents, only to have them insist Sean Hannity was right and that my liberal agenda better not come up during the militias rationing of radiation blocking iodine tablets and canned beef.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 10, 2017 @01:20PM (#54208053)

      You feel like that because you have been completely manipulated by charismatic sociopaths to believe that anyone who disagrees with them (and by extension, you) is literally worse than Adolf Hitler.

      Subtle lesson you will never learn: humility isn't about how loud you speak in front of a cheering crowd, it's about whether you value other people and their opinions. You clearly despise your parents, believing that what you read on Daily Kos makes you more aware of reality than their 20-30 years of additional first-hand experience, which shows you have no humility.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Who knew. All I see is an orange baboon slinging his own figurative feces at onlookers.

  • We seem to fall just as much for confident narcissists as charismatic ones.
  • by mydn ( 195771 )
    NEWSFLASH: People are fucking stupid.
  • by Archtech ( 159117 ) on Monday April 10, 2017 @01:13PM (#54207989)

    Many analyses fall short because they assume that we think these things through logically. On the contrary, this is an area in which hardwired instincts in the lower, more primitive parts of our brains take over almost completely. And one of the most fascinating things about human beings is how very clever people can be completely sure they are doing something for logical reasons, when in fact they are being driven by blind instinct. (Dr Freud was onto that fact with regard, mostly, to sex; and Dr Adler with regard to power).

    Homo sapiens evolved over at least two million years as a hunter-gatherer, living in groups ranging probably from family-sized to a maximum of perhaps 200 - possibly depending on the density of food sources. Such small groups would be critically dependent on effective and experienced command. Just like other land animals that live in herds, packs or prides, human beings instinctively recognize the vital necessity of social structure in the form of a well-defined pecking order and a universally accepted leader (alpha male or female). It's far better to have a relatively poor but generally accepted leader than no leader, when the group may break up or even start fighting each other. In that case they probably all die, and all their genes are lost.

    So one of history's observations - that people are often very willing to greet and cheer a "man on a white horse" - shouldn't be so surprising at all. And the converse of accepting and supporting the leader is usually hating and fearing outsiders. Unfortunately, this is one of many respects in which our ancient instincts, which served us well as hunter-gatherers, are now extremely counter-survival. (Although it's not at all clear that there is any good solution to the problem of governing human societies larger than a few thousand).

    Here is a good essay on a related topic: http://fredoneverything.org/th... [fredoneverything.org]

    • There's also this excellent, if somewhat tongue-in-cheek, explanation by the great H.L. Mencken. Not bad prediction 96 years ahead!

      "The larger the mob, the harder the test. In small areas, before small electorates, a first-rate man occasionally fights his way through, carrying even the mob with him by force of his personality. But when the field is nationwide, and the fight must be waged chiefly at second and third hand, and the force of personality cannot so readily make itself felt, then all the odds are

      • That fact has been observed for centuries now in the English-speaking world as centralized authority gained more and more power. By the same token, when you talk about the President, Congress and the supreme Court, you're also talking about the top layer of governance. Even the Cabinet is a sort of senior management. Governments themselves are actually astonishingly difficult to reform, and politicians who come in with fevered barnstorming declarations of how they're going to "drain the swamp" or whatever g

  • what and how do you define humble in such a way it can be measured and then studied?
    Humble is sometimes defined as the opposite of pride, but not all self value is pride so , again, define humble?
    So far as I know humble is defined as such:
    https://www.google.com/webhp?s... [google.com]

    Humility is a christian value , but honestly I don't see it as something logically consistent with any kind of Atheistic Darwinian thought process.
    How does the humble man fair when 'survival' of the fittest is the only real rule?

  • Simple (Score:5, Interesting)

    by wickerprints ( 1094741 ) on Monday April 10, 2017 @01:18PM (#54208035)

    The appearance of competence is not the same as actual competence.

    Actual competence is difficult to assess when the outcome measures are subjective.

    Incompetent yet successful people are more likely to be proficient at masking their incompetence through lying and psychopathic manipulation.

  • They tell us what we want to hear, not what is right. Public speaking, leadership, campaigning are skills like any other fortunately.

  • by XxtraLarGe ( 551297 ) on Monday April 10, 2017 @01:32PM (#54208153) Journal

    The humity, exuded by these leaders, can be contagious.

    That's exactly the problem! Nobody wants to catch humity; it will lead to poor editing skills that will spread to the entire organization!

  • Occam's razor tells us Humans are assholes.
  • Why do we fall for charismatic narcissistic candidates?

    I blame the illegal immigrants for that.

  • People are stupid.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

  • I've mentioned this before and have received some snarky comments but having a number of socipathic individuals in a community is an evolutionary advantage. Without them there is nobody to stir the pot, breed discontent, find what is over the next mountain or large body of water etc etc.
    • I don't see any correlation between sociopathy and exploratory urges or public debate. Sociopaths don't tend to worry about long-term consequences at all, which is how they usually get found out. Sure, they come in with their magnetic personality and certainly convince people that they have the qualities of a good leader, but their fundamentally anti-social nature and general disregard for other people, not to mention their poor impulse control, usually out them soon enough. They can, of course, cause a gre

      • Christopher Columbus, Brigham Young, Ghengis Khan... Napolean? What great migration of people wasn't preceded by a sociopath?
        • I don't see any evidence of these people being sociopaths. Being narcissistic isn't in and of itself a definition of a sociopath.

  • - education level, dumbness, idiocy is the cause, look at the audience's brightness there:

    Idiot on the microphone (look at his very complex sentence structure) and more brightness radiating cheering audience.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

  • The answer is because humble people don't over-commit and don't promise that which they can't deliver. Charismatic Narcissists have a much greater chance of doing just that. It almost doesn't matter if they believe they can deliver or know that they can't, the end-effect is still the same.

  • by McLae ( 606725 ) on Monday April 10, 2017 @02:50PM (#54208931) Homepage
    Follow me, God has shown the way!
  • The best campaigners are not the best leaders. It is a completely different skill set. Trump is the Boaty McBoatface of U.S. Presidential elections.

    • by hduff ( 570443 )

      The political pre-election process is gamed in favor of popularity over substance. It's then no surprise about the leaders we get.

  • "The best rulers are those the people barely know, after that those they love after that those they despise and fear."
    - Konfuzius (paraphrased)

    In an ideal society the leaders are barely known. But we don't have that yet - that would be Star Trek or something. ... So in broken or non-optimal societies people lean towards the popular.

    As far as humble leaders go, I think Uruguay, Buthan and Germany are good examples.

  • Advertising

  • Given that the average person is not too bright and half of the population is dumber than that, it's no wonder that pretty, shiny, charismatic appeals to people.

  • The humity, exuded by these leaders, can be contagious.

    One, neither comma should be there. Two, humity isn't a word.

  • Humility (Score:4, Insightful)

    by nehumanuscrede ( 624750 ) on Monday April 10, 2017 @03:59PM (#54209481)

    It's not that we fall for the narcissistic types, rather the humble among us typically do not seek positions of power.
    ( They wouldn't be very humble if they did now would they ? )

    Our elections are akin to being asked to hammer in a nail, but only given a choice between a screwdriver, a corkscrew or a hacksaw to get it done :|
    They're certainly all tools, but none one of them are really suitable for the task at hand. ( Don't you dare ask for the proper tool. )

    Then, when we're forced to finally make a choice, it's always the same bullshit from both sides of the fence for years.
    " You chose to go with X ! See how poorly it's doing ? It was obviously a poor choice. You should have chosen Y or Z ! "

    The best tools for the job are out there, we're simply not given the option to select one based on how our system is setup.

  • People don't choose charismatic or narcissictic leaders because of those traits, they choose leaders who are confident, act decisively, and have ideologies that lead to predictable behavior that they themselves agree with. "Humity" (sic) is OK, but if they lack confidence etc, it's not enough to make a good leader.

Only through hard work and perseverance can one truly suffer.

Working...