Are people born to lead?

HRM 24 Jan 2013

Ever wondered how some people seem to possess leadership qualities to charm people under their wing? Well, it may be a gift from their genetics, according to a report in Healthline.

The study, carried out by researchers based at University College London, discovered a gene which was significantly associated with those who occupied supervisory roles in the workplace. This gene has the potential to play a “role in predicting who is more likely to occupy leadership roles”, mentioned lead author Dr Jan-Emmanuel De Neve of the University College London’s School of Public Policy.

Despite this finding, “leadership should still be thought of predominantly as a skill to be developed”, reiterated De Neve in the report. Parents may pass down this gene to children, but it is ultimately their lifestyle and actions which influence their children. For parents who are CEOs or doctors, children observe their time schedules, their focus on work and whether they lead by example, stated the report.

“We think this research is useful for understanding how leadership emerges and how we might be able to adapt environmental factors to improve leadership ability,” the researchers noted.

The study, published in Leadership Quarterly, examined genetic samples and information about jobs and relationships from about 4,000 individuals.

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