Certainly, emotional intelligence and wisdom are prerequisites to be seen as a leader. But an academic study shows that muscular men tend to have an advantage in terms of leadership potential.
That’s right physical strength helps for men to be viewed with having leadership potential. But that’s not true for women.
The study, “The role of physical formidability in human social status allocation,” was conducted by Cameron Anderson, professor of management at UC Berkeley and Assistant Professor Aaron Lukaszewski at Oklahoma State University.
But the report shows that aggressive behavior in the intimidation of others doesn’t work to enhance the image of men.
“Strong men who were perceived as being likely to behave aggressively toward other group members were actually granted less status than their apparently gentler counterparts,” says Prof. Lukaszerwski.
“Together, the results suggest that the conferral of status upon formidable men, perhaps counter-intuitively, serves a fundamentally pro-social function – to enhance the effectiveness of cooperation with the group,” he adds.
The strength of men was measured using an hydraulic Dynamometer. It measures the chest and arm strength in kilograms or pounds.
Once the men were graded on strength, pictures of them were shown to respondents who gave their reactions.
There was an experiment involving men and women respondents. They were asked if they admired the men in the pictures and anticipated whether the men would be successful as consultants.
There were two key questions:
- Do you think this person would be a good leader?
- How effective is this person dealing with others in a group?
“The physically strong men in the pictures were given higher status because they are perceived as leaders,” says Professor Anderson.
“Our findings are consistent with a lot of real examples of strong men in positions of power,” he explains.
In another experiment, the researchers used Photoshop to swap the bodies and heads in images. Again, respondents gave higher marks for leadership qualities to men who had superimposed muscular bodies.
Tall men were also perceived to be leaders.
However, the professors indicate smaller men don’t necessarily have to outwork their peers for better perceptions.
“Perceived strength does give people an advent but it’s not make or break,” Prof. Anderson admits.
“If you’re behaving in ways that you are a leader or are not a leader, strength doesn’t matter,” he concludes.
In any event, my sense is that you’ll always be better off emotionally and physically if you’re fit.
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“When you can’t make them see the light, make them feel the heat.”
Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.
Photo courtesy Serge Bertasius at www.freedigitalphotos.net