Psychology Today: Why We Select Toxic Leaders

Humans evolved in social hierarchies, and, as a result, we have significant cognitive resources devoted to identifying and then empowering potential leaders. However, incompetent or even malevolent individuals can take advantage of the cues we use to identify potential leaders, and rise to power even when they may be poor leaders, or even worse.

Charisma is a part of the problem. While charisma eludes a precise definition, the management professor John Antonakis and colleagues have delineated nine teachable tactics, including nonverbal behaviors, such as use of an animated voice, gestures and facial expressions…

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