Dr. Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, former CEO of Hogan Assessments, discusses what hiring teams forget to uncover in C-suite evaluation, not seeking candidates with 100% authenticity and why hiring a moderate misfit is a good idea.
Learn more in this episode of the Knowledge Leaders Podcast, hosted by Todd Hand.
Listen to the Full Podcast Here
Podcast Transcript Excerpt
Todd Hand: In the last 30 years you have collected a tremendous amount of data on the traits of good leaders. What have you learned that perhaps contradicts what we hear from the media or popular opinion on what makes a good leader?
Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic: Yes, that’s a great question. And we probably have close to 6 million personality and leader profiles in our database. From the time we’ve been actually tracking and digitizing at the business. I think, you know, maybe two major lessons and interesting kind of data points.
The first is the fundamentals of good leadership don’t change as much as people tend to think. Whether you look at a country or another, whether you look at industry a, b, or c and even across the times, people are always going to lead better if they have better people skills, if they are more emotionally stable, if they have better judgment, if they are self-aware, if they have integrity and if they’re smart.
That probably contributes to 80% of it.
However, the remaining 20% is somewhat context-specific, and what we find there also is that a very important marker of leadership competence is the degree to which leaders are aware and able to control their de-railers. These are the dark side tendencies or dark side traits of the personality.
And often these really function sort of like overused strengths. Even things that are good in moderation can be bad when taken to an extreme. So our research shows very clearly that it’s better to be moderately ambitious than extremely ambitious because then you become greedy. It is better to have a bit of confidence than be overconfident and become reckless.
And equally, it is better to be…let’s say, somewhat empathetic and other aware and not so altruistic, so empathetic where you only focus on building and maintaining warm and trusting relationships at which can often make you unable to deliver negative feedback and focus on results.
So it really is the case that most qualities are good in moderation, and you need to look at both the good and the bad of an individual’s personality in order to select and work with leaders.