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Mon May 9, 2016, 05:29 PM

HBR article Why We Pick Leaders with Deceptively Simple Answers

Freud’s theory was both a challenge to so-called “Great Man” theories of leadership and an explanation of their enduring appeal. Behind every Great Man, he argued, there is an anxious group craving clarity, deliverance, or revenge.

What makes groups select leaders, in short, is not judgment but rather a force entirely opposed to judgment: a wish. “It is impossible to grasp the nature of a group if the leader is disregarded,” he wrote, because it is through picking leaders that groups bring their nature to life.


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Reply HBR article Why We Pick Leaders with Deceptively Simple Answers (Original post)
Fresh_Start May 2016 OP
Bill USA May 2016 #1

Response to Fresh_Start (Original post)

Mon May 9, 2016, 05:53 PM

1. Excellent! Explains the complaint that Hillary isn't 'charismatic enough' - not a good campaigner

[font size="3"]
.. her answers are too long and too detailed. For shame, appealing to the rational faculties. What? No demagoguery???[/font]

[font size="3"]Groups, he observed, are eager to follow not those who present the most accurate picture of reality, but those who most clearly reflect group members’ cherished ideals. And the more distressing the group’s reality is, the more those ideals became divorced from it.[/font]


But since reality can only be defied for so long, the leaders who inspire the most enthusiasm by catering to powerful wishes also provoke the most disillusionment when those wishes do not materialize. And when that happens we hardly ever blame ourselves for being irrationally hopeful. We blame the leader for not being good enough — or for not being good any longer.


Like all theories, Freud’s does not apply universally. It suits groups under threat, where cohesion is neither assured by a shared enterprise nor ensured by trusted institutions. In other words, it suits the very circumstances many of us live in today.


Contemporary social psychologists have found new evidence for Freud’s insights. A growing amount of recent research shows that the more uncertainty we feel, especially about our identities, relationships, and future, the more vulnerable we are to the reassuring appeal of leaders peddling the simplest and most dangerous of narratives:

We are good and they are evil. (My, my how often have we seen this message on GD-Pr??_Bill USA}



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