Thursday, March 19, 2009

Incompetent Bosses

A new study proves what most of us have known all along. You don't have to be competent to become a supervisor.

Social psychologists know that one way to be viewed as a leader in any group is simply to act like one. Speak up, speak well and offer lots of ideas, and before long, people will begin doing what you say. This works well when leaders know what they're talking about, but what if they don't? If someone acts like a boss but thinks like a boob, is that still enough to stay on top?
"Dominant individuals behaved in ways that made them appear competent," the researchers write, "above and beyond their actual competence." Troublingly, group members seemed only too willing to follow these underqualified bosses. An overwhelming 94% of the time, the teams used the first answer anyone shouted out — often giving only perfunctory consideration to others that were offered.

This is how con men work, too. Most people, despite what they may say, are very trusting and take things at face value. If you walk like a duck and talk like a duck, people will point at you and say, "Duck!" even if you are in the middle of a desert.

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