Can you tell how successful a firm is just by looking at the faces of its leaders?


First impressions can predict numerous subjective and objective outcomes. Here we show that judgments of the faces of the Managing Partners (MPs) of America’s top 100 law firms relate to their firms’ success. Participants’ ratings of Power (competence, dominance, and facial maturity) from the MPs’ faces significantly correlated with the profit margin, profitability index, and profits per equity partner (PPP) that the firms earned. Participants’ ratings of Warmth (likeability and trustworthiness) showed no relationship with these variables, however. These effects remained after controlling for important factors, such as facial attractiveness, MP years of experience, photo quality, and firm size, as measured by number of lawyers. Based on previous research and leadership theory, traits related to leadership may therefore become manifest in individuals’ faces, influencing the performance of the organizations that they lead.

Source: “Face and fortune: Inferences of personality from Managing Partners’ faces predict their law firms’ financial success” from The Leadership Quarterly

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