Can you judge leadership potential by looking at someone’s earlobes?


…our research shows that people with subtle asymmetries—for example, imbalances in ear or finger length—are often better “transformational” leaders, able to inspire followers to put self-interest aside for the good of the group. Furthermore, teams they lead outperform teams whose leaders have more-symmetrical bodies.


Teams with asymmetrical leaders scored nearly 20% higher than others.

Although the sorts of asymmetries we examined are barely perceptible, humans are unconsciously sensitive to them. We posit that people born with asymmetries tend to develop greater empathy, social intelligence, and motivational skills as a way of overcoming perceptions that they’re unattractive or unintelligent. And those skills can be more helpful than pure dominance in attaining certain leadership positions.

We’re not the first to suggest that biology contributes to leadership potential. For instance, a recent twins study led by Sankalp Chaturvedi, of Imperial College London, indicates that 49% of transformational leadership qualities are genetic…

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