Do you have the genes for leadership?
Born to Lead? Leadership Can Be an Inherited Trait, Study Finds
Genetic differences are significantly associated with the likelihood that people take on managerial responsibilities, according to new research from UCL (University College London).
“We have identified a genotype, called rs4950, which appears to be associated with the passing of leadership ability down through generations,” said lead author Dr Jan-Emmanuel De Neve (UCL School of Public Policy). “The conventional wisdom — that leadership is a skill — remains largely true, but we show it is also, in part, a genetic trait.”
They compared genetic samples of approximately 4,000 individuals with information about jobs and relationships, finding that in both surveys there was a significant association between rs4950 and leadership. Leadership behaviour was measured by determining whether or not individuals occupy supervisory roles in the workplace.
Jan-Emmanuel De Neve, Slava Mikhaylov, Christopher T. Dawes, Nicholas A. Christakis, James H. Fowler. Born to lead? A twin design and genetic association study of leadership role occupancy. The Leadership Quarterly, 2013; 24 (1): 45 DOI: 10.1016/j.leaqua.2012.08.001