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The Keys to Success?

Via Marginal Revolution comes news of another interesting study, by Nicholas Rule, a graduate student at Tufts University, and Nalini Ambady, a Tufts psychology professor, who found that company profits are tied to chief executives’ looks:

Companies tend to be more profitable if they have a chief executive with a face rated by observers as being more competent, dominant, and mature.

Similarly, companies with a chief executive judged to be a good leader, based purely on his facial appearance, also tend to be more profitable. These associations still hold even after controlling for the influence of age and attractiveness.

I wonder if this holds for university leaders, too. Thoughts?

Meanwhile, by way of Bob Sutton’s blog, Work Matters, comes word of this article by the Harvard Business School professor Boris Groysberg, whose research shows that male “superstars” tend to perform less well when they switch companies, while female superstars continue to excel, despite the change in setting.

The reasons for this, Groysberg suggests in the article, may be that …

Unlike men, high-performing women build their success on portable, external relationships—with clients and other outside contacts.

Women considering job changes weigh more factors than men do, especially cultural fit, values, and managerial style.

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