Those who spend more time speaking tend to emerge as the leaders of initially leaderless groups, according to new research. This effect, known as the “babble hypothesis” of leadership, appears to occur regardless of the intelligence or personality traits of group members.

I think leadership is often considered more of a "charisma" based role, rather than an intelligence based one, and that is fine. Leadership isn't all about solving problems on your own; it's about getting people to work together, resolving differences in opinion, and importantly, using your human resources to tackle problems too big or multifaceted for an individual.

There's certainly a degree of intelligence (including non-social intelligence) required to understand that you do not always have the best solution, but "the smartest person in the room", in terms of their understanding of a problem and ability to produce a solution, is not necessarily the best leader.

As an example, many programmers prefer not to be the leader of a project; they don't want to perform managerial tasks or decide the direction of the project, they just want to solve the problems they're presented with and write good code. A good leader in this case is then not the best programmer, but a person who can work with multiple programmers, find efficient ways to implement their skills, and take their advice in deciding the project direction. They don't have to be the best programmer in the group.

/r/science Thread Parent Link -