We are all leaders or followers – or both. We can recognise leadership in almost every area of life: in the workplace, among friends, within families, in politics and religion. But what makes a good or bad leader, why are some people followers, and what are the benefits of each?
Fusing psychology, business, history and current affairs, Selected examines how and why leadership has evolved over tens of thousands of years, and presents a bold and compelling new 'mismatch hypothesis': that the slowness of evolution means that there is a mismatch between modern ideas of leadership and the kind of leadership that our Stone Age brains are still wired for. This makes for all sorts of tendencies, problems and solutions that no author has yet discussed but that affect all aspects of our lives – it's why, for example, we prefer working in small companies.
Full of fascinating examples drawn from a diverse range of spheres, from politics and commerce to sport and culture, Van Vugt and Ahuja show our evolutionary history explains why taller political candidates usually win, why women chief executives attract such hostility and why we like it when the boss asks after our children. This is the first book of its kind to explore how the evolution of leadership affects us all – and, by doing so, to provide deep, practical insight for all of us into our personal and professional lives.