London: People with selfish and aggressive behaviour are seen as more attractive for leadership, and are most likely to be promoted at work, according to a new study.
The study found that those with more selfless, kind personalities were the most well-liked, but were simultaneously perceived as less attractive candidates for leadership and were overlooked for promotion, the Daily Mail reported.
It found that aggression implied strength, while altruistic tendencies were perceived as a sign of weakness.
The study, from the Kellogg School of Management, Stanford Graduate School of Business and Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business, also discovered that those with the kinder personalities were the most popular in the groups, but they were also considered weak or gullible.
Those with more dominant and aggressive behaviour were seen as ‘alpha’ personalities.
“Being selfish makes you seem more dominant and being dominant makes you seem more attractive as a leader, especially when there’s competition,” co-author Robert Livingston, of the Kellogg School, told Today.com.
“On a subconscious level this is the conclusion people are coming to: Kindness equals weakness,” he explained.
Dr Livingston believes that this tendency to associate aggression with leadership “is an explanation on why we get corruption.”