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How to Stop Promoting Incompetent Men (Quick Study) - Harvard Business Review

Are there fewer women in management because we can’t discern between confidence and competence?

The popular explanations range from women just aren’t capable of being leaders to women just don’t want to be leaders. According to author Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic however, the absence of women in leadership roles has less to do with women themselves and more to do with how we interpret leadership traits. Confidence – a trait more associated with men – is often misinterpreted as competence. As a result, charismatic, but incompetent men have fewer barriers to reach the top than women. Individuals in positions to promote and hire managers should think more critically about what seems like a leadership trait versus what is an actual leadership trait. They will find that arrogance and overconfidence – the characteristics that get men into management positions – are also the characteristics that cause poor performance.


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