Implicit personality and leadership in stressful and dangerous situations: a first step
Smith, Daniel R.
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Leadership in stressful and dangerous situations is vitally important in terms of lives, property, and national strategic objectives. But our understanding of effective leadership in these and other contexts is limited. Part of the problem is that interactionist theoretical perspectives are not reflected in contemporary leadership thinking. In addition, the impact of individual differences on leadership is often misrepresented or hidden by linear correlations and regressions conducted on continuous scores. This study employed new, innovative, indirect conditional reasoning measures to assess the personalities of 627 leaders entering the militaryâ s most challenging and stressful combat leader development course (the US Army Ranger School). These innovative measures predicted compelling differences in leadership, attrition, and in the peer evaluations made during the training. Analyses conducted on the continuous personality scores demonstrate that these findings are misrepresented or hidden by linear correlations and regressions. As an alternative, I present a configural scoring scheme, couched in a poker analogy, to explain how these individual differences combine to predict the odds of success for each of the 18 personality types studied.
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