Spring 2013

You’re not Beautiful, but Transformational!

People with more symmetrical faces and bodies are perceived as more attractive, and tend to be healthier, intellectually capable and more dominant. These classical alpha characteristics often these allow them to progress, sometimes  inappropriately, to senior management positions.

What’s new is that Dr Carl Senior from Aston University and his team found and reported in the Harvard Business Review was that that people with subtle asymmetries – for example, imbalances in ear or finger length – are often better “transformational” leaders, able to inspire followers to put self-interest aside for the good of the group. The teams they lead outperform teams those led by people with more symmetrical bodies.

They suggest that the asymmetrical group has to develop more positive social skills to compensate for these perceived shortcomings.

The research is published in the Harvard Business Review and the authors are Dr Carle Senior and Professor Robert Martin from Aston University, Professional Michael West from the University of Lancester and Rowena Yeats from the University of Birmingham.