Author: Robert Hogan

Parkinson’s Law in the Age of the Pandemic

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C. Northcote Parkinson (1909—1993) was a British naval historian, lecturer, and novelist; he formulated his famous law in an essay in The Economist in 1955. Parkinson’s law was intended to describe the behavior of managers in the British Navy and British government, but it is also a pretty good description of work in most organizations…. Read more »

Leadership Matters

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The quality of people’s lives depends on their careers. The quality of people’s careers depends on the organizations in which their careers are embedded. The success of these organizations depends on their leadership. The effectiveness of the leadership depends on the characteristics of the people in leadership roles. Ultimately then, personality drives leadership, leadership drives… Read more »

Managerial Competencies and Organizational Levels

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I was talking recently with a very smart psychologist about IBM; I noted that IBM’s stock has gone down steadily for the past six years, and he said: “IBM is well managed but poorly led.” This perceptive observation assumes that managers’ jobs change as they move from supervisor to manager to executive. I have always… Read more »

How to Destroy a Commercial Icon

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Leadership is one of the most important topics in human affairs. When good leaders are in place, institutions and their incumbents thrive; when bad leaders are in place, institutions fail and the incumbents suffer accordingly. The core task of leadership is to build high performing teams; leader behaviors that disrupt this process inevitably lead to… Read more »

The Value of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

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The Personality Brokers, Merve Emre’s interesting new book, is a kind of feminist treatise focusing on the lives and work of the two amazing women, Katharine Briggs and her daughter Isabel Myers, who developed and promoted the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). The MBTI is the best known and most widely used personality “instrument” in the… Read more »

Forget Charisma, Look for Humility in a Leader

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*This article was originally published in Talent Economy. The existing paradigm in the business world holds that successful CEOs are ambitious, result-oriented, individualistic, and, above all, charismatic. The rise of agency theory, or the notion that incentivizing managers should improve shareholder returns, put greater emphasis on the need to hire leaders that appear leader-like. Unfortunately, conventional… Read more »

The Psychology of Economic Development

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I find it annoying that Economics is regarded as a more advanced discipline than Psychology. For example, there is a Nobel Prize in Economics but not in Psychology; this is odd because the field of “behavioral economics” is nothing more than applied cognitive psychology. Several years ago, I started reading The Economist magazine in order… Read more »

Bob Hogan on Workplace Culture

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Culture can best be defined in terms of the values that guide the behavior and decision making of a social unit—a team, a family, a business, etc. Culture is not vague and touchy-feely; cultures can be easily and reliably assessed using any number of commercially available survey instruments. Cultures have real, concrete behavioral consequences, and… Read more »

Six Lessons on Leadership from Bob Hogan

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I am obsessed with the topic of leadership. Organizations need leaders to make key decisions, anticipate and manage changing market trends, and set strategic vision. When competent leadership prevails, people and companies prosper. Bad leadership almost always creates disengaged workers, corporate chicanery, and, eventually, business failure. The problem with most leadership competency models is they… Read more »

Our Assessments Are Biased

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The personality assessment industry gets a lot of criticism, and rightfully so. The vast majority of assessment providers care little about validity. At Hogan, we’ve spent 30 years building a reputation based on providing valid assessments that are proven to predict workplace performance. One frequent question we get from skeptics is “are your assessments biased?”… Read more »