It's All About Me: The Role of the Self in Predicting Leadership Perceptions

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Virginia Tech


The present study examined the role of one's own self-perceptions of leadership in predicting both leadership prototypes and leadership perceptions of others. Additionally, this study explored gender differences in leadership prototypes and perceptions of leadership. Participants completed a measure of their own self-perceptions of their leadership traits (i.e., sensitivity, intelligence, dedication, and dynamism) and an instrument that assessed their leadership prototypes (i.e., sensitivity, intelligence, dedication, and dynamism). Next, participants were presented with a 22 minute tape of four actors (2 male, 2 female) portraying mutual fund mangers in a simulated work setting. Participants then rated one male (Bob) and one female (Sue) actor on the specific leadership characteristics (i.e., sensitivity, intelligence, dedication, and dynamism) they exhibited on the tape as well as an overall assessment of leadership emergence and effectiveness. The results demonstrated that leadership prototypes mediated the relationship between self-perceptions of leadership abilities and ratings of leadership characteristics for Bob and Sue. It was also found that the match between perceptions of Bob and Sue and an individual's leadership prototype predicted overall ratings of leadership emergence and leadership effectiveness. Finally, the results from the present study suggested that men and women perceive leadership similarly.



leadership prototype, leadership effectiveness, leadership emergence, self-perceptions