Hiring in a Leader’s Image
In looking at Trait theories of leadership, it is said that there are certain innate traits that leaders possess, such as charisma, self-motivation, having high intelligence, being responsible and having confidence. According to Stogdill (1974) identified eight traits that leaders possess:
- sociability (as cited in Northouse, 2010, pg. 17)
When hiring, do those in leadership positions hire in their image, meaning do they hire people who they see in themselves? Is this advantageous, or can it be detrimental, not just to the organization but to a job seeker?
I think there are both pros and cons when a leader hires in their image. IF they are a good leader and have insights into their own behaviors and ways of leading, it can be very beneficial to having team members who are confident, responsible and intelligent; who wouldn’t want an individual who possesses these qualities?
While this seems good, if all team members were like their boss, there is a dark side: limited diversity is one – too alike gives nothing but the same; another can be one-up man-ship – egos will tend to get in the way as to who is more responsible, who is smarter, etc. One other is the leader could start to feel threatened and then wield their higher power to the detriment of their reports.
From a job seekers perspective, it could take many out of contention as the hirer, or recruiter, would discount applicants who don’t seem like an image ‘fit.’ Or, it could attract individuals who match. The bottom line is that there is no right or wrong in hiring in a leader’s image – it means that there needs to be a balance. It can make for a more robust, higher performing team.