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LEADERSHIP IS A PROCESS OF SOCIAL INFLUENCE, WHICH MAXIMISES THE EFFORTS OF OTHERS TOWARDS THE ACHIEVEMENT OF A SHARED GOAL.
Friday, October 29, 2010
What makes some groups perform better than others?
A new study published in Science found that three factors were significantly correlated with a group’s collective intelligence — in other words, its ability to perform a variety of tasks collectively, from solving puzzles to negotiating.
The three factors are: the average social sensitivity of the members of the group, the extent to which the group’s conversations weren’t dominated by a few members, and the percentage of women in the group. (The women in the study tended to score higher on social sensitivity than the men.) In other words, groups perform better on tasks if the members have strong social skills, if there are some women in the group, and if the conversation reflects more group members’ ideas. The groups studied were small teams with two to five members.
Interestingly, the researchers from MIT found that collective intelligence wasn’t strongly correlated with the average intelligence of the individuals in the group — or with the intelligence of the smartest person in the group. They also found, as they wrote in Science, ”that many of the factors one might have expected to predict group performance — such as group cohesion, motivation, and satisfaction — did not.”
Earlier this month, a new play based on one of our heroes, former Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi, premiered on Broadway. Our first reaction to this news was utter surprise. It doesn’t seem like Vince’s life would lend itself easily to the Broadway stage.
But, as we began to think about it, we realised that his life really was the stuff of good theatre. His no-nonsense determination to win, his endless ability to inspire, and his penchant for delivering pitch-perfect motivational wisdom are all characteristics that have the potential to create great theatre.
It’s great to know that, even 40 years after his death, there’s no shortage of enthusiasm about this inspirational character.
Here’s a taste of vintage Lombardi:
"Coaches who can outline plays on a black board are a dime a dozen. The ones who win get inside their player and motivate."
"Confidence is contagious. So is lack of confidence."
"The dictionary is the only place that success comes before work. Hard work is the price we must pay for success. I think you can accomplish anything if you're willing to pay the price."
"Football is like life - it requires perseverance, self-denial, hard work, sacrifice, dedication and respect for authority."
"The real glory is being knocked to your knees and then coming back. That's real glory. That's the essence of it."