EvoS Journal: The Journal of the Evolutionary Studies Consortium
Volume 4, Issue 2, 2012
Leading with the heart (eyes, and pre-frontal cortex): An evolutionary argument for the primacy of the theory of authentic leadership
W. Jason Niedermeyer
Much of contemporary leadership research has been devoted to the crystallization of authentic leadership theory. This research has concluded that authentic leaders are able to understand the intentions and emotions of themselves and others, using both to produce narrative visions of moral and optimistic futures. What has failed to be described, however, are the biological and evolutionary underpinnings of each of the identified components of authentic leadership: understanding emotions intra and interpersonally, a personal story, positive psychology, and morality. This paper uses the fields of psychology, neurology, and primatology to explain why these pillars of authentic leadership make sense in an evolutionary context. Through the process of demonstrating that humans were built by multiple levels of selection to be led authentically, it becomes evident that the challenges that face the aspiring leader require him or her to recognize the same thing that the initial scholars in the field have: authentic leadership is nothing if not developmental.
How to cite this article:
Niedermeyer, W. J. (2012). Leading with the heart (eyes, and pre-frontal cortex): An evolutionary argument for the primacy of the theory of authentic leadership. EvoS Journal: The Journal of the Evolutionary Studies Consortium, 4(2), 55-65.