There are too many incompetent men in leadership positions — in large part because businesses tend to promote people on the basis of charisma, confidence, and even narcissism. Instead, companies should be putting people in charge who demonstrate competence, humility, and integrity. If you’re responsible for assessing leadership candidates, you should work on your ability to distinguish between confidence and competence. Remember that overconfidence is a natural result of privilege, which is often linked to gender. Fortunately, you can use scientifically valid assessments to measure the traits you want (or don’t want) in your leaders. You can ask company leaders, including emerging leaders, to take self-assessments, and then measure their responses against their leadership style, performance, and effectiveness. The resulting data will help identify patterns that characterize good and bad leaders at your company. Of course, this practice will take time and effort, and many organizations won’t want to invest those resources. But vetting candidates for leadership roles will pay dividends down the line.
“How to Spot an Incompetent Leader,” by Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic