Scientists claim to have finally found the clues to what
makes a good business leader — the feeling of guilt.
Researchers at Stanford University found that people
who feel guilty tend to carry a strong sense of
responsibility to others, which in turn makes others see
them as leaders. Becky Schaumberg, who led the study,
said, “If people feel guilty toward their organizations,
they’ll behave in ways that make sure they live up to
the firm’s expectations.”
“These behaviours might not look like what we
usually think of as guilt,” Schaumberg was quoted as
saying by BusinessNewsDaily.
As part of the study, the researchers took
personality tests of groups of strangers, measuring
traits, including guilt proneness, shame proneness and
Then the researchers put each group in a lab and,
without designating a leader, had them perform two group
tasks, such as outlining a marketing campaign for a new
In all of the groups, those who were most likely to
be judged by others as the group’s leaders also scored
highest in guilt proneness on the personality test.