JUST A GOOD BRAIN IS NOT ENOUGH


President Reagan having a photo taken with Arn...
Image via Wikipedia

A Spanish magazine recently published an article about the sound shapes of Leire Pajin, the Minister of Health. While the author of it had the healthy looks in mind, other media soon started to criticize what they – in different words – thought to be disgraceful and less nice.

We like to think that we are so rational, that logical objectives and intellect is guiding us in what we do, and that we have chosen our leaders because they are so smart and intelligent. Why then bother about what a politician looks like in bikini when unprotected against “paparazzis”?
More importantly, why is it that there are such high percentages of tall and handsome people in leading positions, both in political bodies and in private enterprises? While short, corpulent or “not-so-handsome” people have a much smaller degree of presence at the top? Are tall and handsome people more intelligent?

A top IQ-score does not necessarily mean you would be good at communicating the stuff.  And I dear say it’s a strong understatement to say THAT is rather important if you are supposed to lead other people…. So what has beauty to do with communication? Well, thing is that today we EAT WITH OUR EYES. Yes, it is not so much what you say, but how – and with what packaging it comes. (Fortunately, top executives and politicians do not (yet) have to work in bikinis, or have worn it during the campaigns…Maybe just a question of time).

So, if the messenger is appealing to our eye, and our soul, then it is much more likely that we will accept his message. And, of course, in the time of fast changing visual media impressions, charisma is clearly a key to become successful as a leader – of any organization or movement. And at the extreme end you have the Hollywood actors Ronald Reagan and Arnold Schwarzenegger (formerly also a body-builder) – surrounded by more or less intelligent advisors (…)  becoming the President of the USA, maybe the most powerful nation on Earth, and Governor of California, the 7th largest economy by GDP in the World.

Beauty and design is something that has had a central space in civilized and not-so-civilized societies through all times, in architecture and in personal styles, even though standards and ideals have been changing. At one time, the ideal to look up to was the hearty, fat, round and sound body shape. Then it was the pale skin (to show that you had enough money, and were therefore not in need for working outdoor). Then came the slim and sun-tanned model. Then you got the groomed guy, them the one with torn clothes and his hair all messed up…

While Spain has much more URBAN populations and mostly uncomplicated climate and weather conditions, Norway has more RURAL communities, with more harsh climate and tougher weather conditions. In a city-environment, where you meet and relate to people all the time, with service companies, government offices, protocol and sales and promotional situations all the time, people automatically think about their exterior, maybe even to go out with the garbage at night, or to the corner food-shop. While, in a community setting with less of these elements, people probably behave in a more practical matter, paying less attention, maybe, to changing fashions and paraphernalia.

Nevertheless, to be successful, in both extremes, physical aspects and charisma will surely be decisive when choosing a representative for the “herd”, maybe even more than any proven signs of intelligence and mind-power.

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  1. #1 by Find People Places and Jobs on 13/07/2011 - 16:59

    “beautiful” people may have a cost advantage in their ability to attract and retain top advisors and staff as well. While their charism will help people buy their message – behind the scenes the wonks develop it. Pretty people have an advantage of being able to afford more, better wonks – so long as they remember not to insult or offend them.

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