LEEDS, England, April 8 (UPI) — True leaders lead at the edges of a crowd, they are not in the middle of the action, British researchers suggest.
Jolyon Faria, who conducted the study as part of his doctoral dissertation, led a research team at the University of Leeds that found successful leaders display more decisive behavior, spending less time following others and acting more quickly than others in a group.
“It was interesting to find that the most effective leaders remained on the edges of the group and attempted to lead from the front,” Faria said in a statement. “You’d think leaders in the center of the group should interact more often with others and therefore be more effective but here this wasn’t the case.”
The study found leaders on the edge of the group were able to move their group toward a target much more quickly than those who chose to stay in the center, even if no one in the group knew who the leader was.
“We wanted to find out how people decided who to follow,” Faria said. “We found that people were able to identify their leader by what position the leader takes, which goes some way to explain how animals in groups — such as birds and fish — can be led by only a small minority.”
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