Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Why Do So Many Incompetent Men Become Leaders?: (And How to Fix It)” as Want to Read:
Why Do So Many Incompetent Men Become Leaders?: (And How to Fix It)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Why Do So Many Incompetent Men Become Leaders?: (And How to Fix It)

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  595 ratings  ·  86 reviews
Look around your office. Turn on the TV. Incompetent leadership is everywhere, and there's no denying that most of these leaders are men.

In this timely and provocative book, Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic asks two powerful questions: Why is it so easy for incompetent men to become leaders? And why is it so hard for competent people—especially competent women—to advance?

Marshaling
...more
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published March 12th 2019 by Harvard Business Review Press
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Why Do So Many Incompetent Men Become Leaders?, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Why Do So Many Incompetent Men Become Leaders?

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.86  · 
Rating details
 ·  595 ratings  ·  86 reviews


Sort order
Start your review of Why Do So Many Incompetent Men Become Leaders?: (And How to Fix It)
Toyin A
Apr 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic has asked a pertinent question and provided insight on how to fix the issue of incompetent people becoming leaders.

Although it focuses on why incompetent men become leaders, he identifies behaviours, traits and characteristics incompetent leaders have that many organisations can spot.

These behaviours are seemingly masculine and Tomas investigates why.

He also discusses how to pioneer competent leadership and encourage more females to step up - not by encouraging them to be
...more
Eilonwy
Jan 16, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
The title of this book grabbed my attention because I work with a pretty incompetent leader: a “manager” my co-workers and I often do our best to work around, rather than with, because he is at best useless and often actively harmful. In addition, he takes pride in being above knowing how to do anything on the office computer system; that’s for underlings. So if a problem comes up, he “solves” it by essentially running around the office shrieking with his hands in the air until someone else who ...more
L A
Dec 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Thanks to Harvard Business Review Press and Netgalley for the advance review copy.

Once I read the title of this book, I knew I had to read it. Yes, it’s a little clickbait-y but it’s certain to grab attention and get people talking. In my current role my team and I work to develop leadership skills in our organisation, and we’re often left scratching our heads as to what these should be, how we can develop them and what the barriers to leadership are, particularly for women.

This book is quite
...more
Val
Nov 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
All the male leaders who really should read this book probably won’t. But I now have more sophisticated ways of silently judging them.
Sam
Apr 01, 2019 rated it liked it
I enjoyed the first part of this book that outlined how many male leaders exhibit problematic qualities that detract from their leadership abilities. I’ve experienced this all too many times so it really resonated. However, I felt the second part of the book lacked any viable solution and all the suggestions seemed pretty off- the author even seems to suggest that more data mined from our online platforms could solve the problem. He even suggests that if one listens to aggressive music on Spotif ...more
Diana Dávalos
Apr 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Even tough the title may be controversial, this book really talks about the real personality traits a good / competent leader should have independently of gender, ethnicity, etc.
Jill
Jul 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-read
Why Do So Many Incompetent Men Become Leaders? I was apprehensive going into this book, thinking the title was just to get people to pick it up, plus it was written by a man which made me even more skeptical. But I was pleasantly surprised; Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic did a great job of explaining leadership, what makes a good leader, how people become leaders, etc. This book has a lot of research behind it and lots of studies to defend the positions given.

I liked that it started with a discussion
...more
Nina
Nov 21, 2019 rated it liked it
An easy read as far as management litteraturen goes, and some good points to be taken. The best is by far the title, love leaving the book laying around on my desk at work.
Sophia
Dec 30, 2020 rated it did not like it
I feel kinda bad rating so poorly a book promoting women as leaders, but the content was generally poor, and occasionally the author promoted outright detrimental ideas, so one star it is. The target audience for this book is HR and people responsible for hiring; it's certainly of no use to a woman trying to gain a leadership position. The main message of the book is that there's no good system in place for identifying leaders, and instead the proxies that are currently popular are based on unre ...more
Ayca
Mar 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Interesting and easy to read. Explains the title of the book well. Has so many examples of experiments. However; doesn’t recommend easy and effective solutions. The recommended solutions are good and hopefully we’ll get there button now sounds like utopia and the book doesn’t have the necessary realistic explanation of how to get there.
James La Vela
Aug 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Read this book.
Zachery Tyson
Disappointing. It starts off well but unfortunately turns into one of those vapid leadership books about halfway through. I feel like this was one of those books that gestated from a well-received HBR article or TED talk and was padded with enough generic content to make it justifiable for publication.
Deir Zahrani
Nov 22, 2019 rated it liked it
It was good halfway, but toward the end, I lose interest and just skimmed through it. The title was a clickbait guy, the content wasn't shaming any gender at all. The author was shaming anyone in any gender who were so full of themselves and get recognized by it. ...more
Edwin Dalorzo
May 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thought-provoking and powerful message

This book pretends to make us realize how flawed are our current protocols, standards, and natural instincts used to choose leaders every day, and what are the consequences of our negligent selections. The author argues in favor of putting more scientific thinking in our selection process to avoid choosing the worst type of leaders, and present interesting arguments in favor of choosing more women leaders, who are less prone than men to certain common leader
...more
Teo
Feb 23, 2020 rated it liked it
Interesting study on improving leadership in general, rather than simply improving gender equality and breaking the famous glass ceiling in high-level leadership positions. Quite balanced point of view, supported by good documentation.
Bottom line, the idea is that leadership is bad because selection is bad - that we should reevaluate our idea of leadership, especially the toxic stereotypes related to it, be more aware of the need for quality leaders, take into account the importance of emotional
...more
André Amorim
Feb 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: leadership-books
A very interesting and enlightening book about leadership. About stereotypes and mostly about why men have more commanding roles in business, management and decision making roles. Women are trapped in years and years of bad decisions, perception and wrong doing. I do agree with most of Tomas statements and I am a firm believe that gender equality should be a reality in leadership roles and I am the first to admit that women do carry a more hands on and reality approach to decision making. I do h ...more
Mayra Morales
Aug 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a very good book about leadership and the bias of perception between men and women in leadership roles. As the author mentions through the chapters, incredibly, women have the same bias as men have about the women performance, tough but true, and revealing.
Deepak
Mar 24, 2019 rated it liked it
While the title seems a little misleading, the crux of the book is that the way leaders are selected / evaluated is incorrect ( maybe it was ok a few decades back ) but now it has to change with the times...EQ is the most important factor and basis the factors important for leadership selection / evaluation, Women are naturally better suited than men...the good point about the book was the fact that the author is able to table the points from both sides and intact even argues against the current ...more
Elizabeth
Mar 25, 2019 rated it liked it
It’s unfortunate but not surprising that Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic’s ‘Why Do So Many Incompetent Men Become Leaders?’ rings true for me. We need to look no further than the White House and the Supreme Court for examples of incompetent and/or unqualified men reaching the highest levels of leadership. The book does a good job of exposing some of the dynamics at play in the workplace today (but I do wish Chamorro-Premuzic would provide more ideas around ways to weed-out incompetent men before they ac ...more
Greg
Feb 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My main take away fro this book is the idea that organizations should look for the best characteristics of leadership rather than just increasing the number of women in leadership positions. By doing this we can avoid incompetent leaders from both gender not just from men.

This book is easy to read and full of insights in leadership. The title of the book is catchy while the content live up to it. Personally, I find the witty approach of the author amusing.
Julia
Feb 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

On first glance, this book may appear to be anti-male or disparaging. That is not at all the case. This book instead, is enlightening about what is required for leadership and why we have so often put those who are unqualified there - particularly men.

The study, stats as well as practical advice for better leadership hiring and practices make this a great read. I recommend to anyone who is involved in the leadership world.
Vero Antillano
May 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Not to be fooled by the title, it is not entirely a feminist or gender-biased book, it simply questions the methods organizations have set today for finding, engaging, and promoting talent in the workplace and how it is not always aligned with an organization's best interest, how it can be fooled by astute incompetent individuals. ...more
Genevieve
Sep 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Interesting concepts; I liked that it highlighted the flawed ways in which we identify and choose leaders. However, it did feel a bit repetitive and simplistic at times, and could not really offer a lot of concrete solutions.
Kajoli Tankha
Aug 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Title is provocative. Book is an excellent analysis of how confidence gets confused with competence and the qualities that really should be associated with leadership
Yousef
I highly recommend this book to all men and women in the workforce, especially those who work in corporate jobs.
DW
Apr 24, 2021 added it
Key quote:

"[An] incorrect assumption--[that suggests a group lacking representation in leadership must somehow lack leadership potential]--is based on the illusions that current systems are meritocratic."

The author points out how many high functioning, Fortune 500 leaders he personally coached did rely upon nothing more than 'gut feeling' to evaluate senior leadership candidates. And gut feeling gives all the room you need for your biases to crawl in and stay there. And most of the biases are t
...more
Ryan Kapsar
Feb 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book does a fantastic job outlining all the ways men fail as leaders. Let me back up. This book isn’t a man hating book. Its goal is to ensure better leadership at any company. The way to do this, isn’t to just promote women, any woman. The way to do this, is to scrutinize everyone the way that women are scrutinized. Because, the data, and this book brings receipts, shows that women are better leaders.

So why are women better leaders? Well, in general women are less narcissistic in fact men
...more
Megan
Dec 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Ok, so this is quite a provocative title. If you think this is about getting more women into leadership you'd only be partly right. It's really a lament at the poor state of leadership generally and given that men make up most of those leaders, puts the blame squarely at certain style of leadership that we all promote either directly, or indirectly.

Tomas's thesis is that loads of leaders don't cut it, primarily because our collective idea of leadership is flawed and we end up promoting narcissis
...more
Jill
Feb 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ren
Mar 26, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: dont-own-read
The premise of Chamorro-Premuzic’s argument is that we “reward men’s incompetence and punish women’s competence” and that the traits we traditionally perceive as defining “leadership” are actually detrimental to effectiveness (defined by him as persuading a group of people to act toward a common goal).

He defines arrogance as disproportional confidence relative to competence and notes that overconfidence is the natural outcome of privilege.

He teases out the differences between appearing confide
...more
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Nine Lies About Work: A Freethinking Leader’s Guide to the Real World
  • Peak Leadership Fitness: Elevating Your Leadership Game
  • Tarina
  • Zo hadden we het niet bedoeld
  • Humble Inquiry: The Gentle Art of Asking Instead of Telling
  • All This Could Be Yours
  • One of Us Is Next (One of Us Is Lying, #2)
  • Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead
  • Letters From An Astrophysicist
  • Lorenzo de' Medici and the Art of Magnificence
  • Untangle Your Anxiety: A Guide To Overcoming An Anxiety Disorder By Two People Who Have Been Through It
  • Genesis (Jack Stapleton & Laurie Montgomery, #12)
  • The Woman with a Worm in Her Head: And Other True Stories of Infectious Disease
  • Römaani
  • One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression Is Destroying Our Democracy
  • Lead from the Outside: How to Build Your Future and Make Real Change
  • Insight: Why We're Not as Self-Aware as We Think, and How Seeing Ourselves Clearly Helps Us Succeed at Work and in Life
  • Empowered: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Products
See similar books…
Dr. Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic is an international authority in psychological profiling, talent management, and people analytics. He is the CEO of Hogan Assessment Systems, Professor of Business Psychology at University College London (UCL), and visiting Professor at Columbia University. He has previously taught at New York University and the London School of Economics.

He has published 8 books and o
...more

News & Interviews

Nature, in Her infinite awesomeness, can provide solace even when you’re stuck in the house. As a matter of fact, the numbers suggest that...
83 likes · 13 comments
“differences in behavior arise not because of differences in how men and women are, but in how men and women are treated. This is what the evidence shows: women are less likely to get useful feedback, their mistakes are judged more harshly and remembered longer, their behavior is scrutinized more carefully, and their colleagues are less likely to share vital information with them. When women speak, they’re more likely to be interrupted or ignored.” 1 likes
“If you have ever worked in an office, then you have probably experienced a particular form of bad management displayed by bosses who seem unaware of their limitations and are clearly and unjustifiably pleased with themselves. They are overconfident, abrasive, and very much in awe of themselves, particularly in light of their actual talents. They are their own biggest fans by some distance.” 0 likes
More quotes…