Summary of Naturally Selected

The Evolutionary Science of Leadership

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Naturally Selected book summary
The evolution-influenced neural circuitry of our brains is not suited to giant organizations.


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Thousands of books discuss how to become a great leader. This unusual book discusses the “why” of leadership. Why do leaders exist, why do they lead and why do others follow them? Psychology professor Mark van Vugt and London Times writer Anjana Ahuja take you back two million years, when humanity’s ancestors first walked upright in perilous African savannahs, clustering in groups for protection and following leaders who could help them stay alive. Leadership proves so ancient that it predates language. The instincts for leadership and followership, both adaptive behaviors, are indelibly hard-wired into human brains thanks to the evolutionary process. This distinctive book scientifically examines leadership’s ancient roots in fascinating fashion. getAbstract believes it will engage all kinds of leaders, although Machiavellian types may be distinctly uncomfortable to see their sinister traits analyzed with such devastating precision.

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About the Authors

Mark van Vugt is a psychology professor at VU University Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and a fellow of the British Academy Centenary Project. Anjana Ahuja spent 16 years as a feature writer at The Times and holds a doctorate in space physics from Imperial College, London.

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