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Professor Alex "Sandy" Pentland

Alex "Sandy" Pentland

Measuring the Impact of Charisma

Can we measure the impact of charisma?

As it turns out, what counts most may not be what you say, but rather how you say it. There is a certain style of social interaction - one that our research group has identified quantitatively - that is highly predictive of success in a variety of situations.

What we found was that people with a certain social style - a kind of energetic but focused listener - acted as "charismatic connectors." The more charismatic connectors a given team had among its members, the better the team performance was judged during the business plan pitch. One important point to remember here is that it was not simply one charismatic individual, but rather a charismatic team, that pushed them toward success.

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About the Author

Professor Alex "Sandy" Pentland

Alex "Sandy" Pentland has founded more than a dozen companies and social institutions. He directs the MIT Human Dynamics Lab and the Media Lab Entrepreneurship Program.