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How to stay in pole position: hire a boss who has worked on the floor

Goodall, A. H. (2013). How to stay in pole position: hire a boss who has worked on the floor. SPS Strategy Magazine(Decemb), pp. 16-21.


If you had to make a guess about who will win the Japanese Grand Prix, how might you choose? In data spanning the entire 60 year history of Formula 1 Championships, my co-author, Ganna Pogrebna, and I have found that it has a lot to do with leadership. F1 teams that are led by former drivers or mechanics outperform those who are led by either managers or qualified engineers. We also find that when a team leader has 10 years of competitive driving experience, instead of zero years, there is a 16 per cent higher chance of their team performing well in a Grand Prix race. That is a big effect. Our research reveals that the best leaders are those who have previously ‘walked-the-walk’ – individuals who are experts in the core business of their organization. I will return to this later. The first not able point about this study is that it shows that leaders matter.

Publication Type: Article
Departments: Bayes Business School > Management
SWORD Depositor:
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