Leadership lessons they don’t teach in business school

It is what they didn’t teach us in school — and the things we cannot control — that always seem to foil us.

Take leadership programs, of which there is a proliferation these days at institutions of higher learning. Their curriculums are devoid of some of the very things that drive people to the top, or cause them to fall short — literally.

It was research by Malcolm Gladwell for his book Blink that observed a disproportionate 30 percent of U.S. chief executives are six feet, two inches in stature or taller. Yet just 3.9 percent of U.S. citizens measure up.

Height isn’t the only non-cognitive characteristic that is advantageous to aspiring CEOs and other C-level executives. A sonorous voice also commands the room. Business professors from Duke University and U.C. San Diego listened to presentations from 800 CEOs and found that those with deep voices earned almost $200,000 more per year than tenors and other up-scale vocal pitches.

By the way, how is your posture? Here are a few suggestions. Stand tall. Part your legs a bit. Pull your shoulders back. Expand that chest. Harvard Business School professor Amy Cuddy has done a good deal of research on body language and found that the mere act of embracing that priceless advice I just shared with you introduces a bracing dose of testosterone to the bloodstream while reducing cortisol, the steroid associated with stress.

One more thing: Is your gym membership up to date? Yes, physical fitness counts. So does trimness. It shows discipline. People respect that. Then they promote the people who embody it.

As for the rest of us — who weren’t endowed with Liam Neeson’s bearing or Barry White’s intonations — we will just have to out-think everybody.

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MikeCfinalwebMike Consol is editor of The Institutional Real Estate Letter – Americas.