Norman Dixon

There are two types of people who reach leadership positions. One type is driven by the hope or desire to succeed; the other by the fear of failure.

Fear won't get you all the way.

In his study of military leaders, the psychologist, Norman Dixon, observed: “Whereas the former achieves out of a quest for excellence in his job, the latter achieves by any means available, not necessarily because of any sincere devotion to the work, but because of the status, social approval and reduction of doubts about the self that such achievement brings.”

Norman notes that although these two types of achievement-motive may bring about rapid, even spectacular, promotion, their nature and effects are very different.

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  • Carl Palmer says:

    10:28am | 27/06/12

    @ibast says: 04:27pm | 26/06/12 I’m in no position to comment on your proposition that Howard was “…the first Prime minister that put his own political well-being foremost ahead of the nation.” You clearly have intimate details and the reasons behind every decision made by each of our PM’s and… Read more »

  • mikem says:

    09:12am | 27/06/12

    Tony Abbott is a pretty good reflection of the personality profile you get from reading the literature on workplace psychopaths. Definitely not the type of person you want as a leader. Read more »


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