Testing for a leadership Gene
BY STEPHANIE CASTELLANO

If you’re applying for a leadership position, here ‘s one quality you may want to play up if you can: possession of the dopamine transporter DAT1 researches at Kansas State University and the national university of Singapore recently conducted an experiment to determine whether people who have this gene are better managers, given that past researches has shown that the body’s dopamine systems are linked with certain leadership qualities such as motivation, impulsivity, and self-regulation.

The new study found that people who have  a version of this Gene, called the 10-repeat allele, were more likely to have been trouble makers as teenagers, engaging in mildly illicit activities such as skipping class. Now here’s the twist: These are behaviors that have  been linked to leadership potential in previous studies.

Researchers surmise that a propensity for rule-breaking as a youngster translates to a willingness to challenge the status quo, think outside the box, and develop new knowledge and skills. However, the study also shows that people with 10-repeat allele are less likely to be proactive and persistent-indispensable qualities for effective leadership. “it’s like a mixed blessing-this gene can have both positive and negative effect on leadership,” says Wendong Li, assistant professor of psychological science at Kansas State “An implicative is that it really depends on environmental factors to determine if, overall, it is positive and negative.

Although the study’s findings do reinforce the link between rule-breaking and leadership potential, the study did not yield conclusive evidence that those with the 10-repeat allele are better leaders-or even that they are more likely to be in managerial roles. Li and his team of researches say that although people may become more interested in finding out their genetic propensity for leadership, they don’t support employers examining job candidates’ genetic makeup when hiring.

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