Rules of Attraction: the Mysteries of Magnetism
Richard Hytner recently joined a panel of scientific experts and host Quentin Cooper on “The Forum,” the BBC’s global exchange of ideas, to discuss magnetism and why people are irresistibly drawn to this universal force. The Worldwide Deputy Chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi, Adjunct Professor of Marketing at the London Business School, and author of Consiglieri: Leading from the Shadows was featured on the program alongside esteemed guests Stephen Blundell, Professor of Physics at the University of Oxford and author of Magnetism: A Very Short Introduction, and astrophysicist Katherine Freese, Professor of Physics at the University of Michigan and author of The Cosmic Cocktail: Three Parts Dark Matter.
“There’s something fun about magnetism; there’s a sense of wonder there,” said Professor Blundell, initiating a freewheeling conversation that considered magnetism in all its myriad forms. Hytner was asked to weigh in on the topic of “personal magnetism” and its validity as a leadership requirement. “There is something irresistible about the charismatic leader, especially in today’s society where we’re dealing with so much ambiguity and uncertainty we’re drawn to the confidence, competence, and authenticity of the charismatic leader,” said Hytner when asked to describe what makes a magnetic personality.
Extending the metaphor, Hytner suggested that if magnetic fields take “more than one to tango,” so, too, magnetic leaders would do well to engage polar opposites who can challenge them into defining their best and most inspirational thinking. “They’re what I call C’s in my book—they’re consiglieri. They consult, they cajole, and they coach the charismatic leader in order to hold a mirror up to their worst excesses.” When asked if personal magnetism is something that can be learned or enhanced, Hytner didn’t hesitate: “What would it take to become more of an irresistible force in leadership?” he asked. “Learn to listen more, learn to acquire more emotional intelligence, and commit to being trustworthy. These are all things that the charismatic leader can commit to doing.”
You can listen to the complete BBC World Service segment here.« Back to Media Articles