Does Talking The Talk Help Walking The Walk? An Examination Of The Effect Of Vocal Attractiveness In Leader Effectiveness

Timothy DeGroot, Cleveland State University
Federico Aime, Oklahoma State University
Scott G. Johnson
Donald Kluemper, Northern Illinous University

Abstract

The authors tested the hypothesis that leaders' vocal attractiveness is positively related to perceptions of leadership effectiveness. In a first study using vocal spectral analysis on a sample of U.S. presidents and Canadian prime ministers, vocal attractiveness accounted for significant variance in historians' perceptions of leadership effectiveness (β=.35, pb.05), explaining an additional 12% of the variance above that explained by personality, motives, and charisma. A second study of 255 subjects distributed into 85 teams in a laboratory setting found similar results for the relationship between vocal attractiveness and perceptions of leadership effectiveness. The second study also supported the hypothesis that personal reactions mediate the relationship between vocal attractiveness and perceptions of leadership effectiveness. In contrast, vocal attractiveness and personal reactions were found to have no significant effects on leadership effectiveness outcomes.