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Have you noticed that people with impressive voices tend to become leaders? I first noticed this during my corporate years. Every male executive seemed to have a voice that resonated on more than one level, as if two or three people were talking simultaneously when they opened their mouths. I know that's a poor explanation so I just went to Youtube and searched for a CEO speech. The second one I viewed had the distinctive "leader voice."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUjoQPUsr4Q


Sometimes you hear a guy with a leader voice in a non-leader job and it immediately seems out of place. I wonder if the voice quality makes leadership more feasible or if the body chemistry that promotes leadership (say testosterone levels for the sake of argument) create an excellent voice as a side benefit.

There are plenty of leaders with sketchy voices, of course. Bill Gates comes to mind, as does the first President Bush. Obviously there's more than one way to get to the top. But I wonder if we will ever see a medical procedure to turn normal voices into leadership voices for the purpose of furthering a career.

My guess is yes.

 
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Feb 5, 2009
I would think a good voice helps. And I'm not sure there is anything wrong with improving your voice through operations or training with a vocal coach. Height in men also correlates with advancement in management, and you can't do much about your height. Of course this is superficial but we're a superficial species.

Competence is probably more important than one's voice in the long run. Jack Welch, the former CEO of General Electric, has a high and whiny voice. They probably laughed at him before he worked his way to the top.
 
 
Feb 5, 2009
Based on what I've seen, very few corporate leaders are chosen based on their capability or even intellect. It is all about whether they LOOK capable and intelligent. Looks are the most likely to influence the board, the HR person doing the appointment and the followers.

Bill Gates got in because he actually built the company, if he tried to get the job today he wouldn't have a hope.

Luckily looking and sounding good is something of a self-fulling prophesy - when you look and sound confident, people believe you know what you're doing, so they do what you say without the needing to answer difficult questions.. As long as somewhere in the back-room there are short, ugly, squeaky-voiced runts actually making the right decisions, the company will do brilliantly.

Most corporates only fall apart when leaders start believing their own PR.
 
 
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Feb 5, 2009
It seems that if people with leadership voices don't have leadership jobs, they then gravitate to the Movie/Car Commercial Voiceover industries.
 
 
Feb 5, 2009
That's a scary thought, as it is unlikely that someone's voice has any correlation to how skilled they would be in executing a job. So if an abnormally large amount of executives or leaders have voices such as you described, it would mean that society is being guided by a natural distribution of the population in lieu of a leading class made up of the best and brightest.
 
 
 
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