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Birth Order And Leadership Essay

649 words - 3 pages

Is the eldest child in the family are natural born leader? This question has stayed unanswered since the beginning of time. Rebel, Frank Sulloway presents an all-encompassing theory about the ways in which birth order determines personality and behavior. According to evolutionary theory, sibling rivalry for "physical, emotional, and intellectual resources from parents" causes clear, consistent and enduring differences between siblings, which hold across cultures and throughout history. Chemers (1970) administer, surveyed 350 students at the University of Delaware, and hypothesized that because of their respective roles in their families, firstborns would be more task oriented and later borns would be more relationship oriented. There is other evidence that first born females are more likely to be leaders, such as Eckstein, (1977), who found that first born women were more likely to lead campus organizations at a college in Virginia, and Sandler ...view middle of the document...

In the US, 32% of presidents, from George Washington to Bill Clinton, were first-born. Traditionally, first-born sons were given preference for education as well as other advantages. But there are other factors. "First-born children enjoy the benefits of uninterrupted parental attention and learn from an adult model. Their younger siblings have decreasing claim on parental attention and learn from their older siblings . . . younger children who enjoy significant success are often the youngest by a large number of years." Niall FitzGerald, the co-chairman of Unilever, is an example of the latter. A thread among leaders, Viney says, is childhood trauma and disadvantage. He points out that 63% of UK prime ministers before 1940, well above the population average, were orphans. "The early loss of a parent throws on the child (especially where that child is the eldest) a strong sense of responsibility towards other members of the family," he says.The Early Show receives some advice from psychologist Kevin Leman for parents on what to expect from their oldest, middle and youngest children and how birth order should affect parenting style. Here are Leman's definitions of what is to be the oldest, middle or youngest child. First Born Newscasters and TV talk show hosts tend to be first born or only children. Prominent examples include: Walter Cronkite, Peter Jennings, Dan Rather, Ted Koppel, Oprah, Donahue, Geraldo, Arsenio Hall and Rush Limbaugh. Over half of U.S presidents were firstborns. Clearly, firstborns are natural leaders. They also tend to be reliable, conscientious and perfectionists who don't like surprises. Although, firstborns are typically aggressive, many are also compliant people pleasers. They are model children who have a strong need for approval from anyone in charge. Take Two-On--One Time: "Firstborns respond better to adult company than children of any other birth order. Firstborns often feel that parents don't pay much attention to them because they're always concentrating on the younger ones in the family. Make a special effort to have the first born join you and your spouse in going out alone for a treat, or to run some kind of special errand." (from Leman's book "The New Birth Order Book.").

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