Lessons in leadership and management for social primates

200,000 years ago, groups of human primates began to manage his abilities, according to anthropologist Bermúdez de Castro.

[foto de la noticia]

The hunting of the bison to the Apple iPad.Atapuerca to Silicon Valley, the homo sapiens has managed as any other species their talent and skills. If someone can talk about this amazing transformation is the anthropologist José María Bermúdez de Castro, director of the National Center for research on human evolution (Cenieh), Co-Director of the Atapuerca research team, together with Juan Luis Arsuarga and Eudald Carbonell, and Prince of Asturias Award for scientific and technical research.

Anthropology shows that the leaders of the Pleistocene already pointed ways. Our ancestors applied to what is now taught in business schools. A leader must have enough social skills to channel the internal problems of the group, capacity hierarchical to assume control of computers and impose a direction clear actions to achieve a goal. And during the Pleistocene, groups of different species of the genus Homo “would have based their organization on the existence of a natural leader”.

This is one of the many subjects José María Bermúdez de Castro addressed in the essay the development of talent. How our origins determine our present (Debate). Exciting, informative, and understandable for everyone, the book explains what today we retain our ancestors of six million years ago, and deals with issues such as territoriality, the hierarchy, love and sex, the creativity and mental health. But the chapters on leadership and talent management are very illustrative.

Near the chimpanzee
Bermúdez de Castro explained that “we are conditioned by basic elements of primate behavior.In the book I discuss what features have made us human that one percent that separates us from chimpanzees, which is very low… or can be much”.

Our species, homo sapiens appeared in Africa 200,000 years ago. “Your brain now had the same volume than ours. As a species, we have taken 200,000 years to reach the Moon”. But the legacy of our ancestors is the talent, which began to increase by the interaction of individuals.The concept of  management software was born.

“Demographic growth did we interactuáramos, which go us information and exchanged ideas and skills.” Thus arose the innovation and creativity. “Thanks to that collective brain have been able to get where we are: we have loaded programs in our brain”.

Social primates had leaders. Bermúdez de Castro, who has given many lectures to entrepreneurs, is also a manager of scientific equipment, and has developed his theory of leadership. “It’s a biological trait of behavior that we can trace the evolutionary step of the Hominin lineage to our common ancestor with the chimpanzee lineage.”

This anthropologist, one of the greatest world experts on human evolution, defends the existence of a natural leadership with some genetic basis, against the theories of many gurus. “A leader can not manufacture; do not you learn to be a leader”.

These capabilities would come built-in serial, and boost the training and experience. “Our species has a genetic code that has between 20,000 and 25,000 genes operating. These genes are put into operation since the Zygote is formed in the womb until we are adults, and begin to work sequentially during the development of the human being. There are genes that predetermine our character and interact with the environment. The product of this interaction is what determines the final character”.

For Bermúdez de Castro, the leadership is a scarce talent. “In a society there cannot be many leaders. Most like to send him. On the other hand, we strive to create leaders: they are natural leaders, but with the proper training, we do send. In the long run, this does not work”.

The anthropologist explains that we are the more social species that has existed in the world of primates. And in these species there is always a herd or group leader. In chimpanzees is the alpha male, that defends the territory and organizes the search for food. It is capable of making the group to survive and operate. “That’s the natural leader, seeking to obtain the common good.And that is applicable to any company.”

On this trip to our origins, Bermúdez de Castro reflects on our present. “We are not as special or as upper – argues-. “In our case, everything is masked by a culture and very sophisticated technology, but are one species with our miseries and our wonders”.

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