Phronesis: Practical Wisdom for Leaders with Scott Allen

Dr. Ron Riggio - The Roots of Leadership

August 02, 2023 Scott J. Allen Season 1 Episode 186
Phronesis: Practical Wisdom for Leaders with Scott Allen
Dr. Ron Riggio - The Roots of Leadership
Show Notes Transcript

Ronald E. Riggio, Ph.D., is the Henry R. Kravis Professor of Leadership and Organizational Psychology and former director of the Kravis Leadership Institute at Claremont McKenna College. Professor Riggio is the author of more than a dozen books and more than 100 research articles and book chapters in the areas of leadership, assessment centers, organizational psychology, and social psychology. He's served on the editorial boards of The Leadership Quarterly, Leadership, Group Dynamics, and Journal of Nonverbal Behavior.

A Quote From this Episode

  • "We find that family is a critical element in the development of leadership potential."

Links From This Episode

Dr. Ron Riggio's Work

Resources Mentioned in The Episode

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Note: Voice-to-text transcriptions are about 90% accurate, and conversations-to-text do not always translate perfectly. I include it to provide you with the spirit of the conversation.

Scott Allen  0:00  

Okay, everybody, welcome to the podcast. Thanks for checking in wherever you are in the world. Today, we have a longtime guest. I think this may be his third time on the podcast, and it's always such a fun conversation. We have Dr. Ron Riggio. And Ron Riggio is the Henry R. Kravis professor of Leadership and Organizational Psychology, and former Director of the Kravis Leadership Institute at Claremont McKenna College. Professor Riggio is an author of more than a dozen books in more than 100 research articles and book chapters in the areas of leadership, assessment centers, organizational psychology, and social psychology. He served on the editorial boards and published in the best journals in the world; The Leadership Quarterly, Leadership Group Dynamics, Journal of nonverbal behavior, and the list goes on. Literally, it goes on. So, Dr. Riggio, thank you so much for returning, maybe share something with listeners that they don't know about you yet? What do you think?


Ronald Riggio  1:01  

Oh, gosh, what do they not know? Well, I have actually taught in a number of the systems. I started out in University of California, did research in one kind of position. Then went to the Cal State system, which is much more teaching-oriented. And then I told some of my Cal State friends that I died and went to heaven when I came to Claremont McKenna College because the Claremont College is really a unique kind of institution. So, I'm really glad to be here.


Scott Allen  1:31  

Yeah. You've had multiple different types of institutions, for sure. And I think today, where we're going to go is some of the work originally started at Fullerton, correct?


Ronald Riggio  1:42  

Yeah. That's what we're going to talk about, that connection that we make. 


Scott Allen  1:45  

Maybe bring listeners into what we're going to discuss today, because I think the conversation, at least, what you've teased to me so far, I'm all in. I'm all in. I'm very interested.


Ronald Riggio  1:57  

Okay. Well, let me sort of tell you what got this whole thing started. So, I came to Claremont McKenna College, we're a very traditional liberal arts college. All of our students, for the most part, 18 to 21, 22 years of age. And worked with my colleague who is the Associate Director, Susan Murphy, who you've had on the podcast. And one of the things that we… Since we were creating this Research Institute, and it was still in the developmental stages, we said, “What should we really focus on? What's the common denominator between her interests, my interests, and what we can do here at CMC?” And we came up with this idea of youth leadership development. So, our real research question was, well, what happens very early in life that will develop someone's adult leadership? And because we were working with these young adults; 18 to 21, we thought, well, what are the programs that we should put on? How should we develop them? Same kind of thing that a lot of the leadership development programs are tackling with. But we both were parents too, and we thought the role parenting is really important, and so we thought, well, how early can we drive it back to look at what -- I think Susan came up with the sort of early seeds or the early roots of leadership. So, as we were working on this, I remembered, well, I was still in touch with them, but a group of researchers, most of them at Cal State Fullerton, that had started the longitudinal study, and they started this in 1979 with 131-year-old kids and their parents, obviously, parents had to participate too. And they were developmental psychologists. And it was Alan and Adele Gottfried who were a married couple, Alan was at Fullerton, and Adele was at Cal State Northridge. And then, they brought in some colleagues, some of them are their graduate students and they went on to work with them, went on and got their own Ph.Ds., and then continued to work with them. And they were really looking at family issues, but they had been studying these kids and assessing them in the first four years, every six months. And then, after the first four years, they’d do an annual assessment. And what they did in terms of the assessments is they essentially measured everything that developmental psychologists would be interested in. They brought the kids into the lab, they observed them, they gave the parents all kinds of psychological instruments, everything ranging from personality, to behavioral styles, to the quality of the parenting relationships. They had all of this intense data. They had 17,000 variables because they did -- I think we're on our 25th wave of assessment -- but they did assessments every six months, and then every year. And at 17, they thought, well, we're kind of done with this, we didn't do a 24-year check-in when they were 24 years of age. But Susan and I persuaded them to do some leadership assessments as adults. And so, we did one assessment at 29 years of age, did another one at 38 years of age. And so, they were born in 78. So, they're in their mid-40s. We'd like to do another assessment with them. But what we did in those adult assessments, it had to be online, because what happened was, initially, all of these participants and their families were all in Orange County, California. One of the things we always get asked is how much diversity is there in the participants. Well, there's not very much because Orange County, California was sort of very Anglo, very, very white, although there was some socio-economic diversity in them. But what we focused on when they were 29 was leadership assessments. That was online, so we had to sometimes construct our own measures of leadership, we used a lot of self-report. And then, we repeated those at 38 years of age. And what we found, I think, was really interesting that, in some instances, we could look at the very, very early roots of leadership, and we could trace leadership development all the way back to when they were toddlers in one instance, which is kind of extraordinary. But let me sort of tell you, I'll just give you that is one example. So, at 17 years of age, they gave them the Big 5 personality inventory, most people know the Big 5 personality inventory. But before that, when children are very young, they haven't formed their personalities yet. And so, developmental psychologists focus on temperament. And so, one aspect of temperament in very early children is what's called approach behavior. So approach versus avoidance behaviors. So, something unusual comes into the environment, you put an odd toy on the table, you got the toddler there, you look to see if the toddler approaches the toy or sort of shies away. Or, a stranger comes into the room, and the stranger beckons, and do they come forward? Well, that temperament, that approach temperament, is really the early root of extraversion. And we know, in leadership, as leadership scholars that extroverts have kind of a little bit of a leadership advantage because they're more outgoing. And, in particular, extroverts are better at getting leadership positions because they've got good communication skills, because they practice it a lot, because they're around people a lot. And so, there is this sort of extrovert advantage. So what we were able to do was we were able to replicate some of the research because we had the Big 5 at 17, we had leadership measures at 29. And what we were able to do is replicate some of those findings that, for example, extroversion did lead to leader emergence. So, for leader emergence, we looked at what we call leader role occupancy at 29 years of age, were they in leadership positions? Were they managers? VPs? That kind of thing. And sure enough, we found that extraversion advantage. Well, one of the other variables that I've always been interested in is interpersonal skills, social skills. So, early in my career, much of my research was on individual differences in people's ability to communicate non verbally, emotionally, which relates to emotional intelligence, or social communication, verbal communication. Can you interact with people at a party or in a social gathering? So, what we did was we had the measures of their personality, we had the measures of temperament, and we had our measures of social skills that we gave them, and then we had the leadership measures. And we found what you would expect, that extroverts had this leadership advantage. However, if we put social skills into the equation between extraversion and leadership outcome, so, at least, we can call it maybe leadership potential because they're still relatively young adults. When we put social skills into the equation, we got complete mediation. So, what does that mean? Complete mediation, in other words, the extroversion advantage disappears if the person has good interpersonal skills. So, what that means, and this is good news because we know that there are some leaders who are famous introverts, Abraham Lincoln was introverted, Barack Obama, for example, was introverted, and we know that some introverts gain leadership positions. Well, so what is the extraversion advantage? The extraversion advantage is really the fact that they just get more practice if they're extroverted, they develop their social skills better. But, if an introverted child, for example, works on their social skills, develops the social skills, or their family encourages those kinds of things, then there's no extraversion advantage. And it's really that's the social skills that are that mediator.


Scott Allen  10:13  

You mentioned a word there; family. What else did you find out about family?


Ronald Riggio  10:18  

We find that family is a critical element in the development of leadership potential. And we're now mining that work along with this entire database, which is just unbelievably rich. From a research standpoint, I always said, “We're like a kid in a candy store.” We had the extraversion at 17, and we wondered how far back can this go. So, we did essentially sort of a chain analysis, and we found that approach behavior as a toddler and continuing throughout the lifespan leads to extraversion, which then leads to that relationship with leadership. So, we're able to drive the roots of that extraversion, social skill, leadership link, all the way back to when they were 18 months which was the first assessment. All right. So, you asked about family, and I'm going to kind of tell you about a couple of studies that we did, and one that we're in the process of right now. So imagine, we have all these variables. Well, what they've done over the years, our developmental psychologists' team, is they created very rich composites of the quality of the family relationships. So they have a variable that's a huge composite they assessed each year when they were kids called positive family relationships; PFR, positive family relationships. So, they have that every year. Well, what are we finding now? Well, if you grow up in a family that has positive family relationships, this very good quality family relationship that kids are encouraged to be more autonomous, there's a lot of support for the kids, it's just a good family environment, there's not a lot of conflict in the family, that those things not only predict a lot of the leadership outcomes over time, but they also -- now we're doing research on well being -- they also lead to adult well being. So, family is critically important. Then let me give you another example of this. So, I mentioned we're sort of kids in the candy store. Well, they have so many variables that what happened when they were collecting the data is, they might have a graduate student working with them, they had to do the thesis, “Well, I'd like to look at X, and let me throw measures of X in there,” and another graduate student, “I'm going to throw some measures of Y in there.” So, they have all these variables, they don't even look at them in-depth, haven’t looked at them for 20, 30 years, maybe. So, we went through there saying, “Well, did you have any leadership variables,” their developmental psychologists, ad they said, “Well, we don't think so, but go ahead and look.” Now, when you look, think back, this research began in 1979, so all assessments were done on paper. Now we do online assessments. So, each participant, each child has a whole file drawer of paper assessments. So, we had to go through, it's like an archeological dig, we have to sort of go through there and find these things. Well, one of the things we found was something that was assessed several times, and it was, “How much do your parents encourage you to participate in sports to volunteer? How much do your parents encourage you to take on leadership positions at school or in the community?” So we found those variables. One of the things, now book parents… Because, think back in the 70s, most of the families were intact, there was some divorce and all that, but, for the most part, both parents participated for most of the participants. Well, they also got the teachers involved. And so, they even had a teacher assessment of, “How much do you encourage this student to participate in leadership activities?” And we found that, actually, that encouragement, both from parents, from both parents, and there was also a measure of the child's self-encouragement, all of those things predicted adult leadership. So, earlier on, if the parents are kind of pushing them, “Hey, why don't you think about a leadership position?” The teacher saying, “Hey, Scott, you'd make a great class president,” or whatever, those things really seemed to matter.


Scott Allen  14:47  

Well, Ron, my undergraduate degree was Family Social Science at the University of Minnesota.


Ronald Riggio  14:53  

Oh, wow. So you know what I'm talking about in terms of those family environment characteristics, right?


Scott Allen  15:00 

Well, yes. Family systems theory was kind of the bee's knees at the University of Minnesota when I was there. I don't know what is in vogue now, I haven't stayed up on that literature base, but what else has stood out for you about family, and kind of the roots of that? It's really, really interesting because you often hear, at least, I don't know, pushback on this, but, at times, we hear of those individuals who assume positions of leadership and it was out of kind of horrible family backgrounds.


Ronald Riggio  15:39  

That's true. And there are those case studies of a lot of leaders, sort of, political leaders that father was absent, or the father died when they were young. And then the mother sort of picks up the… Encourages, maybe over-encourages the child. So, there's all those kinds of case studies. The really great thing about this database is… And let me kind of set the stage here because I know leadership scholars listened to your podcast. If you think about how we normally study leadership, we go out and we find a group of leaders, right? And if you're in a business school, you think, well, MBA students, they're readily available, they’re a captive audience. And you assume that, because they're in an MBA program, they probably had positions of leadership, or whatever. But what's unique about the Fortson longitudinal study is that we didn't start with leaders, and they just happen to be children who were born in the same county, in the same year. And so, when we're looking at relationships with leadership, and we're going back to the literature where most of the studies of leadership are on leaders, we have a different population. Some of them are what we might call leaders in the traditional sense, they have their managerial positions, some of them have MBAs, that kind of thing. But we're drawing conclusions based on this research about what happens, sort of, generally, with all of us, not people who have already attained leadership positions. And we're starting, essentially, from year one, and going forward. So, it's really, really unique. And so, sometimes when we find inconsistencies with some of the leadership literature, some of the scholars go, “Well, why are you getting inconsistencies?” Well, we're dealing with a very different population. And one’s maybe more relevant to kind of everyday life.


Scott Allen  17:35  

Sometimes, those cases that I mentioned a little bit earlier, those individuals didn't go on to do good. (Laughs)


Ronald Riggio  17:43  

Oh, no. And I'm going to tell you about our dark side leadership study. So, I'll tell you about that one in a little bit. But I thought maybe there might be a few other kinds of interesting things that we should talk about. So, well, let me follow-up on your earlier comment. One of the measures that we have of leadership is the motivation to lead scale, which you're probably familiar with the Chan and Glasgow scale. And what they talk about are essentially three motivations to lead. And the first one is sort of affective, and it's like, “I just like leading, I just like being in a leadership position.” And that's when we're highly interested in because we want people to sort of follow their passion, follow what they're interested in. And so, the affective commitment. The second one, they call it non-calculative, but it's basically, if you flip that around, it's like, “What's in it for me?” I want to be in a leadership position because leaders make more money, or they're going to get more perks, or whatever. And the third one is the normative, the social normative motivation to lead. And that's, “People tell me I should be a leader, or my peers kind of pushed me.” And so, we're finding some differences in terms of some of the predictors, the antecedents of adult leadership that go through those different motivations to lead. But it seems to be the affective one that is the really positive one that leads them to… So, for example, we gave them all a self-report measure of transformational leadership. And so, if a person really likes leading, they tend to be more endorsing of transformational leadership styles. “I really do want to engage with my followers and hear what they have to say, and I care about their well-being and their needs,” that sort of thing. So, we are kind of finding that motivation does play a role, and some of that directly links back to the family. Adele Gottfried published a paper in Leadership Quarterly where she was lead author in one of our papers, and she's done a lot of work in what's called gifted motivation. Probably a new term for most people, but think about gifted students. We think about gifted students are intellectually gifted, so they have a really high IQ. And, of course, we have measures of IQ several times in the Fullerton population. Gifted motivation is different, and it's somewhat independent of intellectual giftedness. And so, think about this, these are the kids that are just really go-getters. They're constantly motivated to do more things, and that does predict adult leadership if you are in that sort of gifted motivation, “I really want to get things done, I really want to accomplish things.” And so, she has shown the relationship throughout the lifespan to our leadership measures.


Scott Allen 20:48  

Well, so for parents listening, and really, anyone listening, I should say, so for anyone listening, I think, what would be a couple of takeaways for parents as they think about promoting an environment where their children… How do we say this? (Laughs) 


Ronald Riggio  21:11  

I think it's the positive family environment, what is a positive family environment, right? And I can talk about some other research that we've done with… Not with the Fullerton group, but we had a postdoc here who's now a professor in China, Marco Liu. And Marco’s dissertation actually looked at helicopter parenting using Chinese families, and found that helicopter parenting… So, helicopter parenting is where the parent is making all the decisions, and really sort of hovering over the child, that's where that term comes from. And helicopter parenting has detrimental effects on children's leadership potential. So, in other words, if the parents are doing everything for the child, they're hovering over them, and making the decisions, and doing all this, and it's not coming from the child's own motivation, or the child's own desires, that that actually hurts. And actually, I think, in his study, he found that it hurts the girls more than the boys, but both are affected. And what it does is that mediating variable is low self-esteem. So, when your parents are doing everything for you, it doesn't allow you to build up that sort of positive self-esteem, self-confidence that you can do things on your own, and that's going to be detrimental to your leadership potential. And that was all with kids, we didn't get into adults. So, that's what not to do. Now, what is positive parenting? Well, it's providing support for your children, but also encouraging them to be autonomous, to take some risks occasionally, encouraging them to be active in a positive way, all those kinds of things. Positive family if environment; there's not a lot of conflict in the families, they don't take sides and do those sorts of things. And so, I think any of the good parenting advice is going to apply here, and the question is, it's setting the child on a path that… And we see leadership as a really positive path, and particularly, that's why we have measures like the transformational leadership measure, do they endorse that kind of leadership? So, let me talk about the other side. So, I'm going to tell you about a very interesting study. So, we have a measure of positive family relationships, we also have measures of family conflict. And the family conflict measure is a pretty intense kind of conflict.


Scott Allen  23:51  

And this is still in the Fullerton study, correct?


Ronald Riggio  23:51  

This is the Fullerton, this is back in the Fullerton. Our helicopter parenting was in China. Now, what is this conflict variable consistent? Well, these are families where there's a lot of disagreement, there's a lot of sort of negative emotions, there's yelling, screaming, sort of infighting in the family. And, in certain instances, it may even get physical, sort of corporal punishment, or that kind of thing. So we thought, okay, how does this relate to leadership? Dana Walker, who's now a professor, but her dissertation, she wanted to look at this, and she wanted to look at how the conflict in family might lead to negative outcomes. What we also gave them as one of the leadership measures is the Implicit Leadership Theory measure. And the one we gave them was a Lin Offerman and Associates measure. And essentially, what it does is say your implicit leadership theory. So, in your head, what's a prototype of a successful leader? And, as you can imagine, most people will have the sort of positive implicit leadership elements, like, “I want someone who's honest, who's supportive,” and those sorts of things. And they have different sub-factors of those. But what they found, and I remember that they were actually surprised that this, they found that, well, most of us have implicit leadership theories that focus on these sort of positive characteristics, the kind of bosses we'd want to work for, they're fair, they're just, they give us, they encourage us, they support us, all of those kinds of things. Some people, a small minority, about 30% of the population consistently likes leaders who are the kind of strong-person types, maybe so much so that they're coercive, that they may even be manipulative. And, in fact, now they named these, one is they named them a sort of a masculine type, this sort of alpha male type. So one subset or one implicit leadership model is that. The other, they call it tyrannical, which may be a little strong, but this is the leader, “It's my way or the highway,” coercive, and punitive, and self-focused, self-centered, all of those kinds of things. So, it's puzzling. Okay, so why does this small percentage of the population think those are the ideal leaders, the tough leaders? Well, Dana went back, we went back and looked at what was there, we pulled out the conflict measure. And one of the things we also find both in the positive parenting and then here in the conflict is that adolescent years tend to be very important. We're finding that what's going on in those adolescent years, like, 12, 13, 14, up to about 17, are really critical periods for leadership development, or they appear to be. And so, we find the strongest effects there. What she found was that, if you grew up in a high-conflict family, you were more likely to endorse that tyrannical leadership implicit theory. That you were the kind of person who was attracted to the leader who, if they needed to, they could get punitive. Right. And so, think about this. All right. So how does the conflict come into being and how does the implicit leadership theory develop? Well, probably we don't know this, but our assumption is that what's going on in the family, that you're in this high-conflict family, everybody's fighting, how does the parent, the mother or the father, take charge? They do it in that way. They may shout, they may scream, they may put people down, they may get physical. And guess what? The conflict subsides. And so, that then becomes part of your implicit model of what works, what kind of leadership style works. So, later on, you endorsed that.


Scott Allen  28:03  

Wow. Well, around where my mind went just now, it would also be interesting to do a subject-object interview with some of these folks, right? 


Ronald Riggio  28:12  

Yeah. So, one of the things we want to do. So, we have a couple of things, when they’re in their 40s, we'd like to do another assessment. Doing these assessments is really expensive, so we've had grants, we've had support from Kellogg Foundation, we’ve had support from the Army Research Institute. And so, what we have to do is gear up and get a grant. And what we would really like to do is have the interviews, as you suggest, get the qualitative data to go along with quantitative data. To do our surveys, it's very easy. We give them a big battery of instruments and they can do it online, and they can do it at their own time. Given that all of them were in Orange County, southern California, they've gone, they've spread to the four winds. So, we have some of our participants don't live in the United States, they're all across the country. It's a little bit late, probably, to get parent participation. But what we would like to do is have those sort of face-to-face assessments so we could interview them, continue with our quantitative measures, our online surveys too. And one of our team members, Becky Riker, has developed an assessment center. So, our dream would be to bring them, it's a leadership assessment center, but it's not like a traditional management leadership assessment center. It doesn't focus on “You're the head of HR, and here's your in-basket, and here's your…” It's a simulation, but it's an everyday leadership simulation. So, her simulation that we kind of created, or the idea we came up with was, you're on the homeowners association, you're one of the officers, and so now what do you do? You got to deal with the irate homeowner, but it models what a leader would actually do. You have to make decisions, you might have to bring together parties, and boundary spanning, and those kinds of things, and also the interpersonal skills. So, our dream would be to fly all these people here to Southern California, they all grew up in Orange County, maybe give them tickets to Disneyland to encourage them to come. And then, spend a day with them and run them through our everyday assessment center, do some detailed interviews with them. But, as you can imagine, we're a little strapped for cash for that kind of assessment, but that would be our dream.


Scott Allen  30:29  

Wow. Anything else stand out for you based on some of this work with the Fullerton study that you want to intrigue listeners with? Or maybe, is there a question that you're pondering right now that you're really excited to jump into?


Ronald Riggio  30:42  

Well, I think one of the other things that we're doing is, because we have some folks on our team, and we have a pretty big team, almost all Ph.D.s, and they're interested in sort of quality of life and looking beyond just leadership. And so, we've been looking at things like well-being, meaning in life. One of the really interesting studies that we have, Alan Godfrey came up with this idea about, what does it mean to be successful? And when you think about the way we measure success, we think financial success, have you had career, have you gone up the career ladder, that kind of thing. But he said, “Let's look more broadly at success.” So, we actually developed a measure of asking about success in personal relationships, success in family relationships, success in your career, success with friends and neighbors, that kind of thing. And now, when we're kind of still working with, but we're finding that a lot of those early variables like quality of family does lead people to view themselves as more successful in life. They're also happier, they're more satisfied with their lifestyle, so the general well-being. So, I think we've gone beyond the leadership and started looking at those kinds of things. It's a unique opportunity. They've been following these kids into their 40s. And it would be interesting, and some of our team members were in sort of third generation, right? There's all the old folks, the Godfreys. And then we have sort of a second generation, they're kind of in their 40s. And then we'll probably have another generation of new Ph.Ds. who will come in. And I think some of those younger folks could study things how does this relate to near the end of your career, retirement potentially? So, we could continue that and see how this ends up. See how these kids end up because we know more about them. I don't think there's been any group that has been studied as these folks. There are the Harvard men's study, and there's other longitudinal databases, but none of them have the depth of measurement of this. Literally, we now estimate about 18,000 variables because we've created a whole lot more variables as adults. So, I think that there's still tremendous potential in this database.


Scott Allen  33:12  

Well, Ron, where can people learn more?


Ronald Riggio  33:14  

Yeah. There is a website, the Fortson longitudinal study folks have at Cal State Fullerton, it's on the Cal State Fullerton server, we can get you that address. And you can go in there and read the papers, and read about the history of the program. And then, some of them are in publications. And so, we can make those accessible. And,actually, if you go on the Fullerton website, it has all publications. So, if you're a developmental psychologist, it's like a really rich treasure chest of all of these studies because, before we came in at year 29 and did the leadership assessments, they had been lining this dataset for all those decades. And so, there's a whole lot more on developmental issues there than there is on leadership, but we have a subset of our leadership studies.


Scott Allen  34:02  

Well, we'll put some of those links in the show notes for sure. Just a fascinating conversation. And, again, kind of that family system, and is that promoting growth and promoting development that is well adjusted, or is it not. And what is the impact of that on any number of different things? But one of them being how someone constructs the role of leader, whether they assume or take on a leadership role in an organization. It's just fascinating.


Ronald Riggio  34:36  

I think one of the things you sort of suggested is that if we could do those sorts of interviews, because what we're talking about here are generality. So generally, those kids who grew up in a positive family environment, and you kind of mentioned this about the case studies of leaders who had to go through difficult family situations. And so, what we don't know is how do those kids thought that maybe don't have the ideal supportive family relationship, how do they overcome that sort of handicap of growing up in a family that was not ideal, it was not supportive? And so, that would be a subset that we would have to study in a lot more depth. So, we don't know the answers to those kinds of questions. But the other issue too, always with this research, you don't want to say that what happens early is destiny, and that all kids from great supportive families are going to be leaders, and all kids from high conflict families are going to have this kind of different distorted sort of view of ideal leaders.


Scott Allen  35:44  

So, non-extroverts can lead, huh?


Ronald Riggio  35:47  

Well, I thought that was great, particularly since I've done all this work on social skills. That was great. It was great. That was the mediator. So actually, that's one of the papers we're working on now because we have adult measures of social skills, but they don't have, specifically, we don't think, measures of social skills, per se, but they do have a lot of variables that are the roots of social skills. So, we're actually looking at that I'm working with Marco Liu over in China, where we're trying to look at that right now to say, okay, how early does the development of interpersonal skills begin? And what is it look like when you're three, what do interpersonal skills look like? Because you can all think of three-year-olds, right? I remember my daughter when she was three, she didn't use her words, she used her fist. Grab the kid, that kind of thing. So yeah. So, we can actually mine that dataset, and maybe, pull out some of those elements that lead to good interpersonal skills as adults.


Scott Allen  36:54  

Well, as we wind down for today, Ron, as you know, I always ask what you've been listening to streaming, what you've been reading, what's caught your attention in recent times. And it could have to do with something we've just discussed, it could have nothing to do with that. What's caught your attention? 


Ronald Riggio  37:11  

Yeah. Well, I told you I do listen to your podcasts on the treadmill. So, I'm doing a little bit of that, watch a little TV, and all that kind of stuff, programs. And I find that I'm looking at, like, particularly when it's a show about a family or something like that, I'm finding that I'm now looking at it through the lens of being involved with the Fullerton people, and in doing that. We're near the end of the semester, so I'm not doing a lot of outside reading except for reading my student's papers, and all that. But I do have my stack of summer reading that’s sitting here, and actually re-reading. So Joanne Shula gave me a book on Harvey Mudd, so one of our sister colleges. And so, the person that that college is named after, I want to read that biography, but I haven't gotten to it yet. And I want to re-read Joanne's book on the working life, which I read decades ago. And I want to, since I'm teaching I-O psychology, I want to get some more insights on how we evolved into kind of the working society that we are. So, I've got that, then I've got some fun things.


Scott Allen  38:17  

Good. Good. And what have you been listening to, anything fun? Classic rock, just a lot of classic rock?


Ronald Riggio  38:25  

Oh yeah. Oh my God, all the time. I'm like a classic. And so, my sister's in a band, in a rock band, so I go, sort of, I'm their groupie if I stay round to the last set. I help them break down their stuff. And they do sort of classic rock, and some originals, and stuff. So, I'm a big rock and roll guy.


Scott Allen  38:46  

Awesome. Well, as always, sir, so much fun to learn from you. And I appreciate your time today, I know the listeners do as well. Until next time, take care and be well. Have a great summer.



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