Asymmetrical face 'aided Churchill'
Published 18/10/2011 | 15:22
Sir Winston Churchill's lopsided features may have helped him lead Britain to victory in the war against Hitler, research suggests.
In a surprising discovery, psychologists have found that people lacking body symmetry make the most effective leaders.
Usually, symmetry - having a body with matching left and right sides - is seen as a hallmark of beauty, fitness and strength.
People might be expected to look up to and follow symmetrical, attractive individuals.
But it appears the most successful leaders in politics and business may be those born with irregular features.
Having "unlucky" looks in terms of symmetry forces people to develop the social skills that can motivate and inspire others, the researchers believe.
Sir Winston's crumpled "bulldog" features were far from balanced, yet he rallied the nation behind him to take on the might of Nazi Germany.
Study leader Dr Carl Senior said: "Winston Churchill was a great leader, and I would assume he was fairly asymmetrical.
"It may be people who are asymmetrical have to work harder and this compensatory socialisation manifests itself in organisational ability and leadership qualities."
Dr Senior carried out two studies at Aston University in Birmingham, both of which involved assessing the physical symmetry of students. The research is published in the Harvard Business Review.