CEOs with big signatures are more likely to be narcissists

The bigger a CEO’s signature the more likely he or she is to be a narcissist, a new study claims. According to Daily Mail, the research, which compared the signatures of some 605 CEOs of US firms, found that size does matter as far as the bosses’ autographs are concerned.

It found that CEOs with bigger signatures also tended to get the highest pay, but were in fact more likely to run their companies into the ground.

The study by academics at the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina took the signatures of CEOs from company accounts filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

The authors identified narcissism as an egotistical character trait ‘associated with conceit and disregard for others’. They said: ‘Narcissism creates biased self-perception in the form of upwardly biased evaluation of one’s own abilities and performance.’

According to Professor Sean Wang, one of three authors of the study, he and his co-authors relied on findings from previous psychological studies which claimed that bigger signatures mean bigger egos.

Using the size of the signature as a proxy for the writers’ narcissism, they found that ‘narcissistic CEOs invest more in capital expenditures and acquisitions but pay lower dividends, with over-investments being largest in magnitude when financial slack is high.

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‘In addition, narcissistic CEOs exhibit worse performance as measured by the contemporaneous return on assets, with the effects being largest when operating environments are most uncertain.

Handwriting analysis says people who write large capitals have an exaggerated sense of their own abilities. They are extremely independent, and they make decisions thinking that they can never make mistakes.

According to graphology, people with very large signatures rarely admit their mistakes, and always keep boasting. When such a writer is in a position of power, he usually gives a free reign to his arrogance, and is overbearing and high-handed.

Read more on what handwriting analysis says about large signatures

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