Research from Exeter University has found that the secret to being a great leader is to be a sensitive listener.
The university's analysis reveals that the best managers, businessmen and policitians keep in touch with their followers and support those they lead.
The study, by psychologists Professor Alex Haslam and Dr Kim Peters, also found that most leaders have a natural shelf life and eventually become so isolated at the top that they fall out of favour.
It looked at figures such as Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher and distilled the wisdom of 85 biographies and management self-help books.
Most leaders have seven secrets to their success, including being sensitive to followers, being positive and inspirational, respectful of followers, meeting staff expectations and avoiding arrogance.
The fall of many leaders happens when, instead of recognising that their success depends on keeping a good relationship with their followers, they begin to believe their own hype and the relationships deteriorate.