Rich and Co.

What Really Determines Your Success? Probably Your Face and Height

“Link Between College Yearbook Photos And Career Success” With all the “success” literature it is important to remember that we are social animals, first and foremost, and easy to perceive social cues are the strongest causes of dominance.  Height is also important.


  • Law firms are more profitable when led by managing partners with powerful looking faces
  • An individual’s career success can be predicted as much as 30 to 40 years earlier simply by looking at their face. 

Excerpts from the article:

“Appearance matters a great deal when it comes to judging people,” says Professor Nicholas Rule of the Department of Psychology at the University of Toronto “This includes clothing, posture, and hairstyles, but the real window to judging people is the face.  We developed a method to measure facial power and found that it is a strong predictor of law firm profitability.”

  • “So, if you knew nothing about law firms other than what the faces of their leaders looked like when they were in college, you could predict their firms’ profits today”
  • “Facial cues to success may therefore be consistent across much of the lifespan – approximately 20-50 years.”

Although the researchers studied only leaders of law firms, Rule says that the findings could have applications for business, government, and other sectors. “In previous work, we’ve found similar effects with CEOs and political candidates,” he says. “Judgments of faces predicted a Fortune 1,000 company’s success and the percentage of votes that candidates received in the US, Canada, and Japan. These findings suggest that judging college yearbook photos might predict the outcomes for leaders in those domains as well.”


Written by Rich and Co.

December 4, 2010 at 9:25 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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