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Thread: One in 25 business leaders 'could be a psychopath'

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    One in 25 business leaders 'could be a psychopath'

    I was going to write something clever and funny about this topic until it dawned on me that for a time I was in Executive Management more than once in my life, and I don't believe I fell into the definition of a psychopath as described in this article.
    I have however worked for a few that frankly I thought they just nuts.

    One Guy I worked for we all called Screaming Jack, because he never talk without getting right in your and scream at you.
    I got lucky and got a promotion, and ended up being his boss in less than 5 years.

    I made it a point to talk with people and gain their cooperation rather than at them as in giving orders.

    One in 25 business leaders 'could be a psychopath' - Telegraph

    Psychopaths are defined by their lack of moral instincts, but many are able to hide this by a natural ability to charm and manipulate both their seniors and subordinates.
    While some psychopaths are outwardly aggressive and destructive, factors like a happy upbringing can help others to mimic colleagues and fit in at work.

    The capacity of the 'successful psychopath' to identify and outwardly display the qualities corporate leaders admire helps them climb the career ladder quickly despite being poor managers.

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    Re: One in 25 business leaders 'could be a psychopath'

    That few?

    People seek power because they feel they deserve to have power and they like to exert it to manipulate others and have power over them. They attain power because they are intelligent, ruthless and willing to trample on people to reach the top without feeling too bad about it. That right there is 2/3 of the way towards being a psychopath.

    According to wikipedia, the traits of a psychopath:

    1. lack of empathy
    2. shallow emotions
    3. lying and manipulation
    4. Impulsiveness/irresponsibility
    5. low tolerance for boredom
    6. poor behavioral controls
    7. remorselessness
    8. egocentrism
    9. intelligence

    If they can down-play their impulsivity and low boredom tolerance and up-play their slick manipulative charm and business accomplishments, there’s absolutely no reason why a psychopath wouldn’t flourish in a corporate environment.

    Evolutionarily, those traits persist because they lead to success. We’ve all got them to one degree or another because the poor saps that don‘t stick up for themselves aren't successful enough to pass on their genes. Those traits make people into dicks and assholes, but they are also part of the reason why humans dominate the planet; they're only really bad when taken to ax-murdering psychopath extremes.

    That “1 out of 25” stat must be using the binary model (psychopath: yes/no), I prefer to use the continuum model (psychopath: 0%-100%). Using that model, every business leader is going to be much closer to the 100% side of the scale than average person.
    Last edited by Befuddled_Stoner; 09-04-11 at 05:18 AM.

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    Re: One in 25 business leaders 'could be a psychopath'

    Quote Originally Posted by Befuddled_Stoner View Post
    That few?

    People seek power because they feel they deserve to have power and they like to exert it to manipulate others and have power over them. They attain power because they are intelligent, ruthless and willing to trample on people to reach the top without feeling too bad about it. That right there is 2/3 of the way towards being a psychopath.

    According to wikipedia, the traits of a psychopath:

    1. lack of empathy
    2. shallow emotions
    3. lying and manipulation
    4. Impulsiveness/irresponsibility
    5. low tolerance for boredom
    6. poor behavioral controls
    7. remorselessness
    8. egocentrism
    9. intelligence

    If they can down-play their impulsivity and low boredom tolerance and up-play their slick manipulative charm and business accomplishments, there’s absolutely no reason why a psychopath wouldn’t flourish in a corporate environment.

    Evolutionarily, those traits persist because they lead to success. We’ve all got them to one degree or another because the poor saps that don‘t stick up for themselves aren't successful enough to pass on their genes. Those traits make people into dicks and assholes, but they are also part of the reason why humans dominate the planet; they're only really bad when taken to ax-murdering psychopath extremes.

    That “1 out of 25” stat must be using the binary model (psychopath: yes/no), I prefer to use the continuum model (psychopath: 0%-100%). Using that model, every business leader is going to be much closer to the 100% side of the scale than average person.
    I'm definitely a business leader who's a psychopath.
    Spud will be pleased
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    Re: One in 25 business leaders 'could be a psychopath'

    This is hardly surprising. That's only 4% of the population; the incidence of sociopathy in the general population is 3%.

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    Re: One in 25 business leaders 'could be a psychopath'

    Some day this phrase will catch on...

    Tyranny seeks power.

    To be a tyrant, it helps to dispense with moral guidelines... psycho and sociopaths are particularly well suited to this. I would think the percentages of these maladies would be higher in government and high corporate office than in the general population, and it is this that the founders warned us to be vigilant of.

    The interesting thing is, the corporation, as a citizen is almost always sociopathic as a proxy for it's investors and directors who are often otherwise not.

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    Re: One in 25 business leaders 'could be a psychopath'

    Does that mean being objective makes you a psychopath?

    I was told once by my mentor/supervisor in my CA/CPA program to never based my decisions that is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, and in the future maybe even millions of dollars on emotion. That we are accountants, our decisions are based purely on numbers.
    Last edited by chad87; 09-04-11 at 09:44 AM.

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    Re: One in 25 business leaders 'could be a psychopath'

    Quote Originally Posted by chad87 View Post
    Does that mean being objective makes you a psychopath?

    I was told once by my mentor/supervisor in my CA/CPA program to never based my decisions that is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, and in the future maybe even millions of dollars on emotion. That we are accountants, our decisions are based purely on numbers.
    businesses that run purely by numbers tend to lose in PR and worker morale. there is and should be a human component.

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    Re: One in 25 business leaders 'could be a psychopath'

    Psychopaths are defined by their lack of moral instincts

    I think we saw this play out in the mess we are currently in.

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