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Why Are There More Psychopaths in the Boardroom?

Increasing numbers of corporate psychopaths have brought havoc to the lives of millions of people, economies and entire countries. Read More

Trickle Down Culture

I have often heard that culture trickles down in an organization from the top and have seen this concept in action many times. So could this be a case of a culture trickling down from the 'very top' - the president and his cabinet?

Your quote describes Obama to a T:

"a grandiose sense of self-worth, persuasiveness, superficial charm, ruthlessness, lack of remorse and the manipulation of others"

He and all of his crony capitalist buddies he has made insanely rich probably feel like they have nothing to fear whatsoever while they do whatever they want. Near absolute power with no accountability - a psychopaths dream!

So true

Wow. This article is both amazing and timely. I am currently part of an organization that is being ripped apart for pure greed. It is a public company and new investors are forcing their way on the management. Laying off thousands and destroying lives. All to get a quick spike in the stock and cash in on a short term gain. Then they will move on after destroying so much.

The sad part is that this is a great company. Profitable with great employees. I was just telling someone the other day that I don't know how these people sleep at night. This should be illegal. The top management will make millions and they really have done nothing. Just short term, phony spike in stock. None if these people started this company. Instead they just find themselves in charge.

Many of us will be wiped out. And for what? It was an outstanding company that is being destroyed. Yes, that is a psychopath.

It's an Epidemic...

Re: "Aggressive narcissism (superficial charm, grandiose sense of self worth, pathological lying, cunning/manipulative, lack of remorse or guilt, emotionally shallow, lack of empathy, failure to accept personal responsibility for own actions)."

Boardroom? Check out the clown/mediocrity in the Oval Office...

Say What?

Well, first of all to the above posters this article has nothing to do with the White House so if you're a Republican and you want to take shots at the White House, then choose another forum!!!! We've suffered enough from a recession that started in the BUSH years and Obama had to step in and clean it up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If you really want to go there, than let's do it!!!!

Now back to the article. When I read this piece, it gave me a flashback to my work in the corporate world. I spent over a decade working in a company with people I absolutely adored but then scratching my head at how many people were being laid off for no reason other than a change in management. I had a director who lied to my face and did not know I knew the truth. I had a boss who would always take credit for my work or blame me when she screwed up. And I had co-workers that cried themselves to sleep at night.

When I first obtained my MBA and I was working at a financial consulting company, my colleagues told me one thing that still resonates with me...get all you can from the corporate world and LEAVE!! Most of them sucked up the knowledge and experiences from corporate and went off to start their own business. I eventually left the corporate world too and started my own business and although it wasn't easy, it has certainly been rewarding.

I don't believe the corporate life is for everyone but I think you do need those experiences to make you stronger and better able to deal with life. Because if you can deal with the psychopaths in corporate, you can deal with anyone!!

Logical Fallacy

FYI, that Barack Obama is a narcissistic mediocrity and George Bush was/is a neurotic nitwit are not disjoint.

Real life 'vampires'!

None of us in the real world have anything to worry about when it comes to vampires, but I would argue that these corporate psychopaths behave a lot like vampires and can do more damage from their positions of power.

The article used the word parasitic at one point...

I'd be curious to see a study

I'd be curious to see a study which compares the percent of psychopaths in public versus private companies. I believe that the pressure on public companies to focus on short term results has created an environment where psychopaths are heavily valued and sought after.

When an executive's goals and rewards structures are focused on the fiscal quarter or at most a fiscal year you will naturally find that the people who are successful are the ones unencumbered by feelings. Whether that's concern for the future well being of employees or loyalty to the ones that have been reliable contributors for many years.

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Ray Williams is the author of Breaking Bad Habits and The Leadership Edge.


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