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18 Jul 2013

How Psychopaths Become CEO’s (Pt 2) – Situational Preferences

This entry is part 4 of 11 in the series Psychopaths in Workplace

Psychopath & Sociopath The DifferencesThe introductory post of this mini-series summarized the situations promoting the rise of psychopaths to CEO as:

Psychopaths function better in formal hierarchies where rules are fairly well entrenched. New and emerging companies have less systematization and structure than their bigger brethren do. Psychopaths often acquire their power by breaking rules, but only if almost everyone else abides by them. Rules enforce controls, controls over people’s behaviors. This is why psychopaths are extremely hypocritical when it comes to rules: they will break them if it benefits them but will strictly enforce and punish others who do the same.

Incrementally growing or declining companies are fertile grounds for psychopaths as long as they sense an advantage. Psychopaths have no problems getting rich at the expense of the enterprise. High growth creates dynamic opportunities and change. This is risky for psychopaths because opportunities abound. A dog-eat-dog mentality to advance is less prevalent compared to situations where one can only get ahead through the termination of another. Psychopaths shine in dog-eat-dog situations.

Of course, if psychopaths can govern change in a high-growth situation or the growth is assured that is definitely an advantage. That is why they will definitely seek to run high-growth departments within slower growing or declining companies; this only enhances their image and power. Furthermore, since change is dynamic, they will likely need to make new rules at which psychopaths are often good. Rules are good, making rules is even better.

Simply, psychopaths need people. They use rules to control them and acquire power by working outside them. They look for rich, mature hosts or very young ones assured of growth, needing organization, standardization, discipline and processes.


Series Navigation<< How Psychopaths Become CEO’s (Pt 1) – IntroductionHow Psychopaths Become CEO’s (Pt 3) – Preferred Trends >>

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