Psychopaths, Sociopaths and Differences for the Workplace

This entry is part 1 of 11 in the series Psychopaths in Workplace

Classical management theory is very silent on the influence of personality in business, especially psychopaths and sociopaths who can and do exist in business, as Kevin Dutton (The Wisdom of Psychopaths) and others explain. Since experts don’t agree on definitions and these personalities appear in varying degrees, it’s hard to say exactly how many exist…

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Identifying Psychopaths in the Workplace

This entry is part 2 of 11 in the series Psychopaths in Workplace

Psychopaths work to amass their power. Emotions are not in the equation. They are immune to those of others, including their own. These points go a long way in identifying psychopaths in the workplace. Psychopaths Navigating Culture and Politics One study of higher-level leadership candidates showed psychopaths to be three times more common than in…

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How Psychopaths Become CEO’s (Pt 1) – Introduction

This entry is part 3 of 11 in the series Psychopaths in Workplace

The short answer to this post’s title is that we let them. To understand this, we need to examine this outcome as we would any other event. That means exploring the: Situation, the conditions under which this could occur Flow, the timing and trends of events preceding this outcome People, what personalities and culture make…

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

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

The introductory post of this mini-series summarized the situations promoting the rise of psychopaths to CEO as: Formal hierarchies, organizations, processes and rules Incrementally growing or declining companies High growth departments within incrementally growing or declining companies Psychopaths function better in formal hierarchies where rules are fairly well entrenched. New and emerging companies have less…

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How Psychopaths Become CEO’s (Pt 3) – Preferred Trends

This entry is part 5 of 11 in the series Psychopaths in Workplace

Psychopaths often become CEO’s because we ask them to do so. We usually do so unknowingly, but circumstances around events encourage us to seek their personality traits. The introductory post of this mini-series summarized the trends found in these events: Adding more organization, processes and rules Establishing or enforcing fiscal discipline and cost containment Tackling…

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How Psychopaths Become CEO’s (Pt 4) – Preferred Cultures

This entry is part 6 of 11 in the series Psychopaths in Workplace

Previously, the situations and trends psychopaths prefer. Now, we will discuss the cultures as summarized in the introductory post of this mini-series: Personalities and cultures that desire, respect and promote authority, rules, discipline and processes Low tolerance for negativity, dissent and conflict Highly competitive, incentivized and self-interested Bottom-line orientation, outcomes justify processes What’s difficult to…

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How Psychopaths Become CEO’s (Pt 5) – Relational Preferences

This entry is part 7 of 11 in the series Psychopaths in Workplace

Psychopaths prefer relationships in which we will tend to: Permit psychopaths to break the rules Be seduced by confidence Misinterpret success for talent Allow charisma to overshadow truth In other words, style easily influences humans, so psychopaths will leverage these influences. Since we tend to view those who break rules as powerful, psychopaths will often…

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Working with Psychopaths

This entry is part 8 of 11 in the series Psychopaths in Workplace

Obviously, not working with psychopaths is the best option. That, however, isn’t always practical. Additionally, it’s neither practical nor optimal to distrust everyone. So, when working with psychopaths, it’s important to: Acknowledge they exist in the workplace Know the situations, trends and cultures they prefer Interact safely with them Retard their efforts when possible This…

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Self-Regulated Psychopath, Implications for Emotional Intelligence (Pt 2)

This entry is part 10 of 11 in the series Psychopaths in Workplace

Previously, I recommended revisiting Emotional Intelligence (EI) as proposed by advocates of Daniel Goleman. That centered on empathy. This is on self-regulation, another of the five components of EI Goleman created. Again, looking at psychopaths relative to self-regulation illustrates legitimacy for revisiting the EI concept. Imagine a sensitive person born with very intense emotions and…

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