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Meta-analysis of dark side personality characteristics and critical work behaviors among leaders across the globe: findings and implications for leadership development and executive coaching. (2013)

“..illustrates how dark side personality scores successfully predict dangerous behaviors ..provides new insights on mitigating these tendencies before they become toxic for organizations or society.

Blaine H. Gaddis & Jeff L. Foster, Hogan Assessment Systems, Oklahoma USA

One of the articles in Applied Psychology’s special issue: ‘Beyond the bright side: dark personality in the workplace’. January 2015, Volume 64, Issue 1
Article first published online: 27 Aug 2013

This paper looks at business-critical work behaviors of leaders and how scores on dark side personality measures predict those behaviors.

Because senior leadership drives management practices, leadership ultimately determines the fate of organizations. In other words, when leadership is effective everyone benefits. Likewise, everyone suffers from ineffective or destructive leadership which is of concern given research suggesting that between 33 per cent and 61 per cent of leaders act destructively.

Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina lavished herself with bonuses and perks while terminating thousands to reduce costs. Dick Fuld’s leadership resulted in the collapse of Lehman Brothers, triggering a nationwide financial panic. Tony Hayward’s repeated stumbles in the wake of the explosion and spill at the Deepwater Horizon rig led to his ousting as BP CEO. Each of these leaders made destructive decisions that resulted in disaster for individuals and organizations under them.

Although positive personality characteristics can contribute to managerial success, other personal attributes such as arrogance, volatility, and distrust can lead to failure

This research illustrates how scores on dark side personality measures significantly predict critical leader behaviors, and that these relationships generalize to leaders across the globe.

It provides business coaches with new insights to mitigate the negative impact of dangerous dark side traits. Coaches can use these insights to monitor and mitigate these tendencies before they become toxic for individual leaders, their organizations, or society.

Access the article here: Meta-analysis of dark side personality characteristics

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