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The disturbing link between psychopathy and leadership. (2013)

“3% of trainee managers in this survey scored in the psychopath range – well above the 1% incidence in the general population.”


Victor Lipman ‘Mind of the Manager’ blog
Psychology Today, posted 23 April 2013

“..troubling research indicates that in the ranks of senior management, psychopathic behavior may be more common than we think – more prevalent in fact than the amount such seriously aberrant behavior occurs in the general population.

“… approximately 3% of those assessed in this management development program study appeared to score in the psychopath range – well above the incidence of 1% in the general population

“At first blush this may seem counterintuitive, even outrageous. We tend to think of psychopathy as the province of criminals, with leadership qualities that may land someone atop a fringe religious cult, say – not in a boardroom …. (but) consider for a moment why this possibility is actually less bizarre than it may initially seem.

“The hallmarks of the psychopathic personality involve egocentric, grandiose behavior, completely lacking empathy and conscience. Additionally, psychopaths may be charismatic, charming, and adept at manipulating one-on-one interactions. In a corporation, one’s ability to advance is determined largely by a person’s ability to favorably impress his or her direct manager.

“Unfortunately, certain of these psychopathic qualities – in particular charm, charisma, grandiosity (which can be mistaken for vision or confidence) and the ability to “perform” convincingly in one-on-one settings – are also qualities that help one get ahead in the business world.”

Read the full blog here: The disturbing link between psychopathy and leadership.


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