The Wisdom of Psychopaths: What Saints, Spies, and Serial Killers Can Teach Us About Success by Kevin DuttonIn this engrossing journey into the lives of psychopaths and their infamously crafty behaviors, the renowned psychologist Kevin Dutton reveals that there is a scale of “madness” along which we all sit. Incorporating the latest advances in brain scanning and neuroscience, Dutton demonstrates that the brilliant neurosurgeon who lacks empathy has more in common with a Ted Bundy who kills for pleasure than we may wish to admit, and that a mugger in a dimly lit parking lot may well, in fact, have the same nerveless poise as a titan of industry.
Dutton argues that there are indeed “functional psychopaths” among us—different from their murderous counterparts—who use their detached, unflinching, and charismatic personalities to succeed in mainstream society, and that shockingly, in some fields, the more “psychopathic” people are, the more likely they are to succeed. Dutton deconstructs this often misunderstood diagnosis through bold on-the-ground reporting and original scientific research as he mingles with the criminally insane in a high-security ward, shares a drink with one of the world’s most successful con artists, and undergoes transcranial magnetic stimulation to discover firsthand exactly how it feels to see through the eyes of a psychopath.
As Dutton develops his theory that we all possess psychopathic tendencies, he puts forward the argument that society as a whole is more psychopathic than ever: after all, psychopaths tend to be fearless, confident, charming, ruthless, and focused—qualities that are tailor-made for success in the twenty-first century. Provocative at every turn, The Wisdom of Psychopaths is a riveting adventure that reveals that it’s our much-maligned dark side that often conceals the trump cards of success.
Why a Disproportionate Number of CEOs Are Psychopaths
With all the corporate scandals of late, chances are you've heard the statement that one in five CEOs is a "psychopath. Corporate leaders are only slightly more likely to have strong psychopathic tendencies than other groups—and CEOs that exhibit those tendencies are less likely to be viewed as effective leaders. More significantly, there is a pronounced gender gap between how men and women are perceived when they exhibit psychopathic traits. It can give men a slight advantage when moving up through management ranks. But women are perceived much more negatively because those traits run counter to social gender norms, and thus women don't reap the same benefits in terms of career advancement.
Characteristics such as an inability to empathise, superficiality and insincerity are all associated with the condition. Mr Brooks said the findings suggested businesses should screen employees according to their personality features, rather than simply their skills. Mr Brookes says that figure "shared similarities to what we would find in a prison population". The research on that is in the preliminary stages. They tend to be charming and flamboyant, which makes it easier to be successful in the short-run, although that may be purchased at expense of long-term failure. World globe An icon of the world globe, indicating different international options.
Few things bring teams together like complaining about the boss. The truth is that CEOs make mistakes and demonstrate personality quirks just like everyone else. In most cases, these two dynamics balance themselves out, and teams reach a sort of equilibrium. In fact, a certain aptitude for Machiavellian maneuvering is almost a job requirement these days. Managing people in any capacity requires a certain degree of manipulation. Good managers know how to apply the right kind of manipulation to help people arrive at conclusions on their own and overcome their fears and insecurities. Psychopaths, on the other hand, manipulate for their personal gain.
Is there a cure?
If you think any of the statements above describe you, then you most likely have a tendency to display antisocial, callous and reckless behaviors. According a study dating back to , there were at least three times as many psychopaths in executive or CEO roles than in the overall population. But more recent data found it's now a much higher figure: 20 percent. Narcissism involves an unrealistic sense of grandiosity and superiority, manifested in the form of vanity, self-admiration and delusions of talent. Here are the main characteristics of narcissistic and toxic bosses:. They often crave validation and recognition from others.
Characteristics such as an inability to empathise, superficiality and insincerity are all associated with the condition. Mr Brooks said the findings suggested businesses should screen employees according to their personality features, rather than simply their skills. In the general population, around 1 per cent are psychopaths, although some studies put the figure at 4 per cent. The research on that is in the preliminary stages. They tend to be charming and flamboyant, which makes it easier to be successful in the short-run, although that may be purchased at expense of long-term failure.