Is Your Boss a Psychopath?

Are corporations fundamentally psychopathic organizations that attract similarly disposed people? It’s a compelling idea, especially given the recent evidence.

Such scandals as Enron and WorldCom aren’t just aberrations; they represent what can happen when some basic currents in our business culture turn malignant. We’re worshipful of top executives who seem charismatic, visionary, and tough.

So long as they’re lifting profits and stock prices, we’re willing to overlook that they can also be callous, conning, manipulative, deceitful, verbally and psychologically abusive, remorseless, exploitative, self-delusional, irresponsible, and megalomaniacal. So we collude in the elevation of leaders who are sadly insensitive to hurting others and society at large.

Odds are you’ve run across one of these characters in your career. They’re glib, charming, manipulative, deceitful, ruthless — and very, very destructive. And there may be lots of them in offices all around the world…

Read more of Alan Deutschman’s article “Is Your Boss a Psychopath?” at or you can watch the Catalyst story “Corporate Psychopaths” by playing the Video below (12 minutes 56 seconds in length).

In the story Dr Jonica Newby from ABC TV’s Catalyst program goes deep inside their minds – what makes them tick, how do you spot them; and how do you avoid being crushed by them – tune in to find out if your boss is an office psychopath:

If you can’t see the video player than you should open this URL in Windows Media Player:

7 Replies to “Is Your Boss a Psychopath?”

  1. It’s so scary!
    I’m working in a “not huge” company now and it’s been a year and a half since I started. As far as I experience, my boss has no sign of being a Psychopath. Which is a good news! ^_^
    Nah, I hope he is not really is. 🙂

  2. I find it interesting that there are actually studies about it. Once I thought about going into investment banking but I think there are only psychopaths working there. I think even if your boss is no psychopath you have to adjust to the different characters and leading capabilities – which can be a challenge

  3. Your boss wants to advance himself. He’s not interested in your well being. He wants you to come in on time, do your work, and keep quiet about your little problems; not unreasonable.

    A lot of people waste a lot of energy griping about their work. Solution: become self-employed! You won’t believe how much better you feel.

  4. Donnel has the ball. Self-employment is the key solution. Only few were born and have qualities to be leaders and boss. Others just become scary monsters that make us feel like trash.

    I wish I was Steve Jobs employee, I guess – look, I guess! – he is a good boss.

  5. There’s nothing better than being self-employed. It isn’t smooth sailing, but has so many advantages over being an employee. If we we’re Steve Jobs employees at least we would get a free iPhone.

    EDITOR: what is it with people’s obsession with iphones? Also why would you assume that Steve Jobs is a good boss just because he’s rich and famous?

  6. Being self-employed, I hope my boss isn’t a psychopath 🙂

    I’ve read that Jobs is a really tough and demanding boss, but that that is why Apple products are of such high quality.

  7. I didn’t say Steve Jobs is a good boss, nor did I say he’s good boss because he’s rich and famous. If anything that would normally cause me to say a person is not a good boss. And as for the iPhone: We don’t have them here yet, so I’m still rooting for one!

    EDITOR: Sorry that comment was directed at the person who posted just before you

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