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5 Reasons Executives Aren't Good People

2. They're psychopaths

OK, maybe not all of them, but about four times as many as the general population.

Psychologist Paul Babiak studied 111-point questionnaires filled out by more than 200 executives and found that almost 4% of those surveyed were considered psychopaths when ranked on the Psychopathy Checklist, which therapists use to assess the personality disorder. Babiak included the findings in his book, Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work, and found that in comparison, only 1% of the general population exhibits psychopathic tendencies.

Basically, they lack empathy and show no remorse for their actions, but disguise the condition by hiding behind their status, turning on the charm and by manipulating or mimicking others. With a happy, well-adjusted childhoods, such psychopaths can function in a workplace rather than channelling their energies in more violent or destructive ways.

Their condition actually makes them terrible managers, but makes it easy to cover that weaknesses with charm and convince both superiors and subordinates that they're not so bad after all. There's very little separating a talented team leader from a psychopath, which is worth remembering at the next shareholders' meeting or conference.

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