web counter The Madness of MokcikNab: Sociopath as CEO
The Madness of MokcikNab
Motives, movements and melodrama in the life of a thirty something mum.

Thursday, November 17, 2005
Sociopath as CEO

Here's something you ought to think about : that Celebrity CEO you're working for, might well be a corporate Jeffrey Dahmer. Tell me something I don't know, you say? Today, the cheapo me bought some back issues of Fast Company for 9.90, and their July edition was particularly arresting. Next to a very yellow C. Montgomery Burns in his best portrait shot, is this question : IS YOUR BOSS A PSYCHOPATH? Take Our Quiz to Find Out.

The premise of the cover story started with Robert Hare, a prof emeritus in criminal psychology, who in August 2002, gave a talk to about 150 Canadian policemen at a convention in Newfoundland. Here's an excerpt from the article, which you can also read at the Fast Company website.

According to the Canadian Press and Toronto Sun reporters who rescued the moment from obscurity, Hare began by talking about Mafia hit men and sex offenders, whose photos were projected on a large screen behind him. But then those images were replaced by pictures of top executives from WorldCom, which had just declared bankruptcy, and Enron, which imploded only months earlier. The securities frauds would eventually lead to long prison sentences for WorldCom CEO Bernard Ebbers and Enron CFO Andrew Fastow.

"These are callous, cold-blooded individuals," Hare said.

"They don't care that you have thoughts and feelings. They have no sense of guilt or remorse." He talked about the pain and suffering the corporate rogues had inflicted on thousands of people who had lost their jobs, or their life's savings. Some of those victims would succumb to heart attacks or commit suicide, he said.

Then Hare came out with a startling proposal. He said that the recent corporate scandals could have been prevented if CEOs were screened for psychopathic behavior. "Why wouldn't we want to screen them?" he asked. "We screen police officers, teachers. Why not people who are going to handle billions of dollars?"

Makes sense ? Take this quiz and shudder. Don't you think that Prof. Hare is merely giving you an empirical and scientific back-up to what you already know : that your boss is a bona-fide wacko? The thing is, ruthless and opportunistic wackos somehow always end up at the top of the corporate ladder, because of the number of heads they'd gleefully step on. This is why Suhaimi, Che' kam and I had to quit our jobs : we just had to reclaim our sanity. Mr Burns was quoted as saying, "What good is money if it can't inspire terror in your fellow man?". You have to be Homer Simpson to continue working for a guy like that.


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