Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Doing business with a sociopath is bad business

Monday, 25 February 2013 

Here’s a scary fact about the prevalence of sociopaths, also called psychopaths: Dr. Robert Hare, the psychologist who developed the Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R), says that approximately 1% of the general population meets his definition of a psychopath. But in a study of 200 high-potential executives, he found that 3.5% of them fit the profile of a psychopath. That means there are 3.5 times a many psychopaths in corporate offices as there are on the streets.

One of them, in my opinion, is Carl R. Greene, former executive director of the Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA). I’ve posted several articles about him since he was fired from the agency that he ran for 12 years in August 2010.

Why was he fired? Well, there were the six sexual harassment complaints filed against him. Greene directed the agency’s lawyers and insurance company to settle three of them, for over $1 million, without informing the board of directors.

Then there was the hostile work environment Greene created. His rage was legendary. Anyone who stood up to him was fired, demoted, or relocated to some outpost in a crime-ridden neighborhood.

Then there was the “unapproved abandonment of his duties.” When the media reported that Greene’s luxury condominium was in foreclosure after he failed to pay the mortgage for five months, he stopped showing up for work. Greene disappeared for a week—no one knew where he was.

Looked the other way
The PHA board of directors apparently knew Greene was an abusive executive—after all, one employee, after being berated by him, went home and dropped dead. They may also have known about his inappropriate spending of agency funds, such as handing out $800 Tumi duffel bags to 20 staffers who attended an annual PHA conference. But they seemed to be willing to look the other way, because Greene got resultsMORE

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Why your boss could easily be a psychopath

9:00PM GMT 26 Jan 2013

Troublesome colleagues are likely to harbour a "dark triad" of psychopathic tendencies, Machiavellian cunning and narcissistic selfishness, according to a new study.

Office workers 'can be psychopaths, Machiavellians, and narcissists'
Among the examples of these 'triadics' he gives is the fictional Mafia boss Tony Soprano Photo: Warner Bros
If you feel your colleagues are out to get you, it turns out you could be right.
A study of office politics suggests that workplaces are a jungle of awkward personalities vying for domination.
Oliver James, the psychologist and broadcaster, identified three types of dysfunctional personalities among white collar workers: psychopath, Machiavellian, and narcissist.
These are the colleagues who have no compunction about trampling over others, or like nothing more than to plot and scheme, or who drone on endlessly about themselves.
Most terrifyingly, the author concluded that there was fourth dysfunctional type: a “triadic person” who is a combination of all three. Such staff, James warns, have a dangerous, yet effective mix of a lack of empathy, self-centredness, deviousness and self-regard which can propel them to the top of the organisations. MORE