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Psychopaths in the executive suite

If you’re one of those people who still thinks anyone should be able to recognize a psychopath, wake up: Not all psychopaths are beady-eyed serial killers. The psychopath you see every day could be your boss.

Snakes in Suits is the new book by Dr. Robert Hare, the international expert on psychopaths, and Dr. Paul Babiak, an industrial-organizational psychologist. (I wrote about the book last Sunday as well.) Buried on page 193 is a shocking statistic: 3.5% of business executives are psychopaths.

Hare and Babiak conducted original research with 200 high-potential executives. The 3.5% who scored as psychopaths were “superficial, grandiose, deceitful, impulsive, irresponsible, not taking responsibility for their own actions, and lacking goals, remorse and empathy.”

The authors also wrote, “From the cases we have reviewed from others in the field, as well as from readers, this level of incidence seems correct.”

Triple threat in the office

Let’s put this into context. Hare believes that approximately 1% of the general population of North America are out-and-out psychopaths. But 3.5% of the people running American businesses—more than triple the number of psychopaths in the rest of society—are doing it without a conscience.

That’s scary.

It also fits with what Lovefraud readers tell me. Since Lovefraud launched almost a year ago, more than 100 people have contacted me with their stories. Several people have said that the psychopaths in their lives are corporate executives. At least four people are dealing with psychopaths who are medical doctors.

These people use the mantle of respect that comes with their positions to cover their treachery. And they do it well enough to keep getting promoted.



4 Comments on "Psychopaths in the executive suite"

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  1. secretagent says:

    This is so true. I believe the main reasons psychopaths are attracted to employment businesses are the combination of a hierarchy, where authority & control is automatically achieved by virtue of one’s position in the hierarchy, combined with a steady stream of money for occupying that position.

    Once in place in a business where people generally expect colleagues and managers to be on the same team, doing their best, a psychopath’s charm produces a lifetime’s excuses for his or her inability to actually do the job they’re paid for. Blaming circumstances and other people – often subordinates – is excuse number one.

    Other employees who fall victim to life-changing stress levels, as a result of bullying, are portrayed by both psychopath and complicit organisation as sad, mentally ill losers who could not hack it in the “cut and thrust” world of business. They lose their jobs and careers, while the psychopaths get promoted further. Where an entire management team supports a psychopath – as often happens – the team becomes as a psychopath. I call it a corporate psychosis.

    We would all do well to believe those childhood stories about the 3 little pigs, Little Red Riding Hood and so on. There’s a big bad wolf in every other workplace.



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  2. The_Dawg says:

    My STBX Bigamist Monster was just that. In the corporate world he sat, blaming others for work not completed. At one company in Redmond Washington, he claimed our daughter had leukemia, for over a year people covered for him, consoled him and bought him lunch. I didn’t find out about this myself until after our daughter “died” and cards started arriving at the house. When I kicked him out last year I contacted some of the people he worked with and apparently he took a 5 week leave after the “death” WITH PAY! I had no clue, since he had always left to work each morning. Oh, my daughter, never sick, still alive and kicking.



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  3. modelman360 says:

    i was married to a sociopath for 18 yrs ,two sons, she wanted people to think she was sweet and naive, i asked her not to go to this one bar, i said it was a meat market, she comes back in 5 minutes and asks me honey when you said meat market did you mean meat market or meet market?. she was good she would suck you in with her charm, we had a 7 hr trial in court for custody, i brought one guy in 22 yrs younger than her , he said yes we screwed on the beach once a week and she bought me clothes with the husbands credit cards, the judge made her read outloud a love letter she wrote to this guy, 3 pages long, in it she says she has cheated her kids but his love was worth it! i dug into her past when we were divorcing, found out she was cheating with her ex bosses even their mailman! . she got custody for a week, i went over with my sons to divide xmas stuff, she punched me in the face and dug her nails into my arm, she was arrested and signed over custody to me to stay out of jail, she had to pay me $400 a month child support for 5 yrs, my sons want nothing to do with her. she gave up her rights when she picked up a hammer and went after our son! i thank god i am away from her every day, i took her to aa meetings we would leave and she would say you have the problem not me! i would sit on the couch in the dark at 5 or 6 in the morning waiting for her to come home from wherever in clearwater, she lied on a restraing order and admitted it in court so she could kick me out and bring in her ex con boyfriend with a police record a mile long! he is a tree trimmer!,lolol….i look back on it now, and god was doing me the biggest favor, but at the time i just didn’t know it, to this day nine yrs later she has not contacted her sons at all and only lives 2 miles away, they want nothing to do with her, very sad, i believe she lives alone now, but in the end isn’t that how these kind of people end up?. i am married to my old girlfriend who i used to throw snowball at on the way home from 6th grade school!, she is very very good to me, i never wanted to get involved in the court system because it’s so unfair, in pinellas county fla. i trusted this sick woman with my books and the money, i found out she was buying clothes etc for her boyfriends etc. i do believe what goes around comes around. the sad part is .they think they are the victim and don’t ever consider other people at all, even their sons, god help them!



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    • modelman360 says:

      well it’s me modelman 6 years later, I was right, what goes around comes around, this past march 22nd 2013 my ex wife and her boyfriends house was raided by the fbi and sheriffs dept. he is a felon and he had machine guns and over 17000 rounds of ammo, on October 3rd he was sent to federal prison for 5 years, I went to court to his sentencing, she was VERY upset that I was there. it was great entertainment to say the least. her sister sat there saying fuck you to me and giving me the finger, very ladylike. my ex lied like crazy saying she did not know about the guns! lol the prosecuter threw his hands up in the air she was lieing so much. a grown adult, she looked terrible, straw like hair, face was all pocked mark, very sad. when I walked by her I didn’t even know it was her! our two sons 15 yrs later want nothing to do with her, she has grandkids she doesn’t even know, sad isn’t it? oh yeah, she violated the restraining order I put on her 15 yrs ago by being around all those guns, and the state attorney brought charges against her, foolish woman!



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