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Is Your Boss a Psychopath?

ScuttleMonkey posted about 9 years ago | from the phb-for-a-better-tomorrow dept.

Businesses 878

Dogers writes "Robert Hare, creator of the Psychopathy Checklist, has recently been applying his test 'Is your boss a psychopath' to businessmen and has found some disturbing results. From the article: 'Why wouldn't we want to screen them? We screen police officers, teachers. Why not people who are going to handle billions of dollars?'. Citing Enron and Worldcom management as an example, it seems a reasonable argument. The same source also has a quiz (magazine produced it seems) which allows you to test your own boss, too!"

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easy (4, Funny)

justforaday (560408) | about 9 years ago | (#13354838)

Yes! Next question?

Re:easy (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13354856)

You're fired you insignificant sack of crotch-sniffing feces!

Next up.. a quiz for bosses.. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13355033)

"Is your employee a whining crybaby?"

For each question, score two points for "yes," one point for "somewhat" or "maybe," and zero points for "no."

1) Does he/she frequently post on geek websites, complaining about you being a psychopath?

2) Does your employee hate Microsoft, IBM, the Patent Office, and/or does he feel that somehow his future is threatened by them?

3) Does your employee believe SCO may have a case?

4) Is your employee constantly whining about management decisions like purchasing a Microsoft Exchange server or cisco routers?

5) Did your employee get overly agitated when you decided to pay SCO for their Linux Licenses?

6) Does he/she often speak in a language uncomprehensible to human beings? using words such as "packet" "protocol" or "xfree"

7) Does he/she look frustrated when you make bold management decisions, such as assigning half the company to a research project about sending electricity over fax machines?

8) Is your employee constantly whining about not having enough time or resources in order to achieve his goals?

1-4 | Our condolences. Your employee may be dead.
5-7 | Be cautious about not approaching him.
8-12 | Be afraid of approaching him.
13-16 | Be very afraid of approaching him.

Zdravstvuite! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13354840)

Hellow! My name is Nikiforov Andrew. You have very good site! Information in it really interesting! Thank you very much!

New Record (5, Funny)

kevin_conaway (585204) | about 9 years ago | (#13354844)

I think that this could be the very first Slashdot thread composed entirely of AC posts.

Minus this one of course.

Re:New Record (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13354941)

Kevin, get back to work NOW! Don't make me come over to your cubicle.

-- Your Boss

Re:New Record (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13355024)

Who modded that reply Informative? Funny, yes, Informative, no. Sheesh!

Re:New Record (5, Funny)

Hogwash McFly (678207) | about 9 years ago | (#13355083)

I love incorrect moderations; they are usually hilarious. The best are funny posts modded Informative or Interesting, as seen in the grandparent. It seems to indicate the naivete or perhaps even stupidity of the modder, and it makes me laugh out of warm sympathy.

Re:New Record (1, Redundant)

Broiler (804077) | about 9 years ago | (#13354968)

I think that this could be the very first Slashdot thread composed entirely of AC posts.

I'm not scared! The psychopath is also illiterate...

Re:New Record (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13355091)

I'm not scared! The psychopath is also illiterate...

Dave,

Your fired.

Frank

The question is why do they exist? (2, Interesting)

Ckwop (707653) | about 9 years ago | (#13354848)

If Psycopathy has a genetic component, then has it survived natural selection. Surely in ancient times psycopathy would not have got you far. You'd likely be expelled from a society or likely killed.

It's too common to be a mutation because genetic diseases often have percentage rates of 0.01% or below.

It makes me wonder!

Simon.

Re:The question is why do they exist? (5, Insightful)

CDarklock (869868) | about 9 years ago | (#13354887)

> Surely in ancient times psycopathy would not
> have got you far. You'd likely be expelled
> from a society or likely killed.

I'd think the psychopaths would probably be the ones doing the killing.

Re:The question is why do they exist? (1, Informative)

kin_korn_karn (466864) | about 9 years ago | (#13354890)

Capitalism and psychopathy go hand in hand. That's why it has survived today.

Re:The question is why do they exist? (2, Insightful)

jumpingfred (244629) | about 9 years ago | (#13354913)

It seems to me that other forms of government were not without their psychopaths.

Re:The question is why do they exist? (4, Informative)

kin_korn_karn (466864) | about 9 years ago | (#13354959)

Nitpick: Capitalism is not a type of government, it's an economic system. But, you're right, look at all the homocidal monarchs of years past, Saddam, etc.

However, capitalism gives mild psychopaths a legal outlet for their manipulative urges. It's understood today, and even encouraged, that to be successful in business you must screw people over. I majored in business administration and that's more or less what management classes are - they teach you how to manipulate people for the good of the Company. As with anything else, a natural aptitude for it will make you more successful.

Re:The question is why do they exist? (5, Insightful)

PaxTech (103481) | about 9 years ago | (#13354967)

Capitalism and psychopathy go hand in hand. That's why it has survived today.

Definitely. No other [wikipedia.org] ideology [wikipedia.org] in history [wikipedia.org] has produced [wikipedia.org] so many psychopaths [wikipedia.org] .

Re:The question is why do they exist? (4, Insightful)

kin_korn_karn (466864) | about 9 years ago | (#13355079)

Capitalism rewards psychopathic behavior inherently. All of the people you just smugly linked to were psychopaths in -spite- of their ideology.

Re:The question is why do they exist? (5, Interesting)

AKAImBatman (238306) | about 9 years ago | (#13354910)

If Psycopathy has a genetic component, then has it survived natural selection.

Putting aside the arguments over "natural selection", it remains in the gene pool because it works. There are often situations that require someone to push through the bullcrap and make something happen. These sociopaths are far more suited to this task because they care nothing for the consequences, or who's opinion they ignore, or who's feelings they hurt. They may not even care about who lives or dies. (Which in some situations, someone will die no matter what course is taken.) The problem has always been that they are a tough fit for any society they create. As the article says, they want the next thrill immediately. Yet emergency situations requiring their brashness tend to be very rare.

Re:The question is why do they exist? (5, Funny)

Bimo_Dude (178966) | about 9 years ago | (#13355096)

Yet emergency situations requiring their brashness tend to be very rare.

That just gave me an idea for a business, "Psychopaths On Call." We can have them stay at home with a pager, and companies can hire them by the hour for those tough, decisions of questionable ethics...

I think I'll call my attorney about the legalities of this one.

oh wait...

Re:The question is why do they exist? (1)

jim_v2000 (818799) | about 9 years ago | (#13354943)

I think they would have called them kings/rulers/lords...

Intelligent Design (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13354947)

God wants it that way.

Re:The question is why do they exist? (1)

m50d (797211) | about 9 years ago | (#13354952)

It doesn't get you expelled from society now, why would it then? And that ruthlessness can be a selective advantage in some cases, certain situations. Or maybe having a "half gene" for it is useful, makes you that bit more driven, cunning, etc., so the gene persists and people with two copies of it wind up psychopaths.

Why psychopaths exist... (5, Insightful)

pieterh (196118) | about 9 years ago | (#13354963)

The reason is quite simple.

Much of our history has been dominated by violence, and our ancestors are those who survived violent episodes. Either by being very smart, very cute, or very evil.

Psychopaths are overwhelmingly male and psychopathic behaviour is generally evidenced by the ability to hurt and harm others without the usual remorse and empathic pain that most people feel.

The reason why only a small fraction of people show this behaviour is because (a) it's quite counterproductive in stable societies, so quickly gets pushed into marginal genepools (the bad boys of any village), and (b) it has a large component of environmental triggering, meaning that many people (mainly men, again) can exhibit psychopathic behavour given the right circumstances.

Why are psychopaths so charming? Partly because it works well in conflict situations. Partly because it acts to deflect attention. Selection works at the gene level, and the charming psychopathic genes have survived civilisation much better than the pure violence ones.

Primate behavior (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13354982)

Bosses aren't psychos; they are just exhibiting basic primate behavior. They gain status by abusing lower-ranking members of the troop, and by showing deference to the higher-ranking members.

Re:The question is why do they exist? (4, Insightful)

dr_dank (472072) | about 9 years ago | (#13354996)

If Psycopathy has a genetic component, then has it survived natural selection. Surely in ancient times psycopathy would not have got you far. You'd likely be expelled from a society or likely killed.

To me, it seems like an extension of the "survival of the fittest" meme. People who can manipulate others and use influence to benefit their own ends usually wind up getting more wealth, beautiful women attracted to such, etc etc. Think of the elite hunter-gatherers, who had a ton of food and was attractive to mates due to their cunning and ability to provide, thusly spreading their genes further.

Re:The question is why do they exist? (1)

RandoX (828285) | about 9 years ago | (#13355038)

A large part of the criteria seems to be lack of empathy or concern for the effects on others. Surely desensitization and environmental conditioning could play a large part in these traits.

Re:The question is why do they exist? (2, Interesting)

DeadScreenSky (666442) | about 9 years ago | (#13355102)

Or it could just be some form of all-too-common brain damage.

Slippery Slope (4, Funny)

Alex P Keaton in da (882660) | about 9 years ago | (#13354852)

Should we screen everyone then? On man's psycopath is aanother man's genius.
Although there are psychopaths out there- I had an internship where a boss of mine spend 10 minutes screaming at me for stapling something crooked.

Re:Slippery Slope (4, Funny)

Adelbert (873575) | about 9 years ago | (#13354903)

On man's psycopath is aanother man's genius

An easy test for you: if someone goes around murdering people in a grizzly, macabre fashion then they are probably psychopaths. On the other hand, if they can solve complex differential equations in their heads, they're a genius.

Re:Slippery Slope (1)

bedroll (806612) | about 9 years ago | (#13354945)

It doesn't exactly work that way. Yes, a person could be a psychopath (have an antisocial personality disorder) and be a genius, but one in no way infers the other. Psychopathes do not feel remorse or guilt for their actions, in there minds it does not matter if they harm or kill someone so long as there is gain to be had from doing it. Psychopathes do not neccessarily have bad tempers, though. In fact, they're much more likely to seem calm until greatly provoked because they tend to care a lot less about things.

I don't think that everyone should be screened, nor do I neccessarily think that all top executives should be. It wouldn't be a bad idea to screen those with the most power, though.

For more information read the Wikipedia article [wikipedia.org]

No (1)

GuitarNeophyte (636993) | about 9 years ago | (#13355051)

"On man's psycopath is aanother man's genius."

There are many other psychological disorders out there that you could say, "One man's _________ is another man's genius" but psychopath isn't one of them. If soemone IS a genius and has these qualities, then I'd still not want them in the corporate environment, because if someone has no problem harming other people or doesn't care about the ramifications of their actions toward someone else, then even if they are super smart, it's no excuse for their behavior.

Other ________'s could be perfectly feasible, though. A schitzophrenic (no clue on spelling) for instance could be a wonderful genius and under supervision could still be helpful (note: not in alot of power, but still in the force). An agorophobic (also, not sure of spelling) could still be a very productive person. But Psychopath always involves harming others.

Evil Genius? Yes. But still keep them out of the workplace, because as we've all seen on movies, cartoons, and politics, when evil geniuses have power, Bad Things Happen.

Luke
----
Help your boss learn about computers. Send him to ChristianNerds.com [christiannerds.com]

You would *have* to be a psychopath.. (5, Insightful)

BlackCobra43 (596714) | about 9 years ago | (#13354855)

to basically earn your way through life by exploiting and berating underlings, some of which are inevitably of equal or even superior skill and/or intellect to you.

Re:You would *have* to be a psychopath.. (1)

100lbHand (676832) | about 9 years ago | (#13355023)

no, but being psycopathic helps because you would never feel bad about all those underlings you crush on your way to the top.

note to self: do not work for me (5, Funny)

Amoeba (55277) | about 9 years ago | (#13354857)

So apparently I'm in the Be Very Afraid range. Remind me to never go into business for myself or I'll eventually kill the bastard.

Quiz? (3, Insightful)

Poromenos1 (830658) | about 9 years ago | (#13354860)

God, it's one of those magazine quizzes that are entitled "Are you a homosexual? Find out" and the questions range from "Do you like women?" to "Do you like men?". I hate obvious quizzes.
Is he a con artist or master manipulator? Who would have guessed!

15 points (3, Informative)

protomala (551662) | about 9 years ago | (#13354866)

My last boss was the demon itself! There was a week when every single day someone departed from the job, you know 5 people in a week! If you someday find a colombian called Mauricio Roman that says he studied in MIT... run!

Re:15 points (2, Funny)

scovetta (632629) | about 9 years ago | (#13354972)

Your fired.

-Mauricio

Re:15 points (5, Funny)

paulpas (461246) | about 9 years ago | (#13355014)

You're fired for making a grammatical error that a 2nd grader would make.

Thin line between Psychopath and Success ... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13354868)

examples: Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Bill Clinton, George Bush.

Politicians (4, Funny)

AnonymousJackass (849899) | about 9 years ago | (#13354869)

OK, this must mean that about 95% of politicians are psychopaths:
- glib and superficially charming
- grandiose sense of self-worth
- pathological liar
- master manipulator
- lack of remorse or guilt
- shallow
- callous and lacking in empathy
- fail to accept responsibility for his own actions

Yep, that's a politician alright.

Re:Politicians (1)

justforaday (560408) | about 9 years ago | (#13354954)

Funny? Where are the "insightful" mods?

Re:Politicians (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13354960)

Actually most of them have narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). This often resembles psycopathy at first but it is really quite different.

Re:Politicians (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13354964)

Did anybody else read that as g-lib, as in the gnu library? heh

Re:Politicians (4, Insightful)

schtum (166052) | about 9 years ago | (#13354994)

It's practically a pre-requisite. You're being modded "Funny" because there's no "Damn, he's right".

Re:Politicians (1)

'nother poster (700681) | about 9 years ago | (#13355072)

Yes there is, it's called "Insightful".

Meh. (0, Redundant)

ShadeARG (306487) | about 9 years ago | (#13354881)

This describes just about every single politician out there.

Douglas Adams knew why (5, Interesting)

Dark Paladin (116525) | about 9 years ago | (#13354882)

Why do so many bosses suck?

Because those who desire the power should be the least likely to have it. I've had some good bosses, and 90% of the time they didn't really want the job, they just kind of grew into it over time.

Other times - whew. There was the one boss who, coming in the first day, told everybody that he wasn't there to be a friend, and he could fire the whole department at a moment's notice if he wanted.

5 minutes later I was dusting off my resume. When he found me dressing nice (so I could go on lunch breaks, which were really interviews), he told me he'd fired me if he caught me interviewing somewhere else. And he'd know, because he had "contacts" all over town who would tell him. "Contacts" who would call him and ask if I was applying somewhere. Private eyes - were watching me - they'd see my every move.

Oddly enough, I guess his contacts forgot to call him three days later when I quit and went to my new, higher paying, better hours job.

So if nothing else, I'm thankful for bad bosses, since they seem to be the greatest force in people finding new and better jobs. (Even though they suck.)

Re:Douglas Adams knew why (1)

k-sound (718684) | about 9 years ago | (#13354927)

you should have been less carefull and have made sure that he fired you. that way you'd have had a other, better job AND you old boss would have had to pay several months for sacking you.

Re:Douglas Adams knew why (1)

Dark Paladin (116525) | about 9 years ago | (#13354956)

Wouldn't have worked - it was a "free to work" state, which means he didn't have to give me squat if he fired me. Besides, I make it a point not to get fired - why burn down the bridges?

Re:Douglas Adams knew why (3, Funny)

heelios (887437) | about 9 years ago | (#13354969)

I think you just proved you are yourself a psychopath. ;) "[3] Is he a pathological liar? Has he reinvented his own past in a more positive light -- for example, claiming that he rose from a tough, poor background even though he really grew up middle class? Does he lie habitually even though he can easily be found out? When he's exposed, does he still act unconcerned because he thinks he can weasel out of it? Does he enjoy lying? Is he proud of his knack for deceit? Is it hard to tell whether he knows he's a liar or whether he deceives himself and believes his own bull?"

Re:Douglas Adams knew why (1)

Dark Paladin (116525) | about 9 years ago | (#13355003)

No, I wasn't lying, honest!

And the statement above is a lie - or is it?

Trudeau knew it too (2, Insightful)

thatguywhoiam (524290) | about 9 years ago | (#13355005)

Why do so many bosses suck?... Because those who desire the power should be the least likely to have it

You reminded me of one of my favourite Pierre Trudeau quotes (for those who don't know [wikipedia.org] , one of Canada's most famous Prime Ministers).

Trudeau knew what Adams knew. The quote during his election campaign:

CBC Reporter: How badly do you want to be Prime Minister?

Trudeau (not missing a beat): Not very badly.

Imagine a politician today having the balls to say something like that... I'll end with another one:

"It's not the end of the world, but you can see it from there."

Re:Douglas Adams knew why (1)

midknight32 (702825) | about 9 years ago | (#13355019)

There was the one boss who, coming in the first day, told everybody that he wasn't there to be a friend, and he could fire the whole department at a moment's notice if he wanted.

Unfortunately, the first half ("Not here to be a friend") is utterly necessary. There is a very fine, but required line between the traits of being a good boss, and being a "buddy." That said, the second half of his statement is a major red flag that the guy was a flaming ass.

Is my boss a psycopath? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13354888)

No. A hypocrite maybe, but probably not a psycopath. See, I've fucked up a little bit at my job, and been late sometimes, and now my boss wants me to check in with him whenever I arrive or leave (lunch's included). Only problem is, when I get to work (even if I'm late), he's not there!


(posting anonymously for obvious reasons, and yes I'm posting from work)

Not only business (2, Insightful)

Quixote (154172) | about 9 years ago | (#13354892)

I used to work in an academic department doing research under contract for many years. My bosses (tenured faculty) were psychopaths too. Lying, manipulative scumbags both of them. This article may be talking about the business world, but it could easily be applied to many people in the academic world.

Now I'm out of the academic world, and with perspective I can see what a shithole that place was.

Re:Not only business (1)

MyNameIsFred (543994) | about 9 years ago | (#13355007)

When I was in grad school, so many people declared, "I will never work in the dog-eat-dog business world. I'll stay here in the much nicer academic world." Back then and today, I thought they had it backwards. In my experience, the academic world is more cut-throat, more manipulative, and more political than the business world.

Maybe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13354896)

Or maybe he's just got a trait that makes him selfish and therefore good at climbing the corporate ladder and stepping on others on the way up.

Think about it: How many of us (software people especially) work for someone who is:

1. Less intelligent (seriously, not just saying this for the sake of ego).

2. They'll step on their own mother if it means getting a promotion.

This has been my experience anyway...

Old news (0, Redundant)

nitelifer (581395) | about 9 years ago | (#13354904)

I read this article a couple months ago....

Re:Old news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13354985)

and?

so this news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13354916)

is 16 pages away from telling me how to please my man.

Enron and Worldcomm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13354918)

Every idiot out there loves to cite these two companies as examples of all that is typical and wrong with corporations. Every company is just like Enron, but just hasn't been caught yet.

GET THIS - these were ABERRATIONS. The accounting and other shenagins that went on were beyond the pale for how companies ordinarily act. The people involved went to JAIL. They are not examples of how companies typically behave.

Before you RTFM take the quiz (3, Insightful)

RamboIII (899894) | about 9 years ago | (#13354921)

These are the questions.

[1] Is he glib and superficially charming?
[2] Does he have a grandiose sense of self-worth?
[3] Is he a pathological liar?
[4] Is he a con artist or master manipulator?
[5] When he harms other people, does he feel a lack of remorse or guilt?
[6] Does he have a shallow affect?
[7] Is he callous and lacking in empathy?
[8] Does he fail to accept responsibility for his own actions?

Now RTFM, and see what they scored. Honestly, I feel that any "good" businessman will tell you that without all of these traits, you cannot succeed in this world we call America. I'm not saying that I agree with the attitude, but really look at it, it seems obvious that a lot of bosses have this attitude. It's almost a "must".

Re:Before you RTFM take the quiz (1)

Dogers (446369) | about 9 years ago | (#13354970)

I think that's actually the magazines list of questions, rather than the professors. I get the impression the professors list is a bit more meaningful :)

And dammit Slashdot - Your Rights Online? What the hell has this got to do with it, put it back where I told you it should go :(

Re:Before you RTFM take the quiz (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13354978)

I thought the world was still called Earth. I didn't realize that we had subjugated the rest of the planet yet. Hmm.

Re:Before you RTFM take the quiz (2, Funny)

Nuclear Elephant (700938) | about 9 years ago | (#13355028)

[1] Is he glib and superficially charming?

Wow, just like the GTK library

I nominate Steve Ballmer (1)

rob123 (889566) | about 9 years ago | (#13354932)

He seems to have many of these qualities.

(Developers, developers, developers..)

or the company you work for (4, Informative)

gregulrajani (21647) | about 9 years ago | (#13354939)

The Corporation [thecorporation.com]
This documentary looks at a corporations from a psychologists perspective and finds that corporations are sociopaths
-best
-greg

Climbing to the top (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | about 9 years ago | (#13354942)

Of course there will be a higher incidence of psychopathy at the tops of corporate pyramids.

How do you think people get there? And why do you think they are successful at earning profits?

1. Start new company 2. Run the Hare test on management to make sure they are psychopathic 3. ??? 4. Profit!

Re:Climbing to the top (1)

Dr. Manhattan (29720) | about 9 years ago | (#13355103)

1. Start new company 2. Run the Hare test on management to make sure they are psychopathic 3. ??? 4. Profit!

Well, if you're hiring the psychopaths, it's not a surefire formula... [wired.com] At least, for you.

Since my boss is a Project Manager... (1)

jferris (908786) | about 9 years ago | (#13354950)

...I didn't even really need to take the quiz to know the answer - but of course it is "Yes". Not surprisingly, my last two project managers matched the exact answers for each of the questions. Honestly, I think this is what has kept me from persuing Project Management.

First md5 collison post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13354957)

61206d643520636f6c6c6973696f6e0a

Could you pass the test yourself? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13354958)

I found I was okay, but one of my split personalities is a real nutcase.

My boss isn't but I appear to be. (1)

RandoX (828285) | about 9 years ago | (#13354971)

...explains a lot, actually.

Retort (3, Interesting)

imstanny (722685) | about 9 years ago | (#13354975)

'Why wouldn't we want to screen them? We screen police officers, teachers. Why not people who are going to handle billions of dollars?'

Because if screening teachers & policemen for psychopaths has taught us anything, it's that it obviously doesn't work.

And secondly, are we to assume that if you are a psychopath you cannot do your job?

we've done alright till now (1)

kizzbizz (870017) | about 9 years ago | (#13354977)

Last I checked, the U.S. has done pretty well in the global marketplace, and is continuing to do so. Apparently, our psycopaths have actually been doing OK for the country the last century.

And to be perfectly honest? I'd MUCH rather know that oppertunistic greedy businessmen without remorse are making sure US companies reign supreme than having a bunch of carebear crybabies in control.

Re:we've done alright till now (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13355081)

So I guess you scored a perfect 16 then?

My boss is an ass (1)

datadriven (699893) | about 9 years ago | (#13354979)

... ow wait, I'm self-employed

Re:My boss is an ass (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | about 9 years ago | (#13355031)

You're fired!

Love,

Your Third Personality.

Screen them "in" is more like it... (4, Interesting)

Dr_Marvin_Monroe (550052) | about 9 years ago | (#13354987)

Are you kidding me?... These are desirable characteristics for an executive! You're talking like this should BLOCK them, when in fact they should be screened FOR being a psychopath before they're offered that top management spot.

The faster we get this mess over with, the better. We should just start offering MBA's to the prisioners in all the "super-max" facilities.... That way, they could start being useful immed. upon their return to society. I can just see it now...."IPO to be offered upon parole"

To prove my point... http://www.wweek.com/story.php?story=5176 [wweek.com]
see the story about this guy, he's continuing to get paid WHILE he's serving 18 mos. for criminal offenses. The board kept him on because he's a "visionary" and "knows the business" the best!

Last week, Wiederhorn pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to two felonies--bribing local money manager Jeff Grayson and lying to the IRS. He was sentenced to 18 months in jail and ordered to pay $2 million in restitution and a $25,000 fine.

Then the other shoe dropped. Turns out that Wiederhorn managed to engineer a deal in which his current company, Fog Cutter Capital Group, granted him a leave of absence, kept him on the company payroll at $350,000 a year--and handed him a bonus of $2 million.


See what I mean?

I *am* the boss... (2, Funny)

dark-br (473115) | about 9 years ago | (#13354989)

... you insensitive clod!

Is Your Self a Psychopath? (2, Funny)

Percent Man (756972) | about 9 years ago | (#13354993)

I'm self-employed, you insensetive clod!

On the other hand, it looks like I may fit the profile pretty well. Grandiose sense of my own self worth... check, check, check... I pity the poor fools who are working for me - fools who, also, are me.

more common than you think? (1)

FudRucker (866063) | about 9 years ago | (#13355002)

about 10 years ago i got in to the business of asbestos abatement, (as a laborer) Tyvek suit and respirator with HEPA filters (the works). we got in to this old high school working all the steam pipes & hot water lines.

i don't know how the boss bid the job but he tried to keep us in there from 6AM to 10PM, 16 hours a day with just few breaks, i walked off and found a better job working with better working conditions before the day was over.

it is not that i did not want the money in overtime it is just that anyone would want to get out of those dank crawlspaces & tunnels, take off the suit & mask and get some fresh air & sunshine once in a while... _TunnelRat;p

I think theres a better question (5, Insightful)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | about 9 years ago | (#13355010)

Who cares if your boss is a psycho, when we work out why people who do all the work (manual labour etc.) get 10 times less money then the people who point and go "Get it done by next week" (managers). I think we'll be about ready to ask pointless questions like these..

You have to be to become ultra-successful (1)

tentimestwenty (693290) | about 9 years ago | (#13355011)

Companies and the market in general require that you don't care about anything but the bottom line. By definition this will mean that you will have to subvert or erase any "human" characteristics such as compassion, fairness, generosity etc. in order to make the most money. Don't hate the player, hate the game :-) Seriously, amongst the top execs, I bet the incidence of genuinely honest good guys is next to zero. It is simply too difficult to work against the flow of the whole system, even if you're naturally like that.

How about the system itself? (3, Insightful)

Deskpoet (215561) | about 9 years ago | (#13355016)

Read The Corporation [amazon.com] and a different view might emerge.

The most dominant social system of our time is, by definition, psychotic. It is hardly surprising that individuals "become psychotic" as they work for these organizations. Indeed, if they did not, their jobs would quickly end: if sanity were to prevail when weighing social responsibility against profit, the decision--by corporate by-law a bad one--would damage shareholder value, and be grounds for immediate dismissal. The system guarantees that the inmates will run the asylum (and be praised all the way to the bank for doing so.)

All that is exceptional about Enron and Worldcomm is their excesses were exposed, not that their excesses occured.

Pop psych (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13355020)

Pop psychology strikes again

Ding, Ding, Ding, We Have a Winner (1)

djrok212 (801670) | about 9 years ago | (#13355029)

14 = Be Very Afraid

Of course (1)

Marthirial (903605) | about 9 years ago | (#13355034)

Of course he is... I am self-employed.

Frustrated with myself? (1)

shic (309152) | about 9 years ago | (#13355042)

Apparently I should be "Frustrated" if I were my own boss.

I literally.... (1)

adnausium (901852) | about 9 years ago | (#13355046)

...have the boss from "Office Space", only its a woman. But she contantly uses that patronizing voice and after telling you to do something say "mmmmkay that would be great". My first few days working here it was all i could do not to burst out in hysterical laughter when ever she spoke to me. That was two years ago. Now its all i can do to keep from taking off my shoes & socks and stuffing them down her throat.

Psycho in Chief (4, Funny)

Doc Ruby (173196) | about 9 years ago | (#13355050)

For each question, score two points for "yes," one point for "somewhat" or "maybe," and zero points for "no."

[1] Is he glib and superficially charming [google.com] ?
[2] Does he have a grandiose sense of self-worth [google.com] ?
[3] Is he a pathological liar [google.com] ?
[4] Is he a con artist or master manipulator [google.com] ?
[5] When he harms other people, does he feel a lack of remorse or guilt [google.com] ?
[6] Does he have a shallow affect [google.com] ?
[7] Is he callous and lacking in empathy [google.com] ?
[8] Does he fail to accept responsibility for his own actions [google.com] ?

1-4 | Be frustrated
5-7 | Be cautious
8-12 | Be afraid
13-16 | Be very afraid

Is psychopathy so bad? (5, Funny)

M trotsky (896746) | about 9 years ago | (#13355053)

From RTFA:

Is he glib and superficially charming? - Is he a people-person?

Does he have a grandiose sense of self-worth? - Does he add value to the company?

Is he a pathological liar? - Does he keep the investors informed

Is he a con artist or master manipulator? - Does he attract new business?

When he harms other people, does he feel a lack of remorse or guilt? - Does he have what it takes to thrive in a competitive enviroment?

Does he have a shallow affect? - Does he let his emotions control his business decisions?

Is he callous and lacking in empathy? - Is he able to place the interests of the company first?

Does he fail to accept responsibility for his own actions? - My personal favorite - Is he able to look at the 'Big Picture'

this is just stupid (2, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 9 years ago | (#13355056)

this is "geeks versus jocks" high school level of insight going on here

i'm certain bosses could have just as many checklist items of what to worry about psychologically in their geeky employees

the point is, taking the stereotypical and the shallow seriously is a hallmark of you having the problem

now i could be accused of not having a sense of humor, except i don't see a big monty python foot next to the article here

which means somebody is actually taking this claptrap seriously

psychopath vs sociopath (4, Interesting)

krgallagher (743575) | about 9 years ago | (#13355059)

You know it always annoys me when I see these two words confused. As I was taught, a psychopath cannot hide his mental illness. A psychopath is the person who crashes into McDonalds and starts shooting. Sociopaths are serial killers that manage to hide their predilections for years without getting caught.

What about corporations? (1)

dhilvert (608753) | about 9 years ago | (#13355062)

Individuals aside, corporations seem quite willing to engage in any and all kinds of inconsistency and unconcern to a degree that would put the most ambitious and selfish individuals to shame. Worse, they're still taken seriously even when caught in the most egregious lies. Would any (non-corporate) person be capable of pulling off SCO's absurd campaign against Linux and IBM?

The answer is simple... (1)

mrn121 (673604) | about 9 years ago | (#13355065)

From the article: 'Why wouldn't we want to screen them? We screen police officers, teachers. Why not people who are going to handle billions of dollars?'. Citing Enron and Worldcom management as an example, it seems a reasonable argument.

The answer is simple: We don't pay them. Teachers and cops work for the state, so the state can choose to screen them as they desire. CEOs work for a company, so, if the company wants to screen them to make sure they aren't psychopaths, they can feel free to do that. In fact based on this article, I would say that they *should* do that, but as a hands-off government kind of guy, I don't really like the idea of anyone besides the person writing the paycheck screening employees. Call me old-fashioned, but it just doesn't sit right with me.

Well I took the test... (1)

Smidge204 (605297) | about 9 years ago | (#13355067)

based on the results of the quiz, it seems my boss is probably not a psychopath. But I might be one myself!

Great... now I'm paranoid, too!
=Smidge=

"Sociopath", not psychopath (1)

drmike0099 (625308) | about 9 years ago | (#13355075)

Psychopath is not a clinical term, the proper term for someone with these traits is sociopath, or antisocial personality disorder. Found this article [mental-hea...atters.com] which seems to capture it pretty well.

It's probably good they didn't use the clinical term, though, cuz the quiz is a very superficial assessment of what the disorder is, which has resulted in all the posts w/ topics like "this is very common" or "every politician is this". Jeffrey Dahmer was a sociopath. Most politicians and business leaders are narcissistic and grandiose, but are not sociopaths.

Functional Psychopaths (2, Interesting)

Rob Carr (780861) | about 9 years ago | (#13355085)

There's some question in my mind as to what this test is really telling about bosses. There's a difference between true psychopathy and psychopathic traits.

Anti-Social Personality Disorder (formerly known as psychopathy) is a DSM-4 disorder that has a wide variety of presentations. "Psychopaths" is quicker to type.

Normally, people think of psychopaths as con-men and serial killers. These are the ones that are noticed by the system. What about those who aren't? These are referred to as "functional" psychopaths.

An advertisement, placed in newspapers and designed to appeal to psychopaths by presenting their features in a good light by saying they needed someone who wasn't tied down, loved adventure and excitement, etc., led to the discovery that there are many psychopaths out there.

These are people who are highly motivated by money or power, willing to take risks, view people as tools to be manipulated and used, and appear charming. Is it any wonder that bosses, politicians, and others are functional psychopaths?

But is someone truly a psychopath just because they have some of the traits?

Police and other public safety personnel tend to score high on the psychopathic deviancy scale on the MMPI (a standard psychological personality test), but not as high as the psychopathic criminals they must deal with.

I believe the inventory referred to in this article simply tests for psychopathic traits, or at least their appearance. Whether these folks are truly psychopathic would require far more in-depth investigation.

Some bosses are psychopaths. But some may simply act that way.

Psychopath (1)

nuggz (69912) | about 9 years ago | (#13355095)

Yeah give me an irrational emotional basketcase to run the company.... soooo much better.

I'd rather have some emotionless calculating weasel thank some incompetent flake watching my money.

That being said, eventually the psychopaths would just like to pass the test, it isn't like they'll have a moral objection to cheating.
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