A surplus of previously conducted research links an obtuse perception of ethics and efficient leadership. The bulk of these allude to the dark triad of personality traits: Psychopathy, Narcissism, and Machiavellism. One who posses all three qualities uses their keen understanding of what motivates people to fulfill their own objectives at the expense of the well being of others. We only rate the morality of a tycoon cheaply, if said tycoon is unsuccessful. Calculating magnates that consistently secure their goals however occupy a special place in western canon. Because everyone you know owns an iPhone, the anecdotes illustrating the late Steve Jobs as a cold, barefoot tyrant are more compelling than they are off-putting, while Martin Shkreli is supplied the villain treatment that he deserves. Victory is charismatic, even when those who obtain it are not.
Of course, the other side of the coin is invariably presented by the subordinates who have to endure mistreatment for the aspirations of their supervisors. When memoirs of the sort get published they rarely manage to puncture public perception, and when they do, the scars only elevate the mythology, not diminish it.
What happens though when an underling also evidences the dark triad of personality traits? In other words, how does a self-interested subject contribute to a vision that is not their own, authored by an individual that as zero interest in their comfort of the comfort of their colleagues? According to a new paper, psychopaths actually thrive when another psychopath is in the driver’s seat. The authors write, “Abusive supervision also affected the relationship between primary psychopathy and anger in the field study such that high primary psychopathy individuals were less angry under more abusive supervisors. Thus, there appears to be some credence to the notion of a “psychopathic advantage” in that primary psychopaths do have access to greater psychological resources than their peers under abusive supervision.”
Are “bad” employees happier under bad bosses?
The authors also remarked upon the hunger audiences and scholars alike have for exploring psychopathy in the workplace. The kind of risks that need to be taken and the kind of emotions that need to be tempered in order to make an impact in business fosters a sure-fire trajectory for the one percent of the population cursed by alien impulses.
The employed workers featured in the new paper that had “high-psychopathic traits” reported increased well being and lower levels of anger when working under an abusive supervisor, while the participants of comparatively normal mental health, felt just the opposite. Although the goal-oriented narcissists were more productive under an employer that shared a similar world view, this combination was proven to damage company morale and detract shareholder interest in addition to surging instances of white-collar crime within the firm. This suggests that psychopaths feel a certain degree of leeway to act unethically if they know their supervisor operates in a similar headspace; a fiscal utilitarianism that forgives an action if its consequence empowers the ambitions of the corporation.
Stephanie Sarkis, who is a licensed, board-certified mental health counselor opts for a more traditional appraisal of corporate ethics. In her opinion, success is not exclusively achieved by the will of cruelty, and the times that it is will ultimately lead to failure down the line.
“Psychopathic supervisors may be empowering psychopathic employees. This comes at a great price to other employees, the company, and its shareholders,” Sarkis wrote in Forbes.” It is of utmost importance that companies are well-educated on psychopathic behavior, so they can identify traits during the first contact with a prospective employee, or in an initial interview. Correctly identifying possible psychopathology can make or break a company and its employees.”
Tactically speaking, everyone will take advantage of a different survey of the curiosity examined above. On one red-cloven hand, being in charge of a stable full of hedonistic goal-oriented bats that will do whatever is necessary to ensure success might see you achieve it sooner than most. But on the other hand, if your flock only views you as a means to an end, their fidelity belongs to data, not you or your mission statement.