"Executive complexes regularly encountered in orgs"
An executive “complex” is a psychological state which consists of a cluster of related thoughts, feelings, memories, images and ideas—many of them pushed out of consciousness—dominated by an emotional theme. This article explores the nature and origin of executive complexes and presents five complexes regularly encountered in organisational coaching and consulting work.: the God complex, the Sisyphus complex, the Nobel Prize complex, the Monte Cristo complex, the Troll complex, and the Faust complex. Ways of identifying and coping with a complex are also examined.
Organizational Dynamics, 2007Read more
"SOB effect on org life"
This article describes the SOB—Seductive Operational Bully—or psychopath “lite”, in organisational settings, who can wreak havoc on organisational life.
Published on 12 Oct, 2014
"Narcissistic leaders and organisational sustainability"
This article explores the narcissistic inclinations of leaders and how this could affect the soundness and sustainability of organisations.
Published on 9 Jul, 2013
"Abnormal is the norm in organisations"
This article describes a number of dysfunctional leadership prototypes found in organisations. Offered as a useful form of shorthand for identification purposes, it helps us understand how we can deal with this dysfunction in ourselves or our leaders.
Published on 1 Sep, 2009
"Eccentric organisational behaviour and folie à deux"
This article describes the phenomenon called folie à deux—and how what we often term eccentric behaviour patterns of people in organisations might be better understood in that context.
Published on 1 Jul, 1979
"When mentoring becomes an unhealthy dependency"
This article addresses how the desire to assist others can slide into a 'rescuer syndrome', in which the mentoring relationship becomes fraught with unhealthy dependency.
Published on 14 Nov, 2013
"Executive complexes in organisations"
This working paper explores the nature and origin of complexes and then explores five complexes regularly encountered in organizational coaching and consulting work.
Published on 7 May, 2006
"Managing the passive- aggressive leader"
This blog entry with the Harvard Business Review discusses challenge of managing passive-aggressives.
Published on 20 Feb, 2014
"Death anxiety and succession issues"
This article takes a clinical lens to explore death anxiety as a motivational force, how it affects behaviour in organisations, and how we metabolise the feelings death evokes.
Published on 1 Feb, 2014
"Unhealthy dependencies prevent leaders from reaching their full potential"
In this article for Human Capital Review, Kets de Vries explores the Rescuer Syndrome—where the need to help becomes a self-serving addiction and—which creates an unhealthy state of dependency and prevents leaders from reaching their full potential.
Published on 6 Jun, 2014
"Fairy tales for today’s executives"
This working paper looks at how fairy tales—when applied to the realm of executive leadership—act as a shortcut to moral lessons, illustrating the dangers of leadership and various ways in which executives can derail.
Published on 6 Mar, 2015