Interviews

Putting Leaders on the Couch: A conversation with Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries (2004)

Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries & Diane Coutu

"Psychological profile of successful CEOs"

In this interview, Kets de Vries draws on three decades of study to describe the psychological profile of successful CEOs, exploring senior executives' vulnerabilities, which are often intensified by followers' attempts to manipulate their leaders. Leaders, according to the author, have an uncanny ability to awaken transferential processes in which people transfer the dynamics of past relationships onto present interactions among their employees and even within themselves. These processes can present themselves in a number of ways, sometimes negatively. Not all CEOs are psychologically unhealthy, of course. Healthy leaders are talented in self-observation and self-analysis. The best are highly motivated to spend time on self-reflection. Their lives are in balance, they can play, they are creative and inventive, and they have the capacity to be nonconformist.

Harvard Business Review, 2004

Read more

Add Comment

Go back


Related content

"Looking at the emotional sides of leaders"

Putting Leaders on the Couch

Published on 26 Mar, 2008

The Leader on the Couch

The Leader on the Couch

This book sets out to change people and organisations for the better, by revealing the ‘dark side’ of leadership behaviour and its impact on performance.

Published on 12 Jul, 2006

"Leadership lessons from Alexander the Great"

Doing an Alexander: Lessons on Leadership by a Master Conqueror

This article explores what makes for effective leadership and what contributes to leadership derailment, using Alexander the Great of Macedonia, as an example.

Published on 1 Jun, 2003

"A profile of Ruben Vardanian, a leading figure on Russia’s capital markets"

Interview with a Russian Entrepreneur: Ruben Vardanian

This article profiles Ruben Vardanian, one of the leading figures on Russia’s capital markets, and one of the major shareholders of the investment bank Troika Dialog, one of the top credit institutions in Moscow, and an “employers of choice.”

Published on 1 Jul, 2008

The New Russian Business Leaders

The New Russian Business Leaders

This book presents six in-depth case studies focusing on companies of vastly differing sizes, ranging from a newly privatised operation and the creation and organisation of an oligarch's empire, to several entrepreneurial start-ups in different service industries.

Published on 5 Sep, 2005

"Forgiveness as a business tool"

The Art of Forgiveness: Differentiating Transformational Leaders

This working paper explores the subject of forgiveness and its importance in the context of leadership.

Published on 18 Apr, 2013

"Unconscious dynamics and impact on organisational life"

Organizations on the Couch: A Clinical Perspective on Organizational Dynamics

In this article the argument is made that unconscious dynamics have a significant impact on life in organisations.

Published on 1 Apr, 2004

"Talented leadership in the European Union"

The Future of an Illusion: In search of the new European Business Leader

This article explores the complex network of relationships requires extremely talented leadership in the European Union.

Published on 1 Aug, 2005

Reflections on Character and Leadership

Reflections on Character and Leadership

In this book, Manfred Kets de Vries offers an overview of his work spanning four decades, a period in which he has established himself as the leading figure in the clinical study of organisational leadership.

Published on 11 Mar, 2009

Organizations on the Couch, Perspectives on Organizational Behavior and Change

Organizations on the Couch, Perspectives on Organizational Behavior and Change

This book introduces the work of a number of leading scholars interested in the clinical approach to organisational analysis.

Published on 19 Nov, 1991