"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, 2004Read more
Published on 26 Mar, 2008
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
"A profile of Ruben Vardanian, a leading figure on Russia’s capital markets"
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
"Leadership lessons from Alexander the Great"
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
At this critical junction in the history of humankind, leaders that are proficient in magical thinking aren’t going to solve our problems. Creating alternative realities is not the answer. We need a very different kind of leadership―leaders who can resist the calls of regression and whose outlook is firmly based in reality. We need leaders who analyse and draw conclusions from, or use their own experiences as a development tool, face their strengths and weaknesses, and critique their own experiences in order to build new understandings.
Published on 30 Nov, 2020
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
Take a look at your strengths and development areas through the eyes of others.
Many of today’s leaders lack self-knowledge. They are not very reflective of their actions; they may even suffer from hubris, lacking a sense of humility that allows them to clearly see where their weaknesses lie. Asking others what they think of our actions is not the best way of finding out. People are not always straight-forward and executives may be reluctant to be seen “seeking approval”. The INSEAD Global Leadership Centre has taken the findings of its leadership development work (gleaned over 10 years of leadership coaching), to develop the Global Executive Leadership Mirror (“The Global Mirror”), providing a lens through which executives can take a closer, 360 degree look at their own personal leadership behavior.
Published on 23 Oct, 2014
a reminder that democracies are very fragile configurations
Following Jonathan Swift’s satirical example of a “modest” proposal, this paradoxical article examines the question of having leaders for life. Throughout, it employs the tools of satire to outline the presumed advantages of a leaders-for-life system, revealing that, in reality, it is fraught with danger. In a circuitous way, the article makes clear that having leaders for life is an invitation for social unrest and economic decline. By presenting a number of examples of leaders for life, it becomes clear that the overriding concern is the ever-present danger of the abuse of power. Without the existence of term limits, there will be an increased prevalence of rights abuses, secret or arbitrary arrests and detentions, restrictions on freedom of expression, and police brutality. Furthermore, it is suggested that kleptocratic practices are par for the course.
Published on 31 Jul, 2020
"Unconscious dynamics and impact on organisational life"
In this article the argument is made that unconscious dynamics have a significant impact on life in organisations.
Published on 1 Apr, 2004
"Forgiveness as a business tool"
This working paper explores the subject of forgiveness and its importance in the context of leadership.
Published on 18 Apr, 2013