Working papers

Complex Executives I have Met in Coaching and Consulting (2006)

Manfred Kets de Vries

"Executive complexes in organisations"

A psychological "complex" is a cluster of related thoughts, feelings, memories, images and ideas—many of them pushed out of consciousness—dominated by an emotional theme. This working paper explores the nature and origin of complexes and then explores five complexes regularly encountered in organizational 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  complexes are also examined.

INSEAD Working Paper, 2006

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