Books

De Uitdaging van het Leiderschap (1996)

Manfred Kets de Vries

De Uitdaging van het Leiderschap

This book explores the way in which character traits and behavioral patterns affect leadership style. Some of the elements that make for successful leadership are presented. It is suggested that the personality of a top executive influences the strategy, corporate culture, and even structure of the organization to such extent that often organizations cannot perform successfully if no attention is given to a leader’s intrapsychic world. A clinical approach is used to analyze how behavior on the part of the leader which may seem completely irrational may on closer inspection have an explanation and a deeper rationale.

A process is described whereby executives can explore their inner scripts through self-examination and through studying the lives of well-known business leaders and their companies. Furthermore, the theme of psychological pressures on leadership is discussed. To clarify why some leaders are more affected by these pressures than others, the shaping of personality is described in the context of narcissistic development, and the concept of reactive and constructive narcissism. A correlation is shown between individual pathology and organizational pathology which often results in “neurotic” organizations. Finally, the danger of leaders’ uncontrolled narcissism and hubris is explored.

Management Briefing, 1996

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