Tuesday, April 09, 2019

One In Five American CEOs Are Psychopaths-- So Not Just Trump


I don't know CNBC lives on my TV and I rarely read their stuff when I'm looking for information. That said, yesterday I found two pieces of theirs-- somewhat related-- worth passing on. Why don't we start with a specific piece of news-- Wall Street gives thumbs down on both Trump's FED picks-- and close with something a bit more general. The 48-person panel of fund managers, economists and strategists who took CNBC's new Fed Survey over the weekend prefer that the Senate not confirm either Stephen Moore (60%) or Herman Cain (53%). The panel considered both "too political" and "not qualified."

Kathy Bostjancic, chief U.S. Financial Market Economist at Oxford Economics: "Both Moore and Cain are highly unconventional and politically-biased choices and, if confirmed to the board, would be very disruptive at a time when monetary policy is at an important crossroads.

After announcing he planned to nominate Moore and Cain to the Fed, Trump on Friday substantially raised the ante in his comments and criticism of the Federal Reserve, not only calling for rate cuts but also advocating for the first time new quantitative easing. The Fed used so-called QE in the wake of the financial crisis to drive down interest and stimulate the economy, buying bonds and mortgages.

Not a single respondent agreed with the president’s call for new QE and just 9% think the Fed should cut rates now.

A 47% plurality of respondents believes the nominations along with the president’s critical remarks about the Fed are “reducing the central bank’s independence” and they think that could have implications for markets and the economy.

“Stacking the Fed with partisan hacks would alter how the market views the Fed’s decisions even if two appointments don’t change the Fed’s decision making,″ said Diane Swonk, chief economist at Grant Thornton. “Over time, the loss in credibility will mount.”

The second piece comes from Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic and it seeks to explain why 20% of CEOs are psychopaths or, at least, have psychopathic tendencies. Think of the psychopath-- no need to talk about "tendencies" here-- who runs the Trump Organization.
Narcissism involves an unrealistic sense of grandiosity and superiority, manifested in the form of vanity, self-admiration and delusions of talent. Here are the main characteristics of narcissistic and toxic bosses:
1. They often crave validation and recognition from others. This is primarily because their self-esteem is high but fragile. Bosses who constantly show off are probably desperate for others’ admiration.

2. They tend to be self-centered. This means they’re generally less interested in others and have deficits in empathy. For this reason, they are rarely found displaying any genuine consideration for people other than themselves.

3. They have high levels of entitlement. Narcissists commonly behave as if they deserve certain privileges or enjoy higher status than their peers enjoy.

As I highlight in my most recent book, Why Do So Many Incompetent Men Become Leaders? (And How to Fix It), many wildly celebrated character traits, such as courage and risk-taking, often coexist with psychopathic tendencies.

...By the same token, psychopathic tendencies often co-exist with entrepreneurial traits. This explains why there are so many famous cases of self-made billionaires-- from Bernie Madoff and Jeff Skilling to Steve Jobs and Elon Musk-- whose disruptive personalities made them as unemployable as innovative.

Jobs got fired from his own company and displayed clear patterns of low empathy and antisocial behavior: Parking in the disabled parking spots and bullying and intimidating his employees. Musk’s narcissistic side has also been manifested-- rather often-- in his combative rants with investors, the media and his employees, as well as his confrontational and erratic social media presence.

But it’s not all bad. Jobs and Musk undeniably have talent for entrepreneurship, defined as the ability to translate original and useful ideas into practical innovations.

That can’t be said for every entrepreneur, though. While Elizabeth Holmes lost her “billionaire” title, she styled herself as the Steve Jobs of health care and was clearly ruthless in deceiving investors. Instead of bringing an innovative product to the market, she was selling nothing but a fairy tale.

To some degree, all successful entrepreneurs have problems with authority, which is why they are so eager to demolish the status quo and replace it with something else.

To be sure, too much psychopathy will predispose someone to crime and prison rather than Apple or Amazon. But at the other extreme of the continuum, people who are so conforming and eager to please would much rather follow established rules and remain “good employees” rather than be disruptive leaders.

So while a certain degree of nonconformity and unconventionality is needed to drive innovation and entrepreneurship, any leader will need to have a minimum level of integrity, empathy and altruism to be able to connect with and focus on the well-being of their teams, rather than on advancing their own personal agenda.

It is this range of pro-social and ethical traits that can turn even contrarian and combative personalities into a catalyst for good in society: Replacing the status quo with a better version of progress.

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At 9:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...people who are so conforming and eager to please would much rather follow established rules and remain “good employees” rather than be disruptive leaders."

Sounds like obamanation to me. That would explain the hippie-punching, kicking us to the curb, and telling us to sit down and shut up. It also explains why he took after Occupy with hardly a word to explain himself.

A case might also be made that this also explains Bill Clinton to a small degree.

But all of the Republicans we've had around these two have displayed excessive Napoleonic tendencies, in which they are the Leedur and the rest of us can follow or get run over.

There might be a good post in examining the differences between the types of psychopaths each party attracts.

At 7:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

1 in 5? I'd bet the ranch it's more like 4 in 5.

And 6 out of every 5 corporate board types are narcissists and sociopaths. If they were not, they could never have risen to their stations. it would be impossible.

corporations have been breeding sociopathy (the entry trait to psychopathy) for no less than 2 generations. When corporate types rise to become presidents, naziism cannot be avoided.

as I predicted in 1980 when Reagan massively cut taxes for the rich... when you make assholes richer and less accountable... they will eventually kill you for fun and profit.

At 7:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope everyone saw Congresswoman Katie Porter grilling Jamie Dimon today at the financial hearing. She should be the one questioning Herman Cain and Stephen Moore in their confirmation hearings. She had Dimon sputtering and stammering. She is truly Awesome!

At 8:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

it's all for show, 7:01. The best one grilling trump's cabinet picks and kkkavanaugh was kamala, and she's as corrupt and worthless as scummer.

even if dimon doesn't run porter individually, he runs her party. he can take a little guff from someone who works for him either directly or indirectly, as long as they all give him his tax cuts, lack of oversight and guaranteed bailouts whenever he needs them.


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