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  1. #11
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    I guess you do need a certain "lack of empathy" in order to take hard business decisions, so all of this doesn´t really surprise me. It can be a tough world out there and in some professions being cutthroat is likely the only way to survive, so there´s a sort of self-selection bias at play. I also believe much of the press focusses on finance while the world is full of any kind of businesses, many of which f.e. deal directly with the public and where this sort of behavior would be detrimental to someone´s performance, so...
    Finally, I believe what we don´t want to see is public managers being like that, because there should be no need to.
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  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by FDG View Post
    I guess you do need a certain "lack of empathy" in order to take hard business decisions, so all of this doesn´t really surprise me. It can be a tough world out there and in some professions being cutthroat is likely the only way to survive, so there´s a sort of self-selection bias at play. I also believe much of the press focusses on finance while the world is full of any kind of businesses, many of which f.e. deal directly with the public and where this sort of behavior would be detrimental to someone´s performance, so...
    Finally, I believe what we don´t want to see is public managers being like that, because there should be no need to.
    I don't know if this is specifically what you're referring to. But I think it pertains to how the corporate world handles high-performing people with personality problems.

    After a long and successful career in French politics, the international diplomat Dominique Strauss-Kahn was nominated to be head of the International Monetary Fund. He served there for a number of years and it was said that he would likely be a shoo-in for election to the Presidency of France after he finished at the IMF. OTOH, he was also dogged by minor work-related scandals involving sex and affairs with subordinates in the workplace, including one such abuse with a female subordinate at the IMF itself. But he was such an effective leader and actor on the world stage that those things got swept under the rug.

    Then one day he was in New York on personal business and was arrested for allegedly raping a maid at a hotel. Ultimately the case was dismissed; DNA evidence showed that there had been sex, but there were inconsistencies in the maid's story and no explicit proof of rape. DSK was still with the IMF at that point and tried to hang onto his position there with the argument that he should be given the presumption of innocence until an actual crime was proven, and that he hadn't been involved on IMF business in New York; as far as he was concerned, it was a private matter.

    But the board of directors at the IMF gave him the boot anyway. A lot of big corporations have "morals clauses" in their contracts to the effect that high officers (executives) are considered to be acting as representatives of the company even in their off-time and have to behave accordingly. And so the IMF and DSK parted ways. In the succeeding years, DSK has again been involved in various sex scandals and is even now facing charges of one sort or another. (Though thus far, he has never actually been convicted of anything.)

    Anyway, that's just a representative example of how the corporate environment handles these sorts of high-performing "problem executives." People like DSK are often good at walking that fine line between legal and illegal, and it becomes a guessing game as to when the parent company should give them the boot. These guys have so many strengths that you hate to shitcan them outright. But left to their own devices, they can drag down the company into the mud with their personal problems.

    Anyway, see DSK's story at Wikipedia for more, if you're curious.

  3. #13
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    Thank you, I know the story.
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  4. #14
    Freaking Ratchet Rail Tracer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by prplchknz View Post
    i thought 98% of people who in big business/politics were that. and so those do belong but it's actually the honest people who don't. the world is fucked up, but people pretend that honesty and integrity get you places. it doesn't being hot (if you're a female) being funny (if you're male or female) being manipulative, and being smart is what gets you places
    Slightly off topic, but there is a philosophical viewpoint that it is better to be dishonest and lie (or be neutral) than it is to be honest. The reasoning behind it is because it is better to be dishonest and gain than it is to be honest and lose everything. In places like business and politics, you won't get anywhere with being honest. People either don't want to see your negative views, that they want your views under wraps, or they want you to share their views (whether true or not.) How many people did you see show a negative view and end up having it blow up into everyone's faces later on?

    In these type of roles, one does have to have a level of "psychopathy" to ignore and manipulate to get places. At the end of the day, it is either allowing another business winning, or having a temporary ally getting taken away because of honesty in business and political terms. In places like becoming a surgeon, it becomes paramount to not feel or empathize because surgery is already a risky and intensive business. If one can be honest but dishonest, all the better.

  5. #15
    Wake, See, Sing, Dance Cellmold's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rail Tracer View Post
    Slightly off topic, but there is a philosophical viewpoint that it is better to be dishonest and lie (or be neutral) than it is to be honest. The reasoning behind it is because it is better to be dishonest and gain than it is to be honest and lose everything. In places like business and politics, you won't get anywhere with being honest. People either don't want to see your negative views, that they want your views under wraps, or they want you to share their views (whether true or not.) How many people did you see show a negative view and end up having it blow up into everyone's faces later on?

    In these type of roles, one does have to have a level of "psychopathy" to ignore and manipulate to get places. At the end of the day, it is either allowing another business winning, or having a temporary ally getting taken away because of honesty in business and political terms. In places like becoming a surgeon, it becomes paramount to not feel or empathize because surgery is already a risky and intensive business. If one can be honest but dishonest, all the better.
    What if your honesty is positive?
    'One of (Lucas) Cranach's masterpieces, discussed by (Joseph) Koerner, is in it's self-referentiality the perfect expression of left-hemisphere emptiness and a precursor of post-modernism. There is no longer anything to point to beyond, nothing Other, so it points pointlessly to itself.' - Iain McGilChrist

    Suppose a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?"
    "Suppose it didn't," said Pooh, after careful thought.
    Piglet was comforted by this.
    - A.A. Milne.

  6. #16
    Senior Member wildflower's Avatar
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    screened by whom? employers? i really don't see employers handing out the MMPI to potential employees in the corporate world. if anything they might give you a bonus if you score high on those traits. you might want to also consider that a psychopathic/narcissistic/etc CEO may well be the one who started the firm so it might be a tad difficult to oust them if it's their private company.

    it looks like it would also be illegal not to mention highly unethical/big brotherish:

    The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) is a highly validated psychopathology test that is generally used in a clinical psychology setting and may reveal potential mental health disorders.[10] However, this can be considered by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as the employer having knowledge of a medical condition prior to an offer of employment. This is an illegal basis for a hiring decision in the United States. Employers considering personality tests should focus on tests designed for job purposes and do not provide any information regarding an applicant's mental health or stability.

    Notable situations in which the MMPI may be used are in final selection for police officers, fire fighters, and other security and emergency personnel, especially when the employees are required to carry weapons. An assessment of mental stability and fitness can be reasonably related and necessary in the performance of the job. wiki

  7. #17
    Senior Member TheCheeseBurgerKing's Avatar
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    Indoubitably

  8. #18
    Nips away your dignity Fluffywolf's Avatar
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    There is a big difference between rationally deciding against emotional input such as the loss/gain morality in business through 'intelligence' (bracketed because you know, intelligence, such a wrongly defined concept) and being psychopathic.

    Sure intelligent psychopathic people may be able to adjust to society better then unintelligent ones. Thats pretty logical. But I'm against the notion that 'the elite' (bwaha) in society are psychopaths, even if their descision making may seem to leave something to be desired.
    ~Self-depricating Megalomaniacal Superwolf

  9. #19
    Senior Member TheCheeseBurgerKing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffywolf View Post
    I'm against the notion that 'the elite' (bwaha) in society are psychopaths, even if their descision making may seem to leave something to be desired.
    Totally agree that a lot of them are not, but I'd bet theres a number who are

  10. #20
    across the universe Olm the Water King's Avatar
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    I thought that duplicitousness was part of psychopathic symptomatology in the first place. Or is that anti-social personality disorder?

    Speaking of which, what is the difference between the two?

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