Jobs are so scarce these days, that you might have to put up with him or her, but here’s the bad news: a recent study claims that 25% of CEOs meet the criteria for a psychopathic personality. If you’ve every thought, "That sounds like MY boss," you might be wondering what to do about it.
Researcher Evelyn Williams thinks that knowing your boss’s work style could be the key to succeeding, but researcher Jamie Dickey Ungerleider thinks that might help you in the short term, but a longer term solution is to find a new boss. Evaluations and reviews won’t usually reveal the problems a psychopathic boss has. Williams says, "Leaders who are psychopaths are extremely charming, highly manipulative, see other people as objects and don’t feel guilty about using people to reach their own ends."
Meanwhile, Ungerleider says, "There’s usually a segment of the population who finds them utterly charming and don’t understand why others wouldn’t trust them.” But he also thinks that, "Most people at work have good intentions, but a psychopathic boss does not." But they agree on some things: Ungerleider says that if you can’t make a move away from such an employer, "recognize that you still have a mutually dependent relationship."
Williams says, "Knowing your boss’s work style gives you a road map you can use to make adjustments and deliver the work that will please a difficult boss." This helps explain the baffling phenomenon that some employees encounter when they’re fired even though they’re doing a good job. If you have too much success at work, a psychopathic boss may see this as a threat.
Ungerleider says "These people use the skills and talents of people under them to shine for their own managers (but) if YOU shine a little too brightly while you’re helping them stand out, that becomes a threat. Most of them won’t hesitate to throw you under the bus."
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