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Thursday, June 23, 2005

Is Your Boss a Psychopath?

Yahoo! Finance has an interesting article titled "Is your Boss a Psychopath?". It begins:
Odds are you've run across one of these characters in your career. They're glib, charming, manipulative, deceitful, ruthless -- and very, very destructive. And there may be lots of them in America's corner offices."
click here for the whole article.

It reminded me of a former job I had as a tax collector for the State of Connecticut. If you want to know what kind of bosses we had, think about the characteristics that make a successful tax collector - a lack of empathy, a bit too much enjoyment from exercising authority, and a strong goal orientation. The person who best exemplifies these traits will end up moving up the food chain. Imagine that package for a boss.

My unit had two supervisors - a short man who wished he was a tall man, and a short woman who I suspect also wished she was a tall man. To add to the fun, we had cubicles, and both supervisors were short enough that you couldn't see them coming until they materialized just outside your cubicle.

Needless to say, I got out of there as fast as I could. Jobs like this had a silver lining - they gave me the incentive to figure out what I really wanted to do for a career. I eventually ended up in academics, so I guess it worked out all right.

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