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Reflections on character and leadership

Author: Kets de Vries, Manfred F. R. INSEAD Area: Entrepreneurship and Family Enterprise Series: On the couch with Manfred Kets de Vries Publisher: Jossey-Bass, 2009.Language: EnglishDescription: 343 p. ; 24 cm.ISBN: 9780470742426 ; 9780470744932 (eBook)Type of document: INSEAD Book Online Access: Click here Bibliography/Index: Includes bibliographical references and indexAbstract: In the books in this series Manfred Kets de Vries—failed engineer, entrepreneur manqué, reluctant economist, international management guru, psychoanalyst, wit, and outdoorsman—offers an overview of his work spanning four decades, a period in which he has established himself as the leading figure in the clinical study of organizational leadership. At a key point in his career, working, as he puts it, “in the twilight zone of economics, management, and psychoanalysis,” he decided to strike out on a little-trodden path and “bring the person back into the organization.” Now Kets de Vries occupies a unique position in the academic business world, putting leaders and companies on the couch and working at the often intimate interface where the inner theater of the individual meets the outer world of the organization. The first book in this series, Reflections on Character and Leadership, examines some major contemporary issues about leadership. What makes a leader? What is good leadership? And what is bad? What happens to organizations if a leader derails? What are the impacts of successful and failed leadership on followers and organizations? How must organizational leadership respond to globalism and the opening of new markets? Kets de Vries looks at the ways various dysfunctional character types are thrown into sharp focus against an organizational background. Among the heroes and villains in this book are Alexander of Macedon, Shaka Zulu, Richard Branson, Jack Welch—and numerous executives who have spent time, literally or metaphorically, on the author’s famous couch. “Once again, Manfred Kets de Vries shines a light on the link between the personality of leaders and the influence this has on the organizations they lead. The breadth and depth of his latest book offers insights that will benefit everyone involved in the development and appointment of tomorrow’s leaders.” William Alexander, Consultant, Spencer Stuart
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INSEAD Book Asia Campus
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Includes bibliographical references and index

In the books in this series Manfred Kets de Vries—failed engineer, entrepreneur manqué, reluctant economist, international management guru, psychoanalyst, wit, and outdoorsman—offers an overview of his work spanning four decades, a period in which he has established himself as the leading figure in the clinical study of organizational leadership. At a key point in his career, working, as he puts it, “in the twilight zone of economics, management, and psychoanalysis,” he decided to strike out on a little-trodden path and “bring the person back into the organization.” Now Kets de Vries occupies a unique position in the academic business world, putting leaders and companies on the couch and working at the often intimate interface where the inner theater of the individual meets the outer world of the organization. The first book in this series, Reflections on Character and Leadership, examines some major contemporary issues about leadership. What makes a leader? What is good leadership? And what is bad? What happens to organizations if a leader derails? What are the impacts of successful and failed leadership on followers and organizations? How must organizational leadership respond to globalism and the opening of new markets? Kets de Vries looks at the ways various dysfunctional character types are thrown into sharp focus against an organizational background. Among the heroes and villains in this book are Alexander of Macedon, Shaka Zulu, Richard Branson, Jack Welch—and numerous executives who have spent time, literally or metaphorically, on the author’s famous couch. “Once again, Manfred Kets de Vries shines a light on the link between the personality of leaders and the influence this has on the organizations they lead. The breadth and depth of his latest book offers insights that will benefit everyone involved in the development and appointment of tomorrow’s leaders.” William Alexander, Consultant, Spencer Stuart

Digitized

Reflections on Character and Leadership On the Couch with Manfred Kets de Vries Contents ACKNOWLEDGMENTS PREFACE xiii xv xv xix xxi xxii 1 2 4 6 6 8 10 17 18 22 Psychoanalysis and organizational life First case: an entrepreneur The clinical paradigm About this book PART I: LEADERS, FOOLS, AND IMPOSTORS INTRODUCTION Playing the organizational fool 1 THE ENTREPRENEURIAL PERSONALITY Introduction Entrepreneurship: views from other disciplines Common psychological themes in the entrepreneurial personality The effects of family dynamics Case study: The entrepreneur's story Falling into extremes The Medusa women The meaning of work Competition and self-defeating behavior The symbolic nature of the enterprise The process of change The entrepreneurial life cycle Working effectively with entrepreneurs Endnotes 24 26 28 29 31 33 39 42 43 43 44 46 50 53 55 56 58 60 61 62 62 62 63 64 66 68 69 70 72 73 75 78 79 79 82 85 2 THE HYPOMANIC PERSONALITY Introduction The Dionysian quality of charismatic leadership Case study: Hypomania in action Elation and its vicissitudes Managing a hypomanic Hypomania in the workplace Possible interventions Self-help measures The plus side for organizations Endnotes 3 THE ALEXITHYMIC PERSONALITY Introduction The 'dead fish' syndrome Identifying alexithymia Alexithymia as a communication disorder Where do the origins of alexithymia lie? Degrees of alexithymia Alexithymics in the workplace The Alexithymic CEO Working with an alexithymic manager Managing an alexithymic Searching for solutions Endnote 4 THE IMPOSTOR SYNDROME Introduction What makes an impostor? The creative artist as impostor The impostor as national leader The impostor: a character sketch Case study: The impostor as entrepreneur Endnote 5 NEUROTIC IMPOSTORS: FEELING LIKE A FAKE Introduction What creates imposturous feelings? The neurotic impostor in the workplace How the fear can become a reality How neurotic impostors can impact on businesses Finding solutions Endnotes 6 THE ORGANIZATIONAL FOOL: BALANCING A LEADER'S HUBRIS Introduction The role of the fool The fool as cultural hero The benefits of humor What makes a fool? The organizational fool The value of the fool Endnote PART II: THE PATHOLOGY OF LEADERSHIP INTRODUCTION 7 PRISONERS OF LEADERSHIP Introduction Case study: The case of Robert Clark Case study: The case of Frederick the Great Externalizing inner conflicts The search for authority Regressive group processes Case study: The case of Ted Howell Distance and aggression in leaders Managing leaders' behavior in organizations Endnotes 86 89 92 97 98 98 99 103 105 108 109 111 112 112 112 114 115 117 117 123 123 125 126 130 130 131 132 135 136 139 141 142 143 145 8 THE SPIRIT OF DESPOTISM: UNDERSTANDING THE TYRANT WITHIN Introduction Setting the scene for tyranny What motivates tyrants? How tyrannies operate How despotic regimes are maintained The despot's toolbox The economic costs of tyranny The need for democracy The dangers of power Why despotism must be fought Unjust deserts Judicial remedy The International Criminal Court Endnote 146 146 149 150 150 152 153 158 159 160 161 163 163 165 166 9 LEADERSHIP BY TERROR: FINDING SHAKA ZULU IN THE ATTIC Introduction The life and death of an absolute despot Deconstructing the despot's inner theater The colluding mind A tyranny of self-deception Leaders and followers Shaka's legacy Endnote 167 167 168 171 179 183 186 190 191 193 194 PART III: TRANSFORMING LEADERSHIP INTRODUCTION 10 'DOING AN ALEXANDER': LESSONS ON LEADERSHIP BY A MASTER CONQUEROR Introduction The life of Alexander Alexander's legacy Lessons in leadership la Alexander Conclusions Endnote 198 198 199 205 206 210 210 a 11 LEADERS WHO MAKE A DIFFERENCE Introduction The effects of leaders on their organizations Different leaders, same results The architectural aspect of leadership The charismatic role of leaders Conclusions Endnote 211 211 212 213 214 223 226 226 12 REAPING THE WHIRLWIND: MANAGING CREATIVE PEOPLE Introduction Characteristics of creative people Stimulating creativity Playing in a transitional world Two roads to creativity Creative management Watching for the danger signs Endnote 227 227 228 230 231 233 236 240 241 243 244 PART IV: LEADERSHIP IN A GLOBAL CONTEXT INTRODUCTION 13 THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE LEADER WITHIN THE GLOBAL CORPORATION Introduction A case study in internationalization Forms of global organizations Qualities needed in global leaders Training, transfer, teamwork, and travel A framework for analyzing the development of the global leader Conclusions Endnote 247 247 248 249 253 260 262 263 264 14 IN SEARCH OF THE NEW EUROPEAN BUSINESS LEADER Introduction The challenge of diversity Internal and external competition 265 265 267 270 Is a single model possible? A middle path Dealing with change The making of the European leader Leadership in Europe and beyond Endnote 271 272 273 275 277 278 15 LESSONS FROM THE 'WILD EAST': RUSSIAN CHARACTER AND LEADERSHIP 279 The Russian character Contextual factors in the formation of the Russian character Russia's transition: from cooperatives to capitalism New leaders and new followers Eight leadership lessons Challenges for global Russian business leaders The end of the beginning , Endnotes CONCLUSION: CREATING HIGH-COMMITMENT ORGANIZATIONS The future of organizations Meta-values for great companies Motivational need systems Leaders and meta-value creation Concluding comments Endnote REFERENCES INDEX 279 282 295 296 300 302 305 305 307 307 308 309 313 314 315 317 333

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