How to spot sociopathic/NPD behaviour and misconduct within your organisation
How to spot sociopathic/NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder) behaviour and misconduct within your organisation
We live in an age of zero tolerance of various forms of office behaviour which once passed as acceptable. Toxic behaviour associated with narcissistic empire-building is arguably can be at least at least as harmful, both emotionally and financially, as any other. Indeed, left unchecked it can wreak enough havoc to bring an organisation down.
The challenge is differentiating between legitimate high achievers who may need to be resolute in the pursuit of the aims of the organisation and those who create disproportionate and sometimes catastrophic collateral damage in attaining their personal aims.
Sociopaths NPDs may do immense damage to the reputation of the host business and its stakeholders.
In the training we focus on:
Early recognition of behaviour and misconduct with examples – it’s not straight forward but there are clues and patterns but might include
- Grandiosity with expectations of superior treatment from other people
- Self-perception of being unique, superior, and associated with high-status people and institutions
- Sense of entitlement to special treatment and to obedience from others
- Unwilling to empathise with the feelings, wishes, and needs of other people
Initial impressions – how do these people behave in firms and organisations? What do they do?
Early behaviour and clues…
Reputation management – Jimmy Savile
- credit with the peer group, manipulation of statistics
- NPD in office life can present in different ways that lead to quite different problems. For example, the damage which narcissistic leadership can do to an organisation, and the concerns of people working for it or investing in it, are quite different from those faced by the colleagues of an office “jerk” intent on knifing his way to the top
Manipulation of influential Peer Group – Enron
- Commercially the largest bankruptcy of its day, 2001, still provides multiple examples.
Embroiling the peer group in wrong doing –
- 4th June 1629 The Batavia shipwreck… Jeronimus Cornelisz
Enron Corp. Is Poised to File Largest-Ever Bankruptcy Case
Those who have been damaged
The friend an ex-partner in a law firm partner said “I played my part in letting it happen – allowing things to pass that others might think too small for a fuss. In hindsight it was a case of the most serious diseases creeping up over time in small increments. Step-by-step the illusionary became delusional, the delusional turned duplicitous, and duplicity probed with impunity the waters of the downright dishonest.”
What can firms and organisations do?
How do these characteristics differ from legitimate “business acquisition” and leadership characteristics? Surely much of this is simply normal human nature? It is important not to “finger” effective and legitimate business getters.
- There is considerable individual career risk in making an accusation.
- The importance of Mission setting Mission focus and maintenance
- The idea of shared responsibility