The recent proliferation of populist movements worldwide - along with the often dangerous, demagogic leaders that accompany them - have prompted questions about the underlying conditions that give rise to such troubling developments.
'Leadership Unhinged: Essays on the Ugly, the Bad and the Weird' examines what is going on at a deeper level, both collectively and individually, between leaders and followers. Employing theories derived from psychoanalytic psychology, developmental psychology, neuroscience and evolutionary psychology, these essays help to unravel and expose the pathological leader-follower dynamics that generate such movements.
The book is infused with Kets de Vries’s now famous and inimitable style of analysis, which draws from myths, creates fairy tales, and uses irony and metaphor to bring his conclusions into greater relief and trigger new insights.
As Kets de Vries explains, effective leaders have the capacity to bring people together and even make them better, stronger. Doing so suggests that those leaders are value driven, able to set a moral tone. Yet, when such a tone is absent or, at worst, twisted toward the destructive, leadership quickly becomes dangerous. History has shown the devastation left in the wake of unhinged leaders who have gone unchecked.
To become fully conscious of the conditions that allow for the emergence of such leaders has become a moral requirement of our time. In ways both moving and entertaining, Kets de Vries’s new contribution puts us in a better position to fulfil that requirement.
Interviews en artikelen (1)
Over Manfred Kets de Vries
Andere boeken door Manfred Kets de Vries
• Draws attention to the conditions that give rise to pathological leadership
• Outlines the purpose and methodology of the book
1 The Dark Cloud of Crowds
• Analyses the development of populist movements with reference to Nazi Germany.
• Discusses contemporary conditions that support the rise of populist movements, including the enabling roles played by social media and the internet.
• Examines crowd psychology in terms of the “selfish herd”, “mimicry”, etc.
2 Let’s Install Leaders for Life
• Offers a tongue-in-cheek Swiftian proposal that proposes – in a satirical manner – that there are merits to installing “leaders for life”.
• Provides specific analysis of Donald Trump, Caesar, Napoleon, Hitler, Mugabe, and others.
3 The Little Drum Boy or the Rise and Fall of a Flawed Leaders
• Through the creation of a modern-day fairy tale, the text describes the rise and fall of one “Little Drum Boy”, with obvious reference the 45th president of the United States.
• Detailed examination of the psychological factors that shaped the leadership style of “Little Drum”, including his personal traits, skills, and family dynamics.
4 A Strange Tale of Hatred
• Framed by the tale of a leader named “Bolsonaro”, this chapter provides a psychological
examination of hatred and how it is deployed by pathological leaders.
• In addition to analyzing hatred, the chapter also looks at anger, contempt, self-righteousness, and other emotions utilized by demagogic leaders.
5 I won’t. Therefore I am.
• Offers the tale of a queen who wishes to preserve her country by divorcing it from the larger federation of which it has been a part. The tale functions as an analogy of Brexit from a psychological viewpoint.
• Provides a psychological analysis of the queen’s motivations and personality traits, including her stubbornness, fear of an attack on her inner core, inclination to hold on to grudges and past injuries, etc.
• Looks to reveal the underlying condition that create such a psychological state, such as the separation-individuation matrix.
• Concludes with a discussion of how to deal with stubborn people.
6 Life Lessons from the ‘Great Mother’
• A fairy tale about a grandma Black Widow spider that offers a psychological analysis of her from the perspective of the “Great Mother”.
• Includes a discussion of leadership, organizations and gender dynamics, including the dangerous duality of attracting and repelling.
7 Lions Led by a Donkey
• A short conclusion that reminds the readers not only of the negative impact of incompetent, arrogant leadership, but also the value leadership in tough times.
• Discusses the need for moral leadership, courage in making the hard decisions, and creating a legacy for future generations.
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