Leaders, Fools and Impostors

Essays on the Psychology of Leadership

by Manfred Kets de Vries



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 8/10/2003

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 162
ISBN : 9780595289622
Format : Hardcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 162
ISBN : 9780595659470
Format : E-Book
Dimensions : N/A
Page Count : 162
ISBN : 9780595749300

About the Book

In this book of insightful essays, Kets de Vries explodes the myth that rationality is what governs the behavior of leaders and followers, and he provides a more realistic perspective on organizational functioning and the leader-follower relationship. The author shows that a great potential for distortion exists when leaders try to act out the fantasies of their followers, and explores the many psychological traps into which leaders frequently fall.

Citing examples from business, history, literature, the arts, and from his own psychoanalytic and management-consulting practise, the author identifies distinct leader types. He describes, for instance, the narcissist whose drive for power and prestige can bring much-needed vitality to an organization, but whose inability to accept criticism ultimately creates a climate of subservience. He shows that entrepreneurs possess many of the qualities of the impostor, including a capacity for self-dramatization and a deep understanding of how to profit by others' wishes and desires, and he explains why entrepreneurs sometimes distort the truth about themselves and their organizations.

Through numerous case studies of successful and failed leaders, Leaders, Fools, and Impostors furthers a better understanding of the leader-follower dynamic, and gives leaders the means to transform themselves.

About the Author

Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries holds the Raoul de Vitry d?Avaucourt Chair of Clinical Leadership Development at INSEAD, France & Singapore. He is also in charge of INSEAD?s Center for Leadership Development. He is the author of twenty books and over two hundred articles on topics such as leadership, career development, and organizational change. The Financial Times, Le Capital, Wirtschaftswoche, and The Economist have judged Manfred Kets de Vries one of the world?s leading management thinkers. His books and articles have been translated into eighteen languages. He is a member of seventeen editorial boards. Kets de Vries is an executive development consultant on organizational design/transformation and strategic human resource management to leading U.S., Canadian, European, African, and Asian companies. As an educator and consultant he has worked in more than thirty countries.