The paper is focused on the psychopathy analysis of business leaders. It aims to describe its positive and negative traits for the business leaders. The negative sides of psychopathy in leaders are expressed through them bullying their stuff and distorted understanding of reality, resulting in unfavorable consequences for the company. At that same time, the positive sides reveal through charming, convective and confident behavior, and lack of emotions in difficult situations. The paper shows that psychopathy in business is a complex question that does not have a clear answer. However, as an alternative, it can be considered that psychopathic traits cannot be avoided in a successful business environment. In fact, in order to minimize its negative effect, it is critical to balance these traits with humanistic attitude and emotional empathy.Therefore, this paper is aimed to analyze the Tsebo Outsourcing Group`s executive leadership and management culture.
Labor Law and Ethics
Many types of research proved the idea that psychopaths can be not only among criminals, but also among political and corporate leaders. Particularly, numerous business leaders fall under this category because of the modern high-demanding conditions. Nowadays, due to the growth of big corporations in the finance sector as well as greater economic power centralization and pursuit of maximum returns in the shortest time possible, the number of psychopaths in this sector has also increased. Leaders have to concentrate on business issues and ignore their personal problems. Moreover, they have to be completely focused on the shareholder value and to reach high investment and profit performance levels. Moreover, apart from having such critical leadership skills as experience and knowledge, modern leaders have to be manipulative, charismatic, charming, convincing and persuasive. Exactly these skills are demanded from the professional managers nowadays. It is difficult to imagine how these expectations can be connected to the psychopaths because in general, such people are associated with rapists, serial killers, and criminals. However, it is critical to notice that all previously described characteristics are the symptoms of psychopathy. Therefore, this paper deeply analyzes the idea that business leaders can be corporate psychopaths.
Psychopathy can be defined as a personality disorder that expresses through pathological lying, superficial charm and remorse diminished capacity. From the scientific perspective, the diagnosis can be established under brain scan when a patient that imagines unfavorable situations, which have to evoke empathy, does not experience this feeling or he/she shows an increased response in the brain area that involves pleasure, when imagining pain of others (Schuitema, 2015). According to the article, only one percent of the population suffers from this condition, while up to twenty-five percent of the criminals in the US have this disorder (Schuitema, 2015). Therefore, it is doubtful that among the leaders, many people suffer from this disease. The main problem is that these people have cognitive empathy, which means that they have the ability to switch on and off their emotional empathy. Cognitive empathy is highly critical for modern business leaders, but if it is not supported by emotional empathy and ethical values, it can transform into the manipulative tool that can be used to overstep the boundaries, damage other people and even became a criminal (Schuitema, 2015). On the contrary, it is crucial to have psychopaths as business leaders because they ensure the strength of a company and are attractive executives for any organization. The article proposes to conduct a routine brain scan imaging for the potential executives and leaders to be sure that dangerous psychopaths are not be involved in the critical areas of a company (Schuitema, 2015).
Leadership is the most critical and arguable issue in the modern world. It concerns the performance of teams, organizations and groups and promotes their effective work and well-being. However, the leadership area is marked with high corporate psychopathy score. The psychopathic leadership can be aimed at the subordinates, the organization itself, or at both simultaneously. In general, corporate psychopaths are people with psychopathic traits that successfully work in corporations and function in the society (Boddy, 2015). A successful psychopath can be defined as the individual who sub-clinically manifest the psychopathy, who have not been involved in mental health or judicial systems and who have been engaged in the antisocial and manipulative behavior. Successful corporate psychopaths can be described as opportunistic, ruthless, self-serving and egocentric, as well as ambitious, manipulative and charming individuals (Boddy, 2015). Associated with the criminal psychopathy issues include the need for excitement, impulsivity, lack of empathy, lack of guilt or remorse, pathological lying, failure to take responsibility for own actions, irresponsibility, superficial charm, poor behavior control and manipulative behavior. In general, people who were found to have psychopathy signs were holding managerial positions or were identified as people with high potential for such jobs, despite their poor performance appraisals and poor management styles. At the same time, the psychopaths are attracted by the power that is usually concentrated in the positions and jobs with strong influence and authority possibilities. It is stated that among junior employees around one percent is psychopaths, while at the senior organizational level the number of psychopaths varies between three to five percent (Boddy, 2015). These numbers in certain types of organizations can be higher because corporate psychopaths are attracted to the organizations where they can reach prestige, power, and money in comparison to less paid professions. Such people can be unacceptable managers, but they can be great leaders able to inspire people with their glibness, confidence, and charm. Many studies have confirmed that CEOs show the highest psychopathy scores together with good communication skills and strategic thinking, creativity and strong charisma (Boddy, 2015). The main point is that despite having difficulties with being a team player and the lack of managerial skills, these people are liked by others.
Among the negative effects of the psychopathic leaders, such the lack of remorse, self-regulation and conscience, is bullying. The corporate psychopaths usually use bullying tactics as the main tool aimed at humiliating subordinates (Boddy, 2015). Also, bullying is used as the tactic to disorient, confuse and scare other people who can be a threat to the activities of corporate psychopaths. The bullying can be predatory, what means that it is aimed only at tormenting vulnerable people for personal satisfaction. In addition, bullying can be an instrument, which is directed at reaching some specific goals (Boddy, 2015). It is quite difficult to identify people with psychopath traits during hiring and promotion processes. Moreover, such people usually have poor anger management skills and distorted sense of reality. Therefore, in some cases, the abusers are not even aware of the harms or damages they have done to other people. Overall, the psychopathy leaders can have quite negative consequences on the team and on the organization in general.
A bright example can be Jeffrey Skilling, who is the former Enron Corporation CEO in Huston (Langbert, 2010). He is the most famous example of the corporate psychopath. The Enron Corporation was one of the most famous energy companies in the world and its success had a great impact on the US. Moreover, the company managed to gain over sixty billion dollars in assets, and its revenue in 2000 was more than one hundred billion (Langbert, 2010). Everything was fascinating until the company collapsed and its stock fell in a few weeks to zero. The victims of such collapse were the employees and investors of Enron. Skilling managed to lead the Enron for many years, during which he was awarded for the most creative company by the Fortune`s accolade (Langbert, 2010). However, the company culture was completely destroyed by the psychopathic leadership, leading to collapse. Among shocking issues in organizational culture was a risky motorbike ride accident on the rough road in Mexico. Because of that practice, one of the executives was seriously harmed (Langbert, 2010). Another shocking example, in fact, was one of the closest to Skilling associates, who often had strippers visiting the office with the leader`s blessing (Langbert, 2010). Moreover, Skilling himself was publicly abusive to the low-ranking employees and stock traders. The main problem was that Skilling seemed to be unable to realize the conflict of interests and fiduciary duty breaches undertaken by his chief financial officer, he approved the numbers of wrong plans that he mistakenly believed would save the company (Langbert, 2010). Additionally, he was persuaded that his ideas were genius, despite the fact that hundreds of their initiatives and ideas failed, and within some time even led to collateral consequences. Jeffrey Skilling was sentenced to twenty-four years in prison. In fact, this sentence is considered as one of the harshest penalties among white-collar crimes (Langbert, 2010). Therefore, it is possible to notice that Jeffrey Skilling’s case is a bright example of the psychopathic leadership when the person is charming and confident to be reach success, but at the same time, he experiences reality distortion, which results in a great failure.
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At the same time, it is critical to notice that in contrast, some believe that psychopathy in the workplace is a needed and appreciated trait. Therefore, psychopathy among leaders can be supported because it can bring benefits to the organizations. Some studies, despite negative psychopathic traits, argue that such leader is treated more favorably in comparison to healthy co-workers. For instance, the psychopaths are successful in presenting themselves as friendly, successful, reasonable, loyal, ambitious, reliable and intelligent people. Such presentation helps corporate psychopaths to rise within the corporation (Boddy, 2015). Moreover, they practice unemotional decisiveness, which makes them look as perfect leaders. Such corporate psychopaths` characteristic can reduce the risk of involvement in illegal or unethical behavior. At the same time, some even deny the psychopathy in leadership because it is believed that such attitude and behavior is a confidence expression.
It is critical to understand that psychopathy is believed to be an elusive thing among business leaders because it is difficult to accept that the decisions of leadership are similar to the decisions of a psychopath. Furthermore, some believe that certain psychopathic traits can be useful in the business area if they are balanced with the emotional empathy and moral principles. Hence, a bright example can be Allan Gray, who is the most successful business leader in South Africa (Nsehe, 2012). He is 74 and a founder of the Allan Gray Limited, a largest privately owned investment management company in Southern Africa (Nsehe, 2012). After successfully graduating from Harvard, the future business leader managed to establish the firm in 1973 in Cape Town as a one-man company. Nowadays, Allan Gray manages over ten billions of dollars in investors’ funds. In addition, he is known to be an Orbis Group founder, Bermuda-based group of the Mutual Funds (Nsehe, 2012). In addition, he is one of the richest people in Africa. Moreover, Allan Gray is famous as one of the most generous philanthropists in Africa. One of the largest gifts in the South Africa history was the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation with 150 million of dollars endowed by Allan Gray in 2007 (Nsehe, 2012). This foundation provides South African students with the high school scholarships that cover living expenses, hostel fees, and tuition fees at the leading South African High Schools (Nsehe, 2012). Furthermore, Allan Grey granted his share in the company in 2016 to the Allan and Gill Gray Charitable Trust in order to ensure that his dividends from Orbis Group and South African company were used for altruistic reasons. Therefore, it is possible to conclude that this case is the brightest example of how some psychopathic issues can be balanced with the emotional empathy, leading to the highly successful result. As it was already mentioned, many business leaders have some psychopathic traits such as lack of emotions in some cases, confidence, and charismatic behavior. Without such traits, the business cannot be run successfully. Only if empathy is absent and moral principles are ignored, these traits can be transformed into the problematic psychopathic leadership style. However, according to this example, the philanthropy on such level is the best evidence that All Gray has a strong emotional empathy and compassionate feelings. Hence, some of his negative, but inevitable traits are balanced with emotional empathy.
Another similar example can be Manu Chandaria from Kenya. Chandaria`s father moved to Kenya in 1916 and opened a small provision store in Nairobi (Nsehe, 2012). Subsequently, he acquired a floundering aluminum plant. The Comcraft Group foundation founded at the plant within some time transformed into the multinational industrial giant, producing aluminum, steel and plastic products in forty-five countries and employing more than forty thousand people (Nsehe, 2012). Chandaria is the chairperson of the group and he has spearheaded global operations of the company for several decades. However, the main point is that the most respected business leader of East Africa is the most generous individual. Hence, Chandaria has given millions of dollars to art, health and education areas (Nsehe, 2012). Moreover, he is a committed Jain and is guided by the Jainism principles. In fact, the whole family founded the Chandaria Foundation to keep fulfilling these beliefs. Therefore, the Comcraft functions in more that eleven African countries, and Chandaria family has founded charitable trusts in each country to assist in their philanthropic initiatives (Nsehe, 2012). As the Chandaria Foundation chairman, Manu is in charge of the charitable work from the whole family. Moreover, in Kenya, he is responsible for the numerous clinics and schools. In fact, Manu Chandaria has been involved in more than twenty-five organizations (Nsehe, 2012). Therefore, it is possible to conclude that this example is one more proof that despite being a harsh business leader with psychopathic traits, the negative side can be balanced with emotional empathy and philanthropic initiatives that are aimed to help other people.
Nowadays, psychopathy is understood as a part of people`s genetic structure. However, if a person with such genetic disposition is raised in a stable and positive environment with appropriate social and educational conditions, it is possible to escape most negative consequences associated with psychopathy. The main problem of these issues is that there is no clear answer on how to deal with them. In the business world, psychopathic signs can have both positive and negative effects. Particularly, sometimes the leaders have to make difficult decisions and low empathy is the only advantage in this case. Moreover, the effective closure of the deal in business can be done easier with confidence and charm of a leader. However, such negative signs as dishonesty, failure to accept responsibility for own actions and lack of guilt can lead to the moral failure. Hence, the main problem is to answer the question whether the leader in the business world has to be a sinner, a saint or to be in balance with these two sides. According to the previous information, it is possible to say that business leaders cannot be saints due to the leadership skills requirements. Moreover, some psychopathic behavior is even demanded from them. However, the psychopathic traits have to be balanced with emotional empathy and moral principles, because if otherwise, the negative consequences can ruin everything. Hence, the best alternative is to combine psychopathic traits with empathy and moral principles. As a result, such attitude will lead to the ultimate success, as in two mentioned examples.
Basing on the previous information it is possible to analyze Tsebo Outsourcing Group. It is a diversified holding company with infrastructure services. This is a great example of the synergistic partnership between the company and its shareholders. Tsebo Outsourcing Group is a well-known African business leader that for more than forty years has been striving for the growth, social transformation and success, and it is concentrated on providing integrated, soft and hard facilities services (Tsebo Outsourcing Group, 2014). The company has a highly successful business and team structures. Moreover, it is the first franchisor of facilities management in the world that creates job places and builds skills. In addition, Tsebo has the largest industrial skills training programs. Particularly, twenty thousand of trainees participated in this program within last three years. The company has a great number of employees. Nowadays, the company employs 34000 people across 7000 cities, and it functions in twenty-three countries of Africa and Middle East (Tsebo Outsourcing Group, 2014). Hence, the company is known as one of the most progressive corporate entities in Africa.
Clive Smith is the organization`s CEO. He has a great leadership experience, particularly, he has been working for more than last twenty years in the company (Tsebo Outsourcing Group, 2014). Smith holds a strong financial background and has extensive practical experience of providing efficient growth strategies, leading large employee groups and operating companies. Smith is a dynamic leader that believes in empowerment, as not a simple compliance requirement, but as a business strategy (Tsebo Outsourcing Group, 2014). This vision has led Tsebo to unprecedented growth. However, the most critical thing is that this type of leadership is based on such principles as entrepreneurship development, job creation, and skills development. Such attitude has made Tsebo known as the leader of the progressive business ethics in Africa (Tsebo Outsourcing Group, 2014). The company believes that it is possible to serve a demanding shareholder mandate, while building effective social values for the communities and people in Africa. Hence, the main goal of the company is to concentrate their efforts on creating opportunities for people and on improving their lives. This is the company`s main value. The company employs many people, and its hiring process is based on the youth employment, skills development, and job creation. The Tsebo`s inspirational leadership team is based on the balanced and powerful quorum, whose direction is focused on the well-being of organizations and teams. The senior management values the ability to anticipate the future and move toward the right direction. The company directs it own investments in the future leadership education. In general, the company is known to be one of the most progressive workplaces within industry. In the company, managers of the senior and middle levels must attend the Management Advancement Programme course, run by the Gordon Institute of Business Science that lasts for eighteen months (Tsebo Outsourcing Group, 2014). The outcomes-based training courses for supervisors and managers are aimed at creating a steady team with skilled middle and junior managers from which the future senior management will emerge. In addition, the organization has always been based on the equal employment opportunities. The company is one of the most trusted employers because of the starter job profiles together with training and growth opportunities. The staff is considered as the most qualified because the company`s Institute for Hospitality Studies (HIS) is accredited with the Tourism and Hospitality Education and Training Authority, while all training programs are aligned with South Africa’s National Qualifications Framework (Tsebo Outsourcing Group, 2014). Therefore, HIS taught more than twenty thousand people over the last three years, offering training programs for management to ensure that the needed skills are developed, maintained and obtained (Tsebo Outsourcing Group, 2014).
In addition, Tsebo group has many programs aimed at helping people. Among them is the industry leading HIV/Aids wellness program (Tsebo Outsourcing Group, 2014). Another company`s charity program is called Tsebo Foundation. It was established in honor of the fortieth anniversary of the Group (Tsebo Outsourcing Group, 2014). The Foundation governs, manages and oversees all charitable activities in the company with the dedicated team that operates on behalf of the independent Board of Trustees (Tsebo Outsourcing Group, 2014). The Foundation has to ensure effective management and outflow of funds, as the centralized reporting framework. It is controlled by the Tsebo`s Social Ethic and Transformation Committee, which has to meet such two goals as the community support and entrepreneurship development.
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Therefore, it is possible to conclude that executive leadership is not overloaded with the psychopathic traits. From the company profile, it can be seen that the Tseba`s leaders managed to keep their successful positions on the market for more than forty years. The decisions have been efficient and have brought to the company not only profit, but also a positive reputation. Clive Smith has been an executive chief of the company for a very long time, and under his leadership and the leadership of other senior management, the company participated in many charity events and established many initiatives to help people and communities. Such attitude is a bright evidence that despite some corporate psychopathic traits, including confidence, charm, lack of emotions that cannot be avoided in the modern business area, the emotional empathy and humanistic attitude dominates in the company and influences the decision-making process. The culture of management is also on the high level, and it proves that the negative psychopathic traits are not involved in the company. Moreover, the company leaders take care of their employees, following the equality and open opportunities principles. The company is focused on the staff development and provides the junior and middle managers with training opportunities that help them develop the required skills. In general, the company has a great number of workers and ensures that all of them are treated respectfully and their needs are met. Therefore, it is possible to notice that Tsebo Group executive leadership is highly effective. In fact, the case of the psychopathic traits among leaders, the situation is balanced with a great empathy that is expressed through various charity initiatives that help people and communities. Moreover, the management is effective in ensuring the equality and opportunities principles. Hence, the company is one of the most successful management and leadership examples.
Overall, the psychopathy is a widespread issue among the business leaders. It is usually expressed through the opportunistic, ruthless, self-serving and egocentric, as well as ambitious, manipulative and charming behavior. The psychopathy can lead to negative consequences, including bullying of the staff and wrong acceptance of the reality concerning the company`s issues. It can be proved by Jeffrey Skilling’s case. At the same time, the psychopathic traits can have a positive effect because confident and charming behavior together with the lack of emotions in difficult situations can provide only positive results. Especially, if psychopathic traits are balanced with emotional empathy and humanity. The bright examples can be Allan Gray and Manu Chandaria. Therefore, the main point is that the psychopathic traits cannot be avoided in the modern business and in order to avoid its negative consequences, it has to be balanced with emotional empathy and humanistic principles. From this perspective was analyzed the Tsebo Outsourcing Group that presented the effective leadership and impressive organizational culture.
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