is my boss a psychopath? Probably.

The fact you punched this into google means that yes, there is a good chance your boss is a psychopath.

Psychopathy is a tricky topic to get your head around so i'll let a pro, Dr Kevin Dutton, explain for me.

"Psychopathy, in other words, was seen as a bit like a light switch. It was either ON or OFF - and when it was ON the difference was pretty obvious! But recently scientists have come to view the condition in a slightly different 'light'. Rather than psychopathy being ON and OFF, it's now more a case of whether it's UP or DOWN. 'Psychopathicity', in other words, is now hooked up to a dimmer switch. And we all have our place on the dial."

The good psychopath's guide to success - Kevin Dutton & Andy McNab

But what is a psychopath and how come you've crossed their psycho...path?

First things first, let's get our Psycho's and Socio's straight.

Psychopathy can be broken down into two areas, primary and secondary. Our primary psychopaths are most commonly known as the dictionary definition of psychopathy - the Patrick Bateman's of the world. With our secondaries, known as sociopaths, are more our criminal masterminds.

Primary Psychopath

They show signs of superficial charm, manipulative behaviour and a lack of empathy. Its usual that a primary psychopath was born this way, who's mentality has held the same structure from birth.

Secondary Psychopath (Sociopath)

Now our secondary psychopaths are known as Sociopaths. These are people who's mentality has adapted to their lifestyle and has likely been affected by past events in their life. A sociopath has many of the same traits as a psychopath but with more of a criminal twist. This criminal or entrepreneurial versatility means spotting a sociopath is a little trickier.

Matt's Top Ten - Spot a Psychopath

  1. Lack of empathy

  2. Incapacity for love

  3. Desire for stimulation

  4. No guilt, shame or remorse

  5. Manipulative

  6. Charming

  7. Lack of long term goals

  8. Impulsive

  9. Narcissism

  10. Desire for power

Should I be worried?

Its thought that 1 in 5 business leaders are psychopaths, with psychopaths making up a whole 1% of our population. With the kicker being that 10% of those in the financial services, Wall Street for example, are psychopaths. Picture this, you're sat on the 61st floor in a cushy New York meeting room with 9 of your colleges. You take a look around and think "There's a good chance a psycho is in this room". Odds are they're sat at the head of the table.

Worried is the wrong word, let's try cautious. So you've started noticing some weird behaviour. Emails at crazy hours in the morning, colleagues fired on the daily or a straight up lack of emotion in the workplace.

Ask yourself, are you in their 'reach'? Is this the problem or the solution? Many CEOs are thought to be psychopaths, but this isn't something they can express on LinkedIn. Having a psychopath at the wheel isn't always a bad thing. In many cases, it's the reason they're in the position they're in. These are people comfortable to work to a standard that others simply aren't. And after all...

It isn't a crime to be a psychopath

Holy shit I think i'm nuts

Now for the fun bit, are YOU a psychopath? It's hard to diagnose psychopathy but these sites come pretty close in the eyes of professionals.



This post was inspired by the the book quoted at the start, a truly great read for those who feel somewhat different.

Check out The Good Psychopath's Guide to Success

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