Executive Nut-Jobs

From theGuardian.com, comes the following:

Crazy at the wheel: psychopathic CEOs are rife in Silicon Valley, experts say

We here at the Asylum, having many years experience working at various corporations, would venture to say it’s not just CEO’s in the Silicon Valley who might be psychopaths; it’s C-level management, Directors and Managers too, and it’s not just found in one area of the country – it’s to be found worldwide.

From the article:

“A true psychopath is someone that has a blend of emotional, interpersonal, lifestyle and behavioral deficits but an uncanny ability to mask them. They come across as very charming, very gregarious. But underneath there’s a profound lack of remorse, callousness and a lack of empathy,” said forensic and clinical psychologist Michael Woodworth, who has worked with psychopathic murderers in high security prisons, on Tuesday.

Barnum_&_Bailey_clowns_and_geese2Having sat or stood in wonder watching a CEO, president, director or manager of organizations we’ve had the displeasure of working for, declare, straight-faced and even sometimes with a smile on their face, that “we’re all going to have work harder and smarter” after the 10th layoff in the last 2 years, and thinking that their audience bought a nickel of it, left us with a soured taste in our mouths, knowing we were working for the truly deranged.

Our belief is that, at least in corporate America, if one can speak somewhat intelligently – and this part is key – if they can speak in front of a group of people, telling them half-truths, outright lies, along with the obligatory mumbo-jumbo that’s been handed down through the abundance of management levels, with never a missive sent back through the ranks of management that what’s being asked of employees stinketh to high heaven – then they have a bright future as a leader in the corporation.



And more from the article:

“Psychopaths will handpick people they can use as lackeys or supporters, such as someone in HR they can have in their wheelhouse,” said Woodworth.

Somewhere way back in time, an absolute lunatic or psychopath (take your pick) was promoted into the management ranks, having successfully charmed their way past their enabler.  Unable to recognize anyone who wasn’t also a lunatic, this person hired and promoted their own kind.   And thus the proliferation of idiots as managers began.  We have yet to recover from this introduction of corporate and business “mensa’s”, and their unhindered multiplication ever since has brought many organizations to its knees.

Freak-show managers, directors on power trips, VP’s who are completely oblivious and C-level “talent” that takes one’s breath away with their sheer stupidity is the rule of the day.

“Our business is infested with idiots who try to impress by using pretentious jargon.” ~ David Ogilvy

And sometimes there isn’t even pretentious jargon to hoodwink workers into a productive day at the cubicle rat-hole. It’s do this or do that, when “this or “that” has been done since the first rainbow was spotted, none of which has ever lead to finding one coin at the end of it.  Things are ordered on a whim, or often times commanded to be done only out of spite and malice.  Deadlines are announced of here-to-fore unannounced projects with only minutes allotted to complete and new tasks are heaped upon the dedicated bunch of workers who actually get work done, with the psychopath’s favorites missing in action. These are the things psychopaths do.  Yet what they can’t do is manage, lead, inspire, motivate or embolden.  They are the original “trigger heads”.  That corporations get anything accomplished is a credit to the workers, not the management morons who take the laurels, along with a hefty portion of the profits.

There’s been a bit of talk of late of fascism.

“Benito Mussolini created the word ‘fascism.’ He defined it as ‘the merging of the state and the corporation.’ He also said a more accurate word would be ‘corporatism.’ This was the definition in Webster’s up until 1987 when a corporation bought Webster’s and changed it to exclude any mention of corporations.” ~ Adam McKay

A psychopath (Mr. Mussolini) defining what those of his ilk to follow seem to be attracted to – and it took this long for an international publication and “experts” to recognize something every non-management employee has known for a long time.

And since we here at the Asylum love Russian classical music, we leave you with a waltz from Dmitri Shostakovich. It’s been used in many movies. It reminds us of the feeling we’ve had sitting through many “executive” meetings, knowing in advance that a whole lot of silliness and stupidity was about to take place.  (If one can imagine the overwhelming feeling of being at the circus we experienced with each utterance of lunacy at such meetings, you’ll get the music selection). Nevertheless, it’s a lovely waltz.

Dmitri Shostakovich – Waltz No. 2

Photo credit:  (barnum & bailey): By The Strobridge Litho. Co., Cincinnati & New York. (Library of Congress[1]) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


  1. Your paragraph about the “qualifications” for having a bright future as a leader within a corporation is brilliant. I unfortunately have lived through my share of these “public speakers” in similar scenarios and can identify with everything written here. It is an epidemic and while I know I’m far from alone it is always nice to get that re-affirmed from time to time. Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! We both share a common experience with the “joys” of working for a corporation, and as you nicely stated…it is indeed epidemic. Thanks for dropping by the site.

      Liked by 1 person

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