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Reflections on Character and Leadership: On the Couch with Manfred Kets de Vries

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Reflections on Character and Leadership is the first of the three books in the Manfred kets de Vries on the Couch series.

Here, Kets de Vries looks at entrepreneurship, the pathology of leadership, and the personality of the leader. The reader will visit the disturbed inner worlds of leaders like Alexander the Great, Shaka Zulu and Robert Maxwell, discover how to distinguish between a cold fish and a live volcano, and identify impostors, despots, organizational fools and global leaders.

The book highlights the basic principles of the clinical paradigm—the process of putting organizations and the individuals who lead them on the psychoanalyst’s couch. It includes studies of personality archetypes and the effects they have on organizational life and culture—and the effects that organizations have on them. Referring frequently to key management concepts, Kets de Vries looks not only at what happens when things go wrong, but also at how to create the psychological and organizational space to make sure that things go right.

About the series:

The series offers an overview of Kets de Vries’s work spanning four decades, a period in which he has established himself as the leading figure in the clinical study of organizational leadership.

The books in this series contain a representative selection of Kets de Vries’ writings about leadership from a wide variety of published sources and cover character and leadership in a global context, career development and leadership in organizations. The original essays were all written or published between 1976 and 2008. Updated where appropriate and revised by the author, they present a digest of the work of one of the most influential management thinkers of the present day.

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