Manfred Kets de Vries
The Dysfunctional Leader
© 2003 by Michael Finley
Manfred Kets de Vries' style is a
one-man tour de force of psychology, comedy, and common sense. He speaks
with a noticeable French accent, at a rapid-fire, standup-comic pace.
Occasionally a word or a phrase gets mowed down in the delivery, and
participants inch forward in their seats, trying to get the words
right. But mostly we are rewarded by a humane look at the pressures
imposed on leaders by a business world that in many ways has defused its
As he acknowledges from the onset, Kets de Vries is an obvious
right-brainer (creative, intuitive) in a world of left-brains (analytical,
logical). And that gets at the basic predicament leaders nowadays face:
Either leaders have been prescreened for leadership according
to personalities and skill bases that were once relevant to running
businesses, but are now less relevant or effective. Kets de Vries likened
the analytical managerial personality to the wild boars that frequent the
forest surrounding Fontainebleau, where he teaches at the European
Institute of Business Administration (INSEAD).
Or leaders somehow get through the screening process with
intact, balanced personalities, but are made miserable by the strictures
their organizations impose and the crashing boars of the business world
they must run with.
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Kets de Vries