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TEDxAmsterdam 2013 From hero to zero - when leaders turn bad by Mind Map: TEDxAmsterdam 2013
From hero to zero - when
leaders turn bad
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TEDxAmsterdam 2013 From hero to zero - when leaders turn bad

the Narcissism/Hubris test

how big is your ego?

do you have your name on your building?

do you own a sports team?

do you have an own jet?

do you own newspapers or other media?

do people always agree with you?

is your office full of photos of you and famous people?

do you have a spouse who was born after you graduated from high school?

this is the acid test


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...the author

Manfred Kets de Vries

Interview at TEDxAms

...this talk

Themes, Leadership

Related talks

Reactions, Manfred kets de Vries is spot-on! "Pay attention to what's not being said. What's going on in the cloud" #EI #TedX, Interview in Volkskrant (in Dutch)

Watch this talk on YouTube

On leadership

power corrupts - absolute power corrupts absolutely - Lord Acton

where are the heroes gone?

now, when you open the news paper

north Korea


heroes, Bernie Madoff 150 years in prison, Rajat Gupta 2 years in prison, Raj Rajatnam 11 years in prison, Lord COnrad Black 6,5 years in prison, Jeff Skilling/Enron 24 years in prison

one death is a tragedy; one million is a statistic - Josef Stalin

Why do leaders derail?

or: how do people turn into wolves in sheeps clothing

it is hard to learn the mind of any mortal, or the heart, till he bei tried in chef authority. Power shows the man - Sophocles

when people get power, bad things happen


why are so many leader self destructive?

why don't leader get the best out of their people?

why do so many executive teams function poorly?

why do so many organizations have a "gulag" (mind control) quality?

everybody is normal, until you know them better

how this happens

the HUBRIS effect, excessive pride / arrogance

Narcissism, ultimately falling in love with your reflection in the mirror

starting to live in a hall of mirrors

surrounded by yes-sayers, like Hitler in the bunker, hoping for mysterious weapons to come suddenly

the moment you are a senior executive, you are surrounded by liars!, keep this in mind


Samuel Goldwyn, "I don't want any yes-men around me. I want people to tell me the trurth, even if it costs them their job.", "don't say yes until I stop talking", "when I want your opinion I'll give to you"

What leaders can do to become better leaders


need to deal with existential anxieties, executives wan to leave a legacy / create some meaning, fear of dying, what gets you out of the bed in the morning, fear of isolation / loneliness, how can I improve the relations with people I care about?, fear of not beaing in control

people need to learn to listen, listening with a third ear, like Buddha

you might need to change certain patterns, "the tragedy of life is that you only understand it backward but you have to live it forward" - Kierkegaard

approach is influenced by Frued, 11.000.000 impulse by second, disovered many people don't know themselves

how to become an authentic leader

use 720 feedback instead of 360, not only organisations, but also friends and family memebers, "if somebody says you have ears like a donkey, pay no attention. But if two people tell you so, buy yourself a saddle", depends on culture within the organisation

decide on how to use yourself as an instrument, become more emotionally intelligent, listen to what's not being said, pic up the subtle information, don't sovle the problem, using group coaching

stimulate quietness and daydreams, why, 18200 dreams a year, we don't remember most of them, we're living very rich life over there, someone is trying to tell something and we're not even listening, examples, Einstein conceived the relativity theory while daydreaming, Kekulé dreamed up the Benzene ring, see Wikipedia article, get leaders out of their sandbox

leaders really need to know what effect they have on people

most of these things are not very new

"Know thyself", As stated on the temple of Apollo in ancient Delphi, it still is relevant today as it what yesterday

Personal story

old framhouse in huizen

my grandpartents lived there

hid 13 people

grandather very talented to make double floors and double walls

influenced by my mother

mother tried to feed al those people

was traumatized

made me think about: what do people do to other people

Conus eating his children

their children

their next generation

So, what is your 'final exam'

ask yourself

what do you want to leave for your children/ the next generation

how would you like to be remembered

what kind of legacy do you want to leave

not being the richest or most powerwul person in the graveyard