Grandiose sense of self-worth

Back at work now, got back a few days ago, of course the backlog of problems are nagging at me, so I will keep this post short, “like most” you might thinking to yourself. I have been truly busy; busy home, necessary repairs, short on finances, and the kids constant grovelling – and that’s just on the boat. I’ve been working on a new project these last few months, which I hope will interest you, Canadian marine engineers types, possibly, some from other nations too.

The project is called Blue Riband, and it is a proposition for some structural changes to our profession in Canada, which would hopefully alleviate some of the pressing human resources issues facing the industry, here in Canada, and worldwide. I intend to present these ideas in a couple of presentations at the start of the new year, via the technical meetings of the Canadian Institute of Marine Engineering, Vancouver and Vancouver Island branches. I hope to start sharing some insight on this to solicite your responses and input, in order to make the project more viable.

In the mean time, and somewhat related topic, I ran across an article on bosses… which some of you may find of interest. It relates to the corporate world, but I firmly have a clear picture of a few people I have worked with aboard various ships when I read this article…

Psychopaths in the Executive Suite
November 03, 2011 by: Shari Lifland

“Not all psychopaths are in prison. Some are in the boardroom.”—Robert D. Hare, Ph.D.

Judging by the large number of “crazy boss” articles in the mainstream business blogosphere: “How to Deal with an Evil Boss,” “Is Your Boss a Psychopath?” “The Horrible Boss Screening Test,” and so forth, one might surmise that “boss” is a synonym for “nut case.”

Does the preponderance of and fascination with these articles mean that there really are thousands of psycho leaders out there? Well, maybe.

In his latest book, The Psychopath Test, British journalist Jon Ronson investigates what he calls “the madness industry” and, specifically, the world of psychopaths. Within the general population, only 1% are psychopathic, meaning that they are so deficient in empathy and conscience that they pose a serious threat to others. Not surprisingly, among prisoners, the percentage rises to about 25%.

But here’s the really alarming part of the story: the higher up the professional and political ladder you go, the higher the percentage of psychopaths. At the upper levels of business and politics—top corporate officers, for example—nearly 4% score “extremely high” on the official “Psychopath Test.”

Before you label your boss (or congressman) a psychopath, let’s take a look at the criteria for an official diagnosis. Following are the 20 characteristics of a psychopath, taken directly from the Hare PCL-R Checklist. Developed by Canadian psychologist Robert D. Hare, the Checklist (included in Ronson’s book) is used by mental health and law enforcement professionals to diagnose psychopathy. Each item is ranked on a three-point (0-2) scale:

1. Glibness/superficial charm
2. Grandiose sense of self-worth
3. Need for stimulation/proneness to boredom
4. Pathological lying
5. Conning/manipulative
6. Lack of remorse or guilt
7. Shallow affect
8. Callous/lack of empathy
9. Parasitic lifestyle
10. Poor behavioral controls
11. Promiscuous sexual behavior
12. Early behavioral problems
13. Lack of realistic long-term goals
14. Impulsivity
15. Irresponsibility
16. Failure to accept responsibility for own actions
17. Many short-term marital relationships
18. Juvenile delinquency
19. Revocation of conditional release
20. Criminal versatility

If you exhibit 15 of the 20 traits on the list and score at least 29 or 30 out of a possible 40 points, congratulations: you’re a bona fide psychopath.

To read more, click here.

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