Views from the interface of psychoanalysis and organizational life
In the books in this series Manfred Kets de Vries—failed engineer, entrepreneur manqué, reluctant economist, international management guru, psychoanalyst, wit, and outdoorsman—offers an overview of his work spanning four decades, a period in which he has established himself as the leading figure in the clinical study of organizational leadership.
At a key point in his career, working as he puts it, "in the twilight zone of economics, management, and psychoanalysis," he decided to strike out on a little-trodden path and "bring the person back into the organization." Now Kets de Vries occupies a unique position in the academic business world, putting leaders and companies of the couch and working at the often intimate interface where the inner theater of the individual meets the outer world of the organization.
The second book in this series, Reflections on Leadership and Career Development, takes different perspectives on the intimate connection between the personality or "inner theater" of individuals and the organizational context in which they work—how different personality types, in positions of leadership or as members of management teams, affect the functioning and success of organizations. Kets de Vries looks at the way basic psychological processes operate on individual and corporate performance and analyzes them in the context of case studies of leaders and organizations. He examines narcissism, dysfunctional collusion between leaders and followers, some new leadership archetypes, and the roles that "organizational therapists" (coaches or consultants) can play in their interventions. The book includes a lengthy study of Vladimir Putin, as "CEO of Russia, Inc.," an assessment of the former Russian president's performance as an organizational leader. The final part of the book examines the career life cycle and how executives cope (or fail to cope) with rites de passage like succession and retirement.
"For the first time this book provides a glimpse of Manfred Kets de Vries' own 'inner theater' as the wellspring of his success as psychoanalyst, mentor and inspiration to a generation of leaders. Reflections on Leadership and Career Development offers a rare opportunity to observe Manfred on his own legendary couch, a personal perspective not to be missed."
Paul McMorran, HR Director, TNK-BP