Contributor Q&A Catchup With Liraz Margalit

Do you think you know your boss? They could be a corporate psychopath, and here’s how to spot the traits.

You just want to create great customer experiences and marketing programs. You likely don’t want to have to deal with a micro-managing boss who rises to the equivalent of a corporate psychopath — especially one who can “disguise their ruthlessness and anti-social behavior under the guise of personal charm.”

CMSWire Contributor Liraz Margalit noted this in her CMSWire piece on corporate psychopaths. It’s a common workplace problem. And leaders are continually able to thrive despite the abusive approach to management, according to Margalit. “This is because many of the traits of psychopaths are rewarded when they are manifested in organizations,” she wrote.

Hopefully, your CX and marketing teams are under the leadership of supportive, open managers who empower employees to do their best work and provide thoughtful motivation when needed.

We caught up with Margalit for a Q&A on the topic:

Editor’s note: This transcription has been edited for clarity.

Dom Nicastro: All right, Dominic Nicastro here, managing editor of CMSWire here and with our latest CMSWire contributor, Liraz Margalit, digital psychologist and writer of the book, “Designing Your Mind.” How are you doing?

Liraz Margalit: I’m very well, thank you for inviting me.

Nicastro: Well, thank you for coming on here today with us to talk about your latest article, you’ve been a contributor for many, many years. We appreciate it so much. This is a fascinating topic. I read this piece and edited this piece with such interest. Corporate psychopaths. Let’s just start there. Tell us just about, how do you define that? How do you define a corporate psychopath?

Margalit: OK, so we’re talking about set of traits. And this is not the regular psychopaths, you know from the movies.

Nicastro: So let’s start with the organizational psychopath or corporate psychopath. They are often highly intelligent, they are manipulative and charming. And these set of traits actually characterize the new kinds of psychopaths. So this is not the psychopaths who is well known to us. But we are talking about people who have a type of actually of personality disorder, which includes some of the characteristics of those (movie) characters.

Like psychopaths often know how to tell people exactly what they want to hear. And in order to move them and mobilize them for their own benefits, and they are aware of their abilities to use them to manipulate, meaning that they are aware of their manipulation. They are also characterized by grandiose self worth and over-estimating themselves and also their abilities.

Also, one more thing: it’s important to note that corporate psychopaths, they’re not violent, and they actually operate within the law. So their way of gaining strength is to climb the organizational ladder, meaning they like to gain recognition, they feel good, they need the status, they need the recognition. And actually, there is one more thing that is very important about corporate psychopaths: they can tell you one thing, they can be charming to you, and the next day, they won’t even tell you hello.

Related Article: Is Your Boss a Corporate Psychopath?

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