Several years ago I reviewed the demography of the people I was working with and discovered that almost half were CEO’s of private corporations. The companies they ‘ran’ were mostly large and very successful; among them were Fortune 100 ... read more
Several years ago I reviewed the demography of the people I was working with and discovered that almost half were CEO’s of private corporations. The companies they ‘ran’ were mostly large and very successful; among them were Fortune 100 corporations. Most had human relations divisions which made coaching and other therapeutics available to them. However these men (and all were men) did not believe their privacy could be kept in house.
None of these individuals were seriously disturbed. On the contrary they were well adjusted and relatively comfortable with themselves; they came with a situational problem such as divorce, family loss, or questions about future moves in their career. Only their particularly high profile jobs distinguished them from many of the other people I help.
Both the last two republican candidates, Donald Trump and Mitt Romney, highlighted their CEO experience as a major strength in bidding for the presidency. Superficially that makes sense but only if one takes leadership ability as a nonspecific monolithic skill. Actually leadership, like love, is all about context, in this case the goals and intents of the groups being led. The quality of leaders and the skills required to successfully lead are very different for different collectives and although they may have some functions in common they are rarely interchangeable. Business leadership is quite specific and limited compared to leadership in other contexts. For example, as a physician I ran several large medical and psychiatric wards which required all kinds of people and organizational skills which might be equated with a small business. But the primary “bottom line” was not money as in business but successful treatment and the intent of healing. That defined whether I was successful in my role in my own heart and the heart of patients and staff.
The personalities of the men I worked with were compatible with business enterprises.They emphasized dominance, competitiveness, competence and acquisitiveness. They prized financial success and power as compared to humanitarian concerns, ethics, and close relationships. They had worked hard and taken personal risks to get to where they were and wanted, often craved, recognition from peers and employees. They rarely mentioned the struggles of others.
Obviously this profile is subjective and limited by numbers and the context of advising and therapy. Still it never crossed my mind that any of these successful men would make worthy presidents!
October 4, 2016 Leave a Comment
How remarkable that scapegoat and scapegoating have become such a familiar word in the coming election. And how the concept has become so confused and self-serving. Trump is a classic bully and while bullying, scapegoating and a scapegoat have much in common they are not the same. A bully is an individual who has many …read more
May 11, 2016 1 Comment
DRSCAPEGOAT was a created effigy , a serving simulacrum inspired by what doctors should do best, that is provide help for people who suffer. Dr. S opened theory and practice of scapegoating to the internet wilderness and promised to answer questions and provide advice for wanderers in that dry and scratchy desert as well as providing …read more
March 15, 2016 Leave a Comment
This introductory note appeared in NY Times on March 12, 2016: “LA SELLE-SUR-LE-BIED, France — “Jacqueline Sauvage and Norbert Marot married as teenagers and built their dream house of wood and stone with a big garden and terrace in this village 70 miles south of Paris. On the terrace of that home 47 years later, …read more
December 26, 2015 Leave a Comment
Farkhunda Malikzada was 27 and an aspiring student of Islam when she was destroyed by a mob in Kabul. She was beaten, stoned, run over by a car, doused with gasoline, burned ( her blood saturated clothes barely caught fire); all this documented on video and posted on social media by the attackers themselves! The huge …read more
September 28, 2015 1 Comment
For the past few months I have had a number of letters asking for help in understanding the psychology of scapegoaters. The writers, often self-identified scapegoats, wonders how their tormentors survive the difficult emotions that they should feel as they unjustly punish and abuse others. My own experiences is that most abusers see themselves as …read more
June 29, 2015 Leave a Comment
We all bore witness to forgiveness at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston. The congregation members who lost love ones showed the power of that sentiment. They helped all of us learn how forgiveness may support victims and scapegoats by calming grief and empowering prayers and so much more. We know there are many other emotions felt …read more