Manfred Kets de Vries

articles
ARTICLES

Reaching Stardom: How to Identify and Develop Top Performers
By Manfred F.R.Kets de Vries
Organizational Dynamics, Forthcoming, Summer 2012, Volume 41, No 3

This article studies the phenomenon of organizational stars, a group of people who can be very paradoxical in their behavior. These individuals are true masters of the kōan — the riddles that are used as learning tools in the Zen tradition. It is their paradoxical behavior, however, what makes them so successful, in this article some of the qualities that turn them into top performers are examined. Many stars, although walking contradictions, know how to reconcile opposites. They are talented in managing conflicting but necessary ideas or goals. In other words, they have the creative ability to manage short-term and long-term orientation, action and reflection, extroversion and introversion, optimism and realism, control and freedom, holistic and atomistic thinking, hard and soft skills. In addition, they are great at visioning, possess a solid dose of emotional intelligence, take calculated risks, are accountable for their actions, have great tenacity, possess a high energy level, and make a heroic (although often unsuccessful) effort to attain some form of work-life balance. They are also curious, imaginative, insightful, have a wide span of interests, and are open to new experiences. They like to play with new ideas; they find familiarity and routine boring; and they have a great tolerance of ambiguity. In addition, stars can make decisions quickly, but can also be extremely cautious. They are rebellious and conservative, playful and responsible, reflective and proactive. They like to be sociable but also need to be alone; they are highly imaginative but maintain a solid sense of reality. They are both divergent and convergent thinkers. What?s more, their behavior is contagious; others are inspired to follow their example.

To better understand stars, the subject of narcissism, a concept that lies at the heart of leadership, is also addressed. It is suggested that a substantial number of stars are constructive narcissists (or reactive narcissists who have learned to modify their behavior). It is their moderate narcissistic orientation that fuels the motivational engine of these top performers. Excessive narcissism, however, may lead to pseudo-stars?self-centered predators, concerned only with satisfying their narcissistic cravings. Thus human behavior can be compared to a see-saw: humility can lose ground to arrogance and pride, selflessness to selfishness, generosity to greed. When leadership is tipped to the negative side and becomes toxic, the dark side of narcissism comes to the fore, and some stars can, and do, damage the organizations they work in. In this article the question of how to develop stars is also addressed. Experience has shown that the most effective strategy is to engage in self-assessment, action learning, and shadowing. In addition, group interventions, supported by one-to-one coaching, can facilitate the exploration of potential stars? strengths and weaknesses.


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The Many Colors of Success: What do Executives Want out of Life?
By Manfred F.R.Kets de Vries
Organizational Dynamics, Volume 39, No 1, pp. 1-12

This article is based on the responses of 160 senior executives to questions of what success means to them. Eight major categories of success emerged: family, wealth, work/career, recognition/fame, power, winning/overcoming challenges, friendships, and meaning. Experiences of success depended on “intrinsic” or “external” validation, and the inner scripts that these executives had developed while growing up, which influenced their perceptions of success and how they experienced it. The qualities of focus, persistence, and self-mastery, among others, featured in the scripts of many successful people. The darker side of success was partly accounted for by what can be described as the "Faust Syndrome", the melancholia that follows the sense of everything being completed. What the narratives for most of these executives illustrate, is that success is a journey, not a destination.

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The Shadow Side of Leadership
By Manfred F.R.Kets de Vries
Human Capital Review and Etdonline, South Africa, September 2009

Manfred Kets de Vries says that abnormal behaviour is more normal than most are prepared to admit. In this insightful article, he describes a number of dysfunctional leadership prototypes found in organisations, offered as a useful form of shorthand for identification purposes – a sort of Rough Guide to organisational dysfunction – that helps us understand how we can deal with this dysfunction in ourselves or our leaders.

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Development and Application of the Leadership Archetype Questionnaire
By Manfred F.R.Kets de Vries, Pierre Vrignaud, Anupam Agrawal and Elizabeth Florent-Treacy
International Journal of Human Resource Management, Forthcoming

The Leadership Assessment Questionnaire (LAQ) is a 360-degree survey instrumentdesigned to help organizational leaders in identify their own style of leadership and formulate appropriate development objectives. It is designed to provide means for developing an executive team in which multiple leadership archetypes are represented.

The LAQ is based on eight leadership archetypes – Strategist, Change-catalyst, Transactor, Builder, Innovator, Processor, Coach, and Communicator. These archetypes are representations of ways of leading in a complex organizational environment. In this article, we discuss the development, design, and psychometric analysis of the LAQ. We detail the conceptual foundations of the questionnaire and the psychometric methods used to confirm the validity and reliability of the instrument. We conclude with avenues for future research.

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Decoding the Team Conundrum: The Eight Roles Executives Play
By Manfred F.R.Kets de Vries
Organizational Dynamics, Vol 36, #1, pp. 28-44
Translated into French as Archétypes de Leadership et Équipe de Direction, Gestion, Special Leadership review, Vol 33, #3, pp 48-60, Autumn 2008

In this article, a number of leadership "archetypes," ways of leading in a complex organizational environment are explored. These archetypes represent prototypes for understanding leadership behavior. Ideally, an executive team-representing a number of leadership archetypes-should be able to cover all the leadership needs that are required to make an organization effective.

Eight commonly found leadership archetypes are identified. Each of these leadership archetypes will prove more or less effective depending on the organizational situation. The archetypes listed are strategist, change-catalyst, transactor, builder, innovator, processor, coach and communicator. A description is given of each archetype including what it means working with, and managing each of these types. These in-depth descriptions form the foundation of a Leadership Archetype Questionnaire (LAQ).


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Executive Complexes
By Manfred F.R.Kets de Vries
Organizational Dynamics, Vol 36, #4, pp 377-391, (Winter 2007)
Republished in Portuguese (shortened edition) by Fundação Dom Cabral, November 2008, #7

This article looks at the meaning of the noun “complex” in its psychological sense: a cluster of related thoughts, feelings, memories, images and ideas – many of them pushed out of consciousness – dominated by an emotional theme. The article explores the nature and origin of complexes and then explores five complexes regularly encountered in organizational coaching and consulting work: the God complex, the Sisyphus complex, the Nobel Prize complex, the Monte Cristo complex, the Troll complex, and the Faust complex. Ways of identifying and coping with a complex are also examined.

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Russia's Succession Paradox
By Manfred F.R.Kets de Vries & Stanislav Shekshnia
Organizational Dynamics, Special Issue on Russian Leadership, Volume 37,
Issue 3, pp. 266-276 (July-September 2008)

One of the main issues in Russian business, both from a political and organizational perspective, is succession. Shekshnia and Kets de Vries start their exploration of this issue by examining some general psychodynamic factors that influence the succession process. They go on to discuss major themes in founder-CEO succession in Russia, highlighting its potential pitfalls. They introduce the concept of the “succession paradox,” whereby CEO-founders appear to pass the helm to their successors while keeping a firm grip on the wheel. They end with a number of recommendations for coping with this problem, emphasizing that succession is a process rather than an event.

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Interview with a Russian Entrepreneur: Ruben Vardanian
By Manfred F.R.Kets de Vries & Stanislav Shekshnia
Organizational Dynamics, Special Issue on Russian Leadership, Volume 37,
Issue 3, pp. 288-299 (July-September 2008)

Ruben Vardanian is one of the leading figures on Russia's capital markets, and one of the major shareholders of the investment bank Troika Dialog, one of the top credit institutions in Moscow, and one of the “employers of choice.” The company has played a key role in developing almost all he segments of the country's stock market. In contrast to many Russian organizations, Vardanian is concerned about creating a “best place to work,” and has gone to great lengths to design a company characterized by transparency, open communication, and team work. He has been the driving force behind the Moscow School of Management (Skolkovo), of which he is the president. Vardanian's motivation in creating the school is based on his strong belief that it is essential to develop a cadre of entrepreneurs if the Russian mindset is to be changed.

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Vladimir Putin, CEO of Russia Inc. The Legacy and the Future
By Manfred F.R.Kets de Vries & Stanislav Shekshnia
Organizational Dynamics, Special Issue on Russian Leadership, Volume 37,
Issue 3, pp. 236–253 (July-September 2008)

This article compares Russian President Vladimir Putin to effective business executives, studying his performance through the same lenses used to assess CEOs of large corporations, and reviewing the degree to which his various constituencies are satisfied with his performance. This article also clarifies the peculiar psychological interplay between leaders and their followers and explores the potentially collusive group dynamics between leaders and led. Through its clinical orientation, this article also extends more traditional studies of leadership by studying the “inner theater” of leaders – that is, highlighting significant episodes in leader's lives that influence their leadership style. Furthermore, the article touches on the significance of the historical moment – the interplay between personality and an important period in a country's history. The article ends by making a number of speculations on what kind of leader the Russian Federation needs to bring it to the next phase of its development.

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Russia: A Work in Progress Transcending the Fifth "Time of Troubles
By Manfred F.R.Kets de Vries, Stanislav Shekshnia & Konstantin Korotov
Organizational Dynamics, Special Issue on Russian Leadership, Volume 37,
Issue 3, pp. 211–220 (July-September 2008)

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Creating Transformation Executive Education Programs
By Manfred F.R.Kets de Vries & Konstantin Korotov
Academy of Management, Learning & Development, special issue, 6 (3), pp 375-387.

This essay concerns the design of transformational executive programs. A transformational program presupposes a change in behavior of the attending executive so that the latter becomes more effective in personal or organizational change. To understand what influences the transformational process three triangular conceptual frameworks (building on the short-term dynamic psychotherapy tradition) are presented: the mental life triangle, the conflict triangle, and the relationships triangle. The first shows that cognitive and emotional processes need to be taken into consideration to create changes in behavior. The second describes the sources of thoughts and feelings that may prompt anxiety and cause defensive reactions prohibiting change and productive use of talents. The third relationships triangle explains how an individual's previous experiences create patterns of response that are repeated throughout life and can become dysfunctional. Five major challenges in program design are also examined: selecting participants; identifying the focal issue on which participants need to work; the creation of a safe transitional space that enables the change process; using the group dynamic to foster transformation and to arrive at internalization of the change process; and the educational implications for faculty, facilitators, and coaches.

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Money, Money, Money,
By Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries
Organizational Dynamics, Fall 2007, Vol 36, No 3, pp 231-243 (Fall 2007)

The objective of this article is to explore the role money plays in our lives.
First, I will touch on the symbolic role of money, especially as it relates to
developmental forces such as rivalry, competitiveness, envy, greed, and love.
Then I will contend that the mindless pursuit of money contributes to a mortgaged life. In this context I will explore the relationship between money and health, and money and happiness. Finally, I will discuss ways that the money conundrum can be made more manageable. What can be done about managing our needs? And if wealth has been acquired, what is the most appropriate way to deal with it?

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Vladimir Putin, CEO of Russia Inc.
By Manfred F.R.Kets de Vries & Stanislav Shekshnia
Harvard Business Review Russia, January - February 2006, pp. 66-78
Translated into German in Harvard Business Review, August 2006

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The Future of European Business Leadership
By Manfred F.R.Kets de Vries & Konstantin Korotov
European Business Forum, Spring 2006, Issue 24

As illustrated by Nestle's experience with Perrier, running a global business is no easy task. Balancing the interests of a culturally diverse and often fiercely patriotic workforce is just one of the many challenges that await aspiring European leaders.

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The Future of an Illusion: In search of the new European Business Leader
By Manfred F.R.Kets de Vries & Konstantin Korotov
Organizational Dynamics, 2005, Vol 34, No 3, pp. 218-230

The founding fathers of the European Union, Robert Schuman and Jean Monnet, dreamed of creating a community of nations that would become more directionally convergent as the years went by. The result of their vision is the EU, the most far-reaching plan for economic integration ever to be attempted among a group of sovereign countries. Its founding covenant, the Treaty of Rome (1957), aimed at the establishment of a common market, progressively bringing the economic policies of its members into alignment as it wished to promote the harmonious growth of economic activity in the Community as a whole, regular and balanced expansion, augmented stability, a more rapidly rising standard of living, and closer relations between the participating states.Today, with a combined GDP the same size as that of the United States, and a population 1.5 times larger, the sense of community and relative simplicity of management the EU originally had has been lost. Its growth has brought baffling complex ty. There are more candidates for membership waiting in the wings, several post-Communist nations and Turkey, a culturally, historically, and religiously very different country. The manageability and viability of the European Union is an issue debated by many political analysts. Navigating through this complex network of relationships requires extremely talented leadership.

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The Bright and Dark Sides of Leadership
By Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries
Publication forthcoming in Croatian business magazine,
Leader (first issue, 2006).

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The Spirit of Despotism: Understanding the Tyrant Within
By Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries
Human Relations, 2006, # 59(2), pp.195-220

The objective of this article is to better understand the developmental history of despotic regimes and the existence of leadership by terror. To gain greater insight into this phenomenon, the unusual relationship between leaders and followers in despotic regimes is explored, and the self-destructive cycle that characterizes such regimes is examined. The price paid in the form of human suffering and the breakdown of the moral fabric of a society is highlighted. In this article, particular attention is paid to highly intrusive totalitarian regimes. The levers used by such regimes to consolidate their power base are discussed in detail. The role of ideology, the enforcement of mind-control, the impact of the media, the inception of the illusion of solidarity, and the search for scapegoats all form part of the review. Finally, suggestions are made on how to prevent despotic leaders from gaining a hold on power. Observations are made about the newly founded International Criminal Court, a permanent international judicial body that has been specially set up to try despotic rulers for genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes.

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The Development of the Personality Audit:
A Psychodynamic Multiple Feedback Assessment Instrument

By Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries, Pierre Vrignaud, Konstantin Korotov, Elisabet Engellau & Elizabeth Florent-Treacy
International Journal of Human Resource Management, May 2006, #17.5, pp. 898-917.

The Personality Audit (PA) was developed to meet a need for a relatively simple multiple feedback instrument that could clarify the various motivational needs of executives. Using a psychodynamic approach to leadership, the PA allows the test-taker to assess him- or herself in seven personality dimensions important in human behavior to identify personal blind spots.The resulting insights can be used to formulate appropriate leadership development goals.
The objective of this article is to describe the design and psychometric properties of the PA. This instrument, in contrast with other tools that can be used to clarify the inner theater of individuals, is designed not only to report information given by the test-taker but also to reflect the perceptions of observers representing both the test-taker public and private spheres. This article describes in detail the conceptual foundations of the questionnaire, the psychometric methods used to confirm its validity and reliability, and possible directions for future research.

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Feeling Like a Fake: How the Fear of Success can Cripple your Career and Damage your Company
By Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries
Harvard Business Review, 2006, # 83 (8), pp.108-116.
Translated into Spanish in "Expansion México", special supplement Best of Management

In many walks of life and business is no exception there are some high achievers who believe that they are complete fakes. To the outside observer these individuals appear very accomplished; they are extremely successful in their chosen field. Despite their accomplishments, however, they feel as if they are sailing under false colors; they have the subjective experience of being a fraud. This article describes that "neurotic imposture" a kind of behavior that causes a great many extremely talented, hardworking, and capable executives–men and women who have achieved great success by the world's standards–to believe, deep down, that they don't deserve it. Such "neurotic impostors have difficulty accepting and enjoying the success they earn. This article describes the indicators of neurotic imposture, its origin, and ways of coping with feeling like a fraud. Within the context of feeling like a fraud, perfectionism, workaholism, and work paralysis are also discussed, along with their organizational ramifications.

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Leadership Group Coaching in Action:
The Zen of Creating High Performance Teams

By Manfred F.R.Kets de Vries
The Academy of Management Executive, 2005, #19 (1), pp. 61-76.
(Change Status: Prior to February 01, 2006 this publication was named The Academy of Management Executive)

This article advocates the effectiveness of group leadership coaching. The argument is made that although one-on-one coaching can be highly effective, leadership coaching in a group setting will have a much higher pay-off because changes in leadership behavior are more likely to occur. Discussion is offered to show that group leadership coaching establishes a foundation of trust, makes for constructive conflict resolution, leads to commitment, and contributes to accountability: all factors that translate into better results for the organization. The article suggest that a change methodology centered on group coaching makes for high-performance teams, is an antidote to organizational silo formation, creates organizations without boundaries, and makes for true knowledge management. It also explores the similarities between leadership coaching and psychotherapy. A strong plea is made to subject aspiring leadership coaches to clinical training to create awareness of the kind of deep-seated psychological problems that can derail the leadership coaching process. Finally, the article includes a discussion of a number of general concerns about leadership coaching.

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Organizations as Optical Illusions:
A Clinical Perspective on Organizational Consultation

By Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries & Katharina Balazs
Organizational Dynamics, 2005, #34 (1), pp.1-17

This article addresses the subject of clinically oriented consultation in the workplace, offering an example of an intervention to illustrate the limitations of more traditional, rational forms of organizational consultation. It is suggested in these pages that unconscious intrapersonal, interpersonal and group-related dynamics have a serious impact on many decisions and policies in organizational life. It is pointed out that both rational and irrational forces will affect life at work. Such irrational processes are a powerful force in explaining otherwise incomprehensible human motivations and actions. The argument is put forth herein that the clinical approach to organizational consultation can make a significant, positive contribution in situations of problematic organizational transformation, dysfunctional leadership, collusive superior-subordinate relationships, destructive social defense mechanisms, ineffective intra- and inter-group relationships, and neurotic organizational cul ture. To help executives understand the dynamics of these irrational forces, a number of salient themes in contemporary psychoanalytic theory a domain that includes contributions from dynamic psychiatry, developmental psychology, anthropology, neurophysiology, cognitive theory, family systems theory, and individual and group psychotherapy are discussed. The breadth of that grounding makes in-depth interpretations of organizational phenomena more powerful. The main parameters of the clinical paradigm are also reviewed in this article. In the final section, the role of the clinically oriented consultant is dealt with, and attention is given to the impact of transferential and counter-transferential processes in the client-consultant interface.

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The Global Leadership Life Inventory: development and psychometric properties of a 360-degree feedback instrument
By Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries, Pierre Vrignaud & Elizabeth Florent-Treacy
International Journal of Human Resource Management, 2004, #15 (3), pp. 475-492

The purpose of this article is to describe the design of Global Leadership Life Inventory (GlobeInvent), a 360-degree leadership feedback instrument. This instrument is presently used in executive programs to help identify the operational mode of individual executives. Proper use of this instrument enables the user to determine those areas of leadership behavior where improvement is needed.
The first step in designing the instrument was to pinpoint significant themes pertaining to exemplary leadership. Toward that end, a review of the research pertaining to what makes for leadership effectiveness was conducted, and semi-structured interviews with senior executives were held. The leadership dimensions that emerged from that two-part process were then tested on an international sample of senior executives. Analysis of the data from that testing confirmed the existence of twelve robust dimensions with a high reliability and internal consistency. These dimensions, which are part of the Global Leadership Life Inventory, were labeled Envisioning, Empowering, Energizing, Designing and Controlling, Rewarding and Giving Feedback, Team-Building, Outside Stakeholder Orientation, Global Mindset, Tenacity, Emotional Intelligence, Life Balance, and Resilience to Stress. Because the GlobeInvent is a 360-degree feedback instrument, it amasses not only data from self-assessment but also data derived from assessments conducted by colleagues, customers, friends, and even family members. This article addresses differences between Self scores and scores given by others (Observers), gender differences in scoring, and the influence of nationality, management experience, and age on test results. The implications of using such an instrument as a 360-degree feedback tool are reviewed, and suggestions for future research are offered.

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East and West: A dialogue about Leadership with Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries
By Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries & Stanislav Shekshnia
Harvard Business Review Russia, 2004, #1 (1), pp. 84 –93.

In this article, a dialogue between East and West seeks to highlight and pinpoint some of the similarities and differences between leadership practices in Russia and Western countries.

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Putting Leaders on the Couch: A conversation with Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries
By Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries & Diane Coutu
Harvard Business Review, 2004, #82 (1), pp. 64-71

In this article, Manfred explores what really goes on inside the mind of the leader. He explores how leaders vulnerabilities play out in organizations and suggests how leaders might overcome them.
Although a number of business scholars have explored the psychology of executives, Manfred Kets de Vries has made the analysis of CEOs his life's work. In this article, Kets de Vries, a psychoanalyst, author, and INSEAD professor, draws on three decades of study to describe the psychological profile of successful CEOs. He explores senior executives' vulnerabilities, which are often intensified by followers' attempts to manipulate their leaders.
Leaders, he says, have an uncanny ability to awaken transferential processes in which people transfer the dynamics of past relationships onto present interactions among their employees and even within themselves. These processes can present themselves in a number of ways, sometimes negatively.
What's more, many top executives, being middle-aged, suffer from depression. Midlife prompts a reappraisal of career identity, and by the time a leader is a CEO, an existential crisis is often imminent. Not all CEOs are psychologically unhealthy, of course. Healthy leaders are talented in self-observation and self-analysis, Kets de Vries says. The best are highly motivated to spend time on self-reflection. Their lives are in balance, they can play, they are creative and inventive, and they have the capacity to be nonconformist.
"Those who accept the madness in themselves may be the healthiest leaders of all," he concludes.

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The New Global Russian Business Leaders:
Lessons from a Decade of Transition

By Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries, Stanislav Shekshnia, Elizabeth Florent-Treacy & Konstantin Korotov
European Management Journal, 2004, #22 (6), pp. 637-648

Russia has gone through a tremendous transformation in the past decade; not the least of these recent changes is in the way business organizations are run. To illustrate the transition that has occurred in Russia since 1992, the authors studied Russian business leadership and entrepreneurship in a range of situations, from the transformation of a Soviet-era biscuit factory, to high-tech start-ups modeled on Western business practices. This article describes organization and leadership practices in Russia, and focuses on an emerging an leadership style the authors termed global Russian. The purpose of this research is both hindsight and foresight: by analyzing the rapid changes of the recent past, the authors seek to provide lessons on leadership that will be valuable for Russian business leaders and for those who seek to engage in working partnerships with them.

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Organizations on the Couch:
A Clinical Perspective on Organizational Dynamics

By Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries
European Management Journal, 2004, # 22 (2), pp.183-200

In this article the argument is made that unconscious dynamics have a significant impact on life in organizations. In support of that argument, the salient aspects of the clinical paradigm are introduced, motivational need systems are explored, and observations are made about the role of core conflictual relationship themes in understanding behavior. The psychodynamics of leadership are discussed, including the role of narcissism, transferential patterns, and the Monte Cristo complex. Other themes reviewed include collusive superior-subordinate relationships (such as identification with the aggressor and folie à deux) and the psychodynamics of groups (including regressive patterns such as fight-flight, dependency, and pairing behavior). Introduced is the concept of social defenses, that is, a system of relationships reflected in the organizational or social structure constructed to help people deal with persecutory and depressive anxiety. This discussion is followed by a description of the ch aracteristics of neurotic organizations. Five ideal types of such organizations are identified: the dramatic/cyclothymic, suspicious, compulsive, detached and depressive organizations. Subsequently, the benefits of the clinical approach to organizational consultation and intervention are explored. Finally, a plea is made for the creation of authentizotic organizations organizations in which people feel truly alive.

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The Retirement Syndrome: The Psychology of Letting Go
By Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries
European Management Journal, 21 (6), 707-716, (2003)
Translated into Spanish as "Despidase con elegancia" in Gestion I,
September/ October 2003, # 8 (5)

This article analyzes a problem that can be described as the retirement syndrome. In exploring the difficulties many leaders face in letting go at the end of a full career, it reviews a number of the barriers to exit: financial, social, and psychological. It looks at the physical and psychological effects of aging, in the context of retirement; examines the experience of nothingness that single-minded careerists often feel after retirement; describes the talion principle, a subliminal fear of reprisals; and discusses the edifice complex, the wish to leave behind a legacy. The article concludes with suggestions as to how individuals and organizations can develop more effective and humane disengagement strategies.

Article website link
Abstract
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Doing an Alexander: Lessons on Leadership by a Master Conqueror
By Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries
European Management Journal, 2003, #21 (3), pp. 370-375

The objective of this article is to explore what makes for effective leadership and what contributes to leadership derailment. For the purpose of elucidation, one of the most famous leaders of all times has been selected: Alexander the Great of Macedonia, who changed the history of Western civilization more than any other person. His life-story illustrates the psychological forces that generally come into play in the making of a leader and reveals leadership lessons that can be learned from his actions. Included among the leadership lessons taught by Alexander are a compelling vision, the role of strategic innovation, the creation of an executive role constellation, the management of meaning, praise-singing, training and development, succession planning, and the importance of a well-structured system of organizational governance.
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Être un bon chef: essai de définition
By Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries
L´Expansion, 2003, #672, pp. 118-119

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A Conspiracy of Silence
By Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries
FOCUS, 2002, # 6 (1), pp. 49-51
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Roustam Tariko: Russian Entrepreneur
By Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries & Elizabeth Florent-Treacy
Entrepreneurship, Theory and Practice, 2003, pp. 299-314 & 319-329

This article looks at entrepreneurial leadership and business development on several levels. It addresses issues that typically arise in new ventures and "bricks to clicks" transformation, including: evolution from the messy start-up stage to a more professional organization; entrepreneurship and internal incubators; strategies for continued growth and diversification; and brand management and marketing. It also looks closely at entrepreneurship in the very complex political and economic environment in Russia, and analyses the way past history and culture influence the course of an entrepreneurial organization's development insights which can be applied to organizations in other Eastern European countries. Finally, the case is a chronicled of a founder-entrepreneur's hopes, fears and impressions, an intimate look at the birth and growth of an entrepreneurial organization.

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Global Leadership from A to Z: Creating High Commitment Organizations
By Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries & Elizabeth Florent-Treacy
Organizational Dynamics, 2002, #30 (4), pp. 295-309

It is hardly surprising that many organizational stakeholders are deeply concerned about the kind of leadership that is required in global organizations. They ask themselves what such leaders have to do to be effective. What roles do they have to play? What-if anything-distinguishes an effective leader from an effective global leader? How do (and should) the global leader and the global organization interface? What does excellence mean in a global organization, and by what criteria should it be judged? The authors tried to unearth some answers to these questions by looking at the results of a large number of consultations and research projects that they have conducted in global organizations.
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Leadership in Indian Organizations: A Comparative Study
By Manfred F.R.Kets de Vries, Sudhir Kakar, Shveta Kakar, & Pierre Vrignaud
International Journal of Cross Cultural Management, 2002, # 2 (2), pp. 239-250

This study explores the culturalist thesis in hybrid firms in India. The term hybrid refers to companies that represent (through business education or business association) a mixture of traditional Indian and Western practices. Such firms currently dominate the Indian industrial economy. The objective of this study was to identify some of the ways in which the top leadership of hybrid Indian business organizations differs from that of Western business organizations. To identify these differences, the study used the Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI), which gives feedback on five leadership practices (challenging, inspiring, enabling, modeling and encouraging) as reported by leaders and their subordinates. The study found that the Indian CEOs rated and were rated higher than their US counterparts on four dimensions of the LPI (challenging, modeling, inspiring, enabling) and lower on encouraging. It was argued that this higher rating of the CEO in Indian organizations is probably due to an idealization of leaders in the Indian cultural context. Whereas this idealization leads to a greater degree of commitment and satisfaction among the senior managers, it also has the consequence that the leader is deprived of that critical feedback which would help him or her develop more effective leadership practices.

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La Confiance au Coeur des Valeurs de lEnterprise
By Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries
Les Echoes, March 7, 2001, pp. 8-9

Les technocrats ne font plus la loi et les structures pyramidales sont mortes. Manfred Kets de Vries analyse les traits communs aux entreprises les plus performantes.
Technocrats no longer make the rules, and pyramid structures are finished. Manfred Kets de Vries analyses the characteristics common to the most highly performing organizations.

Journal website
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Reaping the Whirlwind: Managing Creative People
By Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries (2000)
Translated into Portuguese as "Colhendo tempestades: A gestão de pessoas criativas", in Comportamento Organizacional e Gestão, April 2003, # 9 (1), pp. 5-18

This article addresses the challenge that lies in transforming creative but unorthodox methods into constructive organizational action. Creative people are often considered to be troublemakers, but in fact they can be a source of innovative products or processes for their organization. The paper begins with a discussion of what creativity really is, looking at both the populist notion and the idea of genius. Subsequently, some of the early development elements that contribute to an individual creativity are explored. Creativity takes one of two possible forms as a result of these developmental experiences: constructive or reactive. Examples of well-known artists, writers and composers are given to illustrate these forms of creativity. Finally the paper shows how an awareness of the roots of creativity is essential in an organizational setting. Concrete suggestions are given for managing creative people in the context of organizational, cultural and leadership variables.

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Globaalin `Nallekarhun, Organissstio Menestyy
By Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries
Laatu Viesti, 2001, #17 (1), pp. 28-31
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Creating Authentizotic Organizations:
Well-functioning Individuals in Vibrant Companies

By Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries
Human Relations, 2001, #54 (1), pp. 101-111

Given the importance of individual psychological well-being for organizational functioning, a major item that should be on everybody agenda in the new millennium is to create healthy work places where people feel at ease –places that contribute to, and reinforce, adaptive functioning. The author objective in this short article is to raise questions about the well-functioning individual, the motivational need systems that drive people, and the conditions that make for healthy organizations.

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The Anarchist Within:
Clinical Reflections on Russian Character and Leadership Style

By Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries
Human Relations, 2001, #54 (5), pp. 585-627

This article highlights a number of salient aspects of the culture and character of Russia (now the Russian Federation) in order to facilitate an informed understanding of the way Russians deal with organizations and approach leadership style. When appropriate, the clinical paradigm is applied, dimensions derived from cultural constructs are utilized, and examples are given of the author fieldwork in Russian organizations. The article starts by examining how a number of contextual factors contribute to stoicism as a typical Russian character trait and make for a collectivist outlook. The implications of Russian child-rearing and educational practices are then discussed and the development of a false self is analyzed a public self that is split from the true private self, a phenomenon that was common in the Soviet era. Other themes explored include emotional expressiveness, a particularistic outlook toward other people, Oblomovism and oscillation between order and disorder. The destructive bureaucracy in Russia is shown to be a social defense; the Czar legacy and the wish for strong leadership are also analyzed. The article ends by making a number of general comments about leadership and organizational practices in the context of stimulating the transformation processes that have recently taken place in Russia.

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Leaders und Unternehmensarchitekten
By Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries
EIM Report, Winter 2000, #3, pp. 14-15
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Zonder Hierarchie
By Manfred F.R.Kets de Vries
Trends Review, December 14, 2000, pp. 22-25
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Beyond Sloan: Trust Is at the Core of Corporate Values
By Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries
Financial Times, Mastering Management, October 2, 2000, pp.14-15.
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When Everything Isn't Half Enough
By Suzy Wetlaufer
: A Commentary
By Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries
Harvard Business Review, March-April, 2000, pp. 5-11. Reprint: R00211

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Two Views: A Response to Edgar Schein
By Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries
European Management Journal, 2000, #18 (1), pp.18-20

Manfred Kets de Vries was invited by the senior editors of the European Management Journal and the Academy of Management Executive to be the first European to participate in the new Crosstalk feature of these journals. In engaging in this discussion, he was paired with the well-known management scholar, Professor Edgar Schein. This article is written in response to The Clinical Paradigm: Manfred Kets De Vries Reflections on Organizational Therapy, Interview by Erik Van de Loo and The Clinical Paradigm and Organizational Therapy: Two Views: Are They Compatible? Comments by Edgar Schein.

Journal website
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Crosstalk: Transatlantic Exchanges
By Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries & Edgar Schein
The Academy of Management Executive, 2000, #14 (1), pp. 30-51

Manfred Kets de Vries was invited by the senior editors of the European Management Journal and the Academy of Management Executive to be the first European to participate in the new Crosstalk feature of these journals. In engaging in this discussion, he was paired with the well-known management scholar, Professor Edgar Schein. This article is written in response to The Clinical Paradigm: Manfred Kets De Vries Reflections on Organizational Therapy, Interview by Erik Van de Loo and The Clinical Paradigm and Organizational Therapy: Two Views: Are They Compatible? Comments by Edgar Schein.
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The Clinical Paradigm: Manfred Kets de Vries Reflections on Organizational Theory: Interview by Erik van de Loo
By Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries
Academy of Management Executive & European Management Journal, 2000, # 18 (1), pp. 2-21
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The Graduation Speech: Reflections on Happiness
By Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries
European Management Journal, 2000, #18 (3), pp. 302-311

This essay addresses the question of what makes for happiness. An attempt is made to deconstruct this elusive concept. It is suggested that essential aspects of happiness are someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for. In this essay, each of these three dimensions is reviewed. The need to achieve balance in life is explored. The dichotomy between outward success and inner success is looked at. The importance of play in people lives is examined. The role of stress another important topic in the happiness equation is investigated. It is argued that in the search for happiness, humankind exploratory needs have to be taken into consideration; people have to strive for authenticity; and an effort needs to be made to know oneself.

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A Journey into the Wild East:
Leadership Style and Organizational Practices in Russia

By Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries
Organizational Dynamics, 1999, #28 (4), pp. 67-81

Interviews with Russian executives, interaction with Russian participants in various leadership development workshops, and a review of the literature dealing with Russian national character and Russian history provide the database for a number of propositions concerning the relationship between Russian national character, leadership style, and organizational practices. The focus of this study is the changing role of businessmen in Russia. Consideration is given to the transitions that have taken place in Russia and the prospects for change. Differences in mind-set between the younger and the older generation are examined.
A new human resource agenda is suggested to help Russian organizations become global players an agenda whereby management development takes on the role of catalyst to enhance a change of mind-set concerning leadership practices. A number of propositions are put forth to create more effective work behavior. Centralized decision-making needs to be curtailed; a culture of empowerment has to be created; autocratic leadership practices need to be replaced with authoritative practices; a greater sense of trust needs to be created in the workplace; accountability training needs to be introduced; feelings of learned helplessness need to be reduced; and an entrepreneurial spirit needs to be cultivated.
The prevalence of democratic centralism as a style of directing organizations is explored in the context of the desire for strong leadership. The argument is made that for Russian organizations to become more effective, this method of decision-making needs to be reframed into true participatory management.
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High Performance Teams: Lessons from the Pygmies
By Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries
Organizational Dynamics, 1999, #27 (3), pp. 66-77

The objective of this article is to describe the best practices for effective work teams. Taking the way of relating among the pygmies of the African rain forest as a metaphor for effective group work–as the pygmies hunting-gathering society represents a microcosm of key survival practices of teams operating under very harsh conditions–this article offers a number of lessons for creating successful work teams.
From observing the pygmies we learn that in high performance teams, members respect and trust each other; they provide mutual protection and support; they engage in open dialogue and communication; they share common goals; they possess strongly shared values and beliefs; they subordinate their own objectives to those of the team; and they subscribe to distributed leadership, in other words leadership that is not confined to a few people at the summit of the organization but distributed throughout.
This article also pays attention to a number of factors that destroy teamwork. Among the team killers are not only overt but also covert conflict, power hoarding, the impact of status differences, self-censorship, and the effects of groupthink. Groupthink refers to the pressure to conform to the opinion of others without questioning the consequences of such decisions.
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Navigating Between Live Volcanoes and Dead Fish

By Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries
European Management Journal, 1999, #17 (1), pp. 8-19
Translated into Swedish as "Explosivt och iskallt ledarskap nr ingen knslomssig medelvg finns", in Ledmotiv, #3, pp. 25-35

This article reviews the two extreme styles of managerial personality, which can be found in business life. Not all people have stable, middle-of-the-road emotions. The author terms these two personality styles 'ways of managing mood states' hypomania (cyclical and significant changes in mood, behavior and thinking) and alexithymia (emotional detachment and lack of feeling). Hypomaniacs and alexithymics are more common than one would think. The author explores the challenge of working with hypomaniacs and alexithymics, and coping strategies by their colleagues. Clearly, executives who are emotionally intelligent i. e. who know themselves are empathetic to others, can best encourage their colleagues and, in a knowledge-based society, even bring a competitive advantage.

Journal website
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Transforming the Mind-set of the Organization: A Clinical Perspective
By Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries & Katharina Balazs
Administration & Society, 1999, #30 (6), pp. 640-675

In this paper, the processes of individual and organizational change - their characteristics and dynamics - are explored, and resemblances between personal and organizational change are highlighted. Factors such as a period of distress, a crystallization of discontent, a focal event, and a public declaration of intent are shown to play a role in both individual and organizational change. The process of working through the loss associated with change - a process that, like the process of mourning, is made up of a number of predictable stages: shock, disbelief, discarding, and realization - is outlined. Social support, locus of control, and hardiness are introduced as factors facilitating the change process. Finally, a case study showcasing a company that experienced a dramatic transformation is presented to highlight some of the critical change variables and to show how top management can use many of the levers that make for a successful transformation and change program.

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Creating the Authentizotic Organization:
Corporate Transformation and Its Vicissitudes A Rejoinder

By Manfred F.R Kets de Vries & Katharina Balazs
Administration & Society, 1999, #31 (2), pp.101-111

This article is a rejoinder to the critique by Robert Golembiewski of the authors article Transforming the Mind-Set of the Organization: A Clinical Perspective, in which the processes of individual and organizational change and the resemblance between them were highlighted. Golembiewski major points of criticism suggested limitations to the authors approach to organizational transformation, possible negative ethical implications and low estimates of success rates. He referred to quality of working life (QWL) and organizational development (OD) studies as more appropriate approaches. The authors respond by emphasizing the difference between small-scale change as represented by QWL and OD, and major organizational transformation efforts they have engaged in; they point out the dimension added by the clinical orientation to conventional approaches to organizational changes as one that may be more appropriate for the shift in organizational paradigms. The authors clarify the definition of healthy organizations and introduce the concept of the authentizotic organization.

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Organizational Sleepwalkers: Emotional Distress at Mid-life
By Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries
Human Relations, 1999, #52 (11), pp. 1-25

In this paper, attention is paid to a dysfunctional emotional behavior pattern whereby individuals experience very little (or a total absence of) pleasure. Instead, there is a feeling of emotional numbness. Although this phenomenon touches all parts of life, this paper focuses on the organizational context. For some executives, the stresses and strains of midlife (including stresses involving career issues) become the catalyst for this dysfunctional emotional behavior. Their reactions are of a quasi-alexithymic and anhedonic nature. Some of the characteristics of this dysfunctional emotional pattern are delineated in these pages. In addition, the related experience of depersonalization is highlighted. Some of the factors that contribute to these kinds of phenomena are explored. At the end of the paper, a number of recommendations for dealing with these difficulties are given.

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What Playing in the Organizational Theatre? Collusive Relationships in Management
By Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries
Human Relations, 1999, #52 (6), pp. 745-773.

This article takes as its point of departure concepts derived from couple therapy to better understand collusive relationships in organizations. As we examine these dysfunctional workplace relationships these interpersonal "gridlocks" four main types of collusive superior-subordinate interaction patterns are identified: the narcissistic, the controlling, the paranoid, and the sadomasochistic. The consequences of each such dyad in organizations are explored. In conclusion, the paper presents a number of recommendations on how to recognize the presence of such collusive arrangements (taking leadership behavior as a point of departure) and suggests preventive steps that can be taken.

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Beyond the Quick Fix:
The Psychodynamics of Organizational Transformation and Change

By Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries & Katharina Balazs
European Management Journal, 1998, #16 (5), pp. 611-622

Manfred Kets de Vries and Katharina Balazs, from a clinical perspective, suggest that insights drawn from individual change processes can be applied to the domain of organizational transformation to facilitate and speed up the process.
Basing their investigation on large-scale surveys, the authors explore the psychodynamics of the individual engaged in change, and translate them to organizational transformation. Given the reality of power dynamics, it is the corporate leaders who are best placed to start and subsequently develop the change process. It is suggested that a staged focal event and changing the corporate mindset can greatly speed up the process. Also, companies can learn that there are certain primary factors which make it easier for individuals to manage change.
A major conclusion is that organizations which foster constructive conflict among their people will be in the best position to align with a continuously changing business environment.

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Charisma in Action: The Transformational Abilities of Virgin Richard Branson and ABB Percy Barnevik
By Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries
Organizational Dynamics, Winter 1998, pp. 7-21
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Transforming the Mind-set of the Organization: An Owner Manual
By Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries & Katharina Balazs
FOCUS, 2, Fall 1998, pp. 30-36 Translated into Dutch as "Mentaliteitsverandering in Organisaties, Management Briefing", 1997.
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The Downside of Downsizing
By Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries & Katharina Balazs (1997)
Human Relations, 1997, #50 (1), pp.11-50

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Creative Leadership: Jazzing up Business
By Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries (1997)
Chief Executive, March 1997, #121, pp. 64-66
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Case Study: The Ghost in the Boardroom
By Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries
Family Business, 1997, #8 (2), pp. 42-47
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The All Too Human Side of Downsizing
By Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries (1997)
The Antidote, 1997, #5, pp. 24-25

To stay competitive, many organizations have felt forced to downsize. While creating apparent short-term cost savings, such actions may also have inflicted less obvious, but longer term, damage on a critical resource: their human capital.
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The Dark Side of Leadership: What Drives People to Become Leaders?
By Manfred Kets de Vries
The Antidote, 1997, #6, pp.11-13
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A Three-Stage Life Cycle for Chief Executives
By Manfred Kets de Vries
The Antidote, 1997, #6, pp.19-21

Manfred Kets de Vries argues that just as there is a product life cycle,
so too there is a life cycle through which CEOs pass.
At each stage, potentially damaging psychological forces may be at work.
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The Life Cycles of CEOs
By Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries
Across the Board, 1995, #32, (8), pp. 32-37

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The Human Side of Downsizing
By Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries & Katharina Balazs
European Management Journal, 1996, #14 (2), pp.111-120
Translated into French as "La Dimension Humaine des Restructurations", in L'Expansion Management Review, June 1996, pp. 39-50. Translated into Dutch as "De menselijke kant van inkrimpen", Holland/Belgian Management Review, #48, pp.16-25. Translated into German as "Die Menschliche Seite des Personalabbaus", in Organisationsentwicklung, # 4/96, pp. 4-18.

Used as the basis of an article for World Link, January/February 1997, entitled Downsizing Hurts the CEO Too, pp. 108-111.

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The Virgin Iconoclast
By Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries
Across the Board, 1996, #32 (2), pp. 36-41
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The Anatomy of the Entrepreneur: Clinical Observations
By Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries
Human Relations, 1996, #49 (7), pp. 853-883

Journal website
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Leaders Who Make a Difference
By Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries
European Management Journal, 1996, #14 (5), pp. 486-493.
Translated into French as Les patrons qui font la difference, in LExpansion Management Review, March 1997, pp. 46-54. To be translated into Portuguese in Fortunas.
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Managing under Deadly Conditions
By Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries & Danny Miller(1995)
Administration & Society, 1995, #27 (2), pp. 226-248
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By Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries (1995)
Personnel Psychology, 1995, #48 (2), pp. 471-474
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The Fast Track Factor: Developing Tomorrow Directors
By Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries
Director, December 1995, pp.45-48
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As mil empresas da ABB
By Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries & Raafat Morcos
Executive Digest, December 1995, pp. 38-41
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Richard Branson et Virgin: Lâge de Raison dune Enterprise Contra-Culturelle
By Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries & Robert Dick
Gestion, 1995, #20 (4), pp. 63-76
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Can You Manage the Rest of your Life?
By Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries
European Management Journal, 1994, #12 (2), pp.133-137
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By Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries
European Management Journal, 1994, #12 (3), pp. 259-264
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The Leadership Mystique
By Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries
Academy of Management Executive, 1994, #8 (3), pp. 73-92
Leading and Managing: Journal of the Australian Council for Educational Administration, Spring 1995, #1 (3), pp. 193-210. Translated into Portuguese as A Mística da Liderança in Comportamento Organizacional e Gestão, 1998, vol. 4 (1), pp.97-116
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Welcome to the Snakepit: You're the New Boss!
By Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries
European Leaders, 1994, #1, pp. 20-23
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By Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries
Chief Executive, 1994, #94, pp. 68-71
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By Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries
Across the Board, 1994, #31 (9), pp. 27-33
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Percy Barnevik and ABB
By Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries
Gestion, 1994, #19 (4), pp. 72-87
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GENERAL INTEREST ARTICLES

Murphy Safari?
By Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries
Magnum, March 2005, pp. 30-33
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A Short Walk in the Elburz Mountains
By Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries
International Safari Magazine, 2001, #27 (4), pp. 80-83
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Siberian Salmon in Outer Mongolia
By Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries
Salmon, Trout, Steelheader, June-July 1990, pp. 44-45
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Mongolian Giants
By Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries
Atlantic Salmon Monthly, 1990, #38 (1), pp. 26-29
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Abominable Snowman or Bigfoot:
A Psychoanalytic Search for the Origin of Yeti and Sasquatch Tales

By Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries
Fabula: Zeitschrift fr Erzhlforschung, 1982, #23, pp. 246-261
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