The Case for Personality Assessments for Board Members (HBR)

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I recently came across an interesting article from Harvard Business Review (HBR) in which the author proposes personality assessments for Board Members.

The author of the article writes: “the President of the New York Federal Reserve reportedly declared that the nation’s largest financial services companies suffered from institutional pathologies at the very top. Personality testing for boards and their committees would make a creatively cost-effective first step for sussing them out.”

Truth be told, as I read the statement above, I could not help but realise that our organisations today are full of narcissists and sociopaths — all decked out in pretty dresses and handsome suits.

Power is a double-edged sword and as the saying goes “it cuts both ways”. Power in the hands of a narcissist or a sociopath could very well bring about gradual but steady erosion and destruction of our organisational fabric.

We’ve all seen (and some of us have probably even worked with) someone with a narcissistic character — throwing their weight around, shouting and cursing at the slightest provocation, instilling fear and exercising dominance over everyone in their path.

Left alone, these personalities could wreck emotional and psychological havoc in the lives of everyone.
Left alone, these personalities could very well run the organisation into the ground one day.

As we prepare ourselves for the next hiring cycle, it’s important for us to keep in mind that Personalities do matter. And that we should not overlook Personality when considering our next hire in 2015.

Click here to read the HBR article…

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February 17, 2015

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