Books | John Wiley and Sons | March 2009
Reflections on Character and Leadership
Authors: Kets de Vries Manfred F. R.
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 on the couch and working at the often intimate interface where the inner theater of the individual meets the outer world of the organization.
The first book in this series, Reflections on Character and Leadership, examines some major contemporary issues about leadership. What makes a leader? What is good leadership? And what is bad? What happens to organizations if a leader derails? What are the impacts of successful and failed leadership on followers and organizations? How must organizational leadership respond to globalism and the opening of new markets? Kets de Vries looks at the ways various dysfunctional character types are thrown into sharp focus against an organizational background. Among the heroes and villains in this book are Alexander of Macedon, Shaka Zulu, Richard Branson, Jack Welch—and numerous executives who have spent time, literally or metaphorically, on the author’s famous couch.
“Once again, Manfred Kets de Vries shines a light on the link between the personality of leaders and the influence this has on the organizations they lead. The breadth and depth of his latest book offers insights that will benefit everyone involved in the development and appointment of tomorrow’s leaders.”William Alexander, Consultant, Spencer Stuart