Is Malevolence the key to success?

This article Malevolence ‘key to excellence’ recently appeared in the Australian (12/6/24)

If you can’t get beyond the paywall here is an AI generated summary:

Michael Jordan’s assertion that achieving “GOAT” status in sports requires stepping on others finds scientific support in a study by Nottingham Trent University. The research examined over 300 elite athletes, focusing on the “dark triad” of personality traits: narcissism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism. These traits, often seen as malevolent in social contexts, can be advantageous in sports. The study revealed that such traits might help athletes in high-performance environments by fostering a ruthless pursuit of success and a belief in their ability to manipulate outcomes.

However, these traits can also hinder coach-athlete relationships. Coaches with high levels of narcissism or psychopathy were less responsive to athletes’ needs and less committed to them. Similarly, athletes with high levels of ruthlessness felt less comfortable and respected their coaches less. The study suggests that understanding these personality dynamics can improve coach-athlete relationships and overall performance in elite sports. It highlights the need for additional support for coaches to manage these traits effectively and create successful high-performance relationships. The findings indicate that while dark triad traits can drive individual success, they may complicate cooperative efforts and relationships within team sports.

In my opinion you could summarise the current  thinking of experimental psychologists about core emotions as the Big Five + the Dark Triad and this study is a perfect example.

My readers will know that I preach the best model of temperament is the 7MTF.  The key concept is that we are all slightly mad and all of us area positioned on the spectra of seven mental illnesses.  Autism, OCD, Mania, Depression and Neurosis are the basis of the Big Five and Psychopathy is the basis of the Dark Triad.  What is missing is the seventh component of the 7MTF, the Politician, which is based on Paranoia.

I am not saying Michael Jordan and other elite athletes do not have a strong Dark Triad aka GoGetter 7MTF component but it is the unbelievably strong Politician EQ Component that drives them to win.  I have blogged how strong the Politician is in Michael Jordan: Emotional Intelligence and The Last Dance.  And the same applies to athletes such as Rafeal Nadal and Tiger Woods.

And if you want to see a true GoGetter in action watch the film ‘Air”.  It is absolutely brilliant and tells how the mother of Michael Jordan negotiates the greatest sports deal in history.  She, played to perfection by Viola David, is wonderful to watch as are the rest of the cast.

For more information about the 7MTF watch this 4-minute video introduction to the 7MTF.  If that whets you appetite  sign up to my Introduction to the 7MTF online-video course that takes only 5 hours to complete and an investment of only A$25.  The 7MTF model of temperament is the secret to lifting your emotional intelligence.  If you complete the basic 7MTF course you will dramatically increase your EQ competency in days.

Or if you want a more personal touch where you and I meet on-line for six coaching sessions read what is offered here.




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Chris Golis - Author


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