Is Rudd a Corporate Psychopath?

In a recent article in The Australian (21 August) Janet Albrechtsen suggested that Rudd may be a Corporate Psychopath. She ticked off various boxes:

  • Superficial relationships of convenience.
  • Shameless shifts of “core beliefs”.
  • Glib and grandiose statements.
  • Says one thing but acts the opposite.
  • Will undertake deception to achieve their aims.

Since then a number of commentators have picked up on this theme and it is almost becoming a meme. The first person to publically call Rudd a psychopath was Labor MP Steve Gibbons in 2010. If actions speak louder than words then the deposing of Rudd as PM in 2010 and the number of Labor stalwarts who refuse to be in a cabinet with Rudd or leaving politics indicate a serious personality flaw.

As readers of my blogs will know I am a great fan of the 7MTF/Humm-Wadsworth model of seven core emotional drives. One of the great strengths of the Humm model is that it helps you recognised the Corporate Psychopath, who a person with a strong Hustler component and a weak Normal component. Hustlers divide the world into winners and losers, consider themselves winners and treat the “losers” as dirt. When this occasionally backfires, they concoct excuses. Hustlers listen to only one radio station WIIFM: What’s In It For Me? They will sacrifice the long term (particularly that of other people) for the short term gain of themselves.

Normal are conservative, logical and unemotional in their approach and decision making. They are driven by the desire for order and their first question in life is who else is doing this? They carefully weigh the benefits and costs of any decision and this makes them excellent strategic decision makers. A core value to a high Normal is that the needs of the group or organisation come first.

When looking at leaders a strong Hustler is not bad. It makes them charming and flexible. Governing is often a compromise and requires diplomacy. Good Hustlers have the art of getting what they want from someone who doesn’t want to give it to them, and having them thank you afterwords. You can think of a number of Politicians who have a lot of Hustler: Hawke, Keating, Clinton, and my favourite, Graham Richardson. But they all had a high degree of Normal.

What is very dangerous in a leader is if the Normal is low and the Hustler is high. Unfortunately the evidence is building that this is Rudd’s temperament. Each day we are seeing yet another grandiose gesture. The one rule that you must never forget with corporate psychopaths is that you can never trust them. Everything must be in writing and you have to watch everything they do with an eagle eye. The irony in this election is that Rudd defined the core issue as who do you trust? Him or Abbott? Only a corporate psychopath would ask such a question and take such a gamble.


Add Your Comment

Chris Golis - Author


"Put in a sales perspective, I loved your presentation! I got a lot from what you talked about and I will read your book."

Peter Morris, Executive Officer, Lomax Financial Group

Your presentation on 'Lifting your Level of Emotional Intelligence" to 10 CEOs scored an average 8.9 out of 10 for the topic and 8.5 for the presentation which is great. A couple of the attendees gave you a 10 out of 10, and the comments were:

- Great presentation. Very informative.

- Excellent presentation.

- made me think.

Christi Spring CEO Institute. - web