The Paranoid Executive

  • Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries
Part of the INSEAD Business Press book series (IBP)


Henry Kissinger once said, “Even a paranoid can have enemies.” This is very true, and paranoid types will present you with some of your more difficult coaching assignments. That doesn’t negate the fact that healthy suspicion can be viewed as an adaptive mechanism. Being vigilant for real or potential obstacles can be seen as an extension of anybody’s natural wish to survive. But suspiciousness needs to be moderated by a healthy dose of reality in case it slips over into full-fledged paranoia. Effective executives ground their behavior in sound organizational practices that limit and test danger, and they rely on trusted associates to help them stay sound and sane. The truly suspicious types, however, look at these matters quite differently.


Core Belief Trust Issue Premier League Hostile Intent Paranoid Type 


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Copyright information

© Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries
    • 1
  1. 1.INSEAD, France, Singapore & Abu DhabiThe Netherlands

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