chapter  19
Personality and Organizational Destructiveness: Fact, Fiction, and Fable
WithSigrid B. Gustafson
Pages 16

The underlying assumption in leadership research has generally been that “bad” leaders either lack (or are perceived to lack) the attributes of “good” leaders, or that they suffer from situational constraints that prevent effective performance, or both. In contrast, I argue that at least one specific kind of bad leader-with bad connoting evil rather than incompetent-is characterized by a predictable. pattern of personality and personality-driven behavior. I call these individuals aberrant self-promoters (ASPs), and I suggest that empowering destructive leaders of this type, by granting them control over human and material resources, inevitably leads to negative organizational consequences, including impaired mental health of subordinates and eventual system dysfunction. Moreover, in the course of this chapter, I attempt to dispel the commonly held notion that leaders referred to as “Machiavellians” necessarily fall into the category of destructive leaders. Finally, I offer a new method for identifying ASPs from a holistic person perspective.