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Chapter 4. Paranoid Managers > Impact of Paranoid Managers

Impact of Paranoid Managers

People with severe paranoid personality disorders have great difficulty in dealing with people and are unlikely to rise within an organization. A paranoid entrepreneur could, however, begin his own company and grow it. Moreover, an individual with mild paranoid traits could do reasonably well and then over time become increasingly paranoid, isolated, and potentially dangerous.

Paranoid managers interfere with the work of organizations in several ways. First, their attention and energy are focused on protecting themselves and asserting control, not on getting the job done. Second, they divert people’s energies from the work they are supposed to be doing. Their anger and distortion of what they hear and see preoccupy others. Moreover, it is difficult to focus on productivity when dealing with an individual who threatens our psychological, emotional, and possibly physical well-being. Fear for your physical safety places you in a very different ball game than does dealing with difficult managers who may be upset with you but would never pose a threat to your personal safety. Third, they hamper communication by not sharing information which leads others to withhold information as well. Never knowing who is close to the paranoid manager and who is not, and never knowing how information may be used to hurt you, people in general cease sharing information. Moreover, no one wants to be the bearer of bad news to a paranoid individual. At the least, you will witness a tantrum. Very likely, you will be blamed. As a result, information ceases flowing.


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