Investigation at the heart of power / Big revelation by researcher Erwan Deveze on the mentality of leaders: “One in five leaders would be a psychopath”

Erwan Deveze is a neuroscience and management consultant. Director of Neuroperformance Consulting, he advises large private and public groups, ministries, universities, associations. His book titled “Does power make you mad? Investigation at the heart of the brain of our leaders” penetrates the psychology of the leaders who, according to him, are seriously ill for having suffered, for the most part, what he called “the original trauma”. Why did you write such a book that undresses our men in power penetrating their psychological intimacy? He himself gives the motivations “Our ambition in this book is to allow a better understanding of the behaviors and attitudes of our men and women in power by relying on the most recent discoveries in neuroscience and psychology (…). This book aims to provide the most objective possible keys to understanding a world, that of power, which is as fascinating as it is mysterious for most of us. So perhaps your view of these sometimes adored, sometimes hated leaders will evolve thanks to this neuropsychological insight. Perhaps also that our leaders, by reading this book, will be able to find food for thought on their conception and practice of power”.

Does power make you mad?

According to Erwan Deveze, the neuroscience researcher at the University of Fribourg, Sebastian Dieguez, returning to an article signed by the journalist Anne Guion “Does power drive you crazy? reveals the ultra-addictive dimension of the power that would be the most powerful drug in the world. “Addiction is usually linked to our illusion of control. Power gives, by definition, the feeling that one can control not only one’s own life, but also that of others! […] Excess self-confidence sets up a mental mechanism that prevents you from evaluating yourself at your fair value. concludes the Swiss researcher. In addition, according to this researcher, “having a narcissistic perverse personality greatly helps to conquer power. You can’t get to a position of responsibility if you have too much empathy […] How do you manage to decide that I am going to sacrifice a whole part of the population to favor another part of the population? Me, a non-politician, I couldn’t, I wouldn’t manage it… but there are people who manage it very well! he revealed.

The exercise of power: “One in five leaders would be a psychopath”

Based on a study by Bond University in the United States, presented in September 2016 at the Annual Meeting of the Australian Psychological Society, Erwan states: “One in five leaders is a psychopath. He defines “psychopathy” as “the search for domination over others by all means: selfishness, cruelty, lack of empathy and remorse, lack of sincerity, antisocial behavior…” And to specify: “We are really talking about people who seek to dominate others, who are ruthless. Typically, psychopaths tend to cause a lot of chaos and turn people against each other.”

The hubris syndrome: the pathological power

“Narcissistic obsession, abuse of power, impulsiveness, denial of reality, intolerance of frustration, refusal of contradiction, excessive self-confidence… the exercise of power engenders in many leaders worrying symptoms which are reinforced, moreover, in a context hyperstress” reveals the researcher Erwan who attributes these traits to the hubris syndrome, “a mental illness directly linked to the exercise of power”.

In conclusion, it is a vast analysis by Erwan Deveze that we have tried to identify without claiming to be exhaustive and which exposes the psychological tears of our leaders who seem to be seriously ill. “It is an eternal experience that any man who has power is inclined to abuse it”, warned Montesquieu in volume 1 of his treatise De l’esprit des lois in 1748.


Investigation at the heart of power / Big revelation by researcher Erwan Deveze on the mentality of leaders: “One in five leaders would be a psychopath” – News