The research that eventually led to the development of the hypothesis of predatory leadership began with a few questions:
1. Why is it, after centuries of evolving civilization and technology, humanity is still burdened with war, corruption and poverty?
2. What is the nature of the particular kinds of people who are able to instigate actions and policies that result in great harm to so many?
3. Why do these kinds of people appear so often in positions of tremendous power and control?
Some of the conclusions in my hypothesis on predatory leadership are based upon research data showing that the brains of psychopaths are structurally, neurologically and functionally different from “normal” folks. Another component of the hypothesis determines that the ways a psychopath’s brain works differently than most provide him critical advantages when competing against others who are ethical and compassionate, and conduct themselves with integrity.
Anecdotally, (based upon hundreds of impromptu “person on the street” interviews over the years), I have determined that the average person has no understanding of the true nature of the psychopath. When asked to describe a psychopath, people are either inaccurate or admit that they do not know the answer. This allows the psychopath to (1) operate invisibly throughout society and (2) represent himself as righteous and pious while pulling myriad dirty tricks (or even murder) behind the scenes, often prevailing over those who would make much better leaders. Consequently, over the centuries, psychopathic behavior has become accepted as normal and inevitable human behavior. The global impact of psychopathic behavior can be seen in the launching of wars, establishing human trafficking as a credible means of commerce, and developing political agendas, economic policies, and banking protocols that resulted in billions of people living and dying in poverty.
Thus, while psychopaths represent 1% of the population (70 million worldwide), it stands to reason that much more than 1% of the top positions of power and control, throughout all levels of society, are populated by narcissists and psychopaths. Not just in governments and corporations; predatory leadership can be seen in street gangs, domestic violence, terrorist groups as well as in corrupt HOAs, school boards and in religious organizations.
When the majority of the population, including our youth, understands the fundamental premises of predatory leadership, we will be able to make better decisions about whom we follow, promote, elect and marry, eventually contributing to an end to war, corruption, poverty and other examples of social injustice. The result will be a civilization in which no child is ever denied opportunities to achieve her or his greatest potential.
Introduction – Steps Towards Making Planet Earth more Humane and Peaceful
First, you identify the problems: war, corruption, poverty, famine, human trafficking, terrorism, domestic violence, child abuse, climate change, environmental degradation (add your concerns to the list).
Next, you identify core contributors to the problem, such as predatory leaders, whose hallmark is gaining and wielding power with an almost total lack of ethics or social conscience.
Finally, you brainstorm methods to: 1) limit access to positions of leadership; and 2) raise new leaders — who are honest, collaborative, transparent and compassionate — with the resources to replace predatory leaders as they age out.
IMPADA, the non-governmental organization that runs this website, works toward a world that is free from the inequities of predatory leadership and operates on the following presumptions:
1. Most people are good (they wish no harm to befall others).
2. People are intelligent and resourceful, and solutions developed by large numbers of brainstorming groups will generate a positive shift in the current status of civilization.
It’s estimated that over one hundred million people already participate in non-profit organizations around the world that address many of these issues. When they understand the hypothesis of predatory leadership, not unlike doctors after the invention of the microscope, they will be able to generate more effective solutions than are currently in process.
IMPADA’s goals include staffing offices worldwide and training people to brainstorm solutions to address the many instances of social injustice. When hundreds, thousands, and finally millions of people educated in the hypothesis of predatory leadership collaborate to make the world a better place, change will happen.
About Predatory Leaders
The core contributors: predatory leaders whose true natures and motivations are unknown to most people, especially in the early stages of their operations. In the hypothesis of predatory leadership, a majority of these antagonists display symptoms of narcissism and psychopathy, notably the following:
1. A narcissistic sense of entitlement;
2. Lack of capacity for empathy;
3. Lack of capacity for conscience (the ability to take responsibility for the consequences of their actions);
4. In their mind, they are the only victims in their view of the world
We will not be able to bring peace to the world until most people understand the nature of these toxic leaders as well as doctors now understand the nature of bacteria and viruses. Like a virus, predatory leaders begin invisibly with stealth and deceitful propaganda to gain a foothold in our communities and organizations.Then, taking advantage of opportunities, they betray and exploit those organizations. If you learn the hypothesis of predatory leadership as well as medical researchers learned to use the microscope, their machinations will no longer be invisible and you will be on the path to transforming human civilization from divided, war torn and corrupt into a peaceful and collaborative culture in which no child will ever be denied the opportunity to achieve her or his best potential.
Because prototypical psychopaths (one percent of the population) are not constrained by ethics and integrity, they have a larger toolbox than people with integrity who would make better leaders. Among the consequences of this imbalance: psychopathic opportunists have a better chance to out-compete potentially great leaders. Therefore, more than one percent of the top positions in governments, corporations and other types of organizations (military organizations and Wall Street companies, for example) are controlled by psychopathic personalities. Famous examples include Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Jim Jones, David Koresh, Kim IL Sung, and Warren Jeffs. Many psychopathic personalities are quietly successful in middle and upper management (for examples, read The Sociopath Next Door, by Martha Stout). Secondly, many potentially great leaders do not aspire to leadership because they presume they will have to work with toxic personalities and participate with the same corrupt strategies in order to succeed in the leadership environment. As a result, they leave the door open to the predatory opportunists who are comfortable with the corruption.
The solution: educate humanitarians to recognize the behavioral traits of predatory leaders, especially in the early stages. With knowledge and insights currently unavailable to the general population, you will be able to train and lead others to brainstorm pragmatic and sustainable solutions for transforming society from its current status into a kinder world in which leadership is transparent, collaborative and people oriented.
Looking at the problem, we have comparative history: imagine you are a doctor in the 12th century, before the invention of the microscope. You do not know about the existence of viruses and bacteria. Therefore many of your theories about what causes illness, and the remedies concocted to fight illness are wrong, causing more harm than good. In many cases, doctors are unknowingly spreading disease. With the advent of the microscope, medical researchers had the resources to discover the real causes of disease and, thus, be able to develop practical and effective remedies. The hypothesis of predatory leadership is the microscope that reveals the motives and intentions of predatory leaders and how their brains function differently than those of normal people.
Today’s general knowledge about the nature of leadership is similar to the condition of medicine in the 12th century; many general presumptions are wrong. Subsequently, it has been fairly easy for us to be manipulated into giving away our power to narcissistic and psychopathic personalities who attain top levels of governance. The same types of personalities ensnare victims into marriages and relationships that become violent and abusive. The result is that the course of civilization has been so manipulated and distorted over the centuries that some psychopathic behavioral traits (such as inciting war and engaging in corruption) are presumed to be unescapable in human nature. While this presumption is false, it will take a lot of work from a lot of people to raise public awareness and inspire a transformation of human culture.
What You Can Do
IMPADA provides a series of approaches that will allow you to choose the kind of participation that is best for you:
1. Learn the hypothesis of predatory leadership
2. Share the hypothesis
3. Learn to brainstorm solutions for ending conditions of social injustice that are of interest to you: ending war; ending domestic violence; addressing environmental issues; ending political corruption, etc.
4. Case Manager Level: Become more involved: take the training to become a facilitator and trainer for those who want to brainstorm solutions to social injustice circumstances.
5. Action: Put solutions to work, expanding education and building the community for creating a better world for our children