Are you worried that your boss is a psychopath?

The evidence is in.

According to the latest research, if you work in the corporate sector there is a 1-in-5 chance that your boss is a psychopath!

A study undertaken by Nathan Brooks, a forensic psychologist, and his research colleagues Dr Katarina Fritzon (Bond University) and Dr Simon Croom (University of San Diego), looked at people holding executive positions in the corporate sector. It was found that “…21% of 261 corporate professionals studied in the supply chain management industry had clinically significant levels of psychopathic traits.” (You can read more here.)

Now, the ‘normal’ rate at which these traits are found in the general community is 1-in-100. That means you are up to 20 times more likely to encounter a psychopath if you work in a corporate environment. As a point of reference, 1-in-5 is about the same rate of psychopathic personalities found in prison populations. So, if your job makes you feel a bit like an inmate, there could be a good reason why.

What about your boss?

How do you tell if your boss is a psychopath? Chances are he doesn’t look like our good friend Dr Hannibal Lecter, played by Sir Anthony Hopkins in the movie ‘Silence of the Lambs’ (Academy award winner for Best Picture in 1991).

But, there are certain personality traits that you should watch out for. Common signs include:

  • Superficial charm
  • Inflated sense of self-worth
  • Impulsiveness
  • Pathological lying
  • Manipulative
  • Lack of remorse and empathy

Does any of that sound like your boss? If you’d like to do some deeper research and think about that a bit more, we recommend that you check out ‘20 signs that your boss may be a psychopath’.


Employers should place a greater priority on understanding the personality attributes of potential hires, rather than their technical skills and qualifications. Our observation, based on 25 years experience in the corporate sector, is that most companies do the reverse. That is, they focus on technicals upfront and worry about personality and character last.

That thinking needs to change, but we’re seeing signs of just that. After all, that was one of the biggest drivers behind the decision to found skillfox....helping companies to match the right candidates with the right jobs, based on the factors that matter most!