According to some scientists, Vladimir Putin suffers from overconfidence, a psychological disorder caused by the exercise of power. Can power drive you crazy? Can we find people with this syndrome around us?
A disorder reserved for those in power. Hubris syndrome comes straight from ancient Greece. It occurs in philosophy as well as in theatre. Under his feats of arms, in the Iliad, hubris takes control of Achilles. Intoxicated by his own strength and blinding rage, the Greek hero is punished by the gods and eventually knocked down.
An illness of a head of state…
It is physician and former Secretary of State David Owen who defines this concept in his book The Hubris Syndrome: Bush, Blair and the Intoxication of Power† This Briton presents this affliction which afflicted certain Anglo-Saxon statesmen. In all, it lists 14 symptoms that help diagnose hubris syndrome. For example, we find narcissism, impulsiveness, great self-confidence or the desire to go down in history. To be bothered by it, according to the specialist, it would be enough to combine three of these symptoms.
Hubris syndrome, which can be translated from English as “excessive pride”, can affect anyone in power, both heads of state and the professional world.
…that we can find in our daily life
This ‘intoxication’ can also be found in business, as Isabelle Barth, professor of management sciences in Strasbourg, reminds us. “These are people who lose touch with reality, who overestimate their skills, who have too much self-confidence and who think they have mastered everything around them”† For employees, this can lead to bullying at work or even burnout.
This feeling can be exacerbated by the “courtship phenomenon” seen in business. “It’s rare to find people who stand up to a leader’s decisions because fear is human, you can’t develop hubris if the people around you don’t demean themselves” analyzes Isabelle Barth. Fortunately, it’s possible to spot and take action before it’s too late. You can see these people as a leader, someone you might want to follow.
“People who can develop hubris syndrome have to put themselves on the podium, they believe they can act without the consent of the hierarchy and try to rise to power†
In addition, it is possible to set checks and balances to prevent this madness. “In the time of the kingship there was the jester, explains the specialist, they were very intelligent people, responsible for subtly telling the king”† In order to limit the appearance of this disorder in business, the plurality of opinions is therefore possible. The manager, for his part, probably listens to his teams, or at least someone he trusts.
(ETX Daily Up)