Harvard Business Review Of The Dark Triad Man

Harvard Business Review Of The Dark Triad Man

In Media Mentions by Ivan ThroneLeave a Comment

Harvard Business Review covers our archetype.

Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, PhD. has authored an article titled Why Bad Guys Win at Work. To summarize, even the Harvard Business Review of the Dark Triad Man is declaring that our archteype is pretty damned effective across the board:


Psychopathy is one of three “dark triad” traits, the other two being narcissism and Machiavellianism. It should be noted that, unlike clinical personality traits, these traits are normally distributed in the population – e.g., you can score low, average or high – and perfectly indicative of normal functioning. In other words, just because you score high doesn’t mean that you have problems, either at work or in your personal life. And despite the antisocial implications of the dark triad, recent research has highlighted a wide range of career-related benefits for these personality characteristics.


This is no surprise. We know the benefits. That’s why we’re here, and why my ruthless mentoring for a dark world is useful to you.

As I mention on our About page, psychopathy is considered by a growing number of mental health professionals to merely be “a moral judgment masquerading as a clinical diagnosis”.

The potential for some problems cited by Dr. Chamorro-Premuzic have to do with maladaptive application of the dark triad traits in life. The dark triad are tools with a significant amount of inherent power. Especially when unfocused, they can be as dangerous as any tool when applied thoughtlessly or left turned on.

That is why I stress competence, clarity and brutal honesty as a part of the Dark Triad Man and ruthless mentoring for a dark world.

I don’t leave my tools lying around turned on, and you shouldn’t either.

The benefits, of course, are not restricted to career success. Professional, personal, relational and economic success all stem from correct and coherent harnessing of narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopathy.

This is why I insist you be consciously observant and self-directed in life.

Dr. Chamorro-Premuzic goes further with the benefits of being a Dark Triad Man:


In a recent study on representative German businesses, narcissism was positively linked to salary, while Machiavellianism was positively linked to leadership level and career satisfaction. These associations were still significant even after controlling for the effects of demographics, job tenure, organization size, and hours worked.


It gets better, but still unsurprising to those who are a Dark Triad Man:


Previously, an impressive 15-year longitudinal study found that individuals with psychopathic and narcissistic characteristics gravitated towards the top of the organizational hierarchy and had higher levels of financial attainment.


Not to mention even more benefits:


As found in a study examining the overlap between positive and negative personality characteristics, extraversion, openness to new experience, curiosity, and self-esteem are generally higher among dark triad personalities. In addition, dark triad traits tend to enhance competitiveness, if only by inhibiting cooperation and altruistic behaviors at work. In addition, studies have shown that psychopathic and Machiavellian tendencies facilitate both the seduction and intimidation tactics that frighten potential competitors and captivate bosses. This explains why individuals with these personality characteristics are often great actors, as well as succeeding in (short-term) sexual relationships.


Sensible findings. High performers maintain a vision of self that is ahead of their actual value and thus channel their determination into the achievement of that vision. Employers recognize the superior market value and work product of these individuals and will pay more to retain them as resources. Narcissism is very tightly related to confidence and champion mindset, which is a root source of market value.

And we all know the sexual attractiveness of the Dark Triad Man. It is legendary.

Machiavellianism is simply how power is navigated in human hierarchies. There is nothing mysterious or negative about the development, application and expansion of power. It simply requires cultivated knowledge, competence and seasoning in experience.

It should be cultivated, strengthened, trained in, studied and deployed with firm assurance in the dark world.

The Harvard Business Review article concludes with this:


So perhaps one may think about dark-side tendencies as overused strengths – tendencies that are fairly adaptive and conducive of short-term success, but may nonetheless lead to problems in the long term, especially if one is not aware of them. That is, the dark side represents the toxic assets of our personality. You can certainly turn them into career weapons, but the group will generally lose the more you win. Furthermore, when the primary goal is to ensure that a group or organization outperforms its rivals, it will be generally advantageous to minimize the incidence of dark triad leaders.


There are fundamental differences between the reality of the Dark Triad Man and Dr. Chamorro-Premuzic’s conclusion:


The dark triad traits are toxic when suppressed.

Given proper release and expansion through a grander purpose and aligned to the competencies of a self-actualized Dark Triad man, they are powerful tools – not weapons. “Weapon” is a term for use by females and young boys. I will be covering this in another post in the weeks and months to come.

The Dark Triad Man does not recognize “weapons”. “Weapon” is a word that indicates you are applying moral freight. It indicates attachment to emotional impact. That’s not how he operates his mind.

There are only tools. Tools have utility.


Harvard Business Review of the Dark Triad Man misses one key point:

Dr. Chamorro-Premuzic ends with the following statement:


Personality is an important career lubricant, but dark-triad traits are effective at the individual rather than group level.


I must demur.

Give a true Dark Triad Man a crowd (per Gustav le Bon’s definition) and he will conquer the world.

And the world does like its Caesars.


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Ivan Throne

Ivan Throne

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IVAN THRONE, bestselling author of The Nine Laws, is an international speaker and teacher. His vivid lessons and ruthless mentoring for the hard and often cruel demands of our pitiless high performance world have helped millions of people across social media deeply connect with radical, authentic success to the joys of partners, lovers, colleagues and clients.

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