The Hidden Behaviours of Mean Men

Article posted by Griet Houbrechts

AHRMIO Webinar, 10 May 2018
Mark Lipton

What triggered Mark Lipton to research toxic behaviours of leaders? Working with several initially charming, but controlling, ruthless, abusive or narcissistic young entrepreneurial CEOs increased Mark’s interest in psychology. The need for understanding the source of toxic behaviours as well as the impact they have on the work environment and even family, pushed Mark to develop a profile of the Entrepreneurial Personality and to define which of the characteristics in that profile where predictors of mean behaviour.

Even if Mean Men are functioning well in society, their inability to see alternative behaviours indicates that this is part of what could be identified as mental illness. The fact that in the US, toxic masculinity and entrepreneurially fuelled professions are deified.

Mark explored briefly, some of the material he developed during his research and listed six types of Mean Men, for which he summarised typical behaviours.

During Q&A, questions were raised about what type of persons are the most vulnerable to mean men, how we can deal with mean bosses and how to protect yourself as well as your team. This allowed Mark to touch briefly on some more material that helped to dig deeper into the personality of Mean Men.

An interesting discussion on gender specificity clarified that Mean Women exist, but from only a small population. Those women that are often identified by the general public as mean, are actually not necessarily Mean Women. They merely show entrepreneurial characteristics that are usually associated with men, but that doesn’t make them Mean.

Finally, Mark pointed participants to articles that dig deeper into the topic of Mean Men and some of the topics that came up during Q&A:

“How to Cope with a Mean Boss”

“How to Create Boundaries with Your Ruthless Boss”

“Is Hillary Mean?”

“Where are the Mean Women?”

Further reading:

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