Psychopaths in the C-suite: Fred Kiel at TEDxBGI

Psychopaths in the C-suite: Fred Kiel at TEDxBGI

Fred Kiel talks about his research that uncovers the most effective personality characteristics in leadership.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)


  1. Catherina Gianella on April 21, 2021 at 5:00 pm

    I am so happy you exist Fred Kiel!! Thank you for a presentation that has fuelled my life’s mission like you wouldn’t believe.
    As an executive and life coach I arrived at the conclusion that lack of high human values is the number one cause of failure and pain in people s lives.
    Aspiring to change or improve that one on Ceo at a time…one person at a time.

  2. Joe Maccy on April 21, 2021 at 5:00 pm

    Wow, so they found a unicorn(the boss)…in this world??? I’m not sure I believe this, at all.

  3. Morwick Chesterham on April 21, 2021 at 5:02 pm

    Apparently Amazon is an anomaly according to this fairytale model of character and business success…

  4. Adam Weishaupt on April 21, 2021 at 5:02 pm

    Wow, happy and well motivated employees increase value to their companies. That MUST be an indication that the TOP level executive is a psychopath working at a relatively failing company. Smh. Good job.

  5. Imooye Ohiolebo on April 21, 2021 at 5:03 pm

    Narcissists are always on the hunt for something they are never going to find. They pretend to be someone else to ensnare the victim with deception, lies, pretending to feel one way, when they feel the complete opposite. A Narcissist should not be trusted and are often toxic with an excessive need for admiration, disregard for others feelings, an inability to handle any criticism and a sense of entitlement. I used to think that love could cure anything but it only fed my narc’s enormous ego. It is important to be wise when dealing with a narcissist and I’m glad that cyberhackinggenius helped cloned my husband’s phone. I got access to all his dealings both on phone and social media without touching his phone. All I did was share his phone number with Cyberhackinggenius and I was able to read both his new and deleted messages from my phone through a remote link to a programmed App containing cloned cell information. My husband was a cheating Narcissist and I’m glad to find out all his secrets and infidelity with the help of cyberhackinggenius. I’m finally going through divorce with lots of evidence against him. I read all his deleted and recent chats on Whatsapp, Facebook and Instagram. You can contact this great hacker “Gavin” via Gmail (cyberhackinggenius@gmail ) or text and speak to him directly on his phone and WhatsApp : +19256795146 and thank me later!

  6. Eizi Eizz on April 21, 2021 at 5:04 pm

    This is a great talk,
    but i take issue with his belief that character can be taught.
    Since empathy is mostly a genetic trait,
    lack of empathy (aka psychopathy and narcissism) cannot be cured.
    The only way to treat empathy dysfunctional people is to put them
    in camps away from decent humans, so they can’t harm them.

  7. Melody Smith on April 21, 2021 at 5:04 pm

    Psychopaths are attracted to corporations because they are allowed to do what they want with no regard to anyone or anything out. It is also very hard to fire them. They also know where the skeletons are, since they have often created them. Question: If business did drive more of them out — where else would they turn up? Military?

  8. Omer Feldman Yofiël on April 21, 2021 at 5:08 pm

    Interesting concept, but his logic is flawed. Didn’t rule out possibility that businesses with low return on assets pressured the ceo to act like a psychopath.

  9. owl on April 21, 2021 at 5:09 pm

    its such a relief to hear this, that good old fashioned strength of character is relevant, after all. May be the businesses of future will aim to integrate with the society instead of just making a mount everest of money, as companies and ceos

  10. guillermo Delatorre on April 21, 2021 at 5:09 pm

    That sounded very much like our president

  11. tpu55 on April 21, 2021 at 5:11 pm

    "Welcome to CostCo… I love you…
    Welcome to CostCo… I love you…"

  12. Tracy Smith on April 21, 2021 at 5:11 pm

    Such interesting research and glad the data is out and confirms with experiences I have had in my career.

  13. Willard Chi on April 21, 2021 at 5:12 pm

    It would be nice if I could hear it. Louder!

  14. C on April 21, 2021 at 5:12 pm

    If a graduate starts and stays in a toxic work environment they will become like those toxic seniors/directors. It’s bad influence on their young malleable minds.

  15. James Parlane on April 21, 2021 at 5:12 pm

    Yeah. Bosses with a sense of fair play will remove a toxic work environment by osmosis.

  16. Stephanie DeGange on April 21, 2021 at 5:13 pm

    thank you so much for your research and telling us your dreams for corporate leaders

  17. Lucas Pelle on April 21, 2021 at 5:16 pm

    tedious talk, very little surprising data.

  18. BasementBrassCompany on April 21, 2021 at 5:16 pm

    Just watched a documentary on the dark history of psychology. It was very very bad. Iti is the only science that has no empirical data behind it.

  19. Nexfort ZoZo on April 21, 2021 at 5:18 pm

    i don’t get it why these dislikes?

  20. Thomas Ball on April 21, 2021 at 5:20 pm

    Gosh I want to work for costco

  21. MORE-THAN A-CONQUEROR on April 21, 2021 at 5:20 pm

    Schneider National corporation need to watch this video!

  22. Binxu Ren on April 21, 2021 at 5:21 pm

    Have you asked bezos lol.

  23. radiosification on April 21, 2021 at 5:21 pm

    How was the study they conducted at all useful when no psychopaths were actually in the study?

  24. whisperingsage on April 21, 2021 at 5:22 pm

    The & habits of highly Effective People has been around since 1991 and promotes CHARACTER and guiding Principles, and though it is popular, and amazed that there aren’t more leaders that know this stuff. I am always shocked at the unethical things that go on in nursing homes and how unethical the leadership often is.

  25. hans lund on April 21, 2021 at 5:25 pm

    Doubt this study included amazon.

  26. timeWaster76 on April 21, 2021 at 5:25 pm

    Martha Stewart ? is not on par with Madoff! that ridiculous.

  27. Michelle_ CA on April 21, 2021 at 5:27 pm

    Real psychopaths are elitist, they immediately try to take over a person’s sense of right and wrong (by imposing unethical behavior on a chosen victim).
    They effectively use communication hurdles to disrupt norms of behavior.
    Varying days of eye contact,
    Avoiding group morning or evening greetings, Demanding constant info validation by several people working on the same project.
    Narcissistic and project self-grandiosity and coldness.
    Exaggerated loud or softer than normal speech with hi volatility emotionalism/ aka mood swings either in one sentence or during multiple personnel contacts. This is to maintain a fear with subordinates not to question her/him.
    Can easily switch to mobbing anyone to create a scapegoat person for his/her communication drops without remorse/guilt.
    Never admits wrong-doing at or below peer level.

    High character managers treat everyone the same, both in manner, speech/tone. Smile and able to engage with multiple people creating no animosity.
    Able to laugh with people not at them. No impression of superiority. Hands-on. Direct with feelings or instructions. This individual has high motivation and never expresses anger as demoralizing attacks.

    Honesty and Ethics, and fairness are taught in childhood.

    People are not computers.
    Corporate psychopaths thrive in large companies where they are given overlapping staff and or direct access to Executive management. Because the owner wants a yes man willing to do anything to create ‘improvement.’

  28. Jeremy Kenny on April 21, 2021 at 5:27 pm

    Take the estrogen out of personnel and stop hiring managers for their "drive, ambition, strong-track-record, hands-on-approach" . . . . rapists in other words.

  29. ClareBearPhD on April 21, 2021 at 5:28 pm

    He talks so quietly…

  30. Durga Truex on April 21, 2021 at 5:29 pm

    Caveat to the finding that "character can be taught" *3:35. It can, up to a certain age. Once the personality splits and manifests as a Cluster B personality disorder (officially now diagnosed around or after age 18 for Anti-social Personality Disorder ie. psychopathy and sociopathy- before 18 it is referred to as "Oppositional Defiance Disorder" and considered not to have fully crystalized in the personality yet). The reason these are referred to as "personality disorders" instead of "mental disorders" is that they are not chemical imbalances in the brain which can be treated with therapy and medication, but they are fundamental flaws in the personality that once fully formed can not ever be changed or improved. Cluster B spectrum disorders include: Narcissists, Psychopaths/Sociopaths (ASD), Borderlines, and Histrionics. If one of these shows up in your immediate circle, turn around and find another circle.

  31. motorbiking on April 21, 2021 at 5:29 pm

    hmmm… but is it cause and effect?

    Do under performing C-suite people turn in to psychos and do high performing C-suiters have time/money to care?

  32. caroljoywolf on April 21, 2021 at 5:29 pm

    Sounds like #45.

  33. Sherryl s on April 21, 2021 at 5:31 pm

    I believe ,in & endorse ur findings. However as a real life employee of a huge for profit medical care corporation, I’ve seen myself ,& too many coworkers blackballed. Systemic abuse in every aspect of bullying. My question to u is how the CEO’s perceive this mass exodus of employees (highly valued & in critical demand) how do thay explain this extreme attrition rate & extremely poor supervisor surveys by employees? R they being purposefully obscure, missing the point.

  34. Mike Miloserdoff on April 21, 2021 at 5:34 pm

    I found TEDx Talks thru a search on disruptive people, which, when in the workplace, is known to be corporate psychopathy, as I learned. It would be interesting to know if there is a positive correlation between workplace stress at any given moment, and the degree to which a corporate psychopath manipulates the world around him or her self. Interesting topic that destroys corporate morale in the name of selfishness and psychological problems on the part of the psychopath.

  35. Dave Cullins on April 21, 2021 at 5:34 pm

    The science term for the great kind leader he talks about is "Transformative leadership".
    They’re basically Marvel super hero leaders.

  36. john miller on April 21, 2021 at 5:36 pm

    All those thing you mentioned to spot a psychopath by are found in the "normal healthy" people you work with every day. You are likely a lot like a psychopath in your daily interactions with others. Just not as much. That’s why the world is so screwed up. The occasional psychopath is just icing on the cake but now we have the psychopaths to put all the blame on to take it off ourselves. Of course you’re sure I couldn’t be talking about someone like you. That’s how it always goes. Few people can admit to their own dysfunction.

  37. Gurunath Hari on April 21, 2021 at 5:38 pm

    Love this!

  38. Maria M on April 21, 2021 at 5:41 pm

    Is funny that this video is supported by Sony.
    A company that supports narcissist corporate bullies.

  39. myroseaccount on April 21, 2021 at 5:42 pm

    How do I get a mentor?

  40. Kevin Davenport on April 21, 2021 at 5:44 pm

    Seems like corporations do everything they can to hire and promote these sociopaths. It is more important to keep people in line and rule over them. If it is proven that these people costs companies money why are these people always the ones in charge and have the biggest salaries?

  41. Gregory May on April 21, 2021 at 5:44 pm

    I worked in costco UK and it was shit!!!!

  42. Lotlot DG on April 21, 2021 at 5:44 pm

    The problem is low moral character will not admit that they needed to change or improved their character..

  43. 2112 xrtjrp on April 21, 2021 at 5:46 pm

    dave’s not here…

  44. Devin Stromgren on April 21, 2021 at 5:48 pm

    It has never made sense to me that "insider trading" is illegal in the first place.

  45. EgaoKage on April 21, 2021 at 5:48 pm

    In summary: "Practice empathy. Practice putting others first. And practice accountability. …Except towards psychopaths! Demonize them." ?

    "A rule isn’t a rule, if there exists an exception."

  46. Welcome to Gulag on April 21, 2021 at 5:48 pm

    Ted bunny on Ted talks

  47. Ophelia AF on April 21, 2021 at 5:53 pm

    Determining the true character of a person is “more complicated than that”, as you mentioned.

  48. Ms U on April 21, 2021 at 5:53 pm

    That’s the only career they can thrive in because they will have no one else for they will get rid of anyone who dares to step all over them. The only person to step all over them is another psychopath willing to compete with them.

  49. John Lockman on April 21, 2021 at 5:56 pm

    I dont agree. I found the best CEOs were Pychopaths. Also you could never get a screening tool. Pychopaths can always game them anyway.

  50. Nemo Nous on April 21, 2021 at 5:57 pm

    How to hide your character flaws.
    Hide behind a label psychologist/psychiatrist.