Why Psychopaths Make The Best Leaders

Why Psychopaths Make The Best Leaders
Like Us On Facebook
Like Us On Facebook

What exactly does it take to be a great and powerful leader? One who holds respect and immense influence? When looking throughout the history of humankind, you will notice patterns — commonalities shared amongst all those steering the reins and guiding the masses. The level of intellect that most leaders hold — I say most because not all leaders attained such a title as a result of their sole efforts — is superior to most of the remaining world.

Their psyches tend to be incredibly complex and are riddled with egotistic self-created truths alongside strong beliefs on the reality of the world. However, intellect and belief in one’s abilities is not enough. There is a certain superiority felt by those who seek the position of leader. These types of people don’t so much want to lead as they feel that they were meant to lead — that they were meant to show the rest of the world how things should be done. They believe themselves to have understood the world better than others and feel it is their purpose in life to share their newly discovered ‘truth.’ To use the term loosely, leaders are, more often than not, psychos.


This is not to say that all leaders suffer from a mental disorder — although some arguably do. The fact is that not all psychopaths suffer from severe disorders nor do they resort to murder and mutilation. The psyches and mental workings of both serial killers and some of the top CEOs in the world are extraordinarily similar.

Being a CEO or in a position of true power requires certain skills and abilities that psychopaths exhibit with ease. Making objective, clinical decisions entirely void of emotion, planning meticulously and in great detail, being patient, restless and confident, having a need to be in control… are all characteristics that psychopaths and prominent leaders share. Some of the most attractive positions for psychopaths are: lawyer, surgeon, journalist, police officer, chef and — topping the list — CEO.

I have to say that I myself was not surprised when I came across these statistics… then again, I can’t be the only one who considered whether or not they would be capable of taking a life if the necessity would arise. Out of the six positions that I named, I considered exploring four of them before settling on the frontrunner. What does that say about me?


While being in possession of such attributes goes beyond simple practice, it is possible to hone in on these particular skills and develop them. So which skills are fundamental to those leading the world and those killing others for pleasure? For starters, they both maintain immense focus for long periods of time.

Serial killers and leaders sleep, eat and breathe their work. They focus in on a particular goal or problem and do not let go of it until they have accomplished what they set out to accomplish, until they have found a solution to their predicament. For those in positions of power — whether it be over a company, country or over a half beaten-to-death body with a blade firmly pressed against the carotid artery — this focus more often than not crosses the line over to obsession.

Obsession is a dangerous thing, but it does get the job done. In lighter amounts, obsession takes the form of passion; where the line between passion and obsession is drawn is difficult to say. But as long as you are obsessing over your career rather than obsessing over the children at the playground, then you should be safe.


Psychopaths have the ability to separate themselves and their actions from their emotions. Having the ability to rape and murder or, as in the case of some leaders, commence mass genocide, requires viewing things, situations and people as nothing more than lifeless objects. It requires taking control and believing that the only outcome that matters is the outcome that results from your own hands.

You do because you understand that you have to — that it must be done. You know what you want, or rather what you feel that you need, and you take all necessary steps without blinking an eye. You don’t make room for emotions because whether or not someone gets hurt or screwed along the way does not matter to you; it’s not important.

What’s important is you having your desired effect and attaining that which you wish. What happens as a result of your actions, you deem to be acceptable collateral damage. Ever heard someone exclaim that this or that CEO or that lawyer is a heartless, soulless bastard? Well, there you go.


Detail is of greatest importance when trying to accomplish something significant. I grew up in the restaurant business and have managed a handful of restaurants. For any manager, the most important person to be able to get along with is the chef. Why? Because more often than not, they are out of their f*cking minds. I’m not talking about cooks — I’m talking about chefs.

If you take a peek into the kitchen of any 3-star and up restaurant in NYC, you are bound to see one person orchestrating the entire line, screaming, swearing and throwing sh*t. A chef’s goal is to prepare amazing food for the customers, the more prestigious the restaurant, the more important the clientele. Top chefs and critics eat at restaurants with kitchens run by other top chefs. This means that the executive chef and his work are constantly under scrutiny and that their reputations are always being put on the line.

For this reason, every little detail of the dish has to be perfect — not just the taste, but also the plating, the garnishes and even the direction the plate is facing once it hits the table. The chef has all of these details on his mind every second that he is in the kitchen. Having such focus on detail is no simple task and requires an above average mental capacity and processing speed.


Emphasis on detail and a hunger for power makes a great serial killer — or leader, whichever. Finding loopholes, strategizing methods of attack, planning plans B and C, planning escape routes, directing and delegating, having a level of control over others all make for great leaders, great surgeons, great chefs, great entrepreneurs and great murderers and/or criminals.

The line between philanthropic leader and psychopath is so thin that it’s possible for some to bobble between the two, never fully settling in on one life and battling both sides for the majority of their existence. The true difference is in the upbringing — in the nurturing. Evil is not born, but created. The mind is such a beautiful thing because it is both hardware and software — it functions as both a tool as well as gives us direction in life.

I strongly believe that the same person could be either the most beloved leader of his generation or the most feared and hated serial killer, all depending on how he was raised. Strong, intelligent minds process information differently than others — but it’s the information processed at the earliest of ages that set the precedence for either a hero or a monster.

Photo Courtesy: Tumblr

Share Tweet
Like Us On Facebook
Like Us On Facebook

Paul Hudson

A young writer, philosopher, and entrepreneur, Paul Hudson (@MrPaulHudson) has been writing for Elite Daily nearly since the start. Currently located in Manhattan, Paul Hudson primarily devotes his time between writing for Elite Daily and a mining startup in Turkey. He loves sharing his life experiences with his readers and makes sure to practice what he preaches.

More In Money

Strategy Laura Argintar

College Job Site Helps Students Find Jobs They Can Balance With Class

Looking for a way to battle that awkward Thanksgiving conversation about your future plans after graduation? Want to get a head start on saving up for your own place? Enter Campus Job. Campus Job is the largest online marketplace that connects students with part-time jobs and internships. It’s live at every single college and grad school […]

Strategy Samantha O'Connor

5 Types Of Professional Bridges We All Eventually Burn Throughout Our Careers

What do 20-something interns, 30-something associates and 40-something CEOs have in common? They’ve all made a few enemies and burned a professional bridge or two along the way while climbing the corporate ladder. That’s right; despite what your conscience tells you, you’re not the only one with a professional rival. It’s something that’s not usually broadcast […]

Strategy Jamelle Sanders

Millennial Debt Prescription: 5 Ways To Rid Yourself Of Debt

As a business coach and Millennial, I am always researching strategies to improve my financial acumen and to empower me for even greater financial freedom. Sadly, I do not meet many other Millennials who share this belief or concern. Research shows that more Millennials are taking steps to secure their financial futures. However, what we […]

Strategy Joshua Fechter

10 Ways To Get Your Dream Job At A Top Tech Company

We all want an amazing career, but wanting something isn’t always enough to get it. And if that something is a job at a top tech company, your life just got a whole lot harder. Even though just getting an interview at a top technology company is extremely hard, there are ways to make it […]

Money John Haltiwanger

3 Amazing Ways Elon Musk Is Exactly Like The Real Life Tony Stark

Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX, is a dreamer, businessman, engineer, adventurer, inventor and innovator. His ambitious are boundless, literally spanning across the galaxy and perhaps even beyond. He is the real life Tony Stark, developing technologies that most of us believed could only exist in science fiction. Musk not only wants […]

Also On Elite


8 Ways Every Guy Turn A Little Bit Basic In The Fall

The changing of the seasons comes with a mélange of other changes, too. Leaves, for instance, will begin to grow in the spring and die in the winter, as the autumnal and vernal equinoxes come and go. Days become longer and shorter, depending on the Earth’s distance from the Sun at a given time. Coffee changes […]


25 Desserts From Around The World Prove It’s The Best Meal Ever

In case you were unaware, October 14 marks one of the best days of the year — National Dessert Day. That’s right, October 14 serves as a 24-hour long period where you’re pretty much able to stuff your face with any kinds of sweets. All desserts ever created should be celebrated on this day, and […]


Green Toy Soldiers From Your Childhood Are Actually Just People Doing Yoga

The last thing you’d expect your little army soldier figurines to do is buckle down into a yoga position. Thanks to toy inventor Dan Abramson, our favorite plastic green army figures have taken less of a violent approach to the toy world. Abramson created Yoga Joes, army figures that get their yoga on. Abramson inspired […]


Teen Arrested After ISIS Allegedly Offers Him $25K To Bomb Vienna

Austrian police have arrested a 14-year-old boy who was reportedly offered $25,000 from the Islamic State to set off a series of explosions in Vienna. Two other Austrian teenagers suspected of having similar offers from the militant group are still at large, though police do not believe the three were working together. The boy, known only as […]


New Umbrella Will Keep You Dry By Blowing Rain Away With Air Jets (Video)

Umbrellas are just so bulky and obnoxious. At least that’s what the inventors of Air Umbrella seem to think. The company invented an air-powered umbrella that protects users from rain using just the power of, well, air. Unlike regular umbrellas, there is no bulky, old-fashioned fabric hood to deal with, so you won’t have to […]