Tag Archives: Merrill Reid

In Praise of the Psychopath


One of the most misused and least understood words in the English language is ‘psychopath’.

Thanks to the media, as well as the arts, the word is confused with ‘violent psychopath’.

Many years ago when I was still cavorting on the corporate stage, I asked one of my American ‘matrix’ bosses (who went on to head up one of the world’s biggest banks) what his ideal senior manager was. He studied me intently and replied, ‘An entrepreneurial psychopath with an MBA’………….. Continue reading In Praise of the Psychopath

Gordon the Barbarian?

Why is Gordon Brown so unpopular? I am sure that he is a very nice bloke. THAT is where the problem lies. He is what we call (using the Tracom Social Styles model) an Analytical with a slight touch of Amiable. Predominately though, he is an Analytical.

Let me show you the behavioural traits of each type:

Analytical: He is driven by numbers – the accountant, the nerd, the engineer. At University, he will study a subject with lots of facts and figures. Stuff that can be analysed and reanalysed.  He is driven by facts and not emotions. The analytical  needs proof and the “numbers” have to make sense. The Analytical is  not a risk-taker  – only if it is a sure-thing. He suffers from what is known as “analysis paralysis” and will not make decisions on 90% of the facts. He needs all the facts. He does  not release his stress very often but when he does or when you cross cross him, you are in deep trouble. He will bury you. When he insults you – it will be personal! If you want to be loved by an analytical – give him the facts – the bottom line. Even so, he will say “No” a lot. He will procrastinate and use the fact that he still does not have all the information as an excuse. He is only liked by other analyticals. He prefers a road map to a compass when going from A to B. In spite of that, he may not always get there because the map is not detailed enough.

He will not say : ” I really feel for all of you who are struggling with their mortgage and household bills. I will do everything to ease your pain.” (Clinton, Blair) . (Clinton would probably add: “Your pain is my pain”.) 

The analytical will say: ” I will do my utmost to ensure that the economy comes back on track as soon as possible.”

The Analytical can be considerate and is self-controlled but very moralistic – with an over-developed sense of right and wrong. He is a  prude who always comes across as a bit stiff and starchy. He prefers the missionary position and a cup of tea. His dress sense is very “straight” and conservative. No Levis.

Amiable: Very much related to the Analytical. This is the submissive church-going type who is kind in his personal life. He makes a  good Staff Officer but needs a Driver-type to show him the way and to make the decisions. He is an idealist who wants a better world. He cannot lead.

Politics is all about “perception” not fact. Once a politician is perceived  as a certain type, it will stick. There is no going back.

As a “herd” we want and need to be led – preferably from the fiscal swamplands  into the sunshine of the Plains of Plenty. When Gordon Brown first took over from  Tony Blair we wanted him to be strong and statesman-like. Remember how he came across during his early skirmishes with the farm and flooding crises? He looked good but only because we were willing and wanting him to be good.

Then we had all that nonsense with the snap Election which didn’t happen. That was ( in Vince Cable’s words) his first Mr Bean moment. The beginning of the end.

The ugly spectre of self-interest is asserting itself in Westminster. MPs are slowly realising that in 2010 many will lose their seats. Those with small parliamentary majorities may have to get a proper job! 

They need a scapegoat. Their evil thoughts, like fledgling vultures are already clattering against the Westminster windows . Soon they will take to the skies. There will be blood.

Gordon was nearly the man who never was. In reality, he is the man who never should have been.