- The Washington Times - Friday, March 21, 2014

More psychopaths are CEOs than any other profession, according to an author who spent time researching the common denominators between successful people and sanity.

Psychopaths aren’t necessarily ax murderers, as Time noted. The clinical diagnosis refers to those who have shallow emotions or who lack empathy and guilt, are coldhearted, superficial, manipulative, impulsive or irresponsible.

And with that definition, it seems the corporate world has its fair share.

In what’s been billed as one of the most overlooked books of recent years — “The Wisdom of Psychopaths: What Saints, Spies and Serial Killers Can Teach Us About Success” — author Kevin Dutton finds that CEOs lead the list in terms of most psychopathic persons. That’s followed by lawyers, and then by members of television and radio media, Time reported. Numbers four and five are salesperson and surgeon — and then the media makes the list again, with the number six slot held by journalists.

The final four: police officer, clergy person, chef and civil servant, Time reported, citing the book. Why?

These positions either carry much weight in the eyes of the world, or offer substantial opportunity at power and control. Moreover, some of the jobs require a talent at making clinical, emotionally removed decisions — tapping into a psychopath’s natural inclinations, the author found.

Conversely, the worst positions for a psychopath: Topping the list was care aide. That was followed by nurse, therapist, craftsperson, beautician or stylist, charity worker, teacher, creative artist, doctor and accountant, Time reported. Most of those bring with it some sort of requirement to forge a human connection, or deal with feelings.