“All the people in this room are motivated by power, prestige, or money. Which do you think is most important?”
That was the question asked of me recently by a managing director of a large European bank who had asked me to speak to about 200 top executives. Let’s take them one by one.
I remember David McClelland, my mentor years ago in grad school, making a crucial distinction among people who are motivated by power: whether they seek power simply to aggrandize themselves, or for something beyond themselves. The first group, the genuinely power-hungry, include “unhealthy” narcissists and Machiavellians – people who care only about their own goals, without caring about the consequences for other people of what they do (as I detail in the chapter on the “dark triad” in my book Social Intelligence).»