The Balloon

A man flying in a hot air balloon realizes he is lost. He reduces his altitude and spots a man in a field down below. He lowers the balloon further and shouts, "Excuse me, can you tell me where I am?"

The man below says, "Yes, you're in a hot air balloon, about 30 feet above this field."

"You must be an engineer," says the balloonist.

"I am. How did you know?"

"Everything you told me is technically correct, but it's of no use to anyone."

The man below says, "You must be in management."

"I am. But how did you know?"

"You don't know where you are, or where you're going, but you expect me to be able to help. You're in the same position you were before we met, but now it's my fault."

Cognitive Distortions

Another affliction taken from
I've come to the conclusion that perhaps some dark mangers just do not know that they have these diseases; well, at least wishing that helps me sleep. For me to think that any individual can be diabolically vile and commit to premeditated actions is just too depressing.

Many cognitive distortions are also logical fallacies; related links are suggested in parentheses.
  1. All-or-nothing thinking - Thinking of things in absolute terms, like "always", "every" or "never". Few aspects of human behavior are so absolute. (See false dilemma.)

  2. Overgeneralization - Taking isolated cases and using them to make wide generalizations. (See hasty generalization.)

  3. Mental filter - Focusing exclusively on certain, usually negative or upsetting, aspects of something while ignoring the rest. For example, focusing on a tiny imperfection in a piece of otherwise useful clothing. (See misleading vividness.)

  4. Disqualifying the positive - Continually "shooting down" positive experiences for arbitrary, ad hoc reasons. (See special pleading.)

  5. Jumping to conclusions - Assuming something negative where there is no evidence to support it. Two specific subtypes are also identified:
    • Mind reading - Assuming the intentions of others.
    • Fortune telling - Predicting how things will turn before they happen. (See slippery slope.)

  6. Magnification and minimization - Inappropriately understating or exaggerating the way people or situations truly are. Often the positive characteristics of other people are exaggerated and negative characteristics are understated. There is one subtype of magnification:
    • Catastrophizing - Focusing on the worst possible outcome, however unlikely, or thinking that a situation is unbearable or impossible when it is really just uncomfortable.

  7. Emotional reasoning - Making decisions and arguments based on how you feel rather than objective reality. (See appeal to consequences.)

  8. Making should statements - Concentrating on what you think "should" or ought to be rather than the actual situation you are faced with, or having rigid rules which you think should always apply no matter what the circumstances are. Albert Ellis termed this "Musturbation". (See wishful thinking.)

  9. Labeling and mislabeling - Explaining behaviors or events, merely by naming them; related to overgeneralization. Rather than describing the specific behavior, you assign a label to someone or yourself that puts them in absolute and unalterable terms. Mislabeling involves describing an event with language that is highly colored and emotionally loaded.

  10. Personalization (or attribution) - Assuming you or others directly caused things when that may not have been the case. (See illusion of control.) When applied to others, blame is an example.

Narcissistic personality disorder

According to DSM IV-TR (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) criteria and taken from Wikipedia,

A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:[1]
  1. Has a grandiose sense of self-importance
    Which gets translated to an inordinate amount of budget being allocated to offices with plus chairs and secretaries. Not to forget bookshelves that typically gets stocked with books that you don't read, and folders that are really empty.

  2. Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty or ideal love (megalomania)
    Seriously, this is beyond me.... :p

  3. Believes they are "special" and can only be understood by, or should associate with, people (or institutions) who are also "special" or of high status
    A general manager should never seek advise from a senior manager, should never seek advice from a manager and so forth...

  4. Requires excessive admiration
    It's your birthday, and you're wondering where's the gift baskets from your staff and the vendors.

  5. Has a sense of entitlement
    If the managerial office in Tower 2 is larger than Tower 1, it'll potentially appear in next week's Management Minutes

  6. Is interpersonally exploitative
    When management suddenly asks you out for lunch... be wary... be extremely wary.

  7. Lacks empathy
    Calling your staff at 3am in the morning and asking him to drive 200km to the data center on a Christmas Saturday makes perfect sense.

  8. Is often envious of others or believes others are envious of him or her
    Let's be honest now, your day gets ruin should you notice that your staff has a notebook with better specs.

  9. Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes
    Really? Me? I'm always patient and humble towards everyone that I deal with.
There's also a certain pattern that I noticed, Dark Managers with this sickness tends to be short ~ Napoleon Syndrome perhaps? More importantly, they typically don't get promoted any higher up in the food chain and retires as a Manager or if they're lucky a Senior Manager.

Lastly, the worst of the lot are Senior Executives that never makes Manager. Personally, someone should shove em to a loony bin and throw away the keys; and these people supports my case on the uselessness of psychometric tests to weed out these individuals...