Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Psychoanalysis On and Off the Couch

Jul 19, 2020

I went back looking at one of the qualities of leadership we need particularly now during a pandemic, I went back to Thucydides and Athens and I found Pericles’ funeral narration made during the destructive pandemic that hit Athens.”


Description: In times when we are all facing a crisis of unprecedented proportion, we are going change the focus of the podcast: we will now be interviewing psychoanalysts from all corners of the globe to discuss how their local communities are coping with this situation, how their clinical work has been affected by the situation, and how the internal worlds of both the analysts and the patients have been impacted by this virus as it touches both our real and imaginary fears. This is an opportunity to gain great wisdom, empathy, and hope.



Dr. Steven Rolfe welcomes Dr. Michael Maccoby. Dr Maccoby is a psychoanalyst and anthropologist and is globally recognized as an expert on leadership for his research, writing, and work to improve organizations and the workplace environment. He has authored or co-authored fourteen books and consulted to companies, governments, the World Bank, unions, research and development centers and laboratories, universities, and orphanages, and taught in 36 countries. Dr. Maccoby has taught leadership at Oxford and directed the Program on Technology, Public Policy, and Human Development at the Kennedy School from 1970-90. He worked consulting on leadership for 13 years at the State Department. In 2008 he received the Swedish honor of Commander of the Royal Order of the Polar Star for his work in Sweden and, in 2017, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Washington School of Psychiatry.


Key takeaways:

[4:21] Dr. Maccoby talks about how he first became interested in psychoanalysis.

[9:21] Dr. Maccoby was in analysis with Eric Fromm for 8 years while working with him.

[10:56] Dr. Maccoby talks about his work with organizations from early times in his career.

[11:55] Humanizing the workplace.

[14:10] The beginning of Dr. Maccobi’s studies in leadership.

[14:33] Dr. Maccobi shares how Eric Fromm influenced his career.

[17:43] Dr. Maccobi talks about his book. Narcissistic Leaders: Who Succeeds and Who Fails. and the reaction it caused in Donald Trump.

[18:03] The productive and destructive aspects of narcissism.

[20:22] Dr. Maccobi updated Fromm’s personality types with her own set of ideas.

[23:48] Dr. Maccobi talks about Donald Trumps’ personality type as a Marketing Personality.

[25:50] Dr. Maccobi shares what motivated him to write Psychoanalytic and Historical Perspectives on the Leadership of Donald Trump: Narcissism and Marketing in an Age of Anxiety and Distrust.

[27:56] The kind of president the USA needs: Pericles’ principles for a leader applied to America’s greatest presidents.

[31:03] The role of aggression in the marketing personality type.

[33:45] The transition between the clinical work and the consulting one in the organizational field.


Mentioned in this episode:

IPA Off the Couch


Recommended Readings:

Maccoby, Michael. The Gamesman: The New Corporate Leaders. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1976.


Maccoby, Michael. Narcissistic Leaders: Who Succeeds and Who Fails. Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 2007.


Maccoby, Michael. The Leaders We Need: And What Makes Us Follow. Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 2007.


Maccoby, Michael and Clifford L. Norman, Jane Norman, and Richard Margolies. Transforming Health Care Leadership: A Systems Guide to Improve Patient Care, Decrease Costs, and Improve Population Health. San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass, 2013.


Maccoby, Michael. Strategic Intelligence: Conceptual Tools for Leading Change. Oxford University Press, 2015.


Maccoby Michael and Ken Fuchsman, editors. Psychoanalytic and Historical Perspectives on the Leadership of Donald Trump: Narcissism and Marketing in an Age of Anxiety and Distrust. Routledge, 2020.