A First-Rate Madness: Uncovering the Links Between Leadership and Mental Illness
In A First-Rate Madness, Nassir Ghaemi, who runs the Mood Disorders Program at Tufts University Medical Center, draws from the careers and personal plights of such notable leaders as Lincol ...more
Many of the examples used are self-proclaimed sufferers of ...more
On the other hand, "normal" people--which he calls "homoclites", can be good leaders during normal times. But they oft ...more
If he is, then he could either be the worst type of leader or the best one for the country, depending on where the Philippines is now. For the theme of this book is summed up this way: “The best crisis leaders are either mentally ill or mentally abnormal; the worst crisis leaders are mentally healthy.”
Elucidating, the author wrote:
“In times of peace, mental health is useful. One meets the expectation ...more
Anyway, the basic premise of the book is that people with mental illness are better leaders in times of crisis and mentally healthy people are bett ...more
A First-Rate Madness has a fascinating premise: that in times of crisis, mentally abnormal leaders are more effective than mentally healthy ones. For various reasons, many of which are included in this book, I actually tend to agree with the author, and even if I didn't, his theory would be intriguing food for thought. Additionally, Ghaemi writes well and is consistently engaging, keeping his work from becoming dry as one reads.
I have extreme reservations about the e/>The/>A ...more
From his eminent philosophical standing, the Tick nicely summarizes pretty much the only point in this work's introduction I could accept. The author's thesis, that mentally ill leaders are preferable in times of crisis while sane leaders are better at steering a straight course during non-crisis ...more
On to the next one...now after studying psych here's what I can tell you: Ghaemi is brilliant for those who don't know in-d ...more
So far, so good. However, this cannot be generalised to every leader and the reverse idea that mental health corresponds with po ...more
We make a mistake, however, when we choose leaders like us. This is our own arrogance, as normal homoclitic people. We overvalue ourselves; we think, being normal, that we are wonderful. We stigmatize those who differ from us, whether because of race, sex, habits, culture, religion—or, perhaps mo ...more
Original writing. Interesting parallel between this book and How Great Generals Win, which also extensively profiles General Sherman, among other strategists.
Dr. Ghaemi focuses on "manic-depression" (or bipolar disorder), and compares this to what we call "normal" personalities, IE, people with a "general feeling of well being".
Great leadership benefits from ...more
If you can put aside the main point, the mental health diagnoses, this is a very entertaining and satisfying read.
His approach was to focus on the psychological history of leaders versus the actions of the leaders. What impact did the leader's state of mind have on the actions and outcome? Why did they behave as they did?
Does he convince? The piece A First-Rate Madness does present some compelling arguments - Winston Churchill in particular provides a clear example of a poor peace-time leader and an iconic wartime prim ...more
Let's begin... I never took a psych class in college, and I am essentially self-taught in history, but I could tell almost immediately that I was going to agree with virtually nothing Ghaemi said. First, his definition of madness is purely limited to mania and depression, which I find insulting to anyone who finds themselves on the bipolar spectrum. It is also very clear that Ghaemi found very specific leaders to analyze and then picked out certain characteristics to fit into his thesis. For exa...more
We cannot recreate the exact conditions of the Second World War and appoint an alternate British Prime Minister, one deemed to be mentally competent,to see how t ...more
He is Professor of Psychiatry at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, where he directs the Mood Disorders Program. He is a also a Clinical Lecturer at Harvard Medical ...more