Sex, Lies and Stupidity: Great Men Who Self-Destructed

Last Updated Dec 9, 2010 8:34 PM EST

  • By Robert I. Sutton

    As I show in my book Good Boss, Bad Boss, wielding power over others has numerous negative side effects: people become more focused on their own needs, act like the rules don't apply to them, and have less impulse control. I call this "power poisoning." Unfortunately, among male leaders this disease is too often reflected in an inability to stifle embarrassing, self-destructive, and sometimes unlawful sexual acts. The majority of powerful men find ways to avoid "penis poisoning." (For ways leaders can defend themselves against this malady, see my related article "Why Powerful Men Let Lust Ruin Their Careers.") But as the following gallery shows, far too many have fallen prey to it.