Figures from classical literature are used in psychology to name behaviours, and it is also helpful to use this technique to describe the world of human behaviour in business. Below, José Ramón Pin and Guido Stein use Shakespeare’s Othello to address jealousy resulting from the success of others, such as bosses and peers, customers, suppliers and shareholders.
“Jealousy contains more of self-love than of love.”
François de La Rouchefoucauld
The Jealousy of the Othello Boss
Our teaching and consulting experience has often put us in the position of dealing with a manager’s career problems that can only be fully understood under the hypothesis of a jealous boss. In a manner similar to that of Othello, whose love for Desdemona leads him to suffer the passion of jealousy that motivates all of his actions, in corporate life you sometimes come across managers and businesspeople whose quest for publicly recognised power, brilliance or professional success generates a jealousy that consciously or unconsciously affects their decisions.