As the psychologists Niklas Steffens and Alexander Haslam put it, “like moths to a flame, narcissists may be drawn naturally to positions of power and influence”. Or as the psychologist Robert Hare writes of psychopaths, they “are social predators and like all predators they are looking for feeding grounds. Wherever you get power, prestige and money, you will find them”.
The most evil leaders of the 20th-century, such as Stalin, Hitler, Mao Zedong, Pol Pot, Saddam Hussein and Colonel Gaddafi, clearly had severe dark triad traits. They didn’t become leaders because of their ability or intelligence, but simply because they had a tremendous desire for power and were incredibly ruthless and cruel in their pursuit of it.