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First Person Plural: EI & Beyond

Ruth Malloy: The Many Facets of Achievement


Ruth Malloy gives an insightful look into how leaders arouse the achievement motivation in others through feedback, affiliation and standards of excellence - and how that motivation can run amok. Focusing too much on achievement can diminish trust and erode morale.

Ruth Malloy, Ph.D., is a leadership advisory consultant and Spencer Stuart’s global assessment solutions leader. She is based in Boston. For more than 25 years, Ruth has helped Fortune 500 companies, across multiple industries, achieve their strategic goals through the assessment, development and alignment of their leadership and talent. She brings deep expertise in executive assessment and succession, executive coaching, top team effectiveness and talent management. Prior to joining Spencer Stuart, Ruth was the global managing director of the leadership and talent practice at Hay Group. She also served as Director of Research and Technology for the McClelland Center for Innovation, and started up Leadership and Talent Direct at Hay Group, which offered on-line assessments including the ESCI, development tools and accreditation programs for individual practitioners, executive coaches and clients. She has published and presented on topics including women in leadership, motivation and leadership effectiveness. Ruth spoke at TEDx Fenway, presenting “From Leaning In to All In: What Organizations Can Do to Advance Women,” and co-authored “Leadership Run Amok: The Destructive Potential of Overachievers,” which was cited as one the most popular articles in Harvard Business Review (HBR) in 2006. Ruth has a B.A. in psychology from Vassar College. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. from Boston University, under the mentorship of Dr. David McClelland.

In this podcast, Malloy joins Daniel Goleman to discuss the how empathy tempers achievement. Tune in for this insightful conversation about:

  • The pluses and minuses of high achievers.
  • What inspires high achievement.
  • How risk factors into achievement.
  • Leadership run amok.
  • Antidotes to micromanagement.
  • Three social motives: achievement, power and affiliation.
  • The importance of a leader's focus.
  • The impact of self awareness on leadership.
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