New Episode: The Craft by Openspace

Ian Sikora
January 26, 2023

In the latest episode of The Craft, we have Dr Kenneth Dekleva to discuss how we can learn from his experiences as a psychiatrist and apply them to leadership more broadly. In this episode, he also demonstrates his expertise in profiling several notable world leaders, including Xi and Putin. Apart from being an expert profiler, Kenneth has also served as a regional medical officer and psychiatrist with the US State Department, is a senior fellow at the George H.W. Bush Foundation and author of the book The Negotiator’s Cross.

Ken is known for his profiling work on adversarial leaders, providing a comprehensive and extensive understanding of these world leaders. Here, he shares his framework for profiling world leaders with us - apart from examining primary and secondary source materials, he considers other sources such as medical health, their backgrounds, as well as leadership outcomes they have achieved. What is especially important is to take into consideration are factors like their individual contexts and history, which help us better understand the formative experiences of these leaders, particularly in childhood and adolescence. Today, this analysis is bolstered by technologies like facial recognition, which identify and examine subjects’ microexpressions.

Profiling proves to be particularly important in multiple contexts, from leaders in emerging markets where information tends to be scarce, to hostage negotiations and even business deals. Having a profile of a leader helps us better understand the motivations behind their actions. During this episode, Ken profiles several world leaders for us: Putin, Xi and Kim Jong Un. He provides an insight into the mindsets and highlights formative moments in these leaders’ lives, while warning us of the risk of misinformation about these leaders which proliferate online. Furthermore, he reminds us of the importance of maintaining objectivity in profiling and sticking to the facts in order to prevent ourselves from stretching analytical opinion.

Find the full episode of The Craft here: