Kakabadse, A. P., Kakabadse, N. K. and Lee-Davies, L.
Purpose – Despite the challenge of precisely defining the nature of temptation, this paper seeks to collect contrasting perspectives of this less attractive side of leadership and sets out to find a cure, or rather prevention, for falling into its grasp. Design/methodology/approach – Following a literature review of the temptations to which leaders succumb, the results of focused and intimate case studies of highly respected leaders highlight just what they are tempted with and how and why they particularly may succumb to hedonism, power and posterity. Findings – Extracts of interviews with an international sample of Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) and significant others reveal a distinctly human experience from which it is considered no-one is exempt. Included in the sample were female top managers but no discernable difference between the genders could be ascertained. The idiosyncratic nature of response to temptation positioned each interviewees experience as unique. It is concluded that certain measures need to be implemented in order to control and reduce the darker human tendencies when exposed to certain conditions