Passion killers: The art of passion killing in the age of stress and anxiety

by Phillip Walden Bowen

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As a consultant, practitioner and academic it is important to my practice that my work is underpinned by rigorous research and relevant literature to provide practical material that can be applied to enact improvement in the workplace and beyond. This excellent book contributes to that outcome by bringing together key areas of content essential for good leadership and management practice to provide critical review and sound principles that can be applied to develop individuals and stimulate the growth of a thriving culture.
The book distils a vast range of interrelated subject areas associated to providing leadership (leading or managing people) all of which are critical in themselves however when brought together in this way they provide a comprehensive backdrop of understanding which I would suggest is critical for any leader of people.
The quantity and variety of sources of literature are coherently integrated provide a compelling analysis of valuable insights for the read. The critical analysis debunks some engrained ways of acting and replaces them with thoughtful summaries to enable the reader to critically reflect on their understanding and enacting of leadership and adjust their thinking and actions as a result.
Because of the expansive nature of the content of this book, along with the critical analysis and integration of content themes, it responds well to the climate to growing complexity and interconnectivity that challenges the development of a thriving culture.
This book responds to the demands of developing leaders and managers in the context of valuing and harnessing difference. I would recommend it to all students and others interested in studying leadership and management with a view to embracing and enacting better leadership in the future. There is much to learn from this excellent and comprehensive text.

Stephanie Sturges
Leadership and organisational development consultant

There is growing pressure and stress placed on organisations to fight for customers and service/product placement in an increasingly competitive global marketplace. It has, therefore, never been more important to get the best out of the workforce. To achieve this, the role of the leader can be a fundamental factor in organisational success or failure.
Leaders need to have the requisite skills to reflect the demands placed upon them in the 21st century. There are the “accidental managers” who just drop into the role of leadership and others who may develop skills and knowledge in readiness for a leadership role. There are also those who may have the innate ability to lead. Within the mix are those who are characterised by traits associated with the “dark triad” or who may use “pathocratic influence” on others to conform, reinforcing values (or lack of values) associated with toxic leadership. They create damage and harm. They become “passion killers”. The result can lead to a “pathocracy”.
This book discusses the role emotional intelligence plays in helping people deal with stressful and challenging experiences, suggesting different ways to cope. The author reflects on the values that are integral to the success or failure of an organisation. “Passion” is identified as an added value that can differentiate one organisation from another. If passion is harmed, it can affect motivation, creativity, output, performance, and productivity. Therefore, this book provides the reader with examples of “passion killing” while making suggestions as to factors that can be adopted to engage and encourage passion. Conclusions are drawn and recommendations made to support those faced with “passion killers”.
This book is aimed at those of all ages and educational backgrounds interested in developing their leadership knowledge and skills. It is also aimed at those interested in learning more about differences in personality, emotional intelligence, stress, coping, values, and the importance of understanding the impact of “passion killers”.

List of Tables

List of Figures

Foreword by Professor Simon Burtonshaw-Gunn

Author’s Biography




Chapter 1: Personality and well-being.

Chapter 2: Emotional intelligence, personality and well-being

Chapter 3: Leadership and emotional intelligence

Chapter 4: Case in point

Chapter 5: Stress and coping

Chapter 6: Values

Chapter 7: The dark triad and "pathocractic influence"

Chapter 8: Passion killers

Chapter 9: The passionate workplace

Chapter 10: Conclusions



Phillip Walden Bowen holds a PhD in Emotional Intelligence and a Masters in European Human Resource Management and Development. His interests lie in the role that emotional intelligence plays in helping people cope with challenging and stressful experiences. He holds qualified teacher status and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Phil has built a career working for local government and as a university lecturer in human resource management, organisational behaviour, and leadership. He is a published author whose works include ‘Emotional Intelligence: Does It Really Matter?’ (2019). He writes academic journal articles on emotional intelligence, stress management, coping, well-being, university student retention, ethics, methodology, and quality cultures. His research interests include organizational and individual behaviour as well as the role emotional intelligence plays in improving the way people cope with work and life challenging experiences and demands.

Personality, well-being, emotional intelligence, leadership, stress, burnout, soul searching, exhaustion, psychological strain, coping, anxiety, values, the dark triad, narcissism, Machiavellianism, psychopathy, pathocratic influence, pathocracy, passion killers, passion killing, paranoia, passion, management theory, toxic organisation, toxic leadership, organisational change, passion as a leadership skill, leadership styles, uncertainty, self-esteem, empathy, empathic blindness, inspirational, inspire, creative, dignity, respect, commitment, motivation, inclusive

Bibliographic Information

Book Title

Passion killers: The art of passion killing in the age of stress and anxiety





Number of pages


Physical size



16 B&W

Publication date

September 2021