Recorded February 3, 2022. 

Watch The Washington Post columnist and Power Corrupts podcast creator Brian Klaas as he describes leadership patterns throughout history – who gains power, how power corrupts, and how we can bring better people to power – as detailed in his new book, Corruptible: Who Gets Power and How It Changes Us. As an expert on democracy, authoritarianism, and US foreign policy, and former advisor to major politicians and organizations including NATO, the European Union, and Amnesty International, Klaas uncovered several surprising insights about leadership including, how facial hair can determine who we choose to lead us and why some people are drawn to power out of a narcissistic and borderline psychopathic impulse. Klaas believes that we are witnessing democracy come under attack on a global scale, including in countries as disparate as Brazil, India, and Hungary. As most of these countries seem to be shifting toward totalitarianism – mostly at the hands of their own elected leaders – Klaas discusses why he believes it is imperative to understand why these increasingly autocratic leaders are gaining power. Drawing on over 500 interviews with some of the world’s top leaders – from philanthropists and presidents to dictators and bioterrorists – Klass also challenged some of our assumptions about leadership while providing a roadmap for enabling better-suited leaders to achieve positions of power.

Secure a complimentary copy of Corruptible: Who Gets Power and How It changes us here.

About Brian Klaas

Brian Klaas grew up in Minnesota, earned his DPhil at Oxford, and is now a professor of global politics at University College London. He is also a weekly columnist for The Washington Post, host of the award-winning Power Corrupts podcast, and frequent guest on national television. Klaas has conducted field research across the globe, interviewing despots, CEOs, torture victims, dissidents, cult leaders, criminals, and everyday power abusers. He has also advised major politicians and organizations including NATO, the European Union, and Amnesty International. You can find him at and on Twitter @brianklaas.