Today, rapid changes in technology, the economy and the way business is conducted call for robust leadership. To paraphrase Dickens, it is the best of times and the worst of times.
In the quest for leaders who can “save” us, we turn to strong charismatic CEOs, in spite of the inherent risks of narcissistic personalities.
For the most part, executives from the 1950s through the 1980s kept low profiles. When they did make comments, they were carefully edited by corporate PR and legal departments.
Today’s CEOs, however, emulate superstars like Bill Gates, Andy Grove, Steve Jobs and Jack Welch. They hire their own publicists, write books, give interviews and actively promote their personal philosophies. They strive to become shapers of their unique brands of leadership style.
We are all somewhat narcissistic, or self-centered. If we lacked this tendency, we couldn’t survive or assert our needs. “Healthy narcissism” allows us to lead a company and its people to greatness.
But as narcissists become increasingly self-assured, they act more spontaneously. They feel free of constraints, and ideas flow. They believe they’re invincible, which further feeds into feelings of grandiosity.
Of all personality types, narcissists run the greatest risk of isolating themselves, especially during moments of success.
While narcissistic leaders can be visionaries who enthusiastically engage their followers, there’s a dark side worthy of examination.
This is a brief synopsis of a 2000 word article suitable for consultants’ newsletters for executives and leaders in organizations.
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The complete 2,000 word article includes these important concepts:
Narcissists and Times of Crisis
Strengths of the Narcissistic Leader
The Dark Side of the Narcissistic Personality
Lack of Empathy
Avoiding Narcissism’s Traps
Narcissists Leading the Future
Dealing With a Narcissist Boss
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