6 signs that you are a narcissistic leader
Currently, I sit 7275 miles from the epicenter of the chaos in the U.S.
As an American living abroad, a CEO of a Leader Experience company, a minority in a foreign country, and moving back to America in 12-days, the lens I look through is different than most. Not unique, just a difference in color. This blog is not about racism, as the title suggests. I am humble enough to know that I am a white middle-aged male who knows nothing about any minority's journey in America. I prefer to shut-up, listen, and learn from those that have had the experience, not those that pretend to understand the experience.
What this blog does focus on are those that have an opportunity, neigh I say the responsibility, to lead, but seem to fail due to their own peccadillos. In the book, The Crucible's Gift, there is a section that discusses the six signs your leader is a narcissist, it is called, The Fallacy of Charm Effect. These leaders, tend to climb organizations, but leave a trail of carnage for others to pick up.
Dr. Michael Maccoby, president of The Maccoby Group in Washington, D.C. is a frequent Harvard Business Review contributor and often writes on narcissism and leadership. In an HBR article published in 2000, Maccoby describes what I call the “fallacy of charm” effect. The fallacy of charm effect occurs when a person leads by false pretenses and uses their natural charisma to manipulate those around them to achieve a goal that results in a less desirable outcome. Here is how Maccoby describes these leaders:
Despite the warm feelings that charisma can evoke, narcissists are typically not comfortable with their own emotions. They listen only for the kind of information they seek. They don’t learn easily from others. They don’t like to teach but prefer to indoctrinate and make speeches. They dominate meetings with subordinates. The result for the organization is greater internal competitiveness at a time when everyone is already under as much pressure as they can possibly stand. Perhaps the main problem is that the narcissist’s faults tend to become even more pronounced as he becomes more successful.