Narcissistic leadership is a common form of leadership. The narcissism may be healthy or destructive although there is a continuum between the two. A study published in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin suggests that when a group is without a leader, you can often count on a narcissist to take charge. Researchers found that people who score high in narcissism tend to take control of leaderless groups.
There are four basic types of leader with narcissists most commonly in type 3 although they may be in type 1:
- authoritarian with task orientated decision making
- democratic with task orientated decision making
- authoritarian with emotional decision making
- democratic with emotional decision making
Impact of healthily narcissistic v destructively narcissistic managers
|Characteristic||Healthy Narcissism||Destructive Narcissism|
|Self-confidence||High outward self-confidence in line with reality||Grandiose|
|Desire for power, wealth and admiration||May enjoy power||Pursues power at all costs, lacks normal inhibitions in its pursuit|
|Relationships||Real concern for others and their ideas; does not exploit or devalue others||Concerns limited to expressing socially appropriate response when convenient; devalues and exploits others without remorse|
|Ability to follow a consistent path||Has values; follows through on plans||Lacks values; easily bored; often changes course|
|Foundation||Healthy childhood with support for self-esteem and appropriate limits on behaviour towards others||Traumatic childhood undercutting true sense of self-esteem and/or learning that he/she doesn't need to be considerate of others|
Corporate narcissism occurs when a narcissist becomes the leader (CEO) or a member of the senior management team and gathers an adequate mix of codependents around him (or her) to support his narcissistic behavior. This leads almost inevitably to a deterioration in the organization's performance. Narcissists profess company loyalty but are only really committed to their own agendas, thus organization decisions are founded on the narcissists' own interests rather than the interests of the organization as a whole, the various stakeholders, or the environment in which the organization operates.
- Alexander the Great
- Charismatic leadership
- Control freak
- Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries
- Narcissistic rage and narcissistic injury
- Toxic leader
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