Narcissistic Leaders

Narcissistic Leaders

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Today's business leaders maintain a higher profile than their predecessors did in the 1950s through the 1980s. Rather than hide behind the corporate veil, they give interviews to magazines like Business Week, Time, and The Economist. According to psychoanalyst, anthropologist, and consultant Michael Maccoby, this love of the limelight often stems from their personalitiesa€”in a narcissistic personality. That is both good and bad news: Narcissists are good for companies that need people with vision and the courage to take them in new directions. But narcissists can also lead companies into trouble by refusing to listen to the advice and warnings of their managers. So what can the narcissistic leader do to avoid the traps of his own personality? Maccoby argues that todaya€™s most innovative leaders are not consensus-building bureaucrats; they are a€œproductive narcissistsa€ with the interrelated set of skills a€”foresight, systems thinking, visioning, motivating, and partneringa€”that he terms a€œstrategic intelligence.a€ Maccoby redefines the negative stereotype as the personality best suited to lead during times of rapid social and economic change.Become an expert, learning more than your boss about one area of an operation a€”the competition, technology, and so on. ... was able to get one CEO to listen (at least for a little while) by engaging him and his top team in an exercise called Desert Survival. ... The CEO knew he had to make some changes, fast, but thought he had all the answers. ... I divide the group into teams that have to survive a plane crash in the desert, deciding whether to stay with the plane or try to hike to safety.

Title:Narcissistic Leaders
Author:Michael Maccoby
Publisher:Crown Business - 2012-04-25


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