Narcissism and leadership

Writer: Mitta Xinindlu

Image: Unsplash

Many people go on with life without acknowledging or addressing what I propose to be the biggest misunderstanding between people in the workplace today, a personality disorder. More specifically, a narcissistic personality disorder; a characteristic that defines the majority of our leaders in all industries. Narcissism, in the English language, is defined as an exceptional interest in and admiration for one’s own self. There are several types of narcissism, including vulnerable narcissism and grandiose narcissism. I would like to highlight that there is a direct path of a richer conceptualization that is increasingly close to the theory of narcissistic perversion, which has a tremendous influence in managerial styles today. The reader must remember that this concerns the pathology of power and leadership.

We’ve seen many research reports regarding leadership and managerial thinking over the years; however, it seems that nothing has changed much. Reports have had similar statistics throughout the years, which brings us to my next question: is there someone out there that is taking all these stats reports into consideration, or are we just gathering and analysing data for the sake of reporting? Although there are several defining variants, most reports agree that leadership is generally the ability of an individual to intentionally and momentarily mobilise members of a group, whether hierarchically or horizontally, in order to achieve common objectives.

A constructive personality order is designed when this mobilisation is at the service of the common good; namely, the ethical realisation of the mission of an organisation, and while respecting individual rights. In my previous articles, I’ve discussed the types of traits or personalities that leaders need to have to be certified as great leaders. I can also attest that it is possible to associate leadership with a constructive form using categories/types such as the transactional, transformational and serving. As for the destructive form, it mainly includes the toxic and narcissistic types.

To conclude this article, we have two general streams of leadership: Constructive and Destructive. This topic is a large topic that needs to be disseminated on an ongoing basis.

Until then, keep analysing!