As opposed to leadership where a leader prioritizes needs of followers first, narcissistic leaders put their interests first. In addition, narcissistic leaders prioritize their needs at the expense of their subordinates. Narcissistic leaders can be identified easily as they tend to be hostile, embrace arrogance, and like to dominate over all matters. Currently, this type of leadership has been seen to prevail among most powerful leaders.
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However, narcissism can exist where there is no specific individual holding the post of a leader (Nohria & Khurana, 2010). In such groupings, there tends to arise some people who perceive themselves as better individuals than others, and thus assume the leadership of the group. However, some narcissist leaders are positive for they possess crucial leadership skills that include charisma and grand vision. In my opinion, this type of leadership style would be suitable to a growing firm or one that had fallen previously.
To some extent, a narcissistic leader, through his or her vision, can help to build a stable firm. Moreover, narcissistic people are egoistic, and to sooth their ego, they will do anything within their reach to make sure that the firm performs optimally. These characteristics depict positive narcissistic leaders that can steer a growing business towards growth. For instance, Steve Jobs depicted this type of leadership style and he managed to make Apple Corporation one of the best technological firms in the world today.
Narcissism can closely be related to the character trait of the leader or a person’s personality. Scholars have come out to acknowledge that some people are attracted by dominance and confidence portrayed by these leaders, hence choosing them. Some situations call for great visions by a narcissism leader. For instance, when some employees gang to bring down an organization, this leader can stamp his or her authority and settle the issue satisfactorily.
On the other hand, narcissistic leaders are likely to bring more harm to an organization than good. One negative aspect of these leaders is that they tend to incline their vision, plans, and actions towards individual psychological needs. In the quest to secure leadership positions, these people will even promote themselves even when not necessary. In addition, their psychological behavior entails traits such as arrogance, consistent need for recognition that is hardly satiable, and superiority complex.
It becomes a challenge for this people to lead a large organization successfully. In a large corporation, a leader deals with people of different cultures, personalities, and even backgrounds. These employees may depict an unpleasant behavior to the leader. A narcissistic leader may not put up with such differences. Additionally, narcissistic leaders have an inferiority complex, especially when they fail to achieve their goals.
Consequently, these leaders cannot align goals of an organization to those of individual employees. Narcissistic leaders are arrogant, which underscores one of the impediments of successful leadership.
If a leader cannot relate well with other employees, it will be hard for him or her to incorporate employees’ needs in formulating overall goals of an organization. Inferiority complex is a feeling that drives a narcissistic leader towards insatiable need for recognition, which leads to superiority complex, hence creating personal goals and expect others to adhere.
This move can jeopardize development of an employee significantly, thus hindering innovations. Their hypersensitivity and anger causes a trait of self-righteousness and being out of control, which forces them to make decisions that may be out of control and will tend to humiliate their employees to satisfy their selfish needs and ego.
Nohria, N., & Khurana, R. (2010). Handbook of leadership theory and practice: An HBS centennial colloquium on advancing leadership. Boston, Mass: Harvard Business Press.