Narcissistic Leaders are everywhere.
I was listening to Donald Trumps’ interview with The Sun where he was commenting on the Tory Leadership race. Whilst all the press commentary centred around the appropriateness of his comments (quite rightly), I was struck again about how almost everything Donald Trump talks about is how awesome he is, and his language constantly references himself.
It’s well documented that Donald Trump is a classic narcissist (among otherthings). But let’s looks at some of the things he said in the interview:
“It’s something that I find very interesting.”
“I actually have studied it very hard. I know the different players.”
“But I think Boris would do a very good job. I think he would be excellent.”
“I like him. I have always liked him.”
“He has been very positive about me and our country.”
“I have been asked for endorsements”.
“I could help anybody if I endorse them. I mean, we’ve had endorsement where they have gone up for forty, fifty points at a shot.”
“I don’t imagine any other US president was closer to your great land.”
I haven’t really cherry-picked here. Donald Trump was asked about the Leadership contest but what follows is a series of statements about him and about how awesome he is.
He does this a lot.
It’s no difference in Business. If you find a leader who talks about themselves and their performance constantly, you’ve might have a leader who is narcissistic. Narcissistic Leaders are completely self-absorbed and believe themselves to be superior to others. They don’t take criticism well and tend to surround themselves with people who tell them what they want to hear.
This is dangerous for a business’s success – and dangerous too for anyone who finds themselves working for one as they won’t hesitate to throw you under the bus when things go wrong.
If you’re unlucky enough to have a narcissist as a manager, you’ll need to consider a few things. Where am I going to get some effective mentoring and development? How am I going to manage my manager? Is this the right role or even an organisation for me?
And if you’re attempting to use principles such as Lean to improve your organisation, what will happen to your improvement programme when you need to tell the Narcissistic leader something they really don’t want to hear?