Is Narcissism Necessary to Lead?
For many years, I have been amazed that narcissistic characteristics can be one's weaknesses (e.g., they cause problems in the workplace, with interpersonal relationships) but also one's strengths (e.g., confidence, the ability try again after a failure).
C. Albert Bardi reviewed Narcissism and Politics: Dreams of Glory by Jerrold M. Post. Bardi states,
My last question, whether the act of finding narcissism in so many highly achieving people is merely a relabeling of ambition and achievement, is also not adequately addressed in this book. Nevertheless, the question is an insistent one, especially given that in several instances Post uses an individual’s belief that one can lead (or rule) as evidence of narcissism. (para. 6)
So do leaders, even benevolent ones, have to be narcissists to be leaders? Are these characteristics a strength?
By C. Albert Bardi
PsycCRITIQUES, 2015 Vol 60(31)