Overcoming the Dark Side of Leadership: The Narcissistic Leader

Narcissus was a mythical Greek who was so absorbed with himself that when he looked at his reflection in a pool he could not leave.
Solomon was this kind of leader. He accumulated for his own glory and grandeur.

Narcissistic leaders:
• Tend to overestimate their own achievements and abilities while stubbornly refusing to recognize the quality and value of the same in others
• Recognition of someone else’s accomplishments or abilities is a threat to their own self-importance
• They use others to advance themselves so are notorious for being unable to empathize with those they lead
• They are driven to succeed by a need for admiration and acclaim
• They are self-absorbed and have deep feelings of inferiority
• They may not enjoy their success and may be dissatisfied with their lives

Mark the following:
5 = strongly agree
4 = agree
3 = uncertain
2 = disagree
1 = strongly disagree

• Fellow leaders in my church or organization frequently question whether my proposed goals and projects are feasible and realistic.
• I am obsessed with knowing how others feel about my sermons, lessons, and performance.
• I find it difficult to receive criticism of any kind, reacting with anger, anxiety, or even depression when it does come.
• At times I find myself thinking, I’ll show them; they could never make it without me, when I experience conflict situations or opposition to my proposed plans.
• In spite of achieving what others would consider significant success, I still find myself dissatisfied and driven to achieve greater things in an effort to feel good about myself.
• I am willing to bend rules and press the envelope of acceptable behavior to accomplish my goals.
• I find myself feeling jealous of the success and achievements of associates, other churches, or organizations in my area.
• I am often unaware of or unconcerned about the financial pressures my goals and projects place on those I lead or the church or organization I serve.
• Success or failure in a project has a direct bearing on my self-image and sense of worth.
• I am highly conscious of how colleagues and those to whom I am accountable regard my accomplishments.
• I need to be recognized or “on top” when meeting with a group of fellow pastors, denominational officials, or associates.
• I see myself as a nationally known figure at some time in the future or I have plans to attain such a position.

Next Week: The Paranoid Leader