Monday May 3, 2010 | Narcissistic Leaders in the Workplace

April 30, 2010 at 5:00 pm | Posted in Coming Up | 7 Comments

Have you ever put a great deal of effort and time into a project at work, only to have your boss take credit for your project in the end? Kathy Schnure has. As a result of her experiences in corporate America, she’s taken an interest in narcissistic leadership and has recently completed a report about the general effectiveness of narcissistic bosses in the workplace and whether they’re actually better leaders in the long run. Are they? Find out.
Kathy Schnure
– Doctoral candidate at Georgia Tech
Dr. Dennis Whittaker Whittaker Corporate Psychology, PLLC

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  1. I have had two textbook narcissistic bosses in recent history…I found a book called ‘Working with the Self-Absorbed’ by Nina Brown that helped me understand the dynamic. Neither of these bosses are still in their positions, but while I worked with them they were breathtaking in their arrogance and rationalizations. In my opinion neither could recognize how their personality created such a cruel dynamic among their co-workers. I have tried hard to understand my own relationship to these bosses and how I contributed to the disfunction…my question: what should the non-narcissistic person do to have a successful relationship with a narcissistic boss, or is it simply impossible?

  2. To what extent is “narcissism” actually bravado, in other words, an overcompensation for insecurity and/or low self-esteem?

  3. Are we surprised as we increasingly encounter narcissistic people in the workplace and elsewhere?

    American culture is increasingly selfish and ‘me-first,’ materialistic, superficial, overly competitive, and so on. With many in the business community exalting the ideas of people like Any Rand, who wrote books such as THE VIRTUE OF SELFISHNESS, are we surprised that narcissism is skyrocketing in the USA?

  4. I think that narcissitic (sp?) people can hide those traits until it is time for their usefulness

  5. I am always amazed how narcissists are able to leave their arrogant and superior attitude and act normal when necessary. I see them when they are being interviewed and behaving in a normal manner, not bragging or obnoxious as they would usually be. They know how to behave, they just choose not to do it.

    Is there a more textbook narcissist example than “The Office”?

    • My vote goes to President Obama for narcissist king.

  6. Another hour was wasted upon a contrived issue. In other words, the type of business leader chosen and who benefits from counterproductive candidates and their behavior was totally ignored. Often the business entity (corporate) itself could be analyzed by personality as narcissistic, sociopathic or even homicidal, but even that is not the exhaustion of the issue. It is not so much the arrogance of CDO salesmen at Goldman -Sachs (writer is a former G-Sachs employee 2007-9) but the corporate dynamic that recruits the mentally unbalanced and intensifies their malady with training and bonuses. At the focal point are the oligarchic manipulators and brokers who benefit in an immense and almost immeasurable way as they pillage the paltry holdings of all those who labor.

    Realist is at the threshold of structural understanding and Gregg Smith makes the obvious observation of how power corrupts (deters Obama’s better nature and denies promised reform). Claiming that there are personality types is one step toward sexism and racism. It is a strong trait of classism that the privileged are held less accountable or are more eagerly forgiven. Ms. Schnure would certainly be grilled about the dangers of applying psychological methods to a problem of injustice and intimidation (asymmetrical power relations)if I sat on her review committee.

    I found it especially revealing when Dr. Whittaker advised that when your boss is a narcissist it is time to resign that position and find another. Even a PhD might suffer a financial debacle if she were to take that advice seriously under current economic conditions. I can’t help but think dear Dennis might have been born on third base with a silver foot between golden capped teeth. His suggestion betrays narcissistic tendencies of its own so that we hope he is “left on base” at this inning’s end.

    Previously I had called Mike Collins (who is a kind and exceptional gentleman) a “half-educated barbarian.” If he cannot see why this show is inadequate in concept, and how it is mainly a vehicle to advance the guests’ careers he has earned my silly insult yet again. For the primacy of commercial thinking is diminishing our culture and decimating any attempt at workable ethics. Who besides a barbarian could stomach that?

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