Are You A Narcissistic Leader?

March 25, 2013

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Are you a Narcissistic Leader?

The first response all of us have is, “Who me?  No way.”

But upon closer examination, all of us may have shadows of narcissism hiding in our hearts, much like pride and greed.

I’ve been reading a fantastic book recently by Dan Allender entitled, Leading with a Limp: Take Full Advantage of Your Most Powerful Weakness

Its main message is the best leaders are often the ones who are a bit reluctant. Leaders who acknowledge their shortcomings and weaknesses are those whom succeed.

Allender defines narcissistic leaders within a broad spectrum ranging from a cruel and powerful person, who seeks to win at any cost to the introverted, elite perfectionist. Narcissism comes in all shapes and sizes.

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He offers a “test” or questions to ponder for signs of narcissism. It’s so good, I’ve decided to share it with you.

1. Lack of interest in the perspective of others.
Why would I ask anyone a question unless I can use the opportunity to tell her what I know? This is a failure of curiosity

2. Highly opinionated.
Even those who agree with me don’t understand what I see. This is a failure of humility

3. Emotionally detached.
To feel is harmful because it means being vulnerable and susceptible to the desires of others. This is a failure of care.

4. Ruthlessly utilitarian.
Your value is exclusively tied to what you produce for me. This is a failure of honor.

These traits are often commended in leadership in corporate or ministry settings

The antithesis of narcissism is Jesus, and any model of leadership that prizes even the secular notion of servant leader must eschew narcissism in all its forms”, states Allender.

“True success involves failure, brokenness, and humility, but narcissists reject this notion.”

Some of the opposite traits Allendar expands on are throughout the book are: rest, humility, and gratitude.

Grace based leaders are ones who don’t practice narcissistic behavior.

So let me ask you again. Are you a Narcissistic Leader?

My guess is there is a bit of narcissism in all of us. What do you think?

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Chris

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A missionary teacher for 24 years currently living in South Africa. I am a recovering superhero, daily in need of the grace of God