Narcissists may climb the corporate ladder quickly, but often don’t deliver the decisive leadership they promise.
New research reveals that while excessive self-confidence can be mistaken for leadership ability, narcissists are often found to be ineffective bosses. The study, conducted by scientists at the University of Amsterdam, revealed that such “leaders” make bad decisions and stifle creativity as they don’t see value beyond themselves.
Workers were warned to be more critical when it comes to the way they perceive a good leader. “Narcissists are very convincing,” says study author Barbora Nevicka. “There’s the danger that people can be so wrong based on how others project themselves.” While being confident and authoritative are positive leadership traits, equally important is a leader’s ability to recognise and capitalise on their employees’ strengths and to facilitate communication.
Narcissists are so self-absorbed that they fail to see value in anyone other than themselves, which has a negative impact on a team’s general performance. When it comes to identifying leadership ability, it’s best to look beyond an assertive exterior and examine what values and abilities underpin the bravado.