5 presidents

Some people are natural leaders, but it’s important to know whether their leadership derives from a motivation of service or narcissism.
“Narcissism can sometimes be useful in a leader, says Nevicka. In a crisis, for instance, people feel that a strong, dominant person will take control and do the right thing, ‘and that may reduce uncertainty and diminish stress.’

“But in the everyday life of an organization, ‘communication — sharing of information, perspectives, and knowledge — is essential to making good decisions. In brainstorming groups, project teams, government committees, each person brings something new. That’s the benefit of teams. That’s what creates a good outcome.’ Good leaders facilitate communication by asking questions and summarizing the conversation — something narcissists are too self-involved to do.

“Nevicka says the research has implications beyond the workplace — for instance, in politics. ‘Narcissists are very convincing. They do tend to be picked as leaders. There’s the danger: that people can be so wrong based on how others project themselves. You have to ask: Are the competencies they project valid, or are they merely in the eyes of the beholder?'” –Science Daily

Writing Prompt: Create a character sketch for both a servant leader and a narcissistic leader. How do they differ?

Journaling Prompt: Write about leaders you have worked with and their motivations.

Art Prompt: Narcissistic leader

Nonfiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about narcissistic leaders in politics and how to spot them.

Photo Credit: Beverly & Pack on Flickr

4 Responses to Prompt #136 Narcissism and Leadership

  1. zencherry says:

    Nice point! Are we selecting our leaders based on faulty assumptions of leadership qualities? I like this thought-provoking prompt! Endless avenues to go down. Good job Liz! 🙂
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    • Liz says:

      I’ve always figured that anyone crazy enough to want that much power has to have some kind of ulterior motive. I do think that some people in politics have servant hearts, but woefully few.

  2. I am not good with ‘prompts’ but I know the different between the two types of leaders you described is humility – humility of spirit. Great post, I asked to sign up for ‘The Writing Reader’ on Facebook also.

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