Are there truly more narcissists in our midst? I don’t actually think there has been a shift or an increase in the number of ego-loving souls out there. Rather, our culture now promotes public displays of self-adulation. Selfies, Twitter, and Facebook all provide a platform to be first and foremost in love with yourself and then secondly to ask for a shout-out about yourself. Life for egomaniacs has never been better. If you are one and you’re reading this, this is your moment. Bask in your glory, and seize the day.
There is nothing more alienating than someone with visions of grandeur if in fact the grandeur is you. Get over yourself.
Take heed though. What does this mean for your business? Well, if you are the CEO and you are the one who is self-possessed, this is not pretty. Yes you will sell your dream to your troops but they soon will recognize that you have created a singular culture. You will become tedious, tiresome and self-promotional. There is nothing more alienating than someone with visions of grandeur if in fact the grandeur is you. Get over yourself. If you don’t, I promise you will burn through people and no one will be interested in your reflection. Sorry but that’s the truth.
If you have a narcissist or two amongst your troops, they will likely be incapable of leading. They will show little interest in the well-being of others and fake being true team members. They will always be positioning and maneuvering to capture the spotlight. Fame is their best friend and they will cozy up to peers who feed their egos. Even better if they get colleagues to help them with their cause.
So what are you to do? Make sure you as an entrepreneur do not turn a blind eye. Egoists may work to derail your mission. Their motives are primarily aligned with themselves. They are a huge cost to your enterprise. They can take you and your team down. Ulterior motives can be at play as they negotiate with your suppliers, clients and various stakeholders. There is a monumental difference between employing those who are self assured, confident and excel at setting direction than those whose exclusive orientation is what’s in it for them. Once you discover a narcissist in your organization the best and only option is to take a pulse. If your team displays nausea, flu-like symptoms or sheer resentment, swift action may be the best recourse. A narcissist has a fan club with only one member. You will be respected as a leader for doing the right and only thing.