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Tapping the surprising science of “humble narcissism”

https://www.fastcompany.com/90208864/tapping-the-surprising-science-of-humble-narcissism

fastcompany.com

Tapping the surprising science of “humble narcissism”
One researcher explains why a paradoxical combination of narcissism and humility can be a powerful formula for leaders to succeed.

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The Trait Of Narcissism

The Trait Of Narcissism
  • Narcissism is a personality trait that makes a person represent an excessive, almost exclusive focus on the self, putting the social structure out of balance and leading to toxic behaviour, especially at the workplace.
  • Narcissists can appear charismatic and leader-like, but eventually come across as needy, egoistic people craving for attention and validation.
  • Showcasing drive, self-confidence and a desire to lead brings productive results, but leads to negative outcomes if it is self-centered.

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Narcissism With Humility

Narcissism, it turns out, is not a one-dimensional personality and there are nuances in character and behaviour.

Humble narcissists, people who are egoistic but still able to admit mistakes, and leaders that are trainable, or are able to give other people credit, are a paradoxical but strong leadership package.

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Narcissism: Strike A Balancing Act

Counterbalancing the narcissistic traits with humility is something that can be taken up by managers who believe they may fall in this category.
This can be done by:

  1. Finding someone to praise everyday.
  2. Admitting your limitations and mistakes.
  3. Being ‘teachable’ and learn from others.
  4. Trying to act humble..

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The humble narcissist

Researchers studied whether customer service employees were more productive under narcissistic or humble leaders.

The least effective bosses were narcissists. Humble bosses we...

Narcissist and humble leaders

Narcissists believe they're unique and superior, while humble leaders know they're flawed. 

The humble narcissist has grand ambitions but doesn't feel entitled to them. He is also willing to acknowledge his weaknesses and learn from his mistakes.

Narcissism and confidence

We're all drawn to someone who shows confidence - that is the reason that narcissists are more likely to be promoted or get elected to political office. But on its own, narcissism is dangerous. It tends to promote overconfidence and it dismisses the criticism.

Adding humility to narcissism prevents capriciousness and complacency. It helps you remember that you’re human.

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Humble Leaders

Research shows that humble leaders improve the performance of a company, creating more collaborative environments. They are balanced, appreciative and open to new ideas and feedback. They kn...

Charismatic Leaders

Charismatic professionals execute a certain magnetism and presence that automatically lead others to endorse them as leaders.

They have high levels of energy, unconventional behaviour and seem to be doing heroic deeds. We seem to be hardwired to seek and endorse over-glorified 'Superhero' like leaders.

Narcissist Leaders

Charismatic leaders can also be narcissists in some cases, having self-serving and grandiose intentions, taking advantage of their followers and abusing their power.

Even though they are generally perceived as arrogant, their bold vision and fearless attitude make them radiate an image of effective leaders, making them a high-risk, high-reward proposition.

Narcissism: Me First

To be narcissistic is to be selfish, manipulative, and ego-driven. But this trait has varying degrees of intensity, from reasonable selfishness to a villainous and psychopathic personality disorder...

Narcissistic Personality Disorder

..or NPD, refers to an extremely severe, negative form of narcissism and has the following traits:

  1. Pervasive patterns of self-importance.
  2. Preoccupation of fantasies of extreme power.
  3. A constant need to be admired.
  4. A sense of entitlement.
  5. Lack of empathy.
  6. Willingness to exploit others.

Somewhere Between Black And White

Most narcissists do not fall in the two extremes of angels (zero narcissism) or demons (impairing disorder) but are somewhere in between, a grey area where they exhibit a certain level of narcissism. This makes diagnosis difficult in most cases.

Psychologists have identified two broad types of narcissism, the grandiose and the vulnerable.