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Autumn M.

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If Humble People Make the Best Leaders, Why Do We Fall for Charismatic Narcissists?

If Humble People Make the Best Leaders, Why Do We Fall for Charismatic Narcissists?

Executive Summary The research is clear: when we choose humble, unassuming people as our leaders, the world around us becomes a better place. Yet instead of following the lead of these unsung heroes, we appear hardwired to search for superheroes, over-glorifying leaders who exude charisma.

https://hbr.org/2017/04/if-humble-people-make-the-best-leaders-why-do-we-fall-for-charismatic-narcissists

hbr.org

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 know their strengths and shortcomings as well.

Humble CEOs become enablers for the top management team to provide their fullest potential. The CEO's humble attitude, mannerisms and the way they conduct themselves become contagious among subordinates.

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Charismatic Leaders

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.

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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.

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Two Kinds Of Charisma

  • Personalized charisma is when the leader's perceived heroism also has high levels of authoritarianism and narcissism.
  • Socialized charisma is when the leader has the aura of a hero, coupled with low authoritarianism and a genuine interest in the team's welfare.

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The Romance Of Leadership

The romance of leadership hypothesis suggests we tend to gravitate towards the magnetic, narcissistic leaders.

We get the leaders we deserve, and we can do real good by choosing socialized charismatic leaders over narcissists.

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