Narcissistic CEOs and Their Impact on a Company’s Reputation
Confident, born leaders, determined, blunt and sure of their opinions and standing, there’s something about narcissists in leading positions that attracts and inspires people to follow. A narcissistic CEO can influence a company’s image to breathe confidence, innovation and conviction, which are all well received by its customers. If you partner with an enterprise, you need to see the ability to stand strong in it, to evolve and adapt to the future so that it can keep up the pace of your evolving needs.
“They have compelling, even gripping visions, and they have an ability to attract followers,” explained leadership consultant and author Michael Maccoby in an extensive article on narcissism in CEOs and its effects that I’ve recently ran across and which managed to intrigue me. It mentioned or implied a connection to leaders such as Steve Jobs, Winston Churchill or Jack Welch.
Narcissist, just as perfectionists and frankly just as any other type of CEO can at the same time help a company rise or make sure it fails miserably, it just depends on how they manage their attitude and personality traits.
In the case of perfectionists, they can either establish a highly organized, superior quality standard for their company, gaining customers’ trust and never disappointing them, or they can pay too much attention to minor details, delay project and waste too much time organizing instead of executing.
Narcissists can either lead by inspiring others and simply infecting them with their confidence, building a powerful image for their company, or the can choose to disregard any expert advise and only do as they see fit, regardless of their lack of expertise and drag their entire time to failure.
As long as someone nature does not take control of their business decisions and just stimulates them instead, fueling them with the energy and the confidence they need to make the tough calls, most chances are that CEO, narcissistic or not, will be successful and boost their company’s image and market position. If on the other hand their powerful but extremely self-centered nature is what drives them, they might fail to notice the obvious, act with pride when they should be playing smart and bring a brilliant plan into a money and reputation sucking hole.
What makes a great CEO, in my opinion, is that person’s ability to make us of all their positive traits while being able to control the negative sides of their very human nature. A narcissist that remembers to be compassionate and empathic when needed and determined and unmovable when their are sure of the position they negotiate from will always make a great leader.
I also believe there is almost no business career, regardless of the filed, with a perfectly immaculate record: no mistakes, no failures only big scores. What also sets a great CEO apart, especially in the case on narcissistic ones who see themselves as being the best and never able to do anything wrong, is their strength of character pushing them to admit guilt when needed and continue to work until they turn failure into success, instead of just blaming it all on some random scape goat.
Do you think a narcissistic CEO is good for a corporate brand and image? Do they boost its reputation or have the very opposite effect? What has been your experience with such business leaders?