Narcissists in the Workplace

By   /    /  Comments Off on Narcissists in the Workplace

Are you an Investor Shareholder, an Employee or Leader of People?

Do you have a colleague, CEO, Director, boss, or employee who…

1. Lies about his credentials and experience?

2. Values people only by what they can do for her?

3. Successfully shifts the blame for mistakes onto others?

4. is so insensitive, cold, and unfeeling that it is scary?

5. gets the promotions and recognition others deserve?

6. emerges unscathed from attempts to stop his quest for power, money, and fame?

So I am sure from my other posts you are aware that Narcissistic Personality Disorder is a great part of my interest in Risk Behaviours and specifically in the world of work and more specifficaly at the top of businesses. This came about almost 22 years ago when I personally experienced working for a Senior Manager (can you beleive this an HR Director) who displayed perhaps 4 of the 9 characteristics in the diagnosable personality disorder narcissism; do not get me wrong I have also worked for a female leader five years earlier who displayed similar but different characteristics and it was the reason for my departure from that organisation.

So as I discuss this subject it is from the point of view of my personal experience and as a Psychologist that I now publish this article.

The observable symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder include a grandiose sense of importance, preoccupation with unlimited success, belief that one is special and unique, exploitative of others, lack empathy, arrogance, and a signifficant jealousy of others. These symptoms can cause significant distress in a person’s life, particularly if you work for a narcissist or live with one.

The 9 Measured Characteristics

1. Arrogance and Domineering

2. Grandiosity

3. Preoccupation with Success and Power

4. Lack of Empathy

5. Belief of Being Unique

6. Sense of Entitlement

7. Requires Excessive Admiration

9. Envious of Others

Narcissistic personality disorders are a by-product of certain childhood family environments. All children want their parents’ approval and attention. Children adapt to their homes, and often the most productive and reasonable adaptation to some home situations is to become a narcissist.

It is estimated that up to 6 per cent of populations have a narcissistic personality disorder (narcissism for short), which is more common in men and has its roots in childhood maladaptive environments. Extremely resistant to treatment, this severe mental condition leads affected individuals to create chaos as they harm other people around them in their family, friends and workplace environments.

So you are an International Investor investing in multi-billion dollar businesses! Are you happy with who is running the organisation, how the board is structured and what the makeup of the board is, so who sits on it and their background and more important personality and competence? Do you even examine Personality at a Scientific Level before investing?

Is the company called Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc? Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc, was a global financial services firm founded in 1847. Before filing for bankruptcy in 2008, Lehman was the fourth-largest investment bank in the United States, with about 25,000 employees worldwide.

· Founded: 1850, Montgomery, Alabama, United States

· Ceased operations: 2008

· Headquarters: New York, New York, United States

· Founders: Henry Lehman, Mayer Lehman, Emanuel Lehman

· Parent organisations: Lehman (Cayman Islands) Ltd, Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc!

So I am sure most business people out there and most of the world’s population are very aware that this company took the whole global economy into a complete meltdown. Triggering massive global banking crisis, bailouts by taxpayers and skyrocketing sovereign debt. I have to say this bailout strategy also put the spotlight on many other Banks, Bankers and Boards with similar hidden problems. Unfortunatly this sector is riddled with an environment that Narcissists just love and thrive in and it continues today.

Well, I am not an expert in exactly the financial detail of how this happened in 2008 there are better specialists than me that can explain it. What I do know is that somebody was in charge and accountable for what was going on in this company and what transpired, and the Regulators were not without some blame. There is much research out there on the CEO and Board, corporate governance, personalities and decision making.

Corporate Governance is an important factor close to my heart, in this situation in the USA the Regulators were unfortunatly asleep on the job. The Accountants this is not an article to discuss them but sombody signed everything off!

Placed at the centre of a business philosophy should be People, Ecology, Ethics and Profit, and in all organisations and societies at some point, these areas are often in conflict with one another (doing the right thing morally and doing the right thing for your profits and corporate fiscal responsibility will always create a dilemma). Except when you are a Narcissist, then rules dont apply to you only feeding your need for adoration is central to his / her needs.

Let’s talk more about Narcissism in Business. There are two books you really need to get your hands on they are Malignant Self Love by Sam Valknin, he is globally accepted expert on this subject (and openly admits to being a full-blown narcissist) the book will shake you when you reflect on people you actually know or even live with. Secondly Snakes in Suits, when psychopaths go to work by Paul Babiak and Robert D. Hare, they are both Forensic Psychologists and this is a fascinating read. I had to read both of them several times to really understand the dangers around this extream personality disorder in business, and its prevelance in society.

You cannot talk about narcissism without talking about psychopathy (Psychopaths), let us pause a moment not all psychopaths are murderers or Hannibal Lechter types they can come across as quite normal and significantly likeable!

It is worth trying to watch and read some articles on the difference between Psychopaths, Narcissists and Sociopaths. To put the matter simplistically, psychopaths are born, and sociopaths are made. Both psychopathy and sociopathy, and APD generally, share features with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), the condition exhibited by persons commonly called narcissists. Narcissists are also made but childhood has a significant influence on how this disorder manifests its self.

If you are an international Investor its critical to know who is running the companies you are invested in, the financial implications can be catastrophic if you don’t have a detailed insight.

Below is a Youtube video published by the BBC in the UK in 2012 it is a detailed documentary. It explains each of the 9 characteristics and in each case the individual is extream and dangerouse, as with the young guy with all 9 that kills his parents with a hammer.

Everyone has an Ego a healthy strong Ego is the basis of a success-driven individual. The problem is when it’s not healthy and extreme.

This Youtube broadcast pulls no punches it tells you exactly how dangerous Narcissism is in Society and at Work is (they are extreme cases but it depends on how many of the 9 characteristics an individual displays and which ones – age has nothing to do with it).

You can identify these people in your organisation they are un-missable!

Perhaps it’s time for a cleanout at the top!

Published by Dr Marshall Potts Chairman Jasper Global Corporation









Social Media Visit Us

Skip to toolbar