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Narcissist Leadership: Its traits and their impact on strategy implementation

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ING Group Greece - Sidma SA - Telesis Securities

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  1. Abstract
  2. Introduction
  3. Defining narcissism
  4. The role of self-esteem to the development of narcissism
  5. Narcissistic leadership
  6. The types of narcissistic leadership
    1. The reactive narcissist leader
    2. The self-deceptive narcissist leader
    3. The constructive narcissist leader
  7. Narcissistic leadership and strategy implementation
  8. Conclusions
  9. References

The mistakes that leaders make in the context of strategy implementation are often the result of a narcissistic behavior which denies the participation of subordinates in the strategic decision making. Narcissistic leadership refuses updating obsolete organizational knowledge, participating to team schemes and active listening, resulting in a lack of confidence from organizational members towards top management. This paper identifies narcissist leadership as a major reason of failure in strategy implementation impacting profoundly the organizational welfare.

[...] Authoritative leadership drives organizational climate and maximizes commitment to organizational goals and strategies, by allowing subordinates to understand what they are doing, while accepting that the leader has the absolute authority. Within this context, authoritative leadership has a strongly positive impact on the organization leading to successful strategy implementation. The types of narcissistic leadership The quality and intensity of narcissistic development in leadership is fundamental in the orientation of the leader (Greenberg & Mitchell, 1983). The Psychoanalytic Object Relations Theory provides three main narcissistic figures: the reactive, the self-deceptive, and the constructive narcissist leader. The reactive narcissist leader Reactive narcissistic leaders have fixation on power, status, and control. [...]

[...] Yet, successful strategy implementation necessitates leaders who can learn from their mistakes and who are honest to themselves. To that end, leaders may evaluate their past performance and plan for future action without eliminating the risk of repeating the same mistakes. Narcissistic leadership refuses to take corrective action for the sake of the organization. Correction might imply new technology, new ideas, and new knowledge. Leaders cannot afford to deny learning organizations if they really want good results. Successful strategy implementation is associated to employee motivation. [...]

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