The Coach's Corner

How to be successful working with a productive narcissistic leader

February 17th, 2014 // Tom Doescher //
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This is a continuation of our discussion regarding narcissistic leaders. If you haven’t already read “Is a narcissistic leader a bad leader?”, please check it out. Author Michael Maccoby, in his book Narcissistic Leaders, offers five principles for working with these types of individuals: know yourself and your type (in the book he gets into the other personality types, which include erotic, obsessive, and marketing); acquire deep knowledge in your field (using Steve Jobs as an example, you’d better know a lot about technology); learn how to partner effectively; don’t invest your own ego (or we would say “check your ego at the door”); and protect the narcissist’s image. In the book, Maccoby provides some examples of other leaders who have been successful in dealing with a narcissist. Many of them served as COO-types: Ford had Harry Bennett, Herb Kelleher had Colleen Barrett, and Bill Gates had Steve Ballmer.

For those of you who are working with a productive narcissistic leader, we would highly recommend reading Maccoby’s book. In our next blog, we’ll discuss tips for those of you who may be a productive narcissistic leader.

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