Study: Narcissists Don’t Make Good Leaders
August 9, 2011 by UPI - United Press International, Inc.
WASHINGTON, Aug. 9 (UPI) — Narcissists rise to the top because people think their confidence, dominance and self-esteem make them good leaders — but they’re not, Dutch researchers say.
“Our research shows that the opposite seems to be true,” University of Amsterdam psychologist Barbora Nevicka says.
The study by Nevicka and colleagues found narcissists’ preoccupation with their own brilliance inhibits a crucial element of successful group decision-making and performance — the free and creative exchange of information and ideas — an article in the journal Psychological Science says.
Narcissism can occasionally be a good thing in a leader, Nevicka says. In a crisis some people will feel that a strong, dominant person will take control and do the right thing, “and that may reduce uncertainty and diminish stress,” she said.
But in the everyday life of an organization “communication — sharing of information, perspectives and knowledge — is essential to making good decisions.
“That’s the benefit of teams. That’s what creates a good outcome.”
Good communication comes from leaders asking questions and summarizing the input of everyone — something narcissists are too self-involved to do, Nevicka says.