This is a blog comes from an idea in my forthcoming book (April 2018) on Authentic Leadership. And it seems appropriate under the current political environment in U.S. Specifically, the idea comes from the chapter that discusses how a leader can use the concept of relatableness to empower those around them. Or, they can use their charisma for evil. This blog post is about the evil part….
Dr. Michael Maccoby, President at The Maccoby Group in Washington, D.C. is a frequent Harvard Business Review contributor and writes on narcissism and leadership. In his 2000 Harvard Business Review article titled, Narcissistic Leaders: The Incredible Pros, the Inevitable Cons, Maccoby describes what I call the “Trump Effect.” Now, when I read this I couldn’t stop thinking about what appears to be a collision of American ideals from the left and right resulting in hollowing out the much-needed middle on both sides of the isle.
The Trump Effect is a leader who leads by pretenses and uses their natural charisma to manipulate those around them to achieve a goal that results in a less desirable outcome. Here is how Maccoby describes these leaders. “Despite the warm feelings that charisma can evoke, narcissists are typically not comfortable with their own emotions. They listen only to the kind of information they seek. They don’t learn easily from others. They don’t like to teach but prefer to indoctrinate and make speeches. They dominate meetings with subordinates. The result for the organization is greater internal competitiveness at a time when everyone is already under as much pressure as they can stand. Perhaps the problem is that the narcissist’s faults tend to become even more pronounced as he becomes more successful.”
We all know a leader who on the surface appears to have it all. They are outgoing, quick witted, and can sway the masses, etc., etc….. However, after awhile they begin to smell like rotten fish, and they stink. Cracks in their charismatic armor begin to appear, especially in the moments of stress or push back from those in their inner circle. Overtime, their integrity, and compassion are compromised and their followers start to defect.
Maccoby uses eight (nine, but eight for this) overarching attributes of a leader who uses charisma and narcissism for evil. In the following list, see if you can think of someone who has some of these attributes. These are just some quotes from a leader.
NOTE: I AM NOT IMPLYING THIS QUOTE FROM TRUMP IS HOW I FEEL. I HAVE MANY GREAT FRIENDS AND FAMILY MEMBERS THAT ARE REPUBLICANS.
8. More interested in controlling others than disciplining themselves — “Believe me.”
Pause for a minute and think of someone, anyone who fits this and stated those quotes….