Why Narcissists Are Good Business Leaders

Time of narcissists?

The range of possibilities in today's modern age is growing and the speed of change is increasing. The only thing we can count on is change. What was right today is frowned upon tomorrow, what is fashionable today is out tomorrow. How is the individual supposed to develop a stable, solid self in these times? How do we align our innermost attitudes? Where do we find support?

Blurring boundaries

Until the end of the 1980s, social structures and enemy images were clearly defined. We knew the intellectual national defense in the Cold War, the voices of the 68 generation against the rigid social structures and against capitalism up to the founding of the Green Party for the preservation of our environment and the abolition of nuclear power plants (“AKW - No thanks!”). There was something stable about these movements, and above all, one group clearly distinguished itself from other groups. There was no affiliation to “both” or just “a little”, it was important to draw the line between “either / or”.

Today the clear enemy images have largely disappeared, the groups often no longer clearly differ from one another and the children of the Greens often act surprisingly pragmatically. For example, they drive a VW bus to be able to invite their musical instruments to upcoming concerts. And if such a car is already standing around, why not take it on vacation as well?

Distraction from the self

Most of us go on vacation and drive an “ecological” car - or none at all - and pay the CO2 offset wherever we can. What is the inner attitude of such behavior? Which group do we belong to? Where are the distinctive and exclusive characteristics of one or the other group? Before we deal with these questions, the flood of information comes towards us and distracts us from such difficult topics. There is always a distraction and views of a situation are constantly changing. We swim with the current, lull ourselves to a lull and gradually move away from ourselves.

The question of who I am and what inner attitude I follow is not asked at all or the answer remains open. At the same time, our society is experiencing an increase in mental illness and symptoms of exhaustion. It is not uncommon for psychotherapists and psychiatrists to notice that the people being treated are deprived of meaning. How does this happen?

Worth the boredom

The external orientation is increasing. Who I am is shown by my possessions, my social status and what others think I am. So we leave the definition of our inner world to the outer world. But especially nowadays we have the freedom to be what we choose to be. It is a paradox that we de facto do not use the freedom we have de jure and let ourselves be defined by external appearances.

At the same time we let our innermost wither away and remove ourselves from ourselves. Because the brain is so extremely receptive at this point in time, our children have to learn early English, early Chinese, early violin, early ... whatever, and sports, riding lessons and ballet shouldn't be neglected either. Where is the time for your own development? Boredom, moments of pause, times that are not full, arouse creativity and enable the occupation with oneself. However, this is not part of the timetable and is not taught.

Seeks approval

Basically: Let us no longer take the time to devote ourselves to ourselves, to ask which life principles we want to follow, which motivates us internally, what we really do well and gladly, without being pushed or admired from the outside , this is how we create the breeding ground for unhealthy narcissism. It is inherent in the narcissist that he does not know what he is really good at and what gives him inner satisfaction.

He conforms to his surroundings and does what he thinks will get him most admiration. He strives for a position in a social system and merges with it because he draws conclusions about himself from it. But this self lacks any solid foundation. Only praise and admiration from others give him the certainty that it exists.

The demand-generating production of consumer goods does the rest to nourish the narcissistic ego, in that possession apparently creates recognition and status. The demand for admiration becomes an addiction, because the ego is never satisfied without a foundation, because the praise ultimately falls into the void. This is how Narcissus goes through the world, always feeling that he has missed out on life and has received too little attention. Others are to blame.

The established self

That is why he takes his environment to account, it has to ensure that he is confirmed in his position and that his greed for satisfaction is satisfied. This process is existential, because to lose the position would mean to lose the self and disappear into one's own emptiness. With so much existential focus on maintaining, consolidating and expanding one's own position, there is no room for empathy.

Relationships are made according to an arithmetic cost-benefit calculation. Anyone who strengthens my position and gives me shine is worth my relationship with. It is hardly surprising that such characters often have a high social status and can also be found in higher management levels.

The price for this, however, is high - it is the loss of the original and unique self, on a stable foundation. The self that gives us a clear inner attitude and alignment. A safe ground on which we can rely in order to be able to meet ourselves with self-respect, self-confidence and real appreciation. A self that can cope with loss of position and other losses. We pay the price of lack of emotion. To have emotions and to be able to communicate them would mean being able to approach and respond to our counterpart spontaneously without expecting anything in return. It would mean giving trust and support so that we can build relationships and ultimately our society on a strong foundation.

New release 2014: "The art of dealing intelligently with conflicts"