You’re probably thinking you can’t have a meaningful relationship with egotists or narcissists – but I can!
I’ve been following both for years. It doesn't matter that I'm a certified professional behavioral and emotional intelligence analyst. I just want to be a better leader.
I follow egotists and narcissists to remind myself what I never want to become. Vistage International has a good name for such types. They're called Apes. Arrogant. Prideful. Egotistical.
In our current roles we may have to follow ape like leaders but who really wants to?
I follow Apes because they lead me to better lead myself and others.
I follow ego-wrapped-self-worshipers because I don't want to ever lose sight of how subtle delusion can be and how fast I can fall into similar biased seeing, thinking and acting.
I follow egotists and narcissists because I want to see how they see their world so - I can insure I never see my world the same way they see theirs.
I was a Monk for 10 years. Was around Swami’s, Rishis, Roshis, Rabbis, Profits, Priests and self-anointed Life and Love Coaches. I saw the whole spiritual circus come to town over and over again. I saw ochre-robed-egos larger than elephants parading around those coming to see their shows. And these were in environments promoting cultures founded in principles of simplicity, cooperation, selflessness and purity.
The ecosystems many of us find ourselves operating in are much worse. The atmosphere is like think black day skies spewing forth toxic coal smoke exhausts of fear, deceit and ruthless rather than healthy competition.
After 20 years living in a spiritual community I crossed over into that dark side. It resembled the toxic atmospheric wasteland described above. Breathing wasn’t easy. But we get used to continually coaching and gasping for the pure unpolluted air of positive leadership.
In my 25-year career in Media, Marketing and Advertising sales and operations, I worked for many of the planet’s most trusted heritage brands all run by some of the evilest people I’ve ever met. I saw what fear-and-deceit-based, winning-by-intimidation leadership styles can do to people, cultures and profit.
I know a thing or two about short-fuse-to-anger, charmingly influential control freaks, mofo’s and thieves.
I listen carefully to what egotists and narcissists say, watch how they act - all with an ear to hearing exactly what motivates them to lead the way they do and to better understand what triggers them to behave the way they do. My motive is to make absolutely sure those action impulses never become mine.
Over the years I began to see how egotists and narcissists tie and tether everything around them - back to themselves. Seeing those triggers in action destroy creativity, productivity and engagement helped me be more mindful and protected me from falling into deep spike laden leadership and moral traps.
These days I listen to egotists and narcissists to understand what not to do, how not to think, how not to act and – to insure that my motives as a leader are as transparent, above board and accountable as can be.
It's actually easier than most think - to listen attentively to egotists and narcissists primarily because they won’t let you talk much anyway.
Here are 15 positive leadership traits you can learn from egotistical, narcissistic leaders;
1. We need control the more we’re afraid of being taken advantage of.
2. The stronger our need to dominate others is the shorter our fuses to anger become.
3. We succeed because we adapt but - too much adapting makes us crazy and sick.
4. The greater our stress becomes the faster our adaptive behavioral masks fall away.
5. The more we feel backed into a corner the more we reveal who we really are.
6. Once we've seen Dr. Banner morph into Hulk we know it’s not safe to blink.
7. Everything can change in a blink of an eye but it's okay 'cause integrity never blinks.
8. When dealing with all size egos focus on facts - not emotions.
9. Most seek to be understood not to understand. We should seek the opposite.
10. Big egos establish value only to then break it down by comparing it to themselves.
11. Real leaders create conditions for others to create value and be recognized for it.
12. Reasoning with an Ape is like thinking you’ll win bananas by arm wrestling them.
13. Emotional Intelligence can be a dark or positive force. We become our choices.
14. Understand how to pivot misused power in the direction of your goal.
15. The more powerful we become the more dependent we become on others.
Like I've said above, I know a thing or two about short-fuse-to-anger, charmingly influential control freaks, mofo’s and thieves.
Bad leaders are great Gurus. Egotists and narcissists are great Gurus if - we allow ourselves to learn from them.
Guru's come in all shapes, sizes and behaviors. The word Guru literally means “gu” or dispeller of “ru” or darkness.
Bad leaders shine light on what makes good leaders, good. It makes for good eutaxy.
We may think egotists and narcissists lack humanity but, they sure can . . . show us ours.