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How A Healthy Dose Of Narcissism Could Help You Succeed

How A Healthy Dose Of Narcissism Could Help You Succeed

Narcissism is often viewed as a negative attribute, at best it’s a common characteristic shared by the bad guys in movies an television. Jennifer Foster of Wall Street Insanity leads a discussion on the positive impacts narcissism can have on your success:

Narcissism. People use the word all the time… usually in a negative way… without really understanding the meaning of it. This term, generally speaking, is used to describe a person that is self-seeking, self-absorbed, and who largely puts their own well-being as top priority in life. The term has its origin in a Greek mythological story of a man, named Narcissus, who falls in love with himself after looking at his reflection in a pool of water.

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But what does all this have to do with being an entrepreneur and a leader of innovation? Believe it or not, being a narcissist leads to success in business and isn’t as bad of a thing as everyone tries to make it out to be. Why? Largely because starting a business, running a corporation, and working for yourself takes dedication, guts, determination, and truly being in love with your own ideas enough to pursue them heavily. In order to go from an average Joe, who has big plans, to a successful entrepreneur who moves and shakes the world, there has to be some amount of self-service.

Anyone who has ever stepped out of the ordinary and took a flying leap into the extraordinary unknown had to have a reason for doing so. Let’s be honest… no one wakes up on a Tuesday morning, decides to instantaneously throw caution to the wind, and becomes an entrepreneur. No one invests every penny they have, works 80 plus hours a week, and mortgages everything they own just for the hell of it. No, people who do these kinds of things almost always have spent some time, like Narcissus, staring into the pool of life and falling in love with their reflection. They have calculated their own worth and found it to be more valuable than everyone gives them credit for. They have kicked their own ass into gear, become their own cheering squad, and made the decision to show the world what they already know to be true… that they are great.

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But the need for narcissism doesn’t stop here at all. Once you have decided that you can… and will… do something epic, you have to be able to sell it to the world. And who better to do this than someone who loves themselves a little too much? It seems that the best self promoters are those who have narcissist tendencies. They aren’t afraid to talk about what they are doing, demand a fair price for their work, and they don’t usually let rejections spoil their ambition. If ten thousand people say no, they just head back to the pool, rekindle their self-love, and keep looking for the person who will give them the chance they deserve. Arrogant? Maybe. Effective? Absolutely!

But what happens to a narcissistic person who finally achieves what they want? What becomes of them when they have to take on a leadership role that requires them to promote and help others under them? Simply put, their narcissism keeps them productive and always pushing those under and around them towards accomplishment. Narcissistic individuals make wonderful leaders because they know what they want, they don’t take shit from people who attempt to manipulate them, and they closely care for and protect those that contribute to their success. They are generally not moved by circumstances and they keep the morale and confidence high within their camp. People want to follow and devote themselves to a winner and a narcissist always believes themselves to be just that.

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Finally, narcissism keeps a person focused and goal oriented. Once a narcissist has made a decision, there really is very little that will halt their progress. Even traits like compulsion and impatience have a way of propelling a person to the top of the world, simply because they believe that they belong there and are entitled to that place. Narcissists know what they want out of life and they use whatever tools they have at their disposal to make it happen.

In closing, I am reminded of something that I once read about former Apple CEO Steve Jobs. This entrepreneurial genius, it seems, was also a bit of a narcissist. In the book, The Real Genius Of Steve Jobs, he is described as a complicated and exhausting man. One line from the book reads, “He gets stopped for driving a hundred miles an hour, honks angrily at the officer for taking too long to write up the ticket, and then resumes his journey at a hundred miles an hour. He sits in a restaurant and sends his food back three times. He arrives at his hotel suite in New York for press interviews and decides, at 10 P.M., that the piano needs to be repositioned, the strawberries are inadequate, and the flowers are all wrong…” While these behaviors may seem extreme to some, I like what Malcolm Gladwell, staff journalist for the New Yorker, had to say about his personality: “The great accomplishment of Jobs’s life is how effectively he put his idiosyncrasies – his petulance, his narcissism, and his rudeness – in the service of perfection.”

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So, if you have found yourself spending a little too much time looking in the pool because you like what you see so well, don’t be afraid. Let your self-loving, narcissistic ways drive you to the top of the food chain and to success.

Why Narcissism Leads To Success | Wall Street Insanity

Featured photo credit: Enthuan via flickr.com

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Siobhan Harmer

Siobhan is a passionate writer sharing about motivation and happiness tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on March 29, 2021

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

The Dream Type Of Manager

My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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“Okay…”

That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

The Bully

My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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The Invisible Boss

This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

The Micro Manager

The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

The Over Promoted Boss

The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

The Credit Stealer

The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

1. Keep evidence

Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

2. Hold regular meetings

Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

Good luck!

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