Mission (Im)possible: Dealing with Narcissistic Executives

  • Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries


George, a senior executive of a large Internet provider, was a participant in one of my multi-modular leadership development programmes. Although a very talented individual, within the group he was looked at as a bit of a nuisance. He tended to monopolize conversations, and appeared to be a know-all, whatever the topic. He was in love with his own voice, and loved being on stage extoling his accomplishments. Everyone agreed he was not a good listener. Whenever someone else spoke, he quickly grew impatient, and tried to change the topic to something he was more interested in. He alienated himself further from the others with his habit of devaluating others while overemphasizing his own successes. George made it quite clear to the other participants that he considered himself superior to most people. I wasn’t the least bit surprised that most members of the group disliked George and found it very difficult to deal with him.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries
    • 1
  1. 1.INSEADFontainebleauFrance

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