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Where Egos Dare

The Untold Truth about Narcissistic Leaders -- and How to Survive Them

Dean B. McFarlin, Paul D. Sweeney

Publisher: Kogan Page, 2000 , 260 pages

ISBN: 0-7494-2724-8

Keywords: Human Resources


Toggle Synopsis

Everybody idolizes great business leaders. The mere image of the dynamic, focused leader inspiring people to share in a vision of corporate success is exhilarating. But what abolut all those leaders who are less than inspiring? More importantly, what of those leaders whose obsessive egotism and warped self-absorption fuel the worst excesses of leadership?

Where Egos Dare is a fascinating exposure of this seamier side of leadership. Taking a courageous leap into the murky world of self-serving bosses, the authors shine a welcome spotlight on the hidden underbelly of leadership. Drawing on their own extensive first-hand research and a variety of other sources, McFarlin and Sweeney bring us a brilliant analysis of the psyche of the egocentric leader and the devasting — and usually unreported — effect it can have on both individual and organizational performance. The horror stoies told here clearly show how damaging a powerful ego can become when allowed toflower into excessive narcissism. Both compelling and disturbing, you'll find out:

  • why you should never underestimate the narcissistic leader's capacity to be irrational, brutal and ruthless;
  • how some corporate leaders account for their destructive behaviour;
  • what proactive measures can be taken to curb a narcissistic leader's excesses.

The authors' message, though, is fundamentally optimistic. If you are struggling with how to cope with a narcissistic boss, Where Egos Dare provides you with the tools and tactics to fight back: it will help you to re-establish a sense of control over your job. If you are a manager, it will alert you to the dangers of narcissistic tendencies in yourself and show you where your ego must never dare to go!

Table of Contents:

Toggle Table of Contents

  • Part 1: Introduction
    1. Why we're concerned about narcissistic leaders
      • Welcome to the corporate reflecting pool
      • The best of times: Why the table is set for narcissistic leadership
      • Our plan of attack
  • Part 2: Surviving the narcissistic leader
    1. Identifying the narcissistic leader
      • Beginning the identification process
      • Inside the house of mirrors: The narcissistic personality
      • Belling the cat: The behavioural profile of narcissistic leaders
    2. Responding to manipulation and exploitation
      • The ends have it
      • Tactics used to manipulate and exploit
      • Countering manipulation and exploitation
    3. Responding to impulsive and unconventional behaviour
      • The narcissistic leader as raging lunatic
      • Reacting to narcissistic rage
    4. Responding to excessive impression management
      • Blowhards and braggarts
      • Impression management tactics: Tools of the narcissist's trade
      • Limiting narcissistic impression management
    5. Responding to poor administrative practices
      • Why narcissistic leaders make lousy managers
      • Strategies for dealing with poor administrative practices
    6. Responding to flawed visions and perceived infallibility
      • Visions from hell
      • How narcissistic leaders abuse the 'visioning' process
      • Stopping the narcissistic visionary… or at least not getting burnt
    7. Responding to the failure to plan for succession
      • Is there anyone to hold the fort?
      • Succession: A messy mystery
      • Improving the succession planning picture: Keeping narcissistic leaders at bay
  • Part 3: Reining in the threat of narcissistic leadership
    1. How pressures for change and faddism encourage narcissistic leadership
      • Making it easier for narcissistic leaders
      • Narcissists capitalize on the value placed on change
      • Fads, consultants and narcissistic leadership
      • Combating narcissistic change and faddism
    2. Corporate cultures that invite and sustain the narcissist
      • The corporate culture as breeding ground
      • What the narcissist needs to succeed
      • What companies can do to limit narcissistic influences
    3. Picking up the pieces: Life after the narcissist
      • Lost lives
      • Recognizing signs of mistrust and cynicism
      • Re-establishing trust
  • Part 4: Conclusion
    1. Cain and Abel: Rediscovering both sides of narcissistic keadership
      • Turning the tables
      • The intersection of constructive narcissism and charismatic leadership
      • Going your own way: The search for constructive narcissism


Where Egos Dare

by Roland Buresund last modified 2011-02-26 18:37

Rating: ********** (Excellent)

Extremely interesting book, that will explain a lot of the political infighting that goes on. It pinpointed a former boss of mine on the spot.

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