I had a great conversation with a staff member today about narcissistic leaders. I looked deeper into this and found that there is acutally a disorder.
Narcissistic Personality Disorder is a condition that is characterized by an inflated sense of self-importance, need for admiration, extreme self-involvement, and lack of empathy for others. Individuals with this disorder are usually extremely self assured and arrogant. They expect to be noticed as superior. Many successful individuals may be seen as narcissistic, but this disorder actually disables an individual to function in a healthy manner in society.
Vulnerability and low self esteem make these people especially crippled by criticism. Even though they are outwardly confident, they are haunted by criticism. They react to such criticism in rage, or a defiant counterattack. Their social life is impaired because of entitlement, the need for admiration, and the relative disregard for the sensitivities of others.
It is called NPD.
As I read this and looked at my own life. I asked God to help me see every part of me that operates this way. There are so many Christians who have NPD. The sad thing is that too many leaders have NPD. They are so in love with themselves that they cannot lead others.
Here is your litmus test for NPD
1. Do you find yourself unintentionally reverting conversations back to yourself?
2. Do you become disinterested in conversations or discussions if you are not the center?
3. Do you find your self always listing off your accolades when around other colleagues?
4. Is it hard for you to give praise to others or hear them praised without you being mentioned?
5. Do you get deeply hurt by criticism and retaliate?
6. How self-centered would you rate yourself?
A leader who needs admiration and a status of importance will never find enough.
Leaders who start movements are others focused and God-centered. They know that criticism will come and graciously accept that criticism. They don't find themselves saying, "What about me?"
Our greatest example of this is Jesus Christ. His life was for others. He never did anything just for the love of himself to preserve himself or make himself look good, but he did everything for the betterment of others. He started the greatest movement ever.