Are You Serving under a Narcissistic Leader?

Are You Serving under a Narcissistic Leader?

I know better.  I really do.  I know that there are unethical and incompetent leaders in every facet of society.  But when you work for individuals that maintain high standards, that reality is quickly forgotten. I forget that there are leaders that think nothing of being untruthful.  It’s a way of life.  And there are others that are master manipulators.  And still others never do anything wrong.  Have you known that person?  And then there are so called leaders that are masters at criticizing their colleagues, but when the day is over they are incredibly incompetent and lack in emotional intelligence.  Still others are passive aggressive in their relationships with people they are entrusted to serve. 

Obviously, I don’t know better.  I really don’t.  I took a few moments to consider the leaders I serve under both at church and in law enforcement.  And I also thought about those that lead the non-profits that I am involved in as a board member.  I am beyond blessed. I serve under some of the finest men and women in our community. 

I know better now. I really do.  I took some recently to consider why the leaders I am blessed by stand out.   Here is my short list.

·      They have solid standards.  You can’t expect an organization to thrive if important standards are non-existent. People are set-up for failure when clearly articulated standards are missing.

·      They are humble.  I have known a few arrogant leaders during the course of my career.  They leave a trail of misery and disunity.  As a rule, they have a lack of staying power as well. They move on every few years.  But they are destructive on their way down. Humble leaders acknowledge their faults and know their shortcomings. They are not afraid to apologize.

·      They are supportive. How many times has one of my leaders said to me: “What do you need from me?”  “How can I serve you?”  “Here is my cell number. Call me when a need arises.”

·      Their convictions drive decisions.  Most people don’t like conflict.  But good leaders have convictions. When standards are violated, they face the difficult task of addressing the breach in ethics.  In some cases, the leaders task is to address poor attitudes.  They are not afraid to speak up and clean up the ranks. 

·      They are unity builders. I have known a few pot-stirrers during the course of my 32-year professional career.  They are masters at creating chaos in an organization.  Such narcissists have no clue how to build unity.  Good leaders purposely build unity among diverse people.  They are a gift.

·      They are encouragers.   How many times has one of my leaders said: “Thank you for your work.”  How many times have I received an encouraging email or a quick phone call?  Such gestures are a hallmark of a great leader.

I need to know better…I need to be reminded that there are selfish, egotistical, dishonest leaders out there.  They are even present in churches!  I am blessed with those that have taught me so much by modeling the traits mentioned above and much more.  I am thankful that I have been reminded of such an important reality.

Are You Serving under a Narcissistic Leader?  I am not.  And I am so thankful.  

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