Friday, December 22, 2006

Where Egos Dare: The Untold Truth About Narcissistic Leaders and How to Survive Them

Leadership. The word conjures up images of dynamic action, inspiring vision and a highly motivated workforce. The great leaders of commerce are the idols of our time. But what of the Demon Leader, the destructive force, the bully in the boardroom? We've heard a lot about positive leadership but what about the dark side -- the narcissistic leader?

Despite the widespread experience of employees who have tolerated egotistical bosses, there are few resources to help people survive and succeed in spite of a narcissistic leader.

House of Mirrors is a brilliant -- and sometimes disturbing -- analysis of the psyche of these leaders and the devastating -- and often hidden -- effect they can have on both individual and organizational performance. Based on in-depth research and more than 500 first hand-interviews, the authors give us:

-- Profiles of some of the world's best known corporate figures
and their destructive behavior: Michael Eisner, Al Dunlap,
Robert Allen, Gilbert A Amelio and others

-- Examples of the few narcissistic leaders who've had a positive effect

-- Action steps and recommendations for what you can do about
the narcissistic leaders negative, undermining behavior

-- Eye-opening stories about the unbelievable conduct of
egotistical, self serving bosses

Where Egos Dare: The Untold Truth About Narcissistic Leaders and How to Survive Them
Dean B McFarlin, Paul D Sweeney, Dean B. McJarlin
ISBN: 0749427248

Review from

"My gosh! It's him! It's as if I am reading about my ex-boss! This is an in-depth study with strategies on how to counter a narcissist. He once told me, "Your priority is to make me look good." My ex-boss is self-absorbed, has no strategy, micro-manages his employees, manages up very well, has to always be right, behaves in an erratic and confusing fashion (says stuff like, "I knew you would fail at that project when I gave it to you" to our team when a project appeared to be failing...which he never participated in or gave a clear goal for, BTW.)

It is clear that I worked for someone who is a form of white collar socio-path (think: Enron). I bought 4 of these for colleagues who still work with him, and one for HR....wish I had had this several months ago. I finally a high cost, but at least I am no longer under his thumb, a minion forced to worship at his ego-altar.

I did do a strategy found in this book: the end run. I reported him to the company Ethics office after I got away from him and the investigation was worth the risk. They are at least now aware of his divisiveness.

I highly recommend this to anyone who works for a confusing boss that is not a team player, offers no strategy for his own team, does not fully communicate his plans, withholds information (sometimes key), has always got to be right, and assigns meaningless work just to make himself look good (e.g., has you create presentations that may have little to do with your function, that he then presents to his up-line without ever informing you, and after making sure he understands all the details so that he can look as if he did the presentation himself). If you have a check mark by most of the above, then you need this book. My best advice is to get away from a narcissistic boss, especially if you are an honest person who just tries to do the right thing and does not play the office political games very well."