Saturday, July 19, 2008

To what extent are Political and Business leaders Narcissists?

Do you have to have an unhealthy focus on yourself to stand for high political office? Is that a healthy self-confidence or unhealthy narcissism? Do people who aspire to run a company or country have a sense of mission and service, or is it insecurity and hubris? When we talk about "public service," is it simply that, or do the individuals crave attention and admiration? Do people who start off as idealists get changed by isolation and success? How balanced is a spouse who really believes that the individual really is qualified to run a country or huge organization? Do they really believe that, or are they simply hungry for power, money, and recognition?

I am not sure that there is a simple answer, and each of these may be true for different people. However, I do not believe that many, if any, can really lead a huge organization or country infallibly. Yet, we continue to want to believe that someone can. Perhaps the fault is that so many keep looking for perfection and find it easy to select someone who seems to provide that.

1 comment:

Jonathan said...

Does anyone really believe that leaders are perfect? Perhaps some deluded fans. But surely most people recognize that no-one is perfect, and the most you can expect is that the leader's faults will be ones that don't interfere too much with his main tasks.

It seems to me that all politicians are deeply flawed and I don't expect to find one that isn't.

I don't know these people personally; I don't move in their circles. But surely, someone who just wanted to perform a public service would become a nurse or a policeman or something. The drive that's needed to get into high politics or management must burn some more potent fuel, though it may have a somewhat different recipe for different people.