I'm Number One_ Biblical Perspectives on Narcissistic

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					          I’m Number One!
Biblical Perspectives on Narcissistic Leadership

           Marjorie J. Cooper, Ph.D.
              Baylor University
              Should “we” . . .
•   Christians
•   Business professors
•   Business practitioners
•   Citizens
•   Human persons
Celebrate narcissistic leadership?
•   Vision                 • Selfishness
•   Energy                 • Greed
•   Creativity             • Lust for power
•   Drive                  • Insensitivity
•   Motivation             • Ambition
•   Charisma               • Grandiosity
•   Star power             • Ruthlessness
•   Success                • Demands for unquestioned
•   Initiative               allegiance
•   Innovativeness         • Sense of entitlement
•   Leadership potential   • Lack of empathy
                           • Arrogance
        DSM-IV Nine Characteristics of
     Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD)
                  (Pick any five)
• Exaggerated sense of self-importance
• Fantasies of extraordinary success, power,
  brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
• Belief that one is “special” and should only
  associate with and can only be understood by
  other high-status people
• Demand for excessive admiration from others
• A sense of entitlement
        DSM-IV Nine Characteristics of
     Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD)
                  (Pick any five)
• Objectification of others to achieve personal
  ends and gratification
• Lack of empathy
• Envy of others or belief that others are
  envious of oneself
• Haughty, arrogant, patronizing, or
  contemptuous behaviors or attitudes toward
          NPD is an Extreme
• Narcissism is a continuum of a severity of

• Narcissism also has various manifestations
          The First Narcissist
• Ezekiel 28

• Isaiah 14
               Four Motives
• To take over the rule and worship belonging
  exclusively to Yahweh (Isa 14)
• To induce Adam and Eve to appropriate his
  purpose rather than Yahweh’s purpose for them
  (Gen 3)
• To induce Jesus Christ to worship him, thus
  reversing the order of creation (Matt 4; Mark 1;
  Luke 4)
• To rule this world as God (Dan 11:36-37; 2 Thess
       Some Ancient Narcissists
• King Ahab (1 Kings 20-21)
• Nebuchadnezzar (Dan 3-4)
• Herod the Great (Matt 2)
      Discredited Narcissists in Our Day
                         (some well-known ones)

•   Ken Lay of Enron*
•   Bernie Ebbers of WorldCom*
•   Dennis Kozlowski of Tyco*
•   Mark Hurd of Hewlett Packard
•   Ramalinga Raju of Satyam*

*Rosenthal and Pittinsky 2006
           Today’s Narcissists . . .

• Have difficulty getting along with others
• Fail to envision perspectives other than their own
• Attack and abuse anyone who dares challenge
  them (Campbell et al. 2005)
• Hold grudges, marking time until they can exact
  retribution (Downs 1997, 37-42)
• Take more risks than others
• Exhibit more uneven and unpredictable
               Today’s Narcissists . . .

• Favor bold actions that attract attention to
  themselves (Chatterjee and Hambrick 2007)
• Are the source of long-term problems and the
  proverbial “unintended consequences” (Campbell et
  al., 2005)
• Do not wear well in the long-term, regardless of
  good first impressions (Paulhus 1998)
• Say things like, “I don’t care how you do it; just
  see that you get it done” and then blame
  everyone else when “it” fails
   Today’s narcissists exhibit the following
• Inflated egos and extreme sensitivity to
  criticism (Downs 1997, 20-21)
• High-maintenance, needing constant
  reassurance of superiority and unquestioning
  allegiance (Kets de Vries and Miller 1997, 194-214)
• Ignore cautionary advice, prone to outbursts
  of anger (Capps 1993; Downs 1997)
• The classic “empty self”
           Left in Their Wake . . .

• Layoffs, leading to
  – Job loss and inability to support one’s family
  – Falsely inflated bottom lines
  – Long-term negative organizational effects
  – Loss of employee experience and expertise
  – Low morale on the part of employees who are left
  – Loss of business for the company
           Left in Their Wake . . .

• The results of unethical behavior
  – They are often charismatic individuals who attract
  – They are prepared to take extreme measures to
    protect the appearance of superior performance
  – They will attack and get rid of any follower who
    endangers their position
  – “The rules don’t apply to me.”
  – They are highly self-protective
How to catch them before you hire them
• Question how others have contributed to the
  applicant’s success.
• Look for exaggerated assessment of their past
• Look for unrealistic and grandiose ambitions.
• “Test drive” their interpersonal skills with people
  who can be of “no use” to them, people lower in
  the organization who cannot help them further
  their own interests.
• Have them interviewed by someone who has the
  gift of discernment.
How to catch them before you hire them

• Is there evidence of the Fruit of the Spirit in
  their lives? Beware of being dazzled by the
• Evidence of long-standing spiritual mentoring
  and sustained Christian friendships?
• Evidence of a personal love for Jesus Christ?
• Able to recount instances of God’s discipline
  and how they corrected course as a result?
       What if you’ve already got one?

•   Pray
•   Assess evidence of salvation
•   Counsel from the Word
•   Make use of the spiritual gifts of colleagues
•   Cautiously: Consider guidelines for church
    discipline. They tell you what to do in the
    church as an organization. To what extent can
    they be applied to other Christian
Does narcissism affect ethical sensitivity?
       (material not available in the paper)

• Ethical scenarios – dependent variable
• Religiosity - independent
  – Intrinsic
  – Extrinsic social
  – Extrinsic personal
• Orthodox Beliefs - independent
• Narcissism - independent
             Cluster Analysis Profiles
           (Means/Ordinal Placement)

Religious               Cluster 1       Cluster 2       Cluster 3
Orientation             (N=76)          (N=178)         (N=131)
Int. Rel. Orientation   -1.23 (Low)   .08 (Moderate)    .89 (High)
Orthodoxy               -1.78 (Low)   .35 (Moderate)    .56 (High)
Ext. Rel.             -.15 (Moderate)   .58 (High)     -1.00 (Low)
Orientation (Pers.)
Ext. Rel.                -1.78          .14 (High)     -.26 (Low)
Orientation (Soc.)     (Moderate)
Effects for Cluster Membership on Ethical

                       Cluster1   Cluster2   Cluster3
                       (N=76)     (N=178)    (N=131)
 Mean Ethical            .30        -.02       -.15
 Std. β                 .12ns     .320**     .261**
 **p < .01, *p < .05
Effects of Narcissism on Ethical Tendency By
Shall we discuss?

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