In just one day, 250 million photos were uploaded
to Facebook and 864,000 hours of video to YouTube, according to
fastcompany.com. We minister in the midst of a narcissism epidemic.
"Look at me, look at me, look at me now!" People long to be the
center of the universe today. Now, not everyone is a narcissist who
tweets or uses facebook. In fact, while studies show that
narcissism is on the rise, I rarely run into one. Managing a
narcissist, though, is a unique challenge.
How can you lead a narcissistic on your team? Here are a few key
narcissistic characteristics I've observed that you have to
- Star Role Mentality-A narcissist already
believes she's the star of her life. Evidence of this is excessive
tweeting, blogging, facebook-posting about the ever-so-interesting
minutiae of her life. A narcissist believes the rest of us are just
waiting on every post to know just how amazing life is in her
world. A narcissist may listen politely to others' ideas in
brainstorming, but deep down she believes that her ideas are really
10 times better than others. So the idea of "brainstorming" is just
How to manage: Cautiously give
upfront roles to this person. The "stage" is like crack to a
narcissist addict. Once you give a mic to a narcissist who doesn't
fully represent your values, you're in trouble. It's very
difficult to maintain your values/DNA with a narcissist who'll do
anything to get a laugh or attention. In brainstorm sessions, to
get the best teamwork when you have a raging narcissist, continue
to coach her on allowing others to also speak and being kind in her
- Teflon Mentality-A narcissist believes he does
everything amazingly well. In fact, a narcissist believes that if
there are problems with his work, it's probably you who has the
problem. If only you could see how amazing he is, he
thinks, you'd quit correcting him. It's very
difficult to correct a narcissist who won't acknowledge the need
How to manage: Repetition seems to
work for awhile. Continue to stay on message and reiterate the
areas that need correction over and over and over. At the end of
the day, it'll go right back to the problem being you, but at least
in the short-term you'll see small improvements.
- Fool Mentality-A narcissist believes that
there's nothing you can teach her since she's great at everything
already. Proverbs 17:10 says "A single rebuke does more for a
person of understanding than a hundred lashes on the back of a
fool." Try as you might, pointing out areas that need improvement
may not get through to a narcissist-even if you do it a hundred
times. A narcissist won't work on learning what you need her to
because, after all, she has no deficits.
How to manage: Like it or not, you may have to
say goodbye to a narcissist on your team. If she absolutely will
not heed correction, you need to help her see that it's time to go.
You may even need to fire the person. Upholding your ministry's DNA
and values outweighs the narcissist's need to do it her
super-awesome-amazing way that only she is the star of.
If you'd like to read more about the narcissism
epidemic, click here.