Monthly Archives: August 2012

Strategic Intelligence: Motivating and Partnering for Success

In my series of posts about radical leadership, I presented an idea from Michael Maccoby, author of Narcissistic Leaders: Who Succeeds and Who Fails, about strategic intelligence, the key to help leaders turn visionary ideas into business success. I think there are valuable insights here that relate to how leaders need to approach their work. […]
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Strategic Intelligence: What Saves Narcissistic Leaders

According to Michael Maccoby, author of Narcissistic Leaders: Who Succeeds and Who Fails, visionary leaders succeed because they have mastered five elements of strategic intelligence: Foresight Systems thinking Visioning Motivating Partnering Foresight This is a key leadership competency. Any coherent view of strategy involves thinking about the future. Leaders anticipate how current movements, ideas and […]
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Productive Narcissism: A Key to Leadership Success

Ever since reading the biography of Steve Jobs, I’ve been confused about what appears to be conflicting leadership principles. Jobs didn’t seem to have any of the ideal leadership qualities espoused by Jim Collins or Daniel Goleman. He wasn’t a Level 5 leader, or a servant leader, nor did he have much emotional intelligence. His […]
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21st Century Leadership: The Upside of Narcissism

Is it time to consider the value of CEOs with strong personalities: bold, visionary, radical and even narcissistic leadership? The great accomplishment of [Steve] Jobs’s life is how effectively he put his idiosyncrasies – his petulance, his narcissism, and his rudeness – in the service of perfection. ~ Malcolm Gladwell I’ll tell you why narcissistic […]
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Self-Confidence or Vulnerability: Walking the Tightwire

As a business leader, what do you think about expressing self-confidence vs. vulnerability? There are a lot of great videos on, but two have left me thinking profoundly: Dr. Brene Brown’s talk on vulnerability and the one on shame. As mentioned in my post on Tuesday, expressing self-doubt or anything that hints of a […]
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Leadership Self-Confidence: Do You Dare Show Vulnerability?

After my last post on the study that shows that leadership self-confidence succeeds better when it’s lowered, one reader reacted strongly. Maybe others did too, but didn’t speak up through the comments section. Let’s talk more about this issue of leadership self-confidence and executive presence. The real issue is vulnerability, for example, when you show […]
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Leadership Success: In Praise of LESS Self-Confidence…

In business psychology, the prevailing wisdom has assumed that a high degree of self-confidence leads to promotions and leadership success. I recently ran across a blog post that disputes this assumption. (Image: Business psychologist Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic writes that new studies show that Less-Confident People Are More Successful (Harvard Business Review blog, July 2012). According […]
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Managing with Self-Deception: “You have a problem…”

Try telling a colleague or subordinate that he has a problem, and the depth of his self-deception will become clear. (Photo: Helping others see what they’re unwilling to recognize is a widespread leadership challenge. And it’s one of the prime reasons my clients engage me as an executive coach. It’s especially tricky when we […]
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Leadership Self-Deception: The Lake Wobegon Effect

As a leader, how do you know when you’re engaging in self-deception and have an inflated sense of self-worth? And what are the consequences for leading others? (Image: In Garrison Keillor’s fictional community of Lake Wobegon, “The women are strong, the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average.” As it turns […]
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