Thursday, April 8, 2010

Charisma, Narcissism & Sociopathy

Soon, I will release seminal report on the impact of narcissism on charismatic leadership. It may sound unusual to speak of charisma in the same vein as narcissism and sociopathy, but there are some traits that charismatic personalities exhibit that could be deemed narcissistic and sociopathic. “Sociopathy” is being devoid of a conscience or totally lacking in normal, human emotions. Dr. Martha Stout (2005) attributes this lack of emotion to a biological proclivity coupled with an environment that values individualism. Narcissism is an abnormal focus and concentration on oneself. The similarity between narcissism and sociopathy is that individuals possessing these traits respectively are eager for power, control and “winning” against individuals.

The correlation between these traits and charismatic leadership is that they typically go hand and hand. While, the average charismatic is not totally devoid of conscience, he may exhibit a form of mutable conscience; in that he will adapt his emotional barometer to fit the situation. In this sense, he may be better qualified as “amoral” rather than immoral. He is very aware and concerned about situations and people around him, but only to the extent that they serve his ultimate purposes.


References


Stout,M. (2005). The sociopath next door. New York: Broadway Books.

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