Narcissism is ego on steroids. And that extreme sense of self-importance and self-accomplishment is a trait we often see in poor leaders who are failing at managing their organizations. But what about the CEO’s who swap out the “I” and “my” for “we” and “our”? Does their humility benefit their company’s performance?
In the article Narcissism as a Predictor of Company Performance, ChiefExecutive.net discusses the results of Professor Alex Frino’s study on the connection between narcissistic traits in CEO’s and corresponding stock returns. In his Australian experiment, “the group of large Australian companies headed by the least narcissistic chief executives had annualized stock returns that were nearly twice that of the group of most narcissistic CEOs for the period of September 2011 to March.”
When conducting similar research on American companies, Frino found that VMware Labs CEO Patrick Gelsinger and TJX CEO Carol M. Meyrowitz were in the top 10 least narcissistic leaders whose companies were high performers.
It’s easy to call out those CEO’s who fail to keep their ego in check and subsequently lose sight of their company’s main goals, but it’s important to acknowledge those leaders make a conscious effort to engage in EQ and empower their employees to succeed and achieve the team vision. Sheldon Gary Adelson, CEO of Las Vegas Sands, and David C. Novak of Yum! Brands also made the list.
It will be interesting to read Frino's future research on the link between a "me" attitude and company performance, but one thing is for certain - an unchecked ego without the critical soft skills of emotional intelligence will always be a bad for business.