The confidence, charisma and independence that helped high-performing leaders gain success can also be their downfall, says a recent article from Harvard Business Review, noting that the gain in power and influence often leads people to give in to their dark sides.
The authors warn leaders to be on the lookout for these self-defeating behaviors:
- Overconfidence. Success can lead to deluded self-perception and overconfidence in one’s own abilities. When a leader’s self-views surpass their achievements, they may lose sight of their own limitations.
- Narcissism. Success can cause leaders to have an overly flattering image of themselves, which they will often fight to protect. When questioned or challenged, narcissists typically react aggressively and double down by introducing even stronger claims.
- Isolation. Success creates a scarcity of negative feedback and news, as well as increased flattery and servility. Executives who react badly to negative news and who consider themselves superior will have little incentive to establish a strong and independent team that can provide much-needed critical and brutally honest feedback.
For more information, see the full HBR article: Why Great Success Can Bring Out the Worst Parts of Our Personalities.