We’ve talked about the good aspects of being a narcissist, especially when climbing the corporate ladder, but what about humility? When placed side-by-side, the two qualities bring to mind arch nemeses – hubris, the ever-charming yet self-absorbed compatriot, and humility, the soft-spoken, humble negotiator.
While narcissists’ secret power is their compelling charisma which masks their weaknesses, the humble wield an arguably even greater power – the power of modesty.
People with low self-confidence and ambition constantly evaluate their weaknesses and work tirelessly to improve while individuals with narcissistic tendencies tend to listen to positive feedback and ignore the negative.
Jim Collins, a leading authority on management and author of Good to Great, spent more than 30 years investigating why certain organizations are more successful than others. Collins found that companies led by modest managers consistently outperformed their competitors, and tended to be the dominant players in their sectors. He also found that humble leaders tended to stay at their organizations longer than their arrogant counterparts, and that their companies continue to perform well even after they leave because humble leaders often ensure a succession plan before they depart.