John Dame and Jeffery Gedmin recently wrote that “we live in an era of self-celebration. Fame is equated with success, and being self-referential has become the norm.” Considering studies show that the rate of narcissistic tendencies has risen faster than obesity since the 1980s, it’s hard to disagree. But is that necessarily a bad thing?

Narcissism is useful for climbing the corporate ladder. And, once at the top, a small degree of narcissism may be good for leadership. However, the same characteristics that enable narcissists to rise to the top of the corporate or political ladder are often responsible for their downfall.

Hubris or Humility? examines the upside of narcissism, the dark side of overconfidence, and the power of modesty, even when it’s insincere.