Report: Being An Arrogant Prick Is Sometimes Bad, Sometimes Good For Business

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Call it the curse of the chief executive. Powerful, visionary chiefs can create billion-dollar brands. Steven Jobs atApple and Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook are often-cited examples. But we’ve recently seen some illustrations in the takeover world of the dark side of the chief executive. Being powerful and visionary, or at least thinking you are, can lead corporate chieftains to great heights, but also to extreme narcissism. And the victims are often shareholders...These effects are exemplified when a company is sold. Narcissistic chief executives are apt to argue that they should be excessively compensated, even if it comes at the expense of shareholders, because the company would not have succeeded without their efforts...To be sure, a narcissistic personality can serve companies well. It can instill an almost cultlike loyalty. The self-belief of the chief executives can lead them to take gambles that would cause others to hesitate. Again, Apple is a terrific example of narcissism’s positive side. [Dealbook]

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