Machiavellian narcissistic people tend to dominate in corporate environments according to a new study — one that seems to be highly suspicious from an academic standpoint with regard to use of terminology.
According to a new report finding shared on Jan. 5, 2016 by Metro.US, “Ruthless Narcissists succeed more at work.”
But here’s the deal.
Since the rise of corporations first started happening in the 20th century from a socio-cultural perspective, nearly every corporate structure run by Megalomaniacs (rather than Ruthless Empaths) has, for the most part, failed by or before the time a toxic executive set retired. As such, the result finding has been presented in such a way that pays homage to short-term, entitlement-based thinkers only… giving them workplace success and domination advice that is not only bad for organizations seeking to promote effective leaders but can truly hurt any and every organization who elects to promote such an individual in the long term.
The study findings suggest that nice men and women are typically left behind when it comes time for a promotion in a corporation or structured, competitive-in-house workplace environment. The writers at Metro claim, “Your suspicions are correct: Nice guys and gals finish last” when it comes to having professional success at work.
The tone of the study suggests there is an implicit competitive factor between employees who jockey for advancement opportunities. Swiss researcher Daniel Spurk conducted the study, sampling 800 people’s subjective career reports from various industries.
Seeking to determine if Machiavellian personality types are more successful, the study’s first flaw is it fails to include a conception that an Empath could be using true philosophically Machiavellian principles to rule an organization justly. Such leaders may be forced into the position of fake posturing to indicate a strong persona (when they are really big softies at heart).
Such leaders — effective, efficient leaders able to make tough and sometimes unpopular decisions for the good of the whole at the expense of a few — are oftentimes perceived critically by any person who is let go from a company, who gets passed over for a promotion (when a promotion is given on merit rather than time working for a company), or who is let go for simply being a bad fit for the team due to personality type. Sadly, because researchers focused only on the DSM5 criteria for NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder) coupled into a Dark Triad version of an employee or figurehead having elements of Narcissism and Anti-Social behaviors commingled with a “ruthless’ agenda to dominate in the workplace, they forgot to factor in the possibility that a Machiavellian ruler could be a person who is, by psychiatric definition, an “HSP”.
HSPs (or Highly Sensitive Personalities) are truly gifted individuals, many of whom have highly perceptive and sensitive natures. Because they are considered gifted emotionally in the same way a gifted student is recognized for their high level of intelligence, they have a natural advantage doing analysis and covert assessment of both professional niches needs (in the competitive business sense) as well as with regard to personnel management. Not likely to be swayed by sympathy ploys, such rulers are truly loved and feared in the philosophical sense of the WORD Machiavellian.
Understanding that the word itself has been culturally misapplied historically and by the psychiatric community for so long, the true meaning of Machiavelli’s work and loving contribution of his work “The Prince” has left a giant conceptual hole in the cultural conception of what it truly means to be an effective ruler in the Machiavellian sense.
Machiavelli wrote his book “The Prince” while he was in exile from his community. He was a gifted intellectual as well as what may be considered a “Ruthless Empath”. As an individual gifted with the ability to see things according to the greater concept as well as able to evaluate life according to the microcosmic reflective perspective, he came to some very simple but logical conclusions about what makes or breaks leaders historically.
Noting that the populous of any culture or community tends to be fickle, Machiavelli suggests that any ruler seeking to be effective must deliberately but covertly cultivate within his dominion a meticulously handcrafted image that causes him to be both feared and loved. In the absence of fear for a ruler, he says, the ruler is likely to be disrespected and left vulnerable to a coup.
For that reason, Machiavelli suggests it is better to be feared than loved, noting a ruler who is feared is likely to come to a brutal end but will have great success and longevity until he forcibly loses command.
The reason people think Machiavellianism is evil is due to the person acting in that manner needing to deceive the public about both their true nature and true intent. Most would say an average human would not have the backbone or courage in their gut to fake being mad when they actually are not or to give orders to do things like go to war or execute a rival when they know it’s wrong… but for the greater good of the whole long term.
Presidents who are lovers of peace but who sign bills to expand military service are acting in the capacity of Ruthless Empath when and if they are making choices to fund military operations for the best interest of all concerned — not just a few. A Dark Triad person, on the other hand, will employ Machiavellian tactics to self-promote.
That’s where the study falls down from an empirical and scientific sense.
There’s simply no mention of Empaths in most literature discussing corporate Machiavellianism. There’s also few (if any) discussions included in pop-psychology or self-help literature explaining the difference between a person who — in a leadership capacity — follows Machiavelli’s wise advice for the best interest of the long-term health of an organization.
To that end, before casting aspersions on leaders who rule with Machiavellian intent, know this…
Machiavelli actually suggested that in any ruler or leadership position that it is better to be feared than loved in order to prevent social anarchy, community distress, and an eventual coup. He also was quite clear to point out that in a perfect world, a ruler is both feared (in a healthy manner that engenders respect) and is loved (for truly being caring, loyal, and magnanimous).
For that reason, Spurk’s work (which suggests workers who manipulate covertly in an office environment to get ahead tend to be successful) may be partially right. But to claim it as an absolute without paying attention to what is really going on at the top is socially irresponsible and reckless as a pop culture advice promotion.
Not only do the presented findings lead people who are in submissive roles in workplace culture to believe the only way to get ahead is to be mean, shady, and dishonest, but it dooms them to running an inner monologue that suggests if they are nice (implying honest and thinking about the best interest of all company employees as well as themselves) that they will fail inevitably when competing for advancement positions in corporate culture.
Is that accurate? No.
And we’ll tell you why.
Because true career-oriented Empaths are fully aware that sometimes as leaders they have to make choices that will make them unpopular. As long as respect for leadership and authority remains in place from a civil and emotional perspective, rule continues down the path steered by an Empath acting in the Platonic sense as a legitimate role model and true social Guardian.
Empaths are the dolphins who swim with sharks. They are the Richard Bransons, Elon Musks, and Bill Gates’ of the world — not the J. Edgar Hoovers, Donald Trumps, Nancy Pelosis, Dick Cheneys, or the Lyndon B. Johnsons.
To that end, while Machiavellian Dark Triad people tend to thrive in corporate environments in the short term, promoting their own best interest over that of the organization, it’s actually more true to say that Machiavellian leaders who have average personalities that tend to be more narcissistic (meaning in control, desiring success, and having charisma that entices people to follow their lead) are actually more likely to keep a company afloat over the long haul.
Power, in that sense, is possible to extend from generation to generation with regard to corporate social domination when and if power is successfully handed down to young Empaths (rather than Narcissists, Anti-Social predators, or Dark Triads).
When it comes time for an effective ruler to step down from power and reassign the leadership role at the appropriate time from them to tend to their own age-related healthcare issues, the most effective leaders manage and oversee day to day activities of any government, office, or conglomerate organization with care for themselves, others, and the goal of successfully promoting the advancement of the long term whole.
Sharks are Machiavellian Dark Triads — power mongers and fear mongers. Equate the word monger with “Fish Monger” and there you have it.
If something seems fishy about a leader or co-worker, meaning they are horrible to their staff, treat their family, spouse, partner, parents, or children poorly, and they seem to only self-promote rather than mentor and effectively lead, it’s time to stop suggesting or in any way encouraging people to look to those types of figures as employees to keep or as the measure of professional success.