Episode #76: Hidden Blockers to Accountability Caused by Narcissistic Leaders

In the latest episode of “Dismantling Dysfunction,” we delve into the significant impact of narcissistic leadership on workplace accountability. We highlight the unique challenges posed by leaders who exhibit narcissistic traits such as a grandiose sense of self-importance, a constant need for admiration, and a lack of empathy towards others. The discussion underscores how these characteristics lead to a toxic work environment, where credit hoarding, denial of mistakes, and gaslighting are prevalent.

A key focus of the episode is the detrimental effect these leadership styles have on organizational culture. Narcissistic leaders often create a culture of blame and secrecy, hampering open communication and effective decision-making. This atmosphere not only erodes trust within the team but also hinders the organization’s overall progress and adaptability. The hosts emphasize the necessity for transparent and empathetic leadership, which is crucial for fostering a positive and productive work environment.

Tune in to find out practical strategies to manage and mitigate the challenges posed by narcissistic leaders. Learn the importance of maintaining consistent standards of accountability and not taking the behavior of such leaders personally. By promoting alignment with stated goals and behaviors, organizations can effectively counteract the negative impact of narcissistic leadership, ensuring a healthier, more accountable workplace culture. The episode serves as a valuable resource for leaders and professionals seeking to navigate and transform challenging leadership dynamics and blockers to accountability in their organizations.

If you want to know more about leading effectively, check out our book, “So, You Think You Can Lead?”: www.amazon.ca/dp/B07QMVKNSV/  


  • [00:00] Episode Introduction
  • [03:42] Narcissistic Leadership Traits
  • [09:00] Challenges to Accountability
  • [22:45] Episode Gem
  • [26:49] Episode Wrap Up


  • Narcissistic leaders are characterized by their charismatic yet self-centered nature, significantly impacting workplace dynamics. They are a significant accountability blocker as their behavior is often marked by a lack of empathy, a tendency to hoard credit, a propensity for denying mistakes, and engaging in gaslighting behaviors.


  • Narcissistic leadership behaviors contribute to the creation of toxic work environments, erode trust among team members, and hinder effective decision-making. These leaders frequently set unrealistic expectations for their teams, leading to employee burnout and a decline in productivity and performance.


  • Practical strategies for managing narcissistic leaders are offered, highlighting the importance of adhering to consistent standards of accountability and advising against taking the behavior of such leaders personally. The need for alignment with stated goals and behaviors as a key strategy to counteract the problematic tendencies of narcissistic leaders is emphasized.


  • Whether you’re a seasoned leader or a new manager, join us in this enlightening Accountability series on the Dismantling Dysfunction Podcast, as we pull back the curtain on what’s really going on. Remember, if you need help dealing with dysfunctions at work or in your personal life, reach out to us.  


"Deciding to compensate for poor performance instead of managing it is an act of self- disempowerment."
episode 18 quote tile 2 - "When acting from the Victim Leadership Persona, our power and sense of personal agency is taken away by seeing situations through a  lens of helplessness."
episode 18 quote tile 2 - "When acting from the Victim Leadership Persona, our power and sense of personal agency is taken away by seeing situations through a  lens of helplessness."

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