​The Narcissistic Leader

This piece of writing is inspired by a mental survey of the world and observations from my daily interactions with my bosses at work. Most of the insights I write about are aimed at shedding light on the most ordinary kind of activities in our day to day activities. I work in the one of the largest insurance companies in Kenya and in the course of executing my responsibilities I make many observations. It has never been easier to live and work with people that happen to be in the deepest states of spiritual sleep without any signs of awakening or reflection in the same. In this time and age it’s impossible for any seeker or master of wisdom to live in recluse with the excuse of meditation; it’s imperative that we have to camouflage and live among other people and learn the best we can from their actions and reactions. This is the new paradigm shift in meditation I attempted to talk about in a separate article a day ago.
There are leaders in each and every organization and this is how things work everywhere in the world. Nothing much, according to the established system of things, that can be accomplished without having leaders at different leaders at different levels in any work. And they are of varying degrees of awareness and kindness. I have met some leaders whose compassion shines brightly and I have also met others who are notoriously narcissistic but who are ever struggling tooth and nail to repress the latter. But funny enough no matter how much one represses a certain tendency inherent in their mannerisms it sooner or later comes to manifest.

Yesterday I had a heated debate with my current boss who always wants someone to dance to her whims and desires. However, much to her dismay, I countered her anger and resentment with a characteristic loving-kindness where I kept my voice and face as calm as possible during the agonizing moment. She is aware that I always tackle my tasks with a smile and great effort so much that one day she commented that when it comes to work I am more of a machine than a man. (Laughs). The secret is that if you want to be 100% effective in any piece of work is that you need to factor in meditation where the effort is directly joined with the solitary ‘witness’ within. So our argument went on and I kept insisting in her eyes that she was just reacting emotionally and not mindfully. Why such leaders are caught in a discussion where their ego gets challenged they consciously choose to snap out of the argument because the ego partially experiences death during moments of defeat.

It takes much craft to live among these kinds of people who lack the least amounts of mindfulness, yet when it comes to quoting scriptures to justify their own evils doings they are always in the frontline. For a long time I have sought to have a genuine understanding of why people behave and react as they do to given circumstances. 

The best way to understand these mlecchas is to know that success to positions of leadership is not necessarily, if at all, attributable to their inherent abilities to lead and guide their fellow humans. There are many other factors involved; more than can be imagined. For instance there have always been bad leaders in the government who are elected by the people and who turn out to be wolves in sheep’s clothing. In an office setting there are similar variants of narcissistic leaders who usually appear to be blood thirsty and with an obvious air of arrogance. For instance I asked that manager during our larger-than-life argument why she had singled out a single ‘misdeed’  out of the many good works and favors I have done for but this left her dumb-founded.

I am so appalled by the way innocent and good people suffer (psychologically) under poor leadership. This is a bad situation, but am not complaining because I know and fully understand the roots of all suffering for any given situation. Whatever actions such individuals take in order to cure the problems at hand is usually a rough estimate of the real solution to the problem that so afflicts them and their followers/juniors.

By Philip Kamau

Email: Philipkamau25@gmail.com

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