Should You Hire A Narcissist?

Hiring a good sales person is a difficult thing to do. I have a question for you…would you hire Lindsay Lohan to make a sales pitch for your company? Probably not….This article may change your answer. Everyone knows the troubled actress has been all over the news, more then once we have seen her taking a police photo. She is obviously a troubled girl. Is she a narcissist?

Wikipedia says that Narcissism  as the personality trait of egotism,vanity, conceit, or simple selfishness. Applied to a social group, it is sometimes used to denote elitism or an indifference to the plight of others. Lohan’s numerous drunk driving incidents shows that, although I am not a psychologist, she may fit the description.  

There are many reasons why you might want to hire her, she is beautiful, young, and sexy. We all know that this helps sell. But there may be more to it then that. This young girl has had nothing but a string of success’s after staring in the Parent Trap remake at age 11. She has built up quite an ego, and appears to be a narcissist, and that is exactly why you would want to hire her.

She would SELL IT! In a soon to be published paper in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Cornell researcher Jack Goncalo showed that in 3 separate studies that narcissist have a great ability to influence people and groups. ( sales)  They tend to display enthusiasm, confidence and charisma while selling ideas. He also states

In the workplace, for example, “You want creative tension. Narcissists shake things up—they stimulate competition and provoke controversy.”

Sales company’s always want competition. So Lindsay might drive your performers to do better then they are today. She might also flake out and quit on you because she is too much of a diva. Sales and persuasion go hand in hand. You want and need salespeople that can push others, in case of a narcissist, not necessarily perform. I have found some talk a better game then they actually played.

But that is an issue we will always face,there is a reason why sales is a hire turn over job. It’s tough. You need people with the ego strength to carry on. And narcissism is not a bad thing, Freud believed that some of it was nessesary part of all of us. It just seems some are better at showing it.  There are many organizations that do personality tests to see if you are hiring the right person, that the person has the correct tools that you need. I have used these, but nothing replicates the tough questions in the interview to see how the ego responds. The narcissist will always throw it back at you.

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