When leaders lack self-awareness, they often overindulge in toxic or undesirable behaviors. There are three ways to deal with this:

  1. Help them out. Although upward feedback can be suicidal, it is also the most valuable data point to judge leaders’ performance.
  2. Learn to cope with their dark side. The best thing to do if you work for an egocentric boss is to compensate for their natural disposition by being alert to problems and risks and try to manage them.
  3. Learn to coexist with their reality distortion. When leaders are too narcissistic or deluded to be coached on self-awareness, your best bet is to understand how precisely they distort reality and learn to coexist with it.

These three suggestions try to alleviate the problems caused by leaders who lack self-awareness. You'll also need some grit to develop the drive that helps you deal with these difficult and unpleasant people over a sustained period of time. And, when dealing with it by playing the game, just remember to not abandon reality yourself!


Inpired by: Harvard Business Review - How to Work for a Boss Who Lacks Self-Awareness, by Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic