Silicon Valley loves a charismatic founder story. But there's a difference between vision and leadership and … narcissism. New research shows that narcissistic CEOs are bad for business. Jennifer Chatman, a professor of management at UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business who has researched the tech industry, found that narcissistic CEOs tend to pay themselves more and pay their executives less. They get involved in more lawsuits because they take more risks than they need to. And they tend to hire people more because of their loyalty than their skills or judgment. Molly Wood asks Chatman if the myth of the genius founder means a lot more narcissists in tech. The following is an edited transcript of their conversation.
Jennifer Chatman: We hear a lot about CEOs who are founders in the technology industry adopting behaviors that appear high on the narcissism scale. But, in the end, there are as many founders who are not narcissistic as there are founders who are narcissistic. So it's not really a causal factor. You don't have to be a narcissist to be a founder.