As mentioned many times before, I meet wonderful and exciting people every day.

Today was a particularly special day the I met the masterful executive!

A what?

Yip, I met an executive who had mastered the corporate game. And why was it so special? Because he behaved just like a narcissist but remained within himself a remarkably connected human being.

Now I have an aversion to the narcissist personality-type. I can spot them immediately.

I believe in simplicity. And simplicity in human beings starts here:

There are only two types of personality types:

  • The narcissist

. . . . . and

  • Everyone else

This allows me to walk into a room and immediately assess what I am up against. The narcissist is where the poison is and I get prepared to deal with them. Usually this entails that I am false and friendly – I avoid as little direct contact as possible because narcissist evoke a specific kind of anger in me.

So, this guy (let’s call him Theo) gave of an air of importance and authority. I found myself a little on the back foot but it was great to practice my narcissist adaption skills – no gushing, turn the volume down, be partially aloof.

I am always looking for an opportunity to coach a client. This was no different.

But I was not able to latch onto anything. I prodded around and asked lots of questions and it seemed like we were just sparring with each other. Forgive the grubbiness but it’s almost like trying to find out who’s got the biggest privates.

An hour and half after rather mindless technical chitter chatter and shop-talk, he asked me a most unexpected question – how I had got into the business of coaching.

It was rather peculiar as it was out of character to this suave, nonchalant presentation that he had arrived with.

After talking about myself for 5 minutes, I noticed that his face had changed – it was softer and more relaxed.

I thought nothing of it until he told me that he had a coach!

My professional interest was piqued. I asked him what sort of work that he was doing with his coach. It emerged that the coach was a spiritual master of sorts, residing in Australia.

A spiritual master? This dude?

Suddenly we were talking at a different level. The barriers were down we were onto the real stuff.

And then it suddenly dawned on me – an epiphany!

Here was an executive who had mastered the corporate game! That was it!

When he arrived he presented himself as this tight executive, arrogant and as slick as a narcissist could ever be. But under all that false showing and cover-up, was a genuine person whose mastery of some of the deeper concepts of life were remarkable.

Here was someone who played in the executive dog-eat-dog space and yet retained his deeper values and sense of self. He had not allowed the game to get to him but he knew how to play it exceptionally well.

An executive like this is manoeuvring himself into a position of power where he can effect meaningful change towards the ethos and values that he holds dear.

This is in complete contrast to the self-serving practices that most senior executives play out.

Theo is a young, competent executive with the leadership ethos that we read about on LinkedIn but never see in our work environment. The corporate word so desperately needs Theo. He is a pioneer.

There is no doubt he will reveal more of his true self as he expands his sphere of influence.

I will follow him with anticipation.