Theresa May, who is at the time of writing about to be appointed Prime Minister of the UK, does seem like an expert, someone who thinks deeply and tries to understand how something works.
We don’t know her that well. But it was impressive that although it was clear yesterday that she would be prime minister around lunchtime, she delayed making her ‘statement’ until 6pm.
People say she seems ‘one step removed’ from what is going on – which perhaps means thinking deeply about what is happening and only sharing what she thinks when she feels sure it makes sense.
She has been Home Secretary for 6 years and in doing so would have seen the hardest parts of government at close quarters.
It is amazing that she still wanted to do perhaps the most difficult prime ministerial job since the war. What can be motivating that? Perhaps a genuine public service instinct?
An expert is motivated by understanding and reaching a goal – a narcissist is motivated by power, control and gaining admiration. Both of them end up in high levels of politics. Sometimes it seems amazing that society is not better at telling the difference.
(Or perhaps other experts are pretty good at spotting other experts, narcissists feel comforted by having other narcissists around, and there isn’t much crossing of the two).