In this day and age, we are witnessing the influx of toxic leaders in our offices. Although some people claim they want positive and caring leaders, however, we choose our leaders who are the exact opposite of what we need. We tend to hire psychopaths, narcissistic and egotistical jerks who value themselves over everyone. As a result, their negative impact can severely affect and even destroy organizations.
Unfortunately, these toxic leaders sometimes get away with certain misgivings as they are forgiven, solely due to the fact that they measure their success mainly in fiscal terms, or perhaps they bring some kind of charisma to the table, which is very valuable to the organization.
Toxic Workplaces Can Be Characterized as Follows:
- All sticks and no carrots. As near as I can tell, management only focuses mainly on the negatives instead of the positives, regarding employees. Managers are too busy correcting how certain tasks should be delegated; so as a result, employees tend to feel worthless. Thus, their productivity is limited.
- Bullies rule the roost. According to recent studies, most management either bully employees directly or tolerate it when it occurs amongst staff.
- Losing the human touch. As humans, we are often withheld by the misconception that we are just objects or expenses, rather than assets. And never is this more apparent than how certain managers treat their employees. Leaders fail to be compassionate and emphasizing towards employees.
Toxic leadership is a virus that is spreading rapidly
In accordance with a survey conveyed by the Workplace Bullying Institute, in 2010, it was reported that 31 percent of the American workforce have somehow directly experienced bullying, or mistreatment by their manager either in a form of verbal abuse, humiliation or vandalism of work performance, while another 15 percent said they witnessed bullying at their workplaces. Some have also been mistreated due to a different race, sex or class.
And you’ve guessed it…! Almost 75 percent of those bullies are bosses.
Toxic leaders can be characterized by the following behaviors:
- Corrodes the dignity, self-worth and efficacy of others.
- A Bully, narcissist, or psychopath.
- Thwarts their followers and leaves the organization worse off than when they found it.
- Intentionally feeds their followers illusions and fantasies about a secret plan or mystical vision.
- Plays to the basest fears and needs of the followers.
- Threatens or punishes those who fail to perform up to par.
- Charms, cultivates and deceives followers.
- Never accepts a blame.
- Frequently criticizes others.
- Isn’t open to criticism and will seek vengeance against those who give it.
- Tends to frequently exhibit mood swings and arrogance.
- Makes many promises that never happen.
- Takes credit for others’ work.
These toxic leaders tend to corrode the strength of their organizations. Their obnoxiousness and mountain-like ego cause employees to fear whether they are going to delegate a task poorly, which the boss will hate.
Working with a toxic boss can be very challenging. The best thing to do is learn how to deal with them.
Here are a few recommendations:
- Those in charge of hiring senior executives, e.g. Board of directors, recruiters, and CEOs ought to emphasize on what really constitutes good leadership. Physiological assessments should be part of the recruitment process to detect those who are extremely narcissistic and lack leadership qualities.
- The probationary period should be extended to at least a year for new hires. Doing so will allow time for the honeymoon period to end and for them to show their true colors, regarding manipulative personalities.
- New senior executives should be assigned, or obliged to have an executive coach who has the capacity to report any form of misconduct to the senior authorities.
Toxic leaders are prevailing continuously in our political, business and social functions, which serves as a serious threat.
Immediate action needs to be taken before more people and organizations are damaged.