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  • Writer's pictureGregory Wade

Toxic Leadership - A Call to Action

Have you ever had a boss or supervisor who seemed to ruin the spirit of your organization? For whatever reason, their leadership or management style was noxious enough to cause their employees to go from productive caring individuals to people who want to undermine the organization. Sometimes these supervisors are placed in their positions by managers wanting "to shake things up" in a specific department but such moves often prove to backfire. 

When toxic supervisors work their damaging "magic" on a company, good, experienced people leave. In the brief term, this may appear good since it can reduce costs, but if you lose good folks, and the folks who're left engage in passive-aggressive behavior or even more injurious, undermine, then the business turns unproductive and eventually unprofitable. 

This destruction could be blamed on the line staff for example, saying they didn't deal with change.

However, the real responsibility rests with the executive that placed the toxic manager in their role.

These executives are rarely held accountable for their bad decisions. This isn't an innocent mistake. It is a calculated escalation of terrible judgment, laziness, and fear the incompetent executive rains down upon the business. For example, a leader might purposefully place a "pitbull" manager in a role despite knowing that the manager has typically left a wake of disaster. If they did their job correctly, they would have had better leaders vs. managers in position giving the right guidance or support. So the executive is the actual saboteur and yet he/she can frequently sidestep the mess that they've created. 

Executives need to take accountability. They need effective coaching, mentorship, leadership, along with support from HR. In fact, this seems like advice that politicians, business, government, healthcare, military, along with education leadership might all benefit from.

Occasionally, poor leadership doesn't know when to ask for coaching or support.
Often their egos just get in the way. 

Whatever their excuse for bad leadership, they're accountable for the reduced productivity and poor performance of their business.  The days of command-and-control, of Chief Yelling Officers (CYOs) and rules for the purposes of control or micromanagement are over. There is a new generation of employee in the workforce; they expect more out of their leaders. Be the one leader who affects change and respects the connection between people and performance.

Call to Action

Know your people. Don't let toxic supervisors subvert your organization's work and productivity. Take responsibility and do the productive work of finding the right individuals to manage and after that let them take credit for their good work.  Your share/stake holders will thank you but more importantly your employees through improved engagement, focus and contribution.

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