Toxic Leadership

by  Kristina Lacida  |  Creating Value

What is it?

Toxic leadership is brought about by lack of self-awareness, lack of self-control and confidence, all of which are seeded by self-interest. As a result, a toxic leader’s subordinates don’t like him or her. Toxic leaders care all about themselves. They only think of their own feelings and disregard those of others. Somehow, toxic leadership is related to autocratic leadership style.

Such leaders act aggressively and treat others terribly. They distribute tasks in a restrictive manner and even try to intimidate their subordinates in order to preserve constricted control.

Characteristics Of A Toxic Leader:

  • Self-destructive

He only thinks that his own ideas are right. In every opportunity, he degrades his followers, and acts like the subordinate is of no use.

  • Irritable

A toxic leader is always irritable. He doesn’t want to be bothered. He avoids and hates to be asked questions at any time. He doesn’t allow an open and frank flow of ideas that would contribute to the betterment of the organization.

  • Arrogant

Toxic leaders are arrogant. They are boastful and always think that they are right. They don’t extend help to others. They hate to be corrected by other people, especially their team members.

  • Incompetent

Toxic leaders are incompetent, even though they always put in their mind that they are the best. They always criticize others.

  • Maladjusted

They are maladjusted and afraid of change. They are not flexible and they are hard to deal with.

  • Lack of confidence

Toxic leaders are not confident with themselves. They also don’t trust their subordinates. Every day we face problems. These problems be solved right away to prevent them from pilling up. But with toxic leadership, subordinates will feel depressed and hopeless about the future.

Tools of a toxic leadership

  • Organizational Structures

Toxic leaders have the ability to destroy organizational structures.

  • Workload

Workloads pile up. The reason for this is that toxic leaders are setting objectives that are unrealistic. In turn, this sets the company up to fail.

  • Corporate power structures

A toxic leader controls his or her team members.

These are the characteristics and tools of a toxic leadership. If you see these signs in your leader, then think twice if you’re going to stay or leave. Toxic leadership degrades team members which lowers their self-awareness and self-confidence.

If you are a true leader, then you must assess yourself to determine if you exhibit any of these traits. If so,  you need to internalize any issues you may have and take the necessary steps towards sincere change for the betterment of yourself as a person and as a leader.

Are you being a toxic leader? Does toxic leadership makes you feel more like of a leader? Is toxic leadership associated of being an arrogant?

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About The Author

Articles By kristina-lacida
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What People Are Saying

letsgrowleaders  |  17 Aug 2012  |  Reply

Good points. Even low levels of toxicity (a leader displaying one or two of these characteristics can be very unhealthy to both the organization and to the leader him/herself.

Kristina Lacida  |  17 Aug 2012  |  Reply

I agree! Thank you for reading. For more articles, you can visit my site.

cog  |  03 Sep 2012  |  Reply

Enjoyed the article but it’s a but like the”bad guy”in action movies– he/she’s is SO bad you can’t wait for the good guys to clobber them rarely in real life is someone quite that Dr. Evil-like.

Dave Logan’s book, Tribal Leadership talks about a Stsge 3 organization ever knowledge hoarding is rampant. I think that and the early stage 4 is what you’ve captured here

Mike Henry  |  03 Sep 2012  |  Reply

I agree about the toxic leader being from the Stage 3 tribe. It’s that mentality that persists in a lot of toxic boss relationships. Seldom do leaders from Stage 1 or 2 tribes get ahead in organizations that have stage 4 or stage 5 people in them. Great parallel to Tribal Leadership. Thanks!

kristina  |  03 Sep 2012  |  Reply

I’m glad that you enjoyed my article. Thank you so much.

Adam  |  18 Dec 2014  |  Reply

Great article, I like it because, the behavior can be addressed at the beginning stages of a Toxic Leader/Person. The Prevention stages is where, you can be more effective and have drastic changes in a person or persons. That is the ability to know ones self, and share with the individual or individuals their attitudes, behaviors, and beliefs and how they can impact the mission of the organization. Thanks

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