Toxic Leadership

Topics: Leadership, Toxic leader, Management Pages: 7 (2334 words) Published: December 31, 2011
Scholar Paper
“Toxic Leadership”
Rosella D. Scott
Student # 110179

I. Introduction
Webster dictionary defines “toxic” as containing or being poisonous material especially when capable of causing death or serious debilitation, exhibiting symptoms of infection or toxicities or extremely harsh, malicious, or harmful. “Leadership” ,by definition is when an organizational role involves (1) establishing a clear vision, (2) sharing (communicating) that vision with others so that they will follow willingly, (3) providing the information, knowledge, and methods to realize that idea, and (4) coordinating and balancing the conflicting interests of all members or stakeholders. With that being said, the phase Toxic Leadership as a concept was coined by Marcia Lynn Whicker, in her book: "Toxic Leaders: When Organizations go bad” which is all about the abuse of power and its destructiveness. In this paper, we will explore the special characteristics of toxic leaders, the different styles and the Who, What and Why toxic leaders exists in an organization.

II. Special Characteristics of Toxic Leaders
When thinking of toxic leaders, we often look at certain traits or attributes where the leader is always rude too and screaming at their subordinates in order to get the job; this is one feature of toxic leaders. The leader can be know to always lie to their followers in order to make themselves look good or even intimidate their subordinates so that they’re feared. There may be hundreds of other characteristics that toxic leaders possess, what we will take a look is a few characteristics that are outlined in Marcia Lynn Whicker book: "Toxic Leaders: When Organizations Go Bad" [New York: Doubleday, 1996.]:

Leaders who are viewed as maladjusted are often behaving awkwardly in social settings; they’re unable to cope with everyday social situations and personal relationships. These so called leaders are maladjusted to their environment, their position, their business, and certainly to their supporters.

A leader that has a characteristic of being malcontent, they’re never satisfied with anything. They often look at past failures to find reasons to complain about something. My guess is that they may have a restless desire to strive for something that they do not have.

Malevolent is defined as having, showing, or arising from intense often vicious ill will, spite, or hatred. Malevolence in leadership is the constant, severe hatred for others that these leaders have in order to counter their own insecurities. They often wish for the downfall of others and then often celebrate due to an individual’s misfortune.

Maliciousness is when a person has the intent of cause severe damage or harm to others. Leaders that have malicious intents are often looking for ways to deceive their followers in order to get the job done. Usually the ideology may seem link it has good intentions, but in reality it causes disruption and confusion amongst its followers.

III. Different types of Toxic Leaders Style
At first glance toxic leadership indicates an intimidating person that bullies others, but in reality a toxic leadership can be present in a meeker category or in a multitude of types between these extremes. The nature and degree of harm that results helps to characterize the toxic leader type. In "Bad Leadership: What It Is, How It Happens, Why It Matters," Barbara Kellerman (2004) suggests that toxicity in leadership may be analyzed into seven different types: THE INCOMPETENT LEADER

In order to effectively lead your subordinates; one must be a leader that has the competent I making it happen. Competent is about having the requisite (the necessary ability), qualities, knowledge or skill to do something successful. An Incompetent leader is an individual that may be good at delegating to the one’s (followers), who may be the subject matter expert, in getting goals accomplished. However, a...
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