Toxic Leadership

Powerful Essays
How Dark Side Leadership Personality Destroys Trust and Degrades Organizational Effectiveness

Introduction

People seem implicitly to attach the word 'good' to the word 'leadership'. This tendency may explain why academic researchers have avoided managerial (and leadership) incompetence. The recent implosion of several organizations (i.e. Enron, Tyco, WorldCom, Hollinger International) and the associated media coverage has called attention to the existence of bad leaders. This article draws on the knowledge base concerning the dark side of personality to define the critical issues associated with managerial derailment and to offer guidance to leadership development practitioners. The paper is organized sin three sections. First, we offer a definition of leadership that differs from the standard view. Second, we define personality dimensions that characterize both effective and ineffective leadership, and show how these dimensions translate into leadership behavior. Finally, we offer some suggestions for leadership development practitioners.

Defining Good and Bad Leadership

Researchers and practitioners often complain that there is no agreed-upon definition of leadership – there are almost as many definitions of leadership as there are people who study it. We find it helpful to focus on the functions of leadership than the characteristics of people who are in charge. Consistent with this orientation, we value the roach and Behling (1984) definition in terms of the process of influencing a group toward accomplishing its goals. This definition highlights three critical issues: (1) leadership is a process; (2) it implies influence (implicitly a bidirectional influence process); (3) it entails accomplishing a specified goal. Hogan and colleagues extend this definition by arguing that leadership should be understood in terms of both the 'ends' – accomplishing the goals of an organization – and the 'means' of leadership – building and maintaining high

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Powerful Essays

    Toxic Leadership

    • 3521 Words
    • 15 Pages

    Toxic Leadership Colonel George E. Reed, U.S. Army N 2003, Secretary of the Army Thomas E. White asked the U.S. Army War College (AWC) to address how the Army could effectively assess leaders to detect those who might have “destructive leadership styles.”1 The most important first step in detecting and treating toxic leadership is to recognize the symptoms. The terms toxic leader, toxic manager, toxic culture, and toxic organization appear with increasing frequency in business, leadership, and…

    • 3521 Words
    • 15 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Best Essays

    Toxic Leadership

    • 1998 Words
    • 8 Pages

    TOXIC LEADERSHIP Most often throughout the military negative leadership occurs within organization regardless of ranks and unit structure. The most common negative leadership that is displayed amongst leaders is toxic leadership. Army leaders accept the responsibility to develop and lead others to achieve results. A recent survey done by the United States Army confirms what most knowledgeable and professional NCOs already know – toxic leadership destroys units’ morale and leads to highly qualified…

    • 1998 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Best Essays
  • Good Essays

    Toxic Leadership

    • 1012 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Toxic Leadership The abuse of power and it destructiveness How to spot it and how to avoid it Toxic leadership as a concept was coined by Marcia Lynn Whicker, in her book: "Toxic Leaders: When Organizations Go Bad" [New York: Doubleday, 1996. This phrase is linked with a number of dysfunctional leadership styles. This is someone who has responsibility over a group of people or an organisation, and who abuses the leader-follower relationship and who leaves the group or organization in a poorer…

    • 1012 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Toxic Leadership

    • 2334 Words
    • 10 Pages

    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…

    • 2334 Words
    • 10 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    Toxic Leadership

    • 390 Words
    • 2 Pages

    been earned by the leaders character. I’ve always respected leaders who set a standard and stand by it rather than abandon it at the first sign of difficulty. Having experienced many styles of leadership, there was a brief time in which i believed that fear was an acceptable way to lead. This “toxic leadership” was very effective for many years in the military and was the style that many leaders wanted to emulate. However, over time my view of how a leader should be changed as I was experienced to…

    • 390 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Studies of leadership and command climates abound. Since “good leadership” is commonplace, headlines about “toxic leaders” should (and do) draw attention. Recent military journals provided sad details of conspicuous relief of Army and Navy commanders. The reason for concern about any toxic leaders, particularly in our senior ranks, is apparent: Talented people in the 21st century expect to work in healthy climates, where strong bonds of June 2012 I ARMY 47 Defining toxic leader is the…

    • 2769 Words
    • 80 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    address how toxic leaders continue their ascent to positions of increased spheres of influence. Techniques for raters to frankly discuss issues with their toxic subordinates are made. Subordinate Soldiers' inability to directly address the toxic leader is also addressed. One area not delved into was the toxic leader's perception of how they affect the unit. The…

    • 555 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Toxic Eladership

    • 422 Words
    • 2 Pages

    Toxic Leadership of Adolf Hitler The reason why people believed in Hitler and actually voted him to power in 1932 were • Hitler seize upon the fears of the German population. The people were afraid of the growing influence of communism and the inability of their government in addressing the growing economic demands of the treaty of Versailles as dictated by the western powers. Hence, he provided a viable and strong option to the people. • Hitler appealed to the EGO of the German people. He…

    • 422 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    Toxic Trio

    • 1083 Words
    • 5 Pages

    The Toxic Trio Let's face it, when a woman arrives at a nail salon, the first thing she thinks about is the color of polish she is choosing or how excited she is to pamper herself. The last thing on her mind are the toxins that are in the actual nail polish. Little does she know, there are plenty of chemical compounds that are in each nail polish bottle, three of which are very toxic. They are formaldehyde, toluene, and dibutyl pthlate (DBP)-also known as the "toxic trio." These three toxins are…

    • 1083 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Toxic Friendships

    • 702 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Chanel Downey English 115 Professor Kirstin Bruner 18 February 2009 Toxic Friendships: Harmful Friends Unhealthy Relationships There are many definitions of what a friend is or is considered to be. But a friend is generally known as a person whom one knows, likes, and trusts (freedictonary.com). And when someone chooses a friend, they ordinarily enter into a friendship with another person. Because people tend to have different personalities…

    • 702 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays