Given that the 2014 elections are over, it might be safe to create about politicians without having to be accused of partisanship. Actually, the sad truth appears to be the same, no matter political party.
Recently, my colleagues and I published a book predicated on research we conducted on toxic workplaces, exploring their characteristics, understanding employees’ and managers’ experiences in unhealthy settings and identifying the ways individuals survived and rose above poisonous circumstances.
One core factor we identified was the current presence of toxic leaders. Not long ago i edited an article at the top 10 traits of a toxic leader and was immediately struck by how similar the characteristics were to those of successful state and national politicians. Here’s an abbreviated description of the toxic traits:
What Bad Managers, Good Managers and Great Managers Do
Toxic leaders tend to be articulate, skilled socially and persuasive. They could be smart and very skilled in a specific specialization. Many demonstrate they can motivate others to create excellent results. Sometimes they begin as largely healthy individuals but as time passes pressures and compromises degrade their integrity.
Most toxic leaders are intensely focused on achieving goals. Hyperfocused on accomplishment, they use almost all their resources to pursue their objectives and so are adept at convincing others to become listed on them. It is necessary to notice, however, that their goals tend to be driven by self-interest and self-promotion.
Toxic leaders are masters at manipulation — of information and folks. They’re masters of earning things look good when they’re not. They choose what they’ll share, when, with whom and in what way, manipulating the presentation of information. Through guilt, shame and risk of embarrassment, toxic leaders manipulate those that work for them.
Toxic leaders truly think that they’re superior — that they’re brighter and more talented than other people. They think they will be the reason behind everything good which has happened and for that reason they should get the credit. They conclude that their desires, image and success should come first. It really is about them. Although they won’t say so publicly, they believe rules don’t connect with them but are created for everybody else.
Most toxic leaders haven’t any qualms about taking full responsibility for just about any success that occurs. If they have already been involved or not, if the positive result occurs near their presence, they’ll proclaim the email address details are because of their superior vision, insight and efforts. When members of the team commit extraordinary levels of time and effort to create a meeting successful, their work isn’t mentioned. Somehow the first choice gets all of the glory.
Toxic leaders more often than not relate with others in a condescending manner, except if they praise others as a way to manipulate them. Smooth and socially suave in public areas, they reserve their condescension for workplace interactions.
Given that they believe no-one else is really as talented or bright because they are, they think their ideas should be received with respect and deference. Be forewarned: Usually do not challenge them before others. If they don’t feel appropriately respected, they tear down people they see as a threat with their authority.
Initially, toxic leaders may become they care deeply about the organization’s cause and folks. In fact, one kind of toxic leader may be the warm, engaging leader who results in as caring greatly for others.
But that is a superficial act. As time passes, their true persona becomes apparent to those around them. The leaders’ insufficient authenticity becomes evident in different ways: They don’t have the talents and skills they seemed to have. Their prior experience and education risk turning out to be always a sham. Usually the results they bragged about achieving in other organizations are exposed as grossly exaggerated.
4 Methods to Diffuse a Toxic Workplace
With regard to “the bigger cause,” toxic leaders use and sacrifice those that work for them, regardless of how loyal. Toxic leaders rarely, if, take responsibility for whatever goes wrong.
They successfully attribute failure to others. They’re talented at rewriting history and coating themselves in Teflon, allowing nothing bad to stick. They’ll ask associates, “How will you let this happen? I’m terribly disappointed in you.” People will go out of a gathering asking, “What just happened? How did the boss dodge that bullet?”
Toxic leaders have a tendency to ignore conditions that they don’t value or those that don’t help them look good. Issues imperative to the health of the business, such as for example conflicts among staff, go unaddressed.
Often toxic leaders concentrate on immediate gains, neglecting long-term implications and saying, “It’ll all work out as time passes.” Several problematic leaders pay extreme focus on presenting a graphic of helping the business succeed financially but disregard the realities of the real fiscal situation.
A very important factor most toxic leaders learn how to do well gets out of town before everything falls apart. Some find out just like a bandit financially or leap to a more substantial organization right into a higher position of leadership and influence while their former companies tidy up the ruin they left.
So could it be? Are the characteristics that produce a business leader toxic the same traits that produce politicians successful?
Don’t be misled by the apparent success of politicians who demonstrate these characteristics. Business managers who try to use these behaviors in the wonderful world of work will eventually fail in leading others successfully — and can probably live a lonely life, aswell.
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