Toxic Leaders: The Toxic Trinity That Takes Leaders Down

Toxic Leaders The Toxic Trinity That Takes Leaders Down

Is your ego affecting your leadership skills? Toxic leadership can not only ruin the work culture and affect the morale of the employees, but it can also lead to the destruction of the toxic leaders and even the company.

Bill Clinton said, “It’s the economy, stupid.” In organizations, “It’s the leadership, stupid.”

The problem with organizations is toxic leadership.

Look around. If you don’t like what you see, look in the mirror. Maybe you can’t improve the entire organization, but you certainly can improve your team.

The sooner leaders own the dark side of organizational life, the sooner the lights come on. Finger-pointing and excuse-making cause organizations to remain dark.

Toxic leadership – the toxic trinity:

1. Blind leaders can’t see their own incompetence.

There is no hope for those who feel capable when they’re incompetent until they change their opinion.

Those who are incompetent have little insight into their incompetence. (Dunning-Kruger Effect)

You’re incompetent when you believe your job is more difficult than everyone else’s.

The more competent you feel, the less you know. Those who know the most know they have the most to learn.

Related: Toxic Coworkers: Dealing With 7 Most Dangerous Work Personalities

Tips for blind leaders:

  • Believe and act on the feedback you receive.
  • Learn something and share what you’re learning with others.
  • Ask questions. Spend a morning just asking questions.

2. Insecure leaders feel threatened by the success of others.

You feel threatened if:

  • Bravado, anger, or certainty are tools for shutting people down.
  • You take credit for other people’s work.
  • You minimize the success of others.
  • Defensiveness is your default response to bad news or problems.
  • You hold your head down when you walk the halls.

Tips for insecure leaders:

  • Spend a morning praising and thanking.
  • List your top 5 weaknesses.
  • Develop a new skill with someone on your team.

Related: Signs of A Toxic Person At Work: Workplace Bullying and Ways To Stop It

3. Squeaky wheel leaders obsess over problems.

Obsessing over problems makes you the problem.

Success is about seizing opportunities, not solving problems. (Inspired by Peter Drucker)

Tip: Monitor the ratio of positive to negative topics in your conversations. The 80/20 rule applies.

What’s on your list of traits or behaviors of toxic leaders?

Written By Dan Rockwell
Originally Appeared On Leadership Freak

This post was previously published on Leadership Freak and is republished here with a Creative Commons license.

The Toxic Trinity: 3 Toxic Leadership Traits That Can Damage Your Organization
The Toxic Trinity: 3 Toxic Leadership Traits That Can Damage Your Organization
Toxic Leaders The Toxic Trinity That Takes Leaders Down Pin


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