Unfortunately, we have all experienced toxic leadership at some point in our career.
Toxic workplaces and toxic leadership foster because the leader is either encouraging it, participating in it or ignoring it.
Toxic leaders are corrosive on the long run. They erode their employees confidence, motivation, productivity, trust, loyalty and respect.
Wondering if you are a toxic leader or are in the presence of one?
12 Signs Of A Toxic Leader
#1. Toxic leaders retain useful information
Knowledge is power and toxic leaders know that.
The longer they can keep you in the dark, the longer they have control over you and the longer they stay in power.
In fact, leaders who retain information are insecure and are afraid of being replaced.
#2. Toxic leaders abuse their power and authority
Any chance that they get, toxic leaders need to remind you that they are in power and that they have leverage (financial leverage most of the time) over you.
This type of leaders have huge egos, consider that their employees are subordinates, and do not care who they have to step over to get what they want.
#3. Toxic leaders micromanage their employees
They don’t give people the time or the space to do their job. Instead, they breath down people’s neck.
In fact, micromanaging leaders are counterproductive and create a stressful work environment.
Which, in turn, slows down team work and efficiency.
#4. Toxic leaders condone poor behavior
They accept poor behavior from their team as long as the team produces results.
For example, they would tolerate workplace bullying if it would bring their team closer together.
In turn, they use fear and diverse punishments to incentivize their team.
#5. Toxic leaders manipulate and play aggressive office politics
They play mind games, use information about you against you, love to manipulate and gas light their own team just to stay in power and to advance their career.
#6. Toxic leaders shift responsibility
They talk about accountability but when push comes to shoves they avoid taking responsibility for their actions.
Besides, when things are great, they take credit for your success. When things go bad, they question your abilities and your failures.
#7. Toxic leaders give orders and don’t expect feedback
For them, it is their way or the high way.
They expect you to follow orders whether that order is right or wrong, whether that order benefits them or not.
The truth is they think that they know best but they actually don’t.
#8. Toxic leaders lie for no reason
They backtrack, bend the rules, adjust procedures, make up stories and rumors to for their needs.
They do not care about the impact of their words and create a culture of distrust.
#9. Toxic leaders protect the status quo
They deeply believe in hierarchy.
They don’t promote change or push innovative ideas.
In addition, they are locked in a particular era, in a particular setting. They don’t wish to modernize or adapt to change.
#10. Toxic leaders are overly emotional
They dramatize everything, have a temper and haven’t got a hold of it.
Their mood usually fluctuates throughout the day.
As a result, their behavior makes people walk on eggshells around them.
#11. Toxic leaders are passive aggressive
Either they play nice to your face and stab you in the back.
Or, they hold their feelings in and act it out instead.
Passive aggressiveness is very difficult to deal with as they don’t offer you any type of resolve.
#12. Toxic leaders lack core values
These leaders are entitled and self-serving.
They do not care about people and put their own interest first, no matter what.
Last Words Of Advice!
Toxic leaders often scare away their best employees.
Toxic leaders are simply fooling themselves because they live in constant fear.
They are afraid of losing control, of losing power, of seeming inferior, of being replaceable…
Furthermore, they let their fear control them and influence their behavior.
It is not necessary for you to play into their hands:
- Learn from your experiences, about yourself and your limits. You can always extract lessons from a negative experience.
- Emotionally and physically discipline yourself. Don’t lose your cool. By loosing your cool, you are giving them power over you.
- Don’t take things personally and don’t let their problems become yours. It’s not about you but it’s all about them.
- Find emotional support outside of work.
- Keep your dignity. Don’t let other people actions define your character.
Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!
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