Monday, January 29, 2007

Detoxifying Toxic Leaders

Why do we tolerate 'Toxic Leaders' when we turn a blind this type of behaviour is it because we have a fear of retribution, or do we lack integrity and courage to do the right thing. Patricia Wallington President of CIO Associates wrote - The poisonous leader is arrogant; in her mind, she is always right, and she takes input only from a limited group of yes-men and -women. Her chosen few get information, but no one else does, and so there is no discussion about the work being done

“Here's how it is, its my way, or its the highway, you choose ...”

Do you have a strategy ? ... How and when do you decide to stay or leave, confront the behaviour or lie low

Recognise the signs ....

  • Self-centeredness. An employee is willing to harm others in order to come out on top.
  • Messianic visions. The employee’s vision seems impossible to achieve, or she positions misguided actions as attempts to achieve a noble cause, and she won’t take advice.
  • Arrogance. He displays disdain for others.
  • Blame-shifting. I saw one executive order a "take no prisoners" approach to setting and enforcing a technology standard, then disavow the "noncollegial" style of his employee, leaving her to repair her reputation alone.

Short-circuiting Toxic Leaders Careers

Make your expectations for behavior clear to everyone in your organisation. Investigate low morale, and attack its causes. Ensure that performance reviews document toxic behavior, and make sure offenders know that mistreating others is going to short-circuit their careers. Promote and recognizs those leaders who demonstrate nontoxic behaviours. Set an example.