Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Toxic Leader

Learned a new definition courtesy of June issue of Accountant Today.

Toxic leader is defined as someone who is motivated by self interest, has an apparent lack of concern and negatively affects organizational climate. They glory in turf protection, fighting and controlling rather than uplifting followers. They often are destructive leaders who focus on visible short term accomplishments and succeed by tearing others down. They often take hasty decisions and can change directions suddenly without any apparent rationale.

Wow! What a timing especially in current political shambles. So many candidates in the running for the Toxic Leader of the year award.

Let me relate this to a study by the Gallup Organization. Over a million employees and 80,000 managers were surveyed. A book called First Break All The Rules was published. It came up with this finding: If you're losing good people, look to their immediate supervisor. More than any other single reason, he is the reason people stay and thrive in an organization. And he's the reason why they quit, taking their knowledge, experience and contacts with them. Often, straight to the competition.

"People leave managers not companies," write the authors Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman. "So much money has been thrown at the challenge of keeping good people - in the form of better pay and better perks - in the end, turnover is mostly a manager issue." If you have a turnover problem, look first to your managers. Are they driving people away?

Beyond a point, an employee's primary need has less to do with money and more to do with how he's treated and how valued he feels. Much of this depends directly on the immediate manager. And yet, bad bosses seem to happen to good people everywhere. A Fortune magazine survey that nearly 75 per cent of employees have suffered at the hands of difficult superiors. You can leave one job to find - you guessed it, another wolf in a pin-stripe suit in the next one.

Of all the workplace stressors, a bad boss is possibly the worst, directly impacting the emotional health and productivity of employees.

So are you a bad leader at home, in the workplace, in your community? If yes, start the detoxification process now!

pic - future leaders!


Center Parted said...

CV, Robert Sutton wrote a very good book that doesn't mince words when trying to describe such people who leave a bloody trail of dead bodies behind them. Its called "The No Asshole Rule". Here's his blog too... http://bobsutton.typepad.com/my_weblog/the_no_asshole_rule/

CheeWee said...

thanks for the link. Hv bookmarked it.