Beware of Slip

Beware of Slip

When we talk of leadership in business organizations, society, or the nation at large, it brings hope of some positivity that is capable of bringing qualitative change in organizations or people at large. Leadership has many faces and so the consequences.

Be it business, political, spiritual, or religious leadership, people have to be aware of their traits. Limiting it to the business world, it will be the corporate innocence if deny the existence of toxic leaders and leadership do not exist. It has been very well there for long. The dangerous part of this kind of leadership is that it only comes to the surface and is visible when it has already done enough damage to the organization’s culture and eroded its effectiveness. It is part of the dark side of leadership.

Strong, tough, and effective leaders are preferred in business organizations as such are capable of delivering results but when such leaders slip into the dark zone of toxicity are very difficult to identify. The reasons may be that their supremacy and authority are not questioned by the top management because being tough or strong is their choice and they encourage that but do not appreciate that they are encouraging the toxicity under the guise of toughness. It includes the pressure of turning the organization into a profitable one and neutralizing the toxicity with high performance. Beware of this slip.

Also read: Leaders Must Self-Reflect to be Away From Toxicity

Toxic leaders have many faces and masks. It is not very easy to unmask them. From the core, they are insecure, incompetent, and fearful of any challenge. They look and behave like taskmasters, and appreciate subordinates who obey and follow them. Such subordinates are either non-performers who always look for an umbrella to survive or a set of people having a self-interest in getting promoted and gaining financial benefits to which they would not have been entitled otherwise thus dividing them into conformers or colluders. Toxic leaders by creating a sense of fear compel such sets of subordinates to work as a brainwashed army for them who don’t question them and even discourage/intimidate other employees who try to question leadership behaviour and conduct. They cultivate strong emotions in their favour and then leave employees to choose sides. Either be with them or look for a way out.

HR’s role gains importance in identifying such toxicity in leaders, protecting talent from their wrath, and standing out as a custodian of people’s interests which ultimately is of the organization. HR cannot afford to be a silent spectator. Before toxicity sucks people’s efficiency, empowerment, innovation, engagement, trust, and morale,it must draw out an effective strategy to weedout toxic leadership and not allow to convert a tough leader into a toxic leader.

The cover story of this edition is an attempt to amplify awareness, identify the dark side of leadership, and provide insights to HR to address such challenges from internationally acclaimed leadership mentors.

If you like it let us know. If not, well, let us know that too.

Happy Reading

Anil Kaushik

A Management thinker, Educator, Motivator, Guest Speaker of Management Institutes, Consultant, author of labour law books and President of Indian HR Forum, with about three decades of deep rooted understanding, Floor experience and research in HRM Area and Training has led many organizations to a path of productivity, performance and profits with business linked HR strategies.

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April 2024

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April 2024

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