Toxic leadership can develop within Special Forces (SF) because of concern for compromising command authority and because the personality profile of a toxic leader can be mistaken as “type A” personality that thrives in SF.
A toxic leader can be defined as leader motivated by egocentrism, self-interest and show no concern for those below him, and his actions negatively affect the organizational climate. They exalt themselves in turf protection, fighting and controlling their followers instead of uplifting them. Toxic leaders are very destructive and they only focus on short term accomplishments and they destroy their followers to achieve those objectives. Their decisions are made hasty and they change their decisions without any justified rationale. Mostly, they lazy around only to make hasty decisions when it is too late and the crisis is already in place. Such decisions have no time to be thought over and therefore, they are continuously changed throughout implementation so as to work effectively and may even be altered completely thereby making the whole process messy (Seeger, 2005).
The Corps of the Noncommissioned Officer (NCO) has been around since the formation of the Continental Army in 1775. The basic responsibility of the NCO was to fill gaps in the lines and keep soldiers quiet on mission while leading (Perkioniemi, 2009). Currently, the responsibilities of the NCO focus on soldier welfare and accomplishing the mission (NCO Creed). Toxic leadership is a serious concern for the military, and it is undermining the reputation of the NCO Corps. What is toxic leadership, how can it be addressed, and what will happen to the Corps if it is allowed to continue?
In today’s business environment, leadership is a major topic of discussion and concern. Having the right leaders in place could be the difference between a successful business and unequivocal failure. There are many different leadership styles that are proven to be effective and then there is the type of leadership that leads a business in the opposite direction. This type of leadership is known as toxic leadership. Research has shown there to be many defining characteristics of a toxic leader and there are identifiable signs that may be indicative of a toxic workplace. The effects of this type of leadership and the environment that it creates can be far-reaching. However, there are ways to assist individuals with protecting themselves from a toxic leader and the negative results of working in a toxic environment.
Why do toxic leaders develop within the Special Forces (SF) community and how would I deal with the problem within 7th Special Forces Group? There are two reasons toxic leaders develop within the SF community; or any community for that matter. One being the 10% rule, and the other, leadership failures. The only way to deal with the problem, without undermining the system already in effect, is to prevent it from continuing to happen. These measures of prevention include reevaluating the following; counseling, annual evaluations, and how we promote.
It is the purpose of this paper to discuss toxic leadership and the effects it can have on a new second lieutenant. The Army needs to be concerned with toxic leadership, because of the seriousness of consequences that are caused by leadership failure, which in the worst case scenarios can lead to death or mutiny. The proposed solutions to toxic leadership in this paper will provide future officers and newly commissioned second lieutenants possible ways to combat toxic leadership and ways to prevent it. Firstly, this paper will address what is a toxic leader, and how to identify one. Secondly, this paper will explain how a toxic leader affects your platoon. Next, this paper will explain why toxic leadership is tolerated with the Army. Lastly, this paper will provide solutions on how to deal with toxic leadership, and what measures can be implemented to mitigate the risks of it happening.
Toxic leadership is something that is present in the Army today and has several devastating effects on that leaders unit. By now, if you have spent any time in the Army, I’m sure you have experienced some form of Toxic leadership. Although not every toxic leader has a loud, decisive, and demanding demeanor. Some toxic leaders can have the same affect with a quit and soft demeanor.
The purpose of this paper is to identify and discuss how Sergeants Major can use positive psychology and Master Resiliency Training (MRT) to foster a command climate free of toxic leaders. The use of positive psychology and MRT competencies and skills can assist in identifying and preventing the effects of toxic leaders. Incorporating these methods in Professional Military Education (PME) and leader development programs are an extremely important center of gravity for senior NCOs have on a unit’s Soldiers. Sergeants Majors are inherently responsible for the health, welfare, training, and development of the most precious of commodities, the soldiers. Toxic leaders present an extremely difficult leadership challenge at all echelons. Soldiers
ADRP 6-22 Army Leadership describes a toxic leader as having extreme and consistent forms of undesirable behaviors such as bullying others, berating subordinates, or making unlawful choices to get their way. They may also ignore ideas from others, micromanage events, hoard information, undermine peers, and work to look good to superiors (ADRP 6-22, 2012, pg. 7-2). A toxic leader destroys creativity and innovative expression. They stifle their organizations through over-control or micromanagement and define their leadership as being in control. (Wilson-Starks) Finally, a toxic leader is able to impress their superiors through short-term accomplishments. They have mastered the art of “kissing up, while kicking down.” (Reed and Olsen, Toxic Leadership: Part Deux) They put personal gratification before their organization and subordinates alike, either unconcerned or oblivious to the morale and well-being of their organization, therefore losing the trust of their
The article “Toxic Leadership Isn’t Dead yet” examines toxic behavior in leadership and identifies the signs to look for when inspecting our own environment. Ellis (2014) recommends using the four D’s to classify a dysfunctional leader: deny, defend, demonize and destroy (p. 8). He stresses the importance of acknowledging dysfunction, seeking out help to deal with the situation and offers suggestions on how to repair damage caused. The author’s blunt approach is refreshing, informative and his insight invaluable.
Leaders who participate in dishonest practices regularly make an environment of recompense inside of the association that is helpful for deviant worker conduct that parallels that of the pioneer (Trevino and Brown, 2005). Employees will watch the moral judgment of their CEO or overseeing chief and are frequently liable to mirror, regardless of the possibility that such impersonation constitutes acting unscrupulously. Generally, regardless of whether a pioneer is compensated for his or her conduct will likewise help focus the probability of representative impersonation. A few powers make despicable comments, verbally ill-use, exclude, and put down their subordinates. Exploration and media reports recommend that turning into a casualty of leaders ' coldhearted treatment is a negative ordeal for workers, impeding to their prosperity and the proficiency of the association. Abuse by leaders has been alluded to in a few ways, including interpersonal shamefulness, oppressive supervision social undermining, oppression, and tormenting (Hoel & Cooper, 2001). Albeit every conceptualization has unpretentious contrasts, they all include workers ' observations that some of their principal mental needs are hindered by a power figure. Abused workers react contrarily to pioneer abuse and are more prone to take part in freak conduct, damaging standards of thoughtful behavior and of productive creation (Bennett & Robinson, 2000). These standard
Throughout my career as a Non-commissioned officer (NCO), I have heard the Army definition of leadership as the process of influencing people by providing purpose, direction, and motivation to accomplish the mission and improve the organization. Even though this definition seems like a simple statement, it is actually a very complicated subject, and it is often underestimated. Leadership is the most essential aspect of the Army, and the single defining characteristic that allows the Army to accomplish its mission.
Therefore, the shift in the dynamics of the dysfunctional leaders requires a comprehensive change for the whole systematic process of the organization. Also, it requires awareness that the toxic dynamics of leaders pose a serious threat to the health of the organization in the long-term. Toxic leadership can be like a silent killer, and the toxic leaders can drain the energy from the organization.
Many leaders become engulfed in the Sacrifice Syndrome (Boyatzis & McKee, 2013). Not maintaining the balance of sacrifice and renewal can lead to burnout by sacrificing too much for too long of a period of time. It can be lonely at the top. Power creates distance between people, cutting off the relationships and support needed by leaders for renewal. This constant giving of the self will wear out a leader, and this exhaustion will create a never-ending loop into dissonance (Boyatzis & McKee, 2013). Defined as power stress, the constant decision-making, putting out small crises, and lightning speed at which decisions have to be made lead to a form of chronic stress (Boyatzis & McKee, 2013). The constant pressure day after day in positions of power lead many to become dispirited
Barbara Kellerman’s Bad Leadership provides specific accounts on how leaders can use his or her power and influence by convincing followers to conduct immoral and unethical acts. Her book takes a different approach from discussing the positive aspects of successful leaders and details the dark side of individuals. The focus of bad leadership is a valuable lesson for leaders and followers in any organization. She provides information on how leaders cross the line from good to bad in seven types of bad leadership. The seven types of bad leadership are: incompetent, rigid, intemperate, callous, corrupt, insular, and evil (Kellerman, 2004). A few of the leaders she examines throughout the book are Mary Meeker, Bill Clinton, David Koresh, Radovan Karadzic and Jim Jones (Kellerman, 2004).