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  • Writer's pictureClara Wajngurt

Characteristics of Toxic Leaders-Why Do They Thrive?

Updated: Feb 6, 2019

What happens in toxic leadership is that some colleagues agree unconditionally with their boss--and this agreement is not based on quality of work nor merit. Agreeing with the boss is a plus because this shows loyalty to your boss.

Toxic leaders may sometimes be successful, but this success is  temporary in moving the organization forward.The improvement is motivated for the toxic leader because their own personal goals are satisfied -- and not  the common goals of the organization. In many cases whether the actions seem positive or negative, the behavior of your boss exhibiting toxic behavior causes confusion amongst a staff who is already experiencing tension and confusion.

The toxic manager is interested only in the interests of the leader(could be the manager himself/herself but not necessarily) and not in the goals of the  organization.The primary goal of the toxic leader is self-benefit. They look for recognition from their staff and for their personal financial benefit.

Since the toxic leader is so self motivated to advance his/her interests-the boss may exhibit manipulation, intimidation, coercion to advance self-interest. As a result, the staff is robbed of team spirit and positive collective performance.

In order for toxic leadership to thrive one must have susceptible followers and conducive environments (Perez, 2012). It is about a destructive individual who wants to manipulate followers as well as the workplace climate in order to get what he/she wants.


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