The potential for a leader to become toxic in working with others grows as a function of time. The longer a leader serves the same group of followers, the more likely it is that a bully will appear.
New leaders usually enter the organization with a servant's attitude and a nice dose of humility. Over time, the success of a leader can lead to the development of narcissism and the onset of bullying. Sycophants feed the bully and the atmosphere for toxic leadership can grow and fester.
Organizational research has found that nearly half of the U.S. workforce reports the presence of a bully-boss. A work place bully can come in different sizes and shapes. A bully usually lives in a fantasy accented by ambivalence and hypocrisy. A favorite weapon of a bully is threatening behavior, public humiliation and tantrum tossing. Various forms of ostracism are also favorite weapons.
Effective leaders will constantly review personal behavior. The quickest cure for bullying activities is for the leader to take long looks in a reflecting pond. A mirror will do in a pinch. But ponds are better for a quick refresher course.
Look for the appearance of ANY of these signs as an indicator it may be time for leader repentance:
- Intimidation: Jesus taught meekness.
- Shouting: Jesus healed with a whisper.
- Name calling: Jesus called us children.
- Cruel sarcasm: Ephesians 4:29
- Stealing Credit: Jesus loved the back of the line.
We know that hurting people hurt people. Hurting leaders have inherent power to hurt many.
Toxic leadership begins in the heart. Leaders, pray that your heart condition be revealed. Duplicitous behavior is rarely accidental.
Toxic relief is available in Scripture.
Dr. Steve Greene is the publisher and executive vice president of the media group at Charisma Media and executive producer of the Charisma Podcast Network. His book, Love Leads: The Spiritual Connection Between Your Relationships and Productivity, is now available.
Leaders, Dr. Greene wants to help you understand the spiritual connection between relationships and productivity. Read his new blog, Love Leads.
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