16 Signs You’re a Toxic Leader
The trouble with toxic leaders is they’re deadly and don’t know it. But if the truth be told, every leader smells at least a little.
Every time toxicity gets its way, organizations lose.
- If you’re easily offended, you’re toxic.
- If you seldom return favors, you’re toxic.
- If you talk about yourself most of the time, you’re toxic.
- If you constantly complain about others, you’re toxic.
- If you feel that people are always picking on you, you’re toxic. Toxic people feel like victims.
- If you’re jealous of those who succeed, you’re toxic.
- If your ideas are always the “best” ideas, you’re toxic.
- If you can’t remember the last time you said, “I was wrong,” you’re toxic.
- If you feel personal validation when others fail, you’re toxic.
- If you seek advice but explain why it won’t work, you’re toxic.
- If you expect people to read your mind, you’re toxic.
- If you’re a complainer or blamer, you’re toxic.
- If conversations are contests with winners and losers, you’re toxic.
- If your sentences usually begin with, “No,” “But,” and “That’s not right,” you’re toxic.
- If the good ole days are the best days, you’re toxic.
- If you love to give feedback, but you never seek feedback, you’re toxic.
Good people can’t bring their best when they’re dancing around toxic leaders.
Toxic leaders never maximize the talent of others.
Most people want good for themselves and benefit to others. Toxic leaders want good for themselves, but have no room for others.
How would you complete, “If you … , you’re toxic.”
…people say things about you like “that’s just John.”
Good one, Edgar.
What a timely post.
If you can’t share the credit or take all the credit, your’re toxic
Thanks Deb. Sharing the credit, like all the other great leadership practices, begins within.
If you say “I shouldn’t tell you this” but do, you’re toxic.
Thanks John. That one hadn’t even occurred to me. So true.
That is so correct. My former boss used to say, “Susan would kill me if she knew I was telling you this….” Despite my telling her, “I’m not prepared to hear this.” She’d proceed regardless — very toxic.
If you don’t listen to others but want others to listen to you your toxic.
Thanks Gerry. You can say that again. 🙂
I don’t like the use of words like toxic when talking about people. Everyone has blind spots, flaws and development needs. “Toxic” is de-humanising.
Thanks for your feedback Eamon. Much appreciated.
Maybe talking more about toxic behaviour rather than toxic people would be less de-humanising….
I agree with Eamon 100%. I am a nonprofit executive director working very hard to be the best leader and manager that I can be. I’ve done a 360 assessment and have a professional coach. I found this post to be very discouraging. It’s one thing to say these are toxic behaviors; it’s another to label anyone who does any of these things as a toxic person. I agree with the list, but the way it’s framed further adds to the expectation that leaders must be perfect people.
This list can apply in many context and relationships. For example, replace “leader” with “husband” or “friend.”
Thanks Scott. Isn’t it interesting how leadership principles apply to real life? 🙂
If your words and actions don’t chive, you are toxic.
Thanks Lisa. Now that’s an attitude adjustment. 🙂
If you can’t forgive, you’re toxic.
Thanks Gary. Bingo!
I know there are always things in myself I need to work on, but it sure is drudgery sometimes coming to the office knowing you are about to face your daily dose of toxicity!!
If you point out others’ mistakes and oversights but never see or acknowledge your own…
If you expect respect but never give the same to others…
If you have higher expectations for those who work with you than you have for yourself…
Can you tell I work with a toxic person?
…if you patronise and give false praise….
…if you constantly point out others mistakes to senior management without talking to the original person….
…if you undermine the authority of others in front of their teams….
If your apologies contain excuses you’re toxic
If you’re rolling your eyes while reading this – you’re toxic
if you do not support the progress of your team, you’re toxic
if you remember yor team only when a higher level shouts at you, you’re toxic
if you hedge during decesion times, you’re toxic
if you micromanage, you’re toxic