Toxic Boss Syndrome

Don’t DO your job … THINK your job . Don’t do leadership … think leadership.

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David Marquet at Life Lessons 2020

David Marquet’s fascinating talk about leadership on a submarine was brilliant. David made some great observations, including his disbelief at the lack of qualifications required to become a leader in the modern day. With the rise of the B-Corp we may find this changes, but for now leadership is a way to progress your career not something you need to be qualified to do.

It is a disturbing fact that leaders are responsible for the health and welfare of their teams and their influence on thee peoples lives is huge and yet training is so hit and miss. Poor leadership can impact of the health and wellness of the employees and the retention of good people.

Too many leaders dictate and follow the left side of the chart above, in the language and behaviours they demonstrate. So be human when you lead, appreciate you don’t have all the answers, be aware of yourself and learn how to manage yourself well before you try to lead.

To be a great leader you need to understand your teams and then help and empower them to manage and improve. Get them thinking not doing.

Over my years in corporate world, I’ve had some great managers, some tough managers who pushed me out of my comfort zone, some nurturing managers and some outright fun managers who taught me make work enjoyable as well as challenging. And to each and everyone, I thank you .

Thank You, Polaroid, Letters, Thank You Very Much, Word

I’ve also had a really poor manager… and the impact of his actions made me physically ill. I ended up in hospital having investigations for months. I started doubting myself. I dreaded being around him and yet I loved my teams and my job. It was a real challenge and shame that one person can abuse and be so poor at leading. He thought I should conform and comply with his thoughts as he knew best, yet he had not proven this in his work. He was very much a do as I say leader. he wanted to ‘control’ me and get me to comply. In his words I’m not interested in your views … this is what we are going to do and you will own it as if it’s your idea.

Worried Girl, Woman, Waiting, Sitting, Thinking, Worry

It was a destructive culture that resulted in him not harnessing the potential of an incredibly talented team. For this I thank him, as a lesson in how not to lead and how destructive a leader can be.

Have you ever come across a manager who you would love to do a shout out for as they were amazing or one who affected you negatively?

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