3 Responses to shadow informs light

  1. Al Smith says:

    Wow. Excellent! My first reaction was we need to drain the swamp but after another read I’m getting quite quezzy that it appears toxic leadership may even be electable in the USA. If the military have recognized it, I suppose it is redeemable. Where do the fired toxic leaders go? Upstream, downstream or landfill? 😉

    • Excellent question, Al! And here’s hoping the experience leads to an opportunity to improve and change, and then contribute more positively in the next job.

    • Not sure if there is much solid empirical research on your question Al but one of the bits that does show up in the literature is that the “toxic individuals” tend to not be aware of their own toxicity so unless the boss is pretty clear about the reason for firing the toxic person and they get some help they will likely “just move on.”

      Frequently the toxic individual will be picked up by another employer who is attracted by what appears on paper as a “record of production and success.” There have been a number of examples, noted in the broader media, of CEO’s of large firms who have made the rounds in the last 20 years leaving a trail of destruction in their wake.

      There is also some evidence that existing employers are happy to encourage the toxic individual to “leave with a good reference” (or at least shade their comments to a new employer asking for a reference) to simply move them on and avoid additional expense.

      Better screening during the hiring process more attention to a probationary period are likely the best way of avoiding taking one of these folks in to your organization. That said nothing is fool-proof so you also need to be diligent about removing them as they emerge – which means you have to listen to other staff and avoid slipping into comfortable denial.