Taxonomy of Toxic LeadersAs a follow-on to yesterday's post, I'd call attention to the discussion of "toxic" leaders that has become more intense in recent years.
Among the various taxonomies on offer, I found Barbara Kellerman's enumeration of types of bad leaders particularly cogent:
- Incompetent the leader and at least some followers lack the will or skill (or both) to sustain effective action. With regard to at least one important leadership challenge, they do not create positive change.
- Rigid the leader and at least some followers are stiff and unyielding. Although they may be competent, they are unable or unwilling to adapt to new ideas, new information, or changing times.
- Intemperate the leader lacks self-control and is aided and abetted by followers who are unwilling or unable to effectively intervene.
- Callous the leader and at least some followers are uncaring or unkind. The needs, wants, and wishes of most members of the group or organization, especially subordinates, are ignored and discounted.
- Corrupt the leader and at least some followers lie, cheat, or steal. To a degree that exceeds the norm, they put self-interest ahead of the public interest.
- Insular the leader and at least some followers minimize or disregard the health and welfare of those outside the group or organization for which they are directly responsible.
- Evil the leader and at least some followers commit atrocities. They use pain as an instrument of power. The harm can be physical, psychological or both.