Posted on Jul 17, 2014
CPT Multifunctional Logistician
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In reading over the Toxic Leadership by COL George Reed (Retired) and Toxic Leadership part duex it appeared to me that the toxic leaders I have had got a lot done. It wasn't because they were smarter or worked harder but they simply whipped their horses the hardest. This was horrible for retention and few who did stay in were the same after the experience but I think the biggest issue was that they made more toxic leaders.

Why keep a toxic leader? How do you think you could change them if they are staying in? Do they bring any benefits past the short term successes?
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1SG Section Sergeant
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In the book "three meter zone", the SGM talks about this type of leader. he refers to that type as a self preservationist, the most dangerous type of leader in the Military. I have to agree, you can spot one of these a mile away.
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SGT(P) Battalion S2 Intelligence Ncoic
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You can’t always spot them a mile away sometimes they smile and wave too
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1SG Company First Sergeant
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What is your definition of a "Toxic leader" sir?
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CPT Multifunctional Logistician
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COL Reed, came up with a 3 part Definition. 1. They have a lack of concern for the well-being of subordinates. 2. their personality or interpersonal technique negatively affects the organizational climent. 3. they're toxic if a conviction is held by subordinates that the leader is motivated primarily by self-interest "designed to advance them over the carcasses of their subordinates."
--- The sad thing is I know and have met many over my 23 years of service.
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1SG Company First Sergeant
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Sir, while I agree there are "toxic leaders" amongst our ranks, the scenario you used in your original post "toxic leaders I have had got a lot done. It wasn't because they were smarter or worked harder but they simply whipped their horses the hardest. " does not equate to a "toxic leader", that in my mind equates to a leader who was serious about their mission and knew how to make it happen. It comes down to "likership" vs. "leadership" Sir. Much too often in the Army today if you are not a supporter of "likership" then you will often be labeled as "toxic". So I would again ask, what is YOUR definition of a "toxic leader" Sir? (not COL Reed's definition)
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CPT Multifunctional Logistician
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"Likership" is not "leadership" but soldiers will work hard for a leader who is incompetent if they like him. Toxic leaders are almost always competent but the way they treat their people does not fosters growth, retention, loyalty, and sometime respect. Toxic Leaders do not care about the soldier. One toxic leader I had was so bad that the soldiers said “This place isn’t going to change until one of us die!” The sad thing was that they were right.
The funny thing is that no that I know of ever threatened the toxic leader to his face or behind their back but one our soldier died the brass finally stepped in and corrected some of the actions that had been taken by that leader. He ended up leaving early with a pat on the back and “Thank you” from the command. Upon our return many of my friends simply got out.
The toxic leader demonstrates to their subordinates, by their actions that they do not care about them. When reduced to this level soldiers start to do some crazy things. More than one simply said, “I am not going to work” Then took the day off sitting in their room or going someplace to hide on base. Others came to work but only worked when they were being watched. Fights and arguing broke out quickly and often. Soldiers took risk like climbing up shelving in the warehouse to retrieve supplies when a forklift was right there to pull the pallet down. It idea of getting hurt to the point where you wouldn’t have to go to work was not an unpleasant one.
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SGT(P) Battalion S2 Intelligence Ncoic
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This is unfortunately true CPT (Join to see)
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