Posted on Jan 24, 2016
LTC Senior Strategic Cyber Planner
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Too often I hear about "toxic leadership," but I think there is something to be said about those follower that fight a leader's ability to coach, teach, and mentor. When 80% of our young leaders think they are the top 10%. Who thinks there is such a thing as toxic follower-ship?
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LTC Board Member
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Interesting question. I think that toxic leadership, or toxic culture in general, can create toxic "followership". When people don't have confidence in their institution or their leadership, then if new leaders come in and try to help, followers may not respond in ideal ways because there is simply no trust. In this chicken and egg scenario, I think it starts with toxic leadership creating the problems though. In other words, toxic leadership creates a terrible climate, and if prolonged, then even good leaders who come in later can face lingering challenges created by past leaders.

On the issue of 80% thinking that they are in the top 10%, that may be a societal issue, but the military hasn't been helping itself by giving everybody top ratings. The new rater profile NCOER/OER system should help that.
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MSG Squadron Sergeant Major
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I hear the term "toxic" throw around a lot. I understand it is founded in doctrine, but do not think it is used correctly by the majority. We, as leaders, owe our service members the purpose, direction, and motivation to complete our mission IAW Commander's intent. Those that think they are owed more are lacking perspective and exhibiting that entitlement attitude. I believe these are the toxic followers in which you refer. I probably don't see it as often as some, but do believe it's out there.
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LTC Senior Strategic Cyber Planner
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The army and military is full of problem identifiers. What we need more of is problem solvers.
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