When speaking about toxic leaders & their toxic or colluding followers, I am feeling the need to address or ask the important question-what happens to the followers who have liberated themselves. What happens or is needed after the effects of this toxicity are understood, and who helps in their “healing”? Who recognizes this? This is a spiritual healing process, requiring a number of conversations and interactions, and much internal work on that person’s psyche and a time to move onto a better space. I have noticed this awakening in people now more than in the past year in organizational life. This an area where I introduce to leaders and followers a new approach to their development by directly engaging their spiritual intelligence. (Our 4th human Intelligence dimension) I suggest that this dimension is either so undeveloped on even underdeveloped in all of us. My questions are for leaders at all levels of their development to ask what will it take, what significant events or experiences will need to trigger this awakening to heal yourself and others? I do believe that this formula is something that we should pay attention to by acknowledging our pain, and when we reduce our resistance, we eliminate our suffering! (P-R=S) This is a space when bringing people together is key!
I am sitting at a coffee shop and thinking about the research I have reviewed which describes toxic leader’s behaviour, and how we can pay attention. However, moving to where this conversation may be more helpful is to the followers of these leaders, and what do we know about their response and why they continue to deny or openly support this toxic, debilitating behaviour which creates the toxic organizational ecology. This is an area that needs greater focus and understanding, in order to come to a place where followers liberate themselves from this toxicity. It is too easy to only blame the leader without addressing why followers, follow. I strongly suggest that this is something which has infused our organizations, our politics, our communities. The point I am making is beware, as we collude to create those toxic leaders, we support them, and often we feel we need them. So what is this allure of toxic leadership?
Now that I have submitted my chapter on becoming a compassionate, wise, and kind leader in a healthy organization focusing on the wellbeing of all, I have been forced to open the door for a conversation on dysfunctional leadership. I know that we have many decent leaders with decent followers. However, the evidence is clear about the number of employees in organizations who are disengaged and are not fully participating in their organizations. Yes, the evidence points to unhealthy work environments, where stress levels are extremely high, and workplace violence and aggression are rampant. So what are the reasons for this? As stated in my chapter, my conclusion is: for a range of leaders, toxic leaders collude with toxic followers peddling bad ideas and bad behaviours. What do we know about the allure of these toxic leaders? More to come…. Are you interested in the evidence? Do you know & abide/support toxic leaders in your current organization or have you experienced this in the past? What is the range of toxic behaviours & how has the leader’s character undermined the core values of the organization, and even their own core values? Why do we allow these toxic leaders to continue to destroy our organizations? How and what do we gain as followers from this?
This is another workshop to discover and act on the power you have as a leader to ensure that you are clear about your positional, informational and relational power? The intent is to intentionally assess where you are along a continuum of exercising your power with others. Often this process is completed in three stages:
1 . a 360 degree online survey focusing on your leadership development, by engaging up to 20 assessors you select to provide feedback on the values lived by the leader, as well as 26 leadership behaviours;
2. a report is provided and a debrief of the results to determine the next stage of development based on suggestions for change;
3. a process to engage to assess how you exercise you organizational and team power.
If you wish to speak to me about this process, please contact me.
I just delivered another workshop where the focus was team interaction and collaboration. It was very successful as we were able to both address how to develop tools and approaches to minimize the “DRAMA” and seek to strengthen the aspects of the team with will make it more successful. As well the tools and approaches addressed what a “mature” high performing team will pay attention to and practice.
The end result was to minimize or alleviate the drama of teams, including interpersonal tensions, triggered emotions, unnecessary competition, passive aggression, and political games within teams and their culture.
If you wish to know more about this, please do let me know.
I am updating a previous posting about my chapter in a book to be published by University College London U.K. (Spring of 2020) I am here in London on my way to Birmingham to present my chapter on becoming compassionate, wise and kind leaders for peaceful and safe workplaces. When I return to Winnipeg I will provide some excerpts here from the chapter focusing this 21st-century leader that we require for our organizations. I am providing information and ideas about how they need to practice our four intelligences without the context of organizational spirituality in our workplaces. This is not about religion at all, but about living with purpose, meaning and being whole The research and recent evidence do suggest that we are still living within a leadership theory proposed in the 1930s, although we believe otherwise. No wonder the range of organizational challenges we are facing, and often for some leaders, we have created organizations living volatile, uncertain, ambiguous, and extremely chaotic times, and negatively impacting all stakeholders. I know as compassionate, wise, and kind leaders, we can do better. But how do we gain the insight, and the skills to be this 21st century and beyond person? Now my chapter has been accepted and is in the editing stage.
I am honoured to have been asked to contribute to a book on compassionate leadership in the UK educational system. I am in the final stages of writing my chapter for this book to be published in the UK in 2020. My contribution will be to explore compassionate and wise leadership, also known as spiritual leadership in our organizations. Both my lived experience and action research regarding this form of leadership suggests that this leadership style, mindset and skillset hardily exists or isn’t necessarily practised by our leaders in the majority of our organizations. The levels of staff disengagement, levels of organizational entropy(dysfunction, negative energy, or turmoil), levels of organizational stress, staff retention and recruitment, perhaps less extra effort, and workplace mental health issues are just some of the results of our continuing “command and control” leadership practices. Truly an unhealthy workplace culture! Stay tuned for excerpts of the chapter in the future. If you wish to discuss this form of life-affirming leadership, please let do let me know
I am now expanding my consulting practice to answer this question for executive leadership teams. How many leaders are able to discuss their leadership development beyond a discussion of their leadership style, levels of leadership and ways to improve their leadership.
I have found that a limitation that exists is that leaders do not have a tool or a range of maps to understand their development as a leader. For example, when I have explored this area, there are leaders who have asked the question “am I in my position because I am an “expert- achiever” in my field? Evidence answers this question by stating that many leaders who are in this position of being the expert-achiever are in honesty not necessarily the leader they wish to be. They may not have moved forward in their leadership development at all!
Beyond acknowledging this fact, does this make them a leader who has the responsibility to bring another type of mindset to the position, one of thinking about their organization 20 years into the future, thinking at their “highest level”, and understanding what is required for them to be the leader with their vision and strategies (impact) beyond today.
Are they aware of their decision-making style, core values and how they construct their thinking and action, and most importantly which “intelligence” are they applying to their leadership day to day?
This is a conversation of leadership development both horizontally and vertically!
I have invested much time, action research and development to develop my team coaching context and framework for organizational leadership to the further development of their growth mindset. It is quite interesting that the evidence is quite clear that it is time to consider to strengthen your compassionate and wise leadership. I believe that t is paramount in these times of significant pressure to change our organizations and transform our leadership. This is not a technical process!
In my approach, we spend much time on “looking inward”, and understanding ourselves through these questions:
- What is on your Mind?
- What are your current leadership mental models and are they as effective as they once were?
- What are your current “states of being” and how effective are they in thinking, interacting, acting and meaning-making in your personal and professional life?
- What is your true purpose and your core values?
- How are your four intelligences making sense of the world and assisting you in being the best of who you need to become?
- How do we define and act on our sense of excellence and what we believe is “good work”?
- How do we prepare and focus attention on our transitions and transformation beliefs and activities?
- How do we take the mental states, mental models and implement the personal and professional transformation needed for us to grow and develop?
If this interests you and you are curious, coming from a “beginner’s mind”, being brave and are willing to step out of the traditional leadership development activities, then please let’s connect.
Just finished a 3-hour learning laboratory with another leadership team on their internal compass. This was a discussion of their experiences, their practices and their insights to apply their four types of intelligence of PQ, IQ, EQ and SQ in their relationships with direct reports. Practical thinking and interacting tools and approaches were explored and further developed. This focus was to broaden and strengthen the mind of the leader.
Perhaps, the next step is to discuss and provide a range of organizational cultural tools on strengthening leadership kindness within the workplace and their workforce.