I have spent several days researching and writing about failures in leadership around the planet. As part of this activity, I have been looking at the rise of toxic leadership and toxic workplaces due to these leaders. One of my focuses has been upon the narcissistic leader and the impact they have upon the businesses they work for, society and the people who work in the business.
I have been pondering why we promote and then tolerate the consequences of these leaders. The full articles will be posted shortly, but it seems from my research that this is happening because:
- We seek to employ people based upon charisma, rather than honesty and humility
- In the workplace we reward charisma, big talk and flashiness, rather than honestly achieved outcomes
- We have a media which focuses upon people with charisma and narcissistic traits, rather than upon the humble achievers who get in, do the job and create good outcomes for employees, clients and society
In the end, I sadly concluded as a society are getting the leaders we deserve by upholding and promoting the values which encourage and enable them to rise to the top. This means we need a cultural change if we are to see better leadership in sport, politics, business, government, education etc. Until and unless we reach a point of crisis, I suspect that cultural change will be slow in the making.