A man must be big enough to admit his mistakes, smart enough to profit from them, and strong enough to correct them. – John C Maxwell
- Choosing reputation instead of results
- Toxic leaders work harder at keeping up a persona, and gauging their success by how others make them “feel” or if they are “on their side” rather than measuring their organization based on results. Leaders can avoid this toxic behavior by measuring true performance like number of sales, products sold, number of volunteers signed up etc. This allows the leader to focus on the betterment of the organization rather than ensuring he or she is liked.
- Micro-manager instead of Equipper
- Toxic leaders micro-manage rather than equip others. Micro-managing is a control tactic to keep the toxic leader looking good and ensuring he or she is getting all the praise and accolades. Toxic leaders struggle to equip and delegate authority in fear of losing control. Leaders can avoid this toxic behavior by understanding that the more you equip and delegate authority the more you will be a crucial piece in the organization. Great leaders give power and authority away.
- Pride instead of humility
- Toxic leaders are poisoned with pride. This is a byproduct of insecurity. Again, they fail to show their weaknesses so they cover over them by making sure everyone knows how important they are and how much they know. Leaders can avoid this toxic behavior by first realizing that everyone around you already knows your weakness wether they tell you or not! Second, surrounding yourself with men and women that are strong in the areas you are weak. Third, by allowing yourself to be real, vulnerable, genuine, and transparent.
- God Complex instead of servant leader
- Toxic Leaders force others to serve them rather than serving others. They look at the members of there organization as men and women there to further their personal agenda. Toxic leaders often times will continually remind those around him or her about their personal accomplishments, successes, and level of importance. Leaders can avoid this behavior by modeling servant leadership. Servant leadership is not allowing others to walk all over you, it’s looking out for the betterment of those that work or volunteer in your organization. A servant leader as John C Maxwell says “Knows the way, show the way and goes the way”. Great servant leaders model the healthy behaviors they expect in their organization and they are always working to take their people to the next level of growth.
- Distrust instead of Trust
- All healthy relationships are built on trust. Toxic leaders naturally distrust others because anyone and everyone is a threat to taking the limelight, prominence or visibility from the toxic leader. Again, their distrust is birthed out of insecurity. Toxic leaders are always looking to find the ulterior motives of others even when those around him or her have none. It’s actually the insecure toxic leader with the ulterior motives looking for ways to maintain control, manipulation, power, prominence and visibility.
We can avoid becoming toxic leaders by focusing on results, equipping, humility, servant leadership, and trusting others. Implement these in to your leadership and the poison of insecurity will remain far away from your leadership. It’s ok to not know everything. It’s ok to admit that you are human and need people. It’s ok to admit your weaknesses, flaws and mistakes. Thats the kind of leader people want to follow.