You may ask: How can these leaders rise to positions of power in organizations if they are primarily selfish? How can these character components be overlooked before earning or being chosen for such a position?
You have all seen some of the most common self-destructive behaviors in leaders. They are behaviors that team members rarely mention in meetings but discuss behind the leader's back. They can even be embarrassing. They are all the consequence of a leader lacking a sense of emotional security and, as a result, negotiating for it with whatever power they have. Such leadership is self-centered, enjoying influencing others but satisfying selfish desires as primary motivators.
Sometimes, an exaggerated feeling of self – or arrogance – may transpire when one achieves a higher position, causing narcissistic characteristics. Others frequently misinterpret arrogance as self-assurance or high self-efficacy – a desirable leadership quality.
Destructive leadership may take three different forms.
1. Self-interested destructive leader behavior. In other words, this is a leader who decides to become violent. Relationship-wise, this leader rewards ineptitude and fosters a lack of competence and accountability, becoming oblivious to incompetence, toxicity, and workplace poisoning. Moreover, they surround themselves with "yes" people and bully and harass others, becoming harsh and dismissive of them.
2. Follower-directed destructive behaviors. In other words, the follower is susceptible to their work with the leader. Fundamental reasons for followers becoming prone include unsatisfied needs, a negative self-image, a lower degree of maturity, subjective drive, and congruence with the leader's values and beliefs.
3. Organization-directed behaviors. In other words, the environment in which leaders and followers operate generally destroys the leader's behavior. The working environment, as well as the numerous organizational procedures, resources, and structures, are blamed for negative leadership. Although leaders play essential roles in the emergence of destructive leadership, environmental factors can foster the growth of bad leadership.
Effects of destructive leadership include:
1. Organization deviance. To manage the working climate, destructive leaders may seek and construct their organization with docile and submissive people.
2. Lesser job satisfaction. Destructive leadership lowers workplace satisfaction, devotion, and drive. Along the same line, it develops the norm that it is okay to mistreat others, lie, and cover up bullying.
3. Lower employee self-esteem. Self-esteem is also related to how a leader's actions and the repercussions appear afterward. Destructive leadership results from a lack of self-awareness, self-control, and confidence, all of which are motivated by self-interest.
4. Negative organizational attitudes. Destructive leadership may reduce organizational performance, productivity, and output. Conflicting personal and corporate values lead to lousy work attitudes and outcomes.
5. Psychological stress. Worryingly, destructive leaders negatively influence people's psychological health, such as increased psychological discomfort, sadness, anxiety, low self-esteem, and significant physical health implications.
You should exercise caution if you notice these tendencies in your current leadership team. Keep in mind that toxic leaders are more than simple annoyances. They are deliberately self-serving at the expense of others. This self-focus does not imply that they are incapable of changing because people may always choose to change, but it may suggest that they do not want to change.
Understanding their intentions helps you recognize when they use you to alleviate their unconscious anxieties. You may use this information to devise a plan for interacting with them in a way that causes the least harm to yourself.