In 2012, Cherie was working for an organization that handled traffic cameras. Although the work was somewhat fulfilling, she describes her former boss as a “horrible, abusive, and narcissistic” individual who thrived on belittling his employees in public. “On numerous occasions, he set me and my colleagues up to look inept to our CIO,” she says. But the last straw, according to Cherie, was when he mocked her for reporting a bed bug bite to HR. Cherie indicated that their building was infested with them, and although she eventually reported him to HR, they did nothing; Cherie eventually quit the company.
An often-cited Gallup study of more than 27 million employees revealed that many people left their jobs because of a bad manager. But unfortunately, that means that there is no shortage of toxic companies and toxic leaders. According to Roderic Yapp, poisonous leaders are self-serving and do not care about the organization or its people; they treat people as a vehicle to help them get where they want.
Study these characteristics carefully as outlined by Padilla, Hogan, and Kaiser because they will help you identify toxic leadership and, by extension, toxic cultures.