Toxic leadership writ large

“Men lived like fishes; the great ones devoured the small.”

– Algernon Sidney

Here’s a link to a short bio on Algernon Sidney, a seventeenth century English politician, who penned a political treatise, Discourses Concerning Government in 1698, which gained popularity decades later during the American Revolution.

I also have another Algernon Sidney quote in my old quote notebook:

“Liars ought to have good memories.”

– Algernon Sidney

An amazing aspect of many of the media and pundit reactions to President Trump’s behavior is that so many of them seem stunned each time he attacks, even people in his own administration.  He is the living, breathing embodiment of the definition of a toxic leader.

So, what is a toxic leader?  Here’s an excerpt from a 2014 Forbes article, Toxic Leaders And The Social Environments That Breed Them:

“Toxic leadership is a combination of self-centered attitudes, motivations, and behaviors that have adverse effects on subordinates, the organization, and mission performance. This leader lacks concern for others and the climate of the organization, which leads to short- and long-term negative effects. The toxic leader operates with an inflated sense of self-worth and from acute self-interest. Toxic leaders consistently use dysfunctional behaviors to deceive, intimidate, coerce, or unfairly punish others to get what they want for themselves. The negative leader completes short-term requirements by operating at the bottom of the continuum of commitment, where followers respond to the positional power of their leader to fulfill requests. This may achieve results in the short term, but ignores the other leader competency categories of leads and develops. Prolonged use of negative leadership to influence followers undermines the followers’ will, initiative, and potential and destroys unit morale.”

President Trump often lashes out about the leaks coming from Obama holdovers or former Obama officials, but the media report many of their sources for these leaks are often Trump White House officials.   With a White House staff shake-up in the works, the new WH communications director, Anthony Scaramucci,  stated that trying to plug the leaks is a top agenda item:

“Anthony Scaramucci, President Donald Trump’s new communications director, said on Sunday that one of his first tasks will be to halt leaks and that staff on his team would be fired if the leaks do not stop.

“If we don’t get the leaks stopped, I am a businessperson, and so I will take dramatic action to stop those leaks,” Scaramucci said on Fox News Sunday.”

This morning President Trump has been tweeting again, attacking his own attorney general, Jeff Sessions, for taking “a VERY weak position on Hillary Clinton crimes (where are E-mails & DNC server) & Intel leakers!”  It’s petty and vindictive, but also meant to not only prod Sessions to resign, but to instill fear among his staff, that they could fall into disfavor and be publicly humiliated too.

Now, I am going to quote a blog post,  My review of the GOP field, that I wrote December 14, 2015:

“In the GOP camp, Donald Trump creates drama, chaos and endless controversy.  Assuredly, on the big issues he champions, he mouths many home truths that are inconvenient for the DC cocktail party crowd to hear and acts like gasoline tossed on the liberal press and pundits’ self-righteous, politically correct  pieties.  He’s reduced their arguments to a heaping pile of ashes and for that alone, we should all cheer.  However, there are several “buts”, like, but he doesn’t have a clear grasp of The Constitution and his cures often come without clear plans and overstep constitutional bonds.  Of course, those who believe in his great business acumen, don’t harbor the doubts that I do – they see the great American success story, while I see the  yuge glowing red warning sign of toxic leadership.

I left my job at a retail store earlier this year, where I  worked for a man, whom I believe was the most talented merchandiser I have ever seen.  Along with that talent came a huge ego and the worst people skills I have ever seen in my life, that is, until I’ve watched Donald Trump brag, insult, bash and mock his GOP rivals.  This man threw anyone under the bus to make himself look good and he bragged as much as Trump.  He loved to fire people, very much like Trump.  One tirade too many right on the sales floor and I decided to put in my two week notice, after working there many years.  He was my 8th store manager and I had never had a single problem with any of the others.  YUGE relief is what I feel not having to deal with him anymore!

The only team The Donald is on, is his own.  He does not care about the GOP party or causes per se, they’re just the vehicle he is driving to become President, where he believes his dynamic business acumen will single-handedly “make America great again”. ”

Jeff Sessions might resign, but no matter who President Trump selects as a replacement, the leaks will continue, the chaos will continue and the total dysfunction of this White House will grow.  Most of us learned how this story ends as children:

“A vain emperor who cares about nothing except wearing and displaying clothes hires two weavers who promise him the finest, best suit of clothes from a fabric invisible to anyone who is either unfit for his position or “hopelessly stupid”. The emperor’s ministers cannot see the clothes themselves, but pretend that they can for fear of appearing unfit for their positions, and the emperor does the same. Finally, the weavers report that the suit is finished, they mime dressing him, and the emperor marches in procession before his subjects. The townsfolk play along with the pretense, not wanting to appear unfit for their positions or stupid. Then, a child in the crowd, too young to understand the desirability of keeping up the pretense, blurts out that the emperor is wearing nothing at all, and the cry is taken up by others. The emperor suspects the assertion is true but continues the procession.”

The problem is not the people around this president; the problem is that this petty emperor has no clothes.

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Filed under General Interest, Politics, Worthwhile Quotations

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