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LEADERSHIP L E A D E R S , F O L L OW E R S , E N V I R O N M E N T S

ART PADILL A


After a saguaro dies, its tough, woody ribs can be used in roofs, fences, and furniture. Birds often nest in the saguaros by pecking out holes called saguaro boots. Native Americans used them as water containers before canteens were available.

TOXIC LEADERSHIP

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CHAPTER Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men. —Lord John Dalberg-Acton

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If a way to be better there be, it lies in taking a full look at the worst. —Thomas Hardy

Introduction One of the biographies of Mao Tse-tung, China’s dictator for over three decades, begins with a compelling sentence: Mao Tse-tung, who for decades held absolute power over the lives of one-quarter of the world’s population, was responsible for well over 70 million deaths in peacetime, more than any other twentieth century leader.1 Josef Stalin, the ruthless Russian dictator, similarly terrorized much of the Soviet population. He was, according to several authors, responsible for the deaths of up to 40 million people within the borders of the Soviet Union.2 Zbigniew Brzezinski, U.S. President Jimmy Carter’s National Security Advisor, estimated that Stalin murdered 20 to 25 million of his fellow citizens through imprisonment, deliberate famine, and execution. While there are understandable debates about the precise number of deaths and murders, there is little question that the numbers are massive and that the leadership tenures of these two dictators were devastatingly destructive or toxic. Unfortunately, Mao and Stalin were not isolated instances of national dictators. Hitler, Mussolini, Idi Amin, Pinochet, Trujillo, Pot Pol, Kim, and Castro are also responsible for large numbers of murders and executions. And such toxicity is not restricted to leaders of nations. Even though these cases involve massive brutality and loss of freedoms, the corporate and nonprofit domains also have their share of sorry episodes: • Enron scandal, a scandal leading to the bankruptcy of the corporation and the dissolution of Arthur Andersen, formerly one of the five largest accounting firms 3 • Tyco International, a fiasco where CEO Dennis Kozlowski and finance officer Mark Swartz were accused and convicted of stealing millions of dollars 4 • Qwest, a major debacle with massive accounting and insider trading scandals, including CEO Joseph Nacchio’s conviction on 19 counts of insider trading5 • United Way, financial and ethical tragedies involving illegal and unethical behavior leading to the resignation of President William Aramony6

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Chapter objectives What explains these destructive leadership episodes? This chapter provides an overview of toxic or destructive leadership and the features that make it possible. It is an important chapter for two reasons. First, it reinforces the basic approach taken in this text by emphasizing the interactions among leaders, followers, and contexts and environments. Second, it covers a neglected but increasingly important area in the study of leadership in all its manifestations, the good, the bad, and the terrible. In teaching someone how to shoot a jump shot, it’s often useful to study great basketball shooters as well as inferior ones. The same idea applies to leadership. The salient characteristics and behaviors of toxic leaders and the motivations of followers who are susceptible to toxic leaders and environments are carefully examined in this chapter. Two types of susceptible followers are examined: colluders, who help toxic leaders further their destructiveness, and conformers, who go along out of fear and concern for their well-being. Finally, the environments leading to destructive outcomes are considered along with discussion of ways to minimize the potential of toxic leadership. Case studies illuminate concepts and ideas from the theory. The chapter turns first to definitional issues because the concept of destructive leadership is not clearly explained in the literature. Figure 7.1 summarizes the toxic leadership triangle and its elements and characteristics discussed in the following sections. A pedagogical note is useful here. Many of the toxic leadership examples used in this chapter refer to well-known political and world leaders who are all men. This is not because toxicity only affects politics or nations or men. Destructive leadership episodes are all too prevalent in many organizations and groups, large, small, and in between. Perhaps an insufficient number of women have presided in situations of power and crisis where environments and situations are conducive to destructive results. In any event, more is known about the personal background and circumstances around some toxic leaders than is known about others. While Bernie Madoff and Ken Lay, for example, would make good cases for studying toxic leadership, to date there are no available biographies about them. This explains why so much emphasis is devoted in the literature to toxic leaders like Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Castro, and other infamous totalitarian, political leaders. Much is known about their childhoods, rise to power, and leadership styles. Nonetheless, case studies of various sorts and containing varying amounts of detail can be useful in examining parts of the toxic triangle. The concepts discussed here generally apply to any sort of leader and any form of organization. LEADERS

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Figure 7.1 The Toxic Triangle and its three Elements7 Destructive leaders • • • •

Charisma and narcissism Personalized use of power Negative life themes Ideology of hate

Susceptible followers Conformers Colluders • Unmet basic needs • Ambition • Negative core • Congruent evaluations beliefs • Low psychological • Unsocialized maturity values

Conducive environments

• Absence of checks and balances and institutionalization • Instability or turbulence • Complexity • Perceived threat

After completing this chapter you should be able to: • Define toxic leadership and its component elements • Identify the elements in the “toxic triangle”: destructive leaders, susceptible followers, and conducive environments • Understand how one can minimize or prevent toxic episodes in organizations • Apply these concepts to actual leadership situations

Definitional ingredients The definition of toxic leadership is neither obvious nor unambiguous. Unfortunately, the existing literature is vague. There are four issues to ponder in thinking about a definition of organizational toxicity: • The toxic triangle—more than just the destructive leader • Difference between toxicity and goodness • Distinguishing between leader behaviors and traits versus organizational outcomes • Range of outcomes (toxic versus nontoxic) in any leadership situation LEADERS

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Toxic triangle To understand and prevent toxic leadership, one has to do more than study the leader.A leader alone, no matter how cleverly devious or fiendish, cannot last long. A toxic leadership triangle—destructive leaders, susceptible followers, and conducive environments—combine to produce the poisonous results. Yet, a great deal of the research on toxicity largely disregards the role of followers and organizational environments.8 In fact, three out of every four empirical leadership articles ignore followers and organizational contexts, focusing instead on leader behaviors and traits.9 Why does the literature tend to emphasize leaders at the neglect of followers and environmental contexts? As noted in previous chapters, the leader-centric emphasis of research is in part the result of fascination with leaders. It might be more interesting to discuss Italian dictator Benito Mussolini’s inclination as a child to threaten his classmates and teachers with a knife than it is to consider the economic and political conditions in Italy during the early 20th century that gave impetus to his regime. Second, there is the popular conception of leadership that looks to the top of organizations and political structures for solutions. Leaders of course are important, but they are not the only factor that matters, especially in toxic situations. A focus on leaders neglects the environment in which toxic organizations and social structures exist.10 Finally, comprehensive and simultaneous analysis of leaders, followers, and organizational climate is both difficult and problematic; it is easier to contend with only one of the three leadership elements.11

Leadership versus goodness What is the difference between leadership and goodness? Were Mao, Stalin, and Hitler “leaders” or were they “rulers”? Is toxic leadership an oxymoron? Does leadership refer only to positive or ethical situations?12 Some writers believe that dictators cannot, by definition, be “leaders.” One puts it this way: “Hitler ruled the German people, but he did not lead them,” because he failed to create “lasting, meaningful opportunities for the pursuit of happiness.”13 But this non-neutral, or value-laden, definition is not without problems: just how “lasting” and “meaningful” do the opportunities have to be in order to qualify? As discussed earlier, all leadership is temporary, so “lasting” is a relative concept. A broader, more neutral definition might regard Hitler, Osama bin Laden, Roberto Goizueta (highly regarded, former CEO of Coca-Cola), and Mother Teresa as leaders because they all built constituencies and influenced others to pursue objectives. To complicate the discussion further, many constructive or positive leaders are not always good, and toxic leaders often do some good things for some of their followers. For example, Mother Teresa, a Nobel Peace Prize winner who worked for the world’s poor and was beatified by the Catholic Church, also accepted over $1 million and the frequent use of a private jet from financier Charles Keating. Keating was the principal figure in the U.S. savings and loan scandal of the 1980s.14 Although Keating was convicted and jailed for stealing from investors, Mother Teresa wrote the court urging leniency for Keating and LEADERS

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refused a district attorney’s request to return the money to its rightful owners. Mother Teresa worked hard to improve the lives of the less fortunate, but some might question whether her ends justified her means. During Hitler’s tenure, some positive things happened, such as the creation of the Volkswagen (literally, the “people’s car”) and the expansion of the futuristic Autobahn, the superhighway system that traverses much of Germany.

Leader characteristics and behaviors versus group processes and outcomes How would you determine if leadership has been constructive or destructive? Recalling our earlier discussion in Chapter 2, there are three principal ways to consider leadership situations: • Looking at the leader (the leader-centric approach) • Examining the process • Considering the group’s outcomes In determining whether a company is doing well and whether its business strategies are working, one could look at the leaders and see what they do and whether they have the “right” characteristics, tendencies, and behaviors. In terms of a sports team, does the coach have the right qualifications and experiences? But a coach or leader could have great credentials and exhibit desirable behaviors and the team could still lose. Second, the process might be considered: how did the team play?15 Again, a team could play well, with passion and sportsmanship, but it might still lose. Third, one could look at outcomes: did the team, playing within the rules, win or lose? In determining whether a for-profit company’s business strategies are working or not, one would look at outcomes or at the bottom line: is the company making money or not? Leader-centric perspectives consider the leader; they focus on what leaders do or how they act.16 From this viewpoint, destructive leadership is defined as something leaders do. An example would be to look for narcissistic or “bad” behaviors of leaders, such as ignoring reality, overestimating personal capabilities, abusive supervision, petty tyranny, or disregarding the views of others.17 This perspective can be useful since negative, or destructive, leader behaviors are relevant in any leadership context. However, leader-centrism seems to be more about destructive leaders (traits, behaviors) than about a holistic view of destructive leadership (leader characteristics and behaviors, group processes, and group outcomes).18 Focusing on how leaders behave assumes two things: that a leader’s bad intentions and behaviors are essential components of destructiveness and that certain behaviors are inherently destructive and sufficient for destruction to ensue. Negative leader behaviors can be placed on a continuum ranging from ineffective/incompetent to unethical/evil.19 Although unethical and evil actions are obviously bad, it is difficult to establish that over-ambitiousness, egocentrism, or rudeness toward some employees invariably lead to an organization’s decline. Many of us would not willingly wish to work with an egomaniacal or excessively LEADERS

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demanding leader. However, such characteristics might work well in situations where decisiveness or speed is needed. Some “bad” leader characteristics, such as displaying brusqueness toward employees who are not performing well, have been positively associated with, for example, improved motivation and performance.20 Undesirable leader characteristics and behaviors could also simply lead to firing or the derailment of the leader’s career, as in the cases of the governors of New York (Elliot Spitzer) and South Carolina (Mark Sanford), rather than to long-term paralysis or decline of the organizations they lead. Note that leader-centric approaches do not explain why persistent destructive leader behaviors, including abusive acts directed at followers and actions detrimental to the organization, such as corruption, stealing, and sabotage, would be permitted by the followers, by the organization’s board of directors, or by other internal and external checks and balances of the group. It begs the question of why some organizations retain bad leaders and some do not. Leader-centric perspectives also do not help us to understand why poor leaders might be hired in the first place or why individuals who display these repeated behaviors remain in leadership positions long enough to undermine the organization’s goals and mismanage its resources. This is not in any form meant to minimize the impact of abhorrent leader behaviors such as abuse, coercion, vindictiveness on individuals; no doubt they are harmful to certain employees and to employee-related outcomes, as shown in a number of careful studies.21 The larger point here is that leader-centrism does not address the role of followers or environmental conditions in explaining why destructive leadership happens or why it persists. In sum, it is difficult to connect objectionable leader behaviors clearly or directly with ultimate destructive outcomes for the group.22 Destructive leadership might also be viewed as a group outcome, perhaps a more useful way to consider and understand it.23 If leaders, in combination with followers and contexts, harm constituents or damage organizations, then destructive leadership has occurred. This is consistent with a dictionary definition of “destructive.” It is also compatible with previous studies about disastrous outcomes, organizational destruction, and damage to the psychological wellbeing of followers.24 The key to a definition of toxic or destructive leadership is to consider how the group or organization ultimately does relative to its rivals. This points the analysis toward outcomes and the contributing role of followers and environments and away from sole examination of leader behaviors and traits. All sides of the leadership triangle—leader, followers, and environments—have to be considered to understand the process. It also means that determination of whether leadership is toxic or not often has to wait until the story is finished.

Whose goals? Earlier in Chapters 2 and 4 we observed that individuals driven to be senior managers and organizational leaders are typically characterized by a need for power. There is the useful distinction, however, between socialized and personalized power needs.25 Leaders with a socialized need for power are concerned with their own welfare and advancement, of course, but they also appear to LEADERS

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work with the group toward broader group priorities; power is used for the common good. Leaders with personalized needs for power use authority for self-promotion, to the detriment of their subordinates and organizations.26 They pursue personal goals; they don’t care about the group’s goals unless they serve their selfish purposes. To make the followers conform to their agendas, after they have established themselves and gained power, toxic leaders resort to power and coercion since normal motivational techniques are not sufficient to compensate for unfairness, arbitrariness, and loss of freedoms. Toxic leaders can be gifted communicators and persuasive politicians. They use their motivational arsenal manipulatively, bending and breaking democratic processes and eliminating checks and balances, including the rule of law. Many toxic leaders demonstrate an outward appearance of caring and concern for followers in the early stages of the leader-follower relationship, a pattern of behavior called “love bombing” in cult studies. 27 Later, they reveal their “true colors” by employing coercion and abuse after they’ve solidified a power base over followers. Cult followers of Charles Manson and Jim Jones, for example, demonstrated a bizarre sense of love, family, and personal identification with these leaders.28 Cuba’s Castro initially promised a prompt return to democracy with free elections while he was consolidating his rule before revealing his repressive dictatorial intentions a few months later.29 More generally, destructive leadership outcomes, whether in Stalin’s Russia, Manson’s “family,” or Ken Lay’s Enron, are associated with individuals with acute personalized needs for power. Much of leadership is about persuasion and not about domination or power.30 In normal managerial situations, leaders must use effective communication, persuasion, and motivation to engage followers in achieving group objectives. Group objectives in democratic settings are transparently obtained, fair, subject to the rule of law, and widely shared and supported by people in the group. If the goals and decisions are deemed to be unfair, unjust, or otherwise undesirable for the group, there is a process for free discussion and change through established procedures. This conclusion seems relevant in any setting, from the military to the for-profit sector and beyond. Entrenched dictatorships and totalitarian regimes and organizations, where a few in power control decisions and unilaterally decide on group goals, are exceptions. The heavy presence of police or military forces to obtain obedience and minimize dissension in countries that are not free and democratic illustrates this point.

Range of toxicity versus non-toxicity Focusing on organizational outcomes is not entirely problem-free, however. There is a range of outcomes in any leadership situation. Some results can be very destructive and some very positive. Most leadership episodes will fall in between the really bad and the really good. Seldom is anything perfectly and totally in one extreme or the other of this continuum. If destructive leadership is defined in terms of harmful outcomes, then it is possible for “good” leaders to produce bad outcomes, and for “bad” leaders to produce desirable outcomes. The worst political and business leaders—Mao, Stalin, Charles Keating, LEADERS

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Dennis Kozlowski—brought some value to their constituents.31 And  even highly regarded leaders whose leadership tenures resulted in constructive outcomes sometimes make mistakes—for example, Coca-Cola’s respected CEO, Roberto Goizueta, was associated with the “new Coke” debacle. Hitler led his nation to a devastating conclusion. But he also, at least in the beginning of his tenure, managed to achieve goals that many Germans supported. Toxic leaders are associated with outcomes at the destructive end of the spectrum, while “good” or nontoxic leaders are usually associated with outcomes at the positive end of the spectrum. No leader, and no leadership situation, is perfectly great or perfectly lousy.

Toxic leadership as a special case Seen in this way, toxic leadership is a special case of more general leadership situations. The key difference involves the extent to which toxic leaders (i.e., those individuals with certain predispositions and characteristics) are able to overwhelm or offset the resistance and checks and the balances presented by followers and organizational institutions, processes, and traditions. In situations where followers and organizational environments are weak, susceptible, or conducive to toxicity, flawed leaders would gain the upper hand. This way of viewing toxic leadership lends itself to any context or situation, from a dysfunctional family unit to a nation and to anything in between. It also applies to for-profit businesses as well as to nonprofit organizations such as universities. A note about nonprofit organizations is in order. Nonprofit organizations such as universities or governmental agencies have well-established procedures that make them more bureaucratic but that also tend to prevent toxic leadership from emerging or from lasting very long if it does emerge.32 This is for three reasons. First, leaders tend to have less power and control than they are normally perceived to have. Many functions of university presidents, for example, tend to be in the honorary or “regal” realm, welcoming groups, presiding over large ceremonies, and setting very broad policies. Presidential tenures have also declined considerably, to about 5 years from start to end in the major public universities. Declining terms in office further limits their ability to effect change. Second, and related to the first, the followers or principal stakeholders (e.g., faculty, staff, taxpayers, students, parents, legislators, alumni) are fairly independent and outspoken and tend to set their own agendas. Third, the institutions are typically quite old and have established routines and processes that precede and succeed leaders. Thus, most university episodes involving flawed leaders who might lie, steal, or are generally incompetent tend to result in the derailment of those individuals; the organization, after perhaps a short period of instability, tends to correct itself and move on.

Four definitional elements of toxic leadership From the preceding discussion above, we can determine that destructive leadership involves four definitional ingredients.33 These describe what destructive LEADERS

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leadership is; the toxic triangle itself identifies the leader, follower, and environmental elements that make the toxic outcomes possible. 1. Destructive leadership is about more than the leader: Most research on destructive leadership, like leadership more broadly, is leader-centric and the roles of followers and environmental contexts do not receive adequate attention. Destructive organizational outcomes also depend on susceptible followers and conducive environments. 2. Destructive leadership is rarely entirely destructive: Most leadership situations have both desirable and undesirable outcomes. Outcomes associated with destructive leadership are found primarily at the negative end of that spectrum. 3. Destructive leadership involves control and coercion rather than persuasion and commitment and has a selfish orientation. It focuses on a leader’s objectives and goals, as opposed to those of constituents and the larger social organization. Efforts to maintain a destructive leader’s regime (often through force) preclude developing, empowering, and involving followers. 4. Effects of destructive leadership result in bad consequences for the group, upsetting the wellbeing of followers, whether internal or external to the organization. Negative organizational outcomes are the product of dysfunctional leader behaviors and susceptible followers interacting with a conducive environment.

Toxic leaders and their characteristics Leadership of any type comes from the interplay of an individual’s motivation and ability to lead, subordinates’ desire or need for direction and authority, and events calling for leadership within organizational settings and structures. This view is consistent with a broader, more complex systems perspective focusing on the confluence of leaders, followers, and circumstances rather than just the characteristics of the individual leader. This section deals with the first part of the toxic triangle: toxic leaders and their tendencies and characteristics. Note, however, that while there are distinct differences between leaders who preside over destructive outcomes and those who lead their organizations to better results, there is also considerable overlap in their behaviors and characteristics, just as is the case in follower behaviors and motivations. For example, effective leaders everywhere exhibit strong communication skills, have solid interpersonal “antennae,” and tend to have significant resilience, stamina, and perseverance. An analysis of the literature suggests four critical leader factors associated with destructive group results: • • • •

Charisma and narcissism Personalized use of power Negative life themes, and Ideology of hate LEADERS

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LEADERSHIP S POTLIGHT LEADERSHIP SPOTLIGHT The gift of grace Charisma is an ancient and complicated concept with religious roots. Jesus and Muhammad were considered by their followers to possess a superhuman radiance, a charisma, not accessible to normal persons. Medieval paintings of saints feature glowing halos above their heads, emblematic of the notion of charisma and the spiritual power emanating from a person. In Greek, the word means favored or having a gift of grace. Monarchs and heads of state historically have been held in enormous admiration and respect. The “divine” rights of kings to rule over their subjects were supposedly handed down to them by God; the otherwordly aura of Roman, Egyptian, Chinese, and Aztec monarchs led to their designation as “god-kings.” The spread of democracy has made such terminology obsolete in most places, although in countries like Cuba and North Korea, with highly susceptible followers and environmental conditions that contribute to toxicity, there remains a “cult of personality” leading to semi-worship of leaders. Charisma is often considered to be a personality characteristic, something that extraordinary people possess. Certain leader characteristics and qualities, such as extraversion, verbal fluency, organizational status, emotional intelligence, or physical attractiveness, might cause some followers to describe a leader as charismatic. Nonetheless, charisma should also be regarded as a connection or bond between leader and followers rather than as a particular set of personality traits. Charisma exists only if followers say it does. As Max Weber noted in his classic treatment of the subject, “. . . the recognition on the part of those subject to authority. . . ” is necessary for charisma to exist (p. 359). More graphically, if a man runs naked down the street yelling he can save the world, and if he has followers who run after him, then he is a charismatic leader. If not, he is a lunatic. Considerable research has been done on whether so-called charismatic leaders are more effective than others. The evidence is mixed, in part because of the difficulty in determining a leader’s “charisma,” and because measuring organizational effectiveness is problematic. One study involving U.S. presidents suggested that charismatic presidents were mildly more effective than non-charismatic presidents. More recent studies, however, indicate that CEO charisma was not associated with superior organizational performance, although it was related to how well the CEO himself or herself did in terms of personal benefits and pay. In other words, measures of CEO charisma were related to total CEO pay but not to firm performance measures. SOURCES: Weber, Max. (1947). The theory of social and economic organization, translated by A. Henderson and T. Parsons. New York: Free Press; Agle, B., Nagarajan, N., Sonnenfeld, J., & Srinivasan, D. (2006). Does CEO charisma matter? An empirical analysis of the relationship among organizational performance, environmental uncertainty, and top management team perceptions of CEO charisma. Academy of Management Journal, 49: 161–174; Wilson, B. (1975). The noble savages: The primitive origins of charisma and its contemporary survival. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Charisma and narcissism In common usage, charisma refers to attractive aspects of an individual’s personality that, in the opinion of some people, sets that person apart and makes him or her seem exceptional in some way. Many of us refer to self-confident individuals who are engaging or fun to be with or energetic and charming or uniquely LEADERS

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articulate as “charismatic.” It is useful to remember, however, that charisma is in the eye of the beholder: Osama bin Laden, Bill Clinton, and Margaret Thatcher were charismatic and inspirational to some but not to others.34 Why speak about charisma, narcissism, and toxic leadership in the same section? After all, we want our leaders to display attractive traits and admirable behaviors. Some charisma, self-confidence, decisiveness, and visionary thinking are not bad things. But too much might be as bad as too little. Charisma has a dark side. Exceptional qualities that make some individuals appeal to others, characteristics that make others follow and even worship them, are not always used for the common good. Many charismatic leaders exhibit extreme selfconfidence, dramatic flair, willingness to test the limits, and expansive visionary thinking. They make strong initial impressions, especially in the hiring or in the rising to power process. Although charismatic leaders have great personal appeal, their magnetic characteristics are sometimes used for self-promotion rather than the good of the organization, while taking clever advantage of vulnerable followers and weak organizational checks and balances.35 Dark-side characteristics such as over-ambition and extreme callousness are obvious among many top managers and, more generally, in organizational situations where leaders have significant discretion, little effective oversight, with organizational environments that do not regulate the authority of top managers. In terms of organizational effectiveness, there is no clear relationship between CEO charisma and organizational performance; however, charisma is related to how well a CEO is paid.36 Not all charismatic or narcissistic leaders are destructive, of course. But charisma appears to be a central characteristic of destructive leaders.37 Consider the following list: in government, Hitler, Stalin, Castro, Charles Taylor; in business, John Delorean, Joe Nacchio, Jeff Skilling; in religious cults, Charles Manson, Jim Jones, and David Koresh. Many individuals, and not just their immediate followers, would consider well-known, destructive leaders to be charismatic. In addition, it is true that constructive leaders considered also to be charismatic have made big mistakes (e.g., U.S. President John Kennedy’s Bay of Pigs fiasco or British Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s Gallipoli disaster). Destructive leaders are considered to be charismatic by many people, even before reaching their ultimate positions of power. Three characteristics of destructive leaders are worth mentioning: vision, self-presentational skills, and personal energy.38 Charismatic leaders are able to convey a vision of a desirable future. Destructive leaders articulate a vision of a world characterized by threat and insecurity, where personal safety depends on the domination and defeat of rivals. Venezuela’s fiery ruler, Hugo Chavez, routinely warns about the threat of invasion from the “Yanquis” (the U.S.), even if there is no credible evidence about such plans. He also appeals to base fears and insecurity of susceptible citizens by mobilizing troops to Venezuela’s border with Columbia, citing the possibility of war. He perhaps learned these tactics from Cuba’s Fidel Castro, whom he frequently mentions as his friend and mentor. Constructive charismatic leaders, on the other hand, offer a vision that emphasizes benefits to the broader good, whereas destructive leaders articulate LEADERS

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visions that enhance their personal power.39 Destructive ones are clever impression managers, attempting to influence what others think about them, often going on “charm offensives” with supportive media and others through ingratiation (displaying our “happy” qualities so others like us) or intimidation (aggressively showing anger to get others to obey us). Well-regarded leaders have exceptional rhetorical skill. But the same is true of destructive, charismatic leaders such as Hitler, Mussolini, and Foday Sankoh (ruthless leader of the Sierra Leone, Africa, rebel group, the Revolutionary United Front, who recruited and armed children to murder thousands of people), whose dramatic talents are also well recognized. Energy is a third characteristic top business and political leaders seem to share with dictators. Most leaders work long hours. Indeed, gaining support for a large agenda requires superior stamina and persistence.40 Remarkable achievement at an early age and a high level of vigor characterize charismatic leaders.41 The histories of destructive leaders show these patterns as well. As a child, Fidel Castro, for instance, was described by teachers and schoolmates as incansable, the Spanish word for untiring.42 Extreme narcissism is self-concept gone wild, a form of self-love malady. Feeling good about yourself and having confidence in your skills and abilities are positive characteristics, but not in excess. Monumental self-esteem, ignoring others, lack of empathy, and rude arrogance are serious leadership flaws. Narcissism is inwardly focused, while charisma is something that others attribute to certain persons. Nonetheless, some expressions of narcissism, such as being charming or captivating, can overlap with charismatic characteristics.43 Narcissistic leaders present grandiose visions that initially seem bold and compelling, but often these visions cause waste and distress because they overreach and defy successful implementation.44 The failed merger of computer manufacturers Hewlett-Packard and Compaq is illustrative of such grandiosity. The deal was orchestrated by Carlton S. “Carly” Fiorina, hired because the HP board wanted a CEO with marketing skills and celebrity or rock star appeal (she typically appeared at public functions with several huge bodyguards) to change the corporate culture. Her constant self-promotion at the expense of day-to-day operations caused a dramatic drop in HP stock value, which led to her highly publicized removal.

Personalized use of power Ethics and morality provide another basis for distinguishing between constructive and destructive leaders. Ethical leaders use position power to serve others whereas unethical ones use power for personal gain and self-promotion; unethical leaders use control and coercion to impose their goals while censuring opposing views.45 Control can be overt, as when neighborhood watch groups spy on fellow citizens (e.g., East Germany, North Korea, Syria) or it can be a subtle appeal to follower needs for authority, security, belongingness in a safe community, or fear of isolation, imprisonment, or death. Destructive leaders strive constantly to devalue and isolate dissidents and rivals while promoting support for their toxic plans. LEADERS

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LEADERSHIP S POTLIGHT LEADERSHIP SPOTLIGHT On Narcissism The ancient Greek story of Narcissus, the hunter from Thespia known for his good looks, is traced back 2,000 years to Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Narcissus was beautiful as a child and became even more handsome as he grew older. By the time he was a teenager, the vain and interpersonally challenged Narcissus had left a trail of broken hearts and rejected lovers of both sexes. As an act of revenge for unrequited love, a rejected goddess finally made Narcissus fall in love, but with himself. As he bent down to drink from a pond, he saw his striking reflection for the first time. He fell ardently in love with his own image, but eventually plunged a dagger into his heart because the reflection would not reciprocate. (Evidently Narcissus was not too bright.) The Narcissus mythology has inspired the name of a flowering bulb (narcissus or daffodil), as well a number of books and songs, including Sigmund Freud’s famous 1914 book, On Narcissism, and a vain and arrogant Harry Potter character, Narcissa Malfoy. The British Columbia (Canada) pop band Hedley has a song called “Narcissist,” with the line: “He falls in love with his reflection in the glass, He can’t resist who’s staring back.” Narcissism is linked to leader “emergence,” the likelihood that one would be identified, or emerge, as a leader of a group. This makes sense: Narcissists have verbal skills and other characteristics that make them attractive to others and make them seem as if they can lead compared to others. Freud realized all of us have an element of narcissism and that some narcissism might be useful in certain settings. On the other hand, extreme narcissism is marked by low empathy for other people, poor listening skills, emotional isolation, and remarkably “thin skin.” It is associated with low performance ratings, volatile and risky behavior, lower peer likability in social settings, and “white collar” crime. Groups led by narcissists exhibit lower levels of information exchange between group members, which negatively affects group performance. If narcissistic behavior is related to weak leadership and poor group performance, then why do so many narcissistic individuals get to be leaders? Many people view extraversion, social confidence, and a desire for dominance and power as “leader-like.” Narcissists are adept at first impressions: they have, for example, significantly higher “likability” after 30 seconds of observation, and they are more successful at initiating romantic liaisons. Narcissism might be a good predictor of leader emergence but not of eventual leader effectiveness. SOURCES: Nevicka, B., Ten Velden, F., De Hoogh, A., & Van Vianen, A. (2011). Reality at odds with perceptions: Narcissistic leaders and group performance. Psychological Science, 22, 1259–1264; Maccoby, M. (2000). Narcissistic leaders: The incredible pros, the inevitable cons. Harvard Business Review, 78, 68277; Rosenthal, S. A., & Pittinskya, T. L. (2006). Narcissistic leadership. Leadership Quarterly, 17, 6172633; Brunnell, A., Gentry, W., Campbell, K., Hoffman, B., Kuhnert, K., & DeMarree, K. (2008). Leader emergence: The case of the narcissistic leader. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 34, 1663–1676.

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A leader’s use of power is also instructive. Most normal individuals want to get ahead and be successful in their lives as they define that success. Advancement in an organization is accompanied by more success and benefits, as it should be. But destructive leaders use unchecked authority and power largely for personal gain, impulsively and irresponsibly, seemingly without regard for the negative consequences to their own groups and organizations.46

Negative life themes Leaders who harm their organizations or social systems tend to have negative life stories. A negative life story reflects a destructive image of the world and a person’s role in it.47 It can usually be traced to painful childhood experiences. Severe parental discord, low socioeconomic status, paternal criminality, maternal psychiatric disorder, and child abuse are common themes for authoritarian or tyrannical adults.48 Childhood adversity is associated with positive lessons for some children who overcome it with the help of supportive adults outside a dysfunctional family (such as teachers, grandparents, or coaches) and their own resilient personalities.49 Not all children are so fortunate: some do not have the sparkly or resilient personality needed to attract helpful adults and to make lemonade out of lemons. In addition, some experiences are simply too powerful or recurrent for many children to escape. Josef Stalin’s childhood was traumatic: his abusive, alcoholic father beat his mother and young Josef often and cruelly. According to a childhood friend, the beatings made Stalin as cruel as his father.50 Hitler, Mussolini, Mao, and Castro, for example, also experienced considerable childhood distress. Abused children distance themselves from others and compartmentalize (or disassociate from) painful issues.51 Former U.S. President William Clinton describes the “parallel lives” he lived while dealing with his alcoholic and violent father.52 This allowed young Clinton to ignore intractable problems while addressing other challenges, and might explain his apparent indifference to the genocide in Rwanda during his second term.53 The ability to ignore the feelings of others and exploit them for personal gain is a defining feature of psychopathy, but is also associated with narcissism and the unsocialized use of power.54 Mao Tse-tung, the former tyrant of China, was responsible for over 70 million deaths in peacetime. His brutal regime and its Stalin-like purges of millions have been linked with childhood experiences of abuse from his father.55

Ideology of hate A comparison of destructive and constructive leaders suggests that the rhetoric, vision, and worldview of destructive leaders contain images of hate and anger—vanquishing rivals and destroying despised enemies. Hitler’s antiJewish rants or Foday Sankoh’s hatred of the urban elite in Sierra Leone contrast sharply with Martin Luther King, Jr.’s expressions of racial equality and Gandhi’s approach to resistance. LEADERS

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LEADERSHIP S POTLIGHT LEADERSHIP SPOTLIGHT The Idi Amin Dada story illustrates the impact of a flawed leader working in unison with weak and susceptible followers and chaotic environments with dysfunctional social and legal institutions. Idi Amin was the dictator of Uganda. He also became known as the “Butcher of Uganda” for his inhuman, repressive rule during his Ugandan regime in the 1970s. He was a colorful and charismatic dictator who ranks among the most infamous of all Africa’s postindependence rulers. He seized power in a military coup in 1971 and ruled over Uganda for eight years. As many as 500,000 people were killed, tortured, or imprisoned during his eight-year dictatorship. He was deposed in 1979 in another violent coup. He was allowed by Saudi Arabian rulers to live in that country as an exile, where he remained until his death in 2003. This is a good case for examining characteristics of followers and environments that permit toxic leadership to emerge and endure. There’s also the added benefit of an excellent award-winning movie, The Last King of Scotland, about Idi Amin’s rise and fall (starring Forest Whitaker, Best Actor Oscar winner for 2007, only the fourth African American to win this honor), which is easily available from the Web or video stores.

Hulton Archive/Getty Images, Inc.

Political Leadership: Uganda’s Idi Amin Dada

How does this hate originate and grow? Harsh childhood experiences seem to lead to an ideology of hate and also can result in a reaction formation, a defensive process through which unacceptable emotions or impulses are lessened by doing exactly the opposite. Examples include patronizing prostitutes while prosecuting prostitution rings, as former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer did, or lying about an affair while impeaching U.S. President Clinton for lying about an affair, as Newt Gingrich did. Self-hatred can be turned outward toward others.56 Stalin hated authority, probably because persons with power reminded him of his father; he engaged in stunningly violent acts as he climbed the Bolshevik hierarchy.57 Stalin’s rule was merciless and cruel, and he routinely authorized the murder of fellow Russians—including members of his own inner circles. Whatever the source of the anger and resentment, hate is a key component of the worldview of destructive leaders, and it legitimizes the use of violence and retribution.58 Hateful themes also emerge in the world of business. The Wall Street Journal described how senior managers at Enron created a culture of intimidation.59 CFO Andrew Fastow had a cube on his desk with the inscription: “When ENRON says it’s going to ‘rip your face off’ . . . it means it will rip your face off!” In sum, destructive leaders are characterized by charisma, narcissism, personalized needs for power, negative life histories, and an ideology of hate. A  single element is insufficient: hateful individuals driven by a selfish need LEADERS

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for power but lacking rhetorical skills and stamina might not achieve significant power. Similarly, skilled public speakers with a compassionate worldview and socialized motives are less likely to be destructive. Although toxic characteristics might be necessary for destructive leadership, they are not sufficient. In many contexts, and in conjunction with particular followers, potentially destructive leaders might not achieve power. This raises the topics of followers and the environmental contexts.

Susceptible followers: colluders and conformers All leaders have one thing in common: they have followers. Leaders alone cannot get much done. It is easy to understand why followers would want to collaborate with positive and constructive leaders, but why do some go along with toxic ones? Why do many followers not confront destructive leaders? Why don’t people speak out when they know something is wrong? Indeed, why do some followers actually help the toxic leader achieve his or her destructive aims and objectives? Followers clearly have an impact on the ultimate outcomes, and this section discusses why followers are susceptible to toxic leaders. Two reminders are useful in discussing followers or constituents. First, followers in different sorts of situations have common motivations and characteristics, just as leaders do. There are overarching human or evolutionary tendencies in all of us that make leadership and followership possible. Think about the way many people imitate clothing styles and slang of celebrities. There is a natural inclination to obey authority figures, to imitate higherstatus individuals, and conform to group norms.60 In addition, all followers need safety, security, group membership, and predictability in an uncertain world at the individual level.61 There are also group or community needs for social order, cohesion, identity, and the coordination of collective activities. Second, a caveat about oversimplification is helpful. To suggest that followers fall into a small number of categories is an exaggeration, though a necessary one for expository and teaching purposes. While it might be useful to speak about two or three or four kinds of followers who are susceptible to destructive leaders, no one’s personality is so simple. It is important to remember that people do the things they do for complicated reasons.

Characteristics of followers Some authors have distinguished among two types of susceptible followers: those who lack a well-defined self-concept and those who share the leader’s values,62 or between bystanders, who allow bad leadership to happen, and acolytes, “true believers” who join in the destruction.63 Combining these similar concepts, two groups of followers are likely in most destructive leadership situations: conformers and colluders.64 Conformers allow bad leaders to assume and retain power because their unmet needs and (psychological) immaturity make them vulnerable to such influences. For some conformers, a group known as “lost souls,” a charismatic and attractive leader might provide a sense of LEADERS

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self that they could not develop on their own. They identify with leaders they imitate or admire, leaving them vulnerable to manipulation by unscrupulous leaders.65 Colluders support destructive leaders because they want to promote themselves in an enterprise consistent with their worldview. Conformers comply with destructive leaders because they don’t want to rock the boat or perhaps because they are fearful. Colluders participate in a destructive leader’s agenda due to their personal ambitions, selfishness, and because they share the destructive leader’s views. Both types are motivated by self-interest, but their concerns are different. Conformers minimize the consequences of not going along, while colluders seek personal gain through collaboration with a destructive leader. There are lessons here for all sorts of organizations and not just for those enterprises led by the most toxic of leaders. How would the foregoing discussion apply to university “followers,” to elementary school teachers, to high-tech industries with highly skilled workers, or to government employees? Six specific characteristics seem to make some followers more susceptible to flawed leaders. For susceptible followers likely to go along and not rock the boat, the conformers, the following features are relevant: • Unmet basic needs • Negative core evaluations • Low psychological maturity For followers who assist destructive leaders with their toxic agendas out of personal desire to get ahead of others or because they share beliefs and values of destructive leaders, the colluders, these characteristics are applicable: • Ambition • Congruent beliefs • Unsocialized values shared with a toxic leader

Conformers World War I and the ensuing global economic depression of the 1930s left many people in Germany, Russia, and Italy at the margins of society and on the brink of starvation prior to the rise of Hitler, Stalin, and Mussolini.66 Corrupt governments and leaders (e.g., Kim Jong-Il in North Korea, the Castro brothers in Cuba, Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, Omar al-Bashir in the Sudan, Choummaly Sayasone in Laos) today rule the most impoverished countries in the world.67 Poor, uneducated people living in hunger and fear are easier to control and manipulate. In addition to food and safety, isolation and loneliness pave the way for totalitarian regimes.68 Destructive leaders can attract followers by offering them a sense of community and a group in which to belong. The core self-evaluations, as discussed in Chapter 3, are useful in understanding follower inclinations to go along with toxic leaders. These are the fundamental opinions individuals hold about themselves, including the areas of self-esteem, self-efficacy, and locus of control.69 They are related to life LEADERS

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fulfillment, job satisfaction, motivation, and occupational performance. Selfesteem is the psychological notion about confidence and satisfaction with oneself. Individuals with low self-esteem are drawn to charismatic leaders intent on controlling and manipulating others; low self-esteem followers feel they deserve such treatment.70 Self-efficacy is a person’s belief in his or her ability to succeed in a particular situation.71 People with a weak sense of self-efficacy tend to avoid challenging tasks and believe that difficult situations are beyond their capabilities. They are also likely to focus on personal failings and negative outcomes and to lose confidence in personal abilities. Research indicates that low levels of self-esteem and self-efficacy are linked with a vulnerability to destructive leadership.72 Totalitarian regimes, through propaganda, control of the media, societal controls, and persecution of dissidents, reinforce a sense of passivity among its citizens.73 The same is also likely the case in dysfunctional and centralized organizations where leaders try to control and micro-manage. Research on moral reasoning and self-concept indicates that psychologically immature individuals are more likely to conform, even to obey blindly in the face of authority, and to participate in destructive acts.74 Conformity can thus lead to immoral or unethical behavior; psychologically immature adults have difficulty opposing the toxic authority of leaders. Conforming people are capable of seriously harming others (e.g., shocking a stranger to death in the Milgram Experiments).75 Kohlberg’s theory of moral development suggests that people who respect rules (between 60 to 75 percent of Western adults) are nonetheless capable of immoral behavior in the name of authority.76 Psychological maturity is needed to oppose destructive authority. Although these vulnerabilities might apply to any psychologically immature adult, they apply as well to young people—for instance, the Hitler Youth, Chavez’s militias, or Mao’s Red Guard.77 When impressionable followers internalize a destructive leader’s vision, they can become committed to a destructive enterprise—conformers can become colluders. Jonathan Swift’s 18th century classic, Gulliver’s Travels, reminds readers how a corrupt leader (the Lilliputian Emperor) is capable of corrupting his citizens.

Colluders Although destructive leadership creates largely negative outcomes for organizations, some members undoubtedly prosper in the short term and even over the longer term. Ambitious people seeking social status sometimes engage in exploitative relations. They are willing to support and encourage toxic strategies if they advance their personal agendas.78 The same dynamics are at work in every organization. The collapse of Enron shows that when opportunities to profit exist, ambitious colluders are easy to recruit. More recently, former U.S. presidential candidate John Edwards was tried for alleged campaign law violations and funneling campaign money to his mistress, Rielle Hunter. The government charged that Edwards used about $1 million to finance a complex scheme to keep Hunter, a former campaign videographer with whom he had an extramarital affair, from his wife and LEADERS

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LEADERSHIP SPOTLIGHT In 1992 the ABC TV program PrimeTime Live broadcasted a report showing that workers in the grocery chain Food Lion mixed old beef along with fresher meat, re-packaged it with new expiration dates, and bleached meat to bring back a redder color and kill its odor. The broadcast included videos of Food Lion employees secretly made by ABC employees who had obtained jobs with the supermarket chain. ABC News lost the first round of legal battles based not on the story’s content or accuracy, but on how it had obtained the story. To get the story, ABC sent two producers who did not disclose their true identities or intentions. They went undercover with cameras hidden in their wigs. Each worked several days in Food Lion stores in North Carolina and South Carolina. While Food Lion disputed the report’s claims, it was ABC’s methods that were legally at issue. A federal District Court jury in Greensboro, N.C., initially awarded the supermarket chain $5.5 million after finding that ABC News had engaged in fraud, trespassing, and breach of loyalty. The award was later reduced to $315,000 and was totally overturned by the U.S. Court of Appeals (Fourth Circuit) in 2002. The case was followed by news organizations worried that plaintiffs (i.e., Food Lion) could win major damage awards without having to prove that the news reports in question were false, inaccurate, or malicious. To be sure, there were ethical questions on both sides of the debate. Was ABC justified in sending their undercover reporters who falsified their employment applications and used hidden cameras? And did Food Lion’s defense ignore moral responsibilities to the public’s safety by not challenging the truth and accuracy of the PrimeTime Live report? The organizational conditions that may have led or permitted Food Lion employees to do what they did are perhaps more important than the legal arguments. In general, certain kinds of situations increase likelihood of unethical behavior regardless of value system:

Bloomberg/Getty Images, Inc.

The Lowest Prices in Town: The Food Lion Case

• Highly competitive, cut-throat, and unsupervised situations • Bottom-line mentality by the organization • Low commitment to the organization by its employees • No formal ethics policy governing behavior or conflicts of interest • No credible threat of punishment or of getting caught • Unethical behavior is rewarded; history of previous wrong-doing by employees • Less principled leaders, who lead followers to lower levels of ethical behavior SOURCES: ABC and Food Lion: The ethics questions. Poynter.org. Retrieved on May 26, 2011, from http://www .poynter.org/uncategorized/2125/abc-and-food-lion-the-ethics-questions/ Petry, E., Mujica, A., & Vickery, D. (1996). Sources and consequences of workplace pressure: Increasing the risk of unethical and illegal business practices. Business and Society Review, 99, 25–30; Appelbaum, S., Deguire, K., & Lay, M. (2005). The relationship of ethical climate to deviant workplace behaviour. Corporate Governance, 5, 43– 55.

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the public while he pursued the presidency. When Hunter became pregnant, rumors grew that Edwards was the father. However, a close aide to Edwards, Andrew Young, claimed paternity and took Hunter across the country to stay in various places to avoid the media. Two wealthy Edwards campaign contributors reportedly paid for the cross-country trips. Edwards was eventually found not guilty of violating campaign laws on one of six campaign finance fraud and conspiracy charges but the federal jury could not reach a verdict on the five remaining corruption charges.79 Individuals with beliefs consistent with those of a toxic leader will commit to his or her cause. When followers link leaders with salient aspects of their own self-concept, emotional attachments form.80 The closer the leader is to the follower’s beliefs, the stronger the bond and the greater the motivation to follow. Furthermore, behaving in ways that are consistent with the leader’s vision and the follower’s self-concept boosts self-esteem and self-efficacy.81 Thus, followers (e.g., Ernesto Ché Guevara) with worldviews that are similar to those of a destructive leader (e.g., Fidel Castro) are more likely to join the cause. Ambitious individuals who endorse negative values such as greed or selfishness are more likely to follow destructive leaders and engage in destructive behavior, especially if they are sanctioned or encouraged by a leader.

Conducive environments The third element in the toxic triangle is the environment that envelops leaders, followers, and their interactions. Leadership theorists recognize that the context matters.82 Arguably, the most important determinant of eventual toxicity is the presence or absence of checks and balances. Consistent with the discussion of contexts and environments in Chapter 6, James Madison, the fourth U.S. president, in the Federalist #51, wrote about the need for checks and balances: “If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.” Organizations and governments operate with varying levels of checks and balances. At the national level, governments with transparent policy processes, strong civic and legal institutions, and functioning under fair rules of law have fewer destructive leadership episodes.83 Clear and transparent procedures in an organization’s environment are indispensable in preventing or mitigating toxic consequences. In this section, the issue of the environment, the third side of the toxic triangle, is examined. As you continue reading, keep in mind two questions: • What is the role of toxic leaders in modifying or weakening environmental checks and balances that might make toxic outcomes more likely? • What can be done to prevent changes in the environment that would make toxic outcomes more likely? LEADERS

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Totalitarian, repressive regimes have toxic environments. There are few checks and balances, limited or no freedom of the press, tight police controls on individual freedom of speech and movement, nonexistent political opposition, weak civic institutions and traditions, and an absence of the rule of law. Tyrants seeking to consolidate power will work cleverly to weaken or eliminate these sorts of checks and individual freedoms. They will also create a culture of fear, constant crisis, and external threats posed by outside enemies, all designed to keep dissidents in check and quash any opposition. Four environmental factors seem important for destructive leadership to exist and persist: 1. 2. 3. 4.

Absence of checks and balances and institutionalization Organizational (or industry or national) instability or turbulence Organizational complexity Perceived threat

Note that checks to power can be internal and external to (or outside of) the organization. These items are discussed next.

Checks and balances and managerial discretion Strong organizations (or nations) tend to have equally strong institutions and powerful countervailing centers of power. U.S. President James Madison believed checks and balances would impede abuses of power and unilateral control. Branches of government would have independent authority and responsibility; each branch could place limits on the power of others. Systems without shared control—for example, corporations lacking independent board oversight or universities with weak shared governance traditions—allow individuals or parties to usurp power.84 Managerial discretion in the management literature and the notion of “presidentialism” from political science concern the extent to which senior managers or government executives are insulated from the supervision and influence of others.85 These concepts are analogous to Madison’s checks and balances for government. They refer to executive power, to the centralization of decision-making and independence from institutional guidelines. Certain follower characteristics, (e.g., a culture of dependence, poverty, low levels of education) contribute to or exacerbate tendencies toward centralization of power.86 Madison’s notion of checks and balances in government is designed to mitigate tendencies toward presidentialism and centralization. Centralized governing structures stand in sharp contrast to organizational environments with empowered followers and with effective institutions that share authority.87 Although leaders need discretion and flexibility to do their jobs, unconstrained authority presents many opportunities for destructive leaders to abuse power. Destructive leadership is more likely in senior jobs (where there is less supervision of leaders and CEOs), in younger and/or smaller organizations with limited governance mechanisms, and in high-growth and rapidly transforming industries.88 Many of these conditions characterized Enron at the height of its popularity on Wall Street or Bernie Madoff’s private financial empire. LEADERS

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A culture of dependency or apathy among followers can contribute to the centralization of power. Dependency, particularly when combined with unstable and ineffective institutions, concentrates power in a leader, leading to even greater follower dependence and weakening of opposition and dissidence. The political science literature discusses centralization of power and authority.89 Although there is no directly analogous notion in the management literature, the work on empowerment and decentralization of authority is similar.90

External checks—the media Media such as newspapers, magazines, and television are popular sources of information and an external check and balance residing outside of organizations and businesses. The print media has held significant power during the last century over public opinion and has served as an important counterbalance for misguided, unlawful, and toxic leadership. Many political and organizational scandals have been exposed first in newspapers. For instance, the Watergate scandal was initially reported in and extensively followed up in the Washington Post.91 Investigative reporters from Newsweek magazine exposed the HewlettPackard spying scandal.92 The media remains a powerful “check and balance,” even if its expert sources are increasingly perceived as partisan and the industry is in decline. Continuing declines in the influence and impact of the media might well be associated with greater toxicity in the future, at least until some other form of checks and balances emerges to replace it.

External checks—government agencies Government and quasi-governmental agencies externally regulate U.S. organizations. They represent another potentially powerful check and balance, as described in Chapter 6. There are three factors that affect the effectiveness of the media and government agencies: the nature and speed of changes; the fractured nature of government regulations; and the adequacy of budgetary support and resources. Technology and product innovation have created challenges for the watchdogs. The Internet and weblogs (or “blogs”) have placed tremendous pressure on newspapers and television news. In the financial world, new products such as derivatives and credit default swaps, and increased speed in the movement of financial products within and across national boundaries, have caused headaches for regulators. Many regulators did not appreciate the speed of change and complexity of new products.93 In addition, agencies point to insufficient funding and authority to accomplish their missions (although conservative critics might argue that government agencies are naturally ineffective and unnecessary).

Internal checks—boards of directors Boards of directors or trustees represent internal, and important, forms of checks and balances. They are central to the governance structures of organizations, although scholars have not studied them to the extent needed. LEADERS

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The effectiveness of these structures would benefit from more systematic study. Some research suggests that lack of oversight of board members leads to poor performance and decisions.94 A formal separation of the CEO and chair of the board positions may have a positive influence on destructive leadership.95 Organizations charged with fraud or involved in a lawsuit were less likely to remove the CEO when the CEO also shared the board chairman position.96 Members of boards may not have the independence or inclination to take action when faced with destructive leaders or their poor decisions. In contrast to the U.S., separate CEO and chair positions are now common practice in Europe. A recent study found that a single individual held the CEO and chair roles in 80 percent of U.S. firms whereas 90 percent of U.K. firms distributed these responsibilities among different persons.97 Beyond the issue of sharing of the CEO and chair roles, the composition of the board members seems to have an influence on the likelihood of corporate malfeasance. Studies have found that firms not associated with fraud have boards with significantly higher percentages of outside members than do firms where fraud had occurred; the probability of fraud decreases with greater outside director ownership and longer tenures on the board.98 Another study indicated that companies committing fraud had weaker governance mechanisms as measured by fewer audit committees, fewer independent audit committees and boards, and fewer audit committee meetings.99 Board members of universities and of other nonprofit entities tend to have weaker personal relationships with managers and administrators of the organizations they are entrusted to protect. Thus, university board members, or school board members (who are often publicly elected), tend to have more independence and are less likely to go along with the top administrators.100 An important element of toxic leadership is the extent to which board members are doing their jobs conscientiously and independently.

Internal checks—culture of openness and organizational support The several dozen corporate scandals during the last decade suggest possible solutions. Many of these toxic situations have been uncovered by whistleblowers (e.g., Cynthia Cooper of WorldCom and Sherron Watkins of Enron). Internal reporting of organizational wrongdoing is the most common type of initial whistle-blowing.101 Unfortunately, such reports often arrive too late to prevent much of the damage. Investors have lost money, employees have lost jobs, and retirement funds have disappeared, and public confidence in large corporations has been shaken. However, strengthening the organization’s culture might empower “conformers” to engage in whistle-blowing or other precautionary behavior. One major deterrent to whistle-blowing is that it requires a psychologically robust individual. Whistle-blowers typically report economic losses, psychological distress, and major health problems as a result of disclosing wrongdoing. LEADERS

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Organizational instability and dynamism Toxic leadership is more likely to emerge in times of instability in the social, organizational, or political environment. During unstable times, leaders tend to centralize their control by making fundamental changes in the organization or society to restore order.102 Also, advances in technology and rapidly changing market conditions reflect environmental dynamism or turbulence. It refers to the degree of unpredictability and speed of change in a given industry. Several authors have argued that turbulence and dynamism may lead to destructive leadership. When the industry is growing rapidly, the probability of managerial fraud increases, and in globally focused environments, organizations are required to use interorganizational teams in which the possibility for unethical behavior may increase.103 As work and roles become more complicated, and as the organization becomes more diffuse, fraud is more difficult to identify.

Organizational complexity Organizational complexity allows unethical behavior to escalate. When Hugh McColl was nearing the end of his tenure as CEO of Nations Bank (now Bank of America), he remarked that the complexity of the banking industry made him feel out of control: “Given the speed of change and the complexity of new products, I feel like I don’t understand all of the various elements of our bank.” In the U.S. financial debacle of 2008, the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Treasury perhaps failed in three respects to keep pace with the complexity in the financial markets.104 Specifically, they failed to develop solutions limiting financial excesses; stay current with the transformation of the markets; and understand and price new credit instruments. Greater environmental complexity is associated with higher levels of toxic leader behavior and more pervasive and enduring destructive outcomes.

Perceived threats Although they are different concepts, organizational instability and dynamism are related to the perception of threat in the organization. Toxic and manipulative leaders typically will suggest to followers that only they can protect them from an external and imminent threat. Business leaders similarly attempt to motivate employees by alluding to an enemy. Some high-performing teams share this “us against the world,” morale-boosting mindset to great advantage. Finally, self-serving leaders, toxic or otherwise, will create and heighten perception of external or internal threat to gain or maintain power and control. Studies show that threatening environments tend to increase followers’ support and identification with nonparticipative, charismatic leaders.105 Intolerance of ambiguity and the perception of threat are associated with politically conservative views.106 Regardless of political orientation, most individuals become more conservative and wish to maintain the status quo after exposure to LEADERS

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significant threat. such as the terrorist attacks on 9/11.107 When faced with great environmental turbulence or uncertainty, followers are quite willing to turn over power and control to leaders so they can “fix” the problems.108 Toxic leaders understand these basic human tendencies. When the perception of threat or when a culture of dependency exists, followers are more willing to accept assertive, nonparticipative leadership. Men (and women) are not angels, as Madison noted. And while malfeasance and wrongdoing have always been around, strong institutions, the rule of law, and effective governmental and civic checks and balances can often prevent much of the destruction associated with toxic leadership situations.

Preventing and minimizing toxicity Destructive leadership might result in a downward spiral of toxicity if bad leader behaviors cause additional problems to the detriment of the organization. A major concern for managers, leaders, and public officials is how to prevent negative effects of toxic leadership in the first place. Several prescriptions for the prevention of and solutions for destructive leadership are reviewed below. Before presenting these suggestions, however, it is useful to mention an important qualification. Some of the more serious toxic leadership situations might be called “wicked,” ill-structured, or messes.109 They are not easily changed, and many appear unsolvable.110 Wicked problems are interrelated with other problems and have incomplete, contradictory, or changing requirements. Many so-called “failed states,” nations with dysfunctional legal, political, and social institutions, with impoverished citizens, and ruled by cruel and corrupt tyrants, are in this category.

Leader selection, development, or diagnosis Most leaders, and therefore most destructive leaders, rise through hierarchies in organizations. Leaders emerge from a large pool of contenders. At each stage of their climb through the corporate or organizational ranks, it is possible at least in theory to observe their behaviors and promote them or not, depending on their skills and talents. However, noticing counterproductive behaviors is not always easy to do. As noted earlier, not all individuals who eventually become toxic leaders display toxic behaviors or negative characteristics (or their “true colors”) during their climb to their leadership posts. Ken Lay (Enron CEO) apparently did not display visibly destructive traits or engage in toxic behaviors during most of his tenure in corporate leadership. On the other hand, Lay’s hand-picked chief financial officer, Andrew Fastow, had a reputation for arrogant aggressiveness and combative behavior.111 While an important predictor of future behavior is previous behavior, many executive selection processes do not explore relationships with former associates to identify harmful characteristics.112 Many individuals can be charming during an interview or cocktail party reception. It is harder to charm or fool the people with whom they work and interact on a daily basis. In employee LEADERS

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selection, there is no substitute for proper background checking with previous employers and associates, even going several jobs back. To be sure, it is often difficult to require candidates for high positions to complete assessment procedures; it is unclear just how widely personality inventories are used currently at the executive level. Still, personality tests are widely used by government and industry in selection and promotion decisions. Nearly 90 percent of Fortune 100 companies employ the Myers-Briggs indicator in selection processes, although there are more modern and useful instruments such as the Big Five and the core self-evaluations (as discussed in Chapter 3) that could be used instead.113 Although some personality inventories, such as the Big Five, include measures of counterproductive behavior (i.e., neuroticism or emotional stability, an important element of effective management), most personality measures focus on productive job-related behaviors and not on counterproductive ones. Despite the ability of personality tests to identify potential problems, one challenge is that responses to psychometric surveys and questionnaires can sometimes be faked.114 It is hard to make things foolproof because the fools are so clever. A final source of selection, development, or diagnosis often used to screen out unsuitable leaders is executive development. These activities are targeted at developing leadership and content area skills and competencies of potential leaders. It is unclear if or how often these programs focus on identifying destructive leaders, if ethics training is included, and how development is successfully converted into useful behaviors in organizational settings. In sum, a destructive leader’s toxic personality and behaviors have not been the focus of selection practices for the executive suite, even if there is considerable evidence that personality is related to managerial success.

Empowering followers Another approach to prevent or solve the problem is to focus on followers. Different types of followers require different treatments. Consider the two types of susceptible followers discussed above—conformers and colluders.115 Conformers passively allow leaders to engage in destructive leadership by virtue of their unmet needs, negative core self-evaluations, and immaturity. Conversely, because colluders ambitiously desire to promote themselves and pursue their selfish goals, they often conspire with destructive leaders. Intervention for the colluders should follow the same prescriptions as for the leaders noted in the previous section. Intervention for the conformers requires a different approach. The several dozen corporate scandals during the last decade suggest possible solutions. Many of these toxic situations have been uncovered by whistle-blowers. Internal reporting of organizational wrongdoing is the most common type of initial whistle-blowing.116 Unfortunately, such reports often arrive too late to prevent much of the damage. Investors have lost money, employees have lost jobs, and retirement funds have disappeared, and public confidence in large corporations is shaken. However, strengthening the organization’s culture LEADERS

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LEADERSHIP S POTLIGHT LEADERSHIP SPOTLIGHT The Enron episode is excellent for considering how turbulent and rapidly changing environments can lead to toxic outcomes through the ineffectiveness of regulatory agencies and the collaboration of legislators who changed laws and requirements at the insistence of corrupt and manipulative Enron executives. Kenneth Lee (Ken) Lay was known for his role in the widely reported corruption scandal that led to the downfall of the Houstonbased Enron Corporation. Lay and Enron became synonymous with corporate abuse and accounting fraud when the scandal finally became public in 2001. Lay was the CEO and chairman of Enron from 1985 until his resignation in 2003. Lay rose from a poor preacher’s son to become a millionaire before being convicted. He died in Aspen, Colorado, of a heart attack while awaiting sentencing after being found guilty in the Enron trial. One of the more interesting aspects of the Enron debacle was the ability of its executives to influence U.S. congressmen and senators and obtain changes in the laws to permit Enron to bend rules and enter new energy markets.

Dave Einsel/Getty Images, Inc.

The smartest guys in the room

SOURCES: McLean, B., & Elkind. P. (2003). The smartest guys in the room: The amazing rise and scandalous fall of Enron. New York: Penguin Group; Raghavan, A. (2002). Full speed ahead: How Enron bosses created a culture of pushing limits. Wall Street Journal (August 26), A1; Tourish, D., & Vatcha, N. (2005). Charismatic leadership and corporate cultism at Enron: The elimination of dissent, the promotion of conformity and organizational collapse. Leadership, 1, 455–480. The Washington Post has an excellent web site devoted to the Enron episode: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wpdyn/content/linkset/2005/11/02/LI2005110200734.html

might empower conformers to engage in whistle-blowing or other preventative behavior. One major deterrent to whistle-blowing is that it requires a psychologically robust individual. Whistle-blowers typically report economic losses, psychological distress, and major health problems as a result of disclosing wrongdoing. Section 806 of the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley act in the U.S. is designed to encourage employees of public companies to come forward with otherwise confidential information about financial crimes. It directs companies to protect employees who provide information about corporate financial wrongdoing by implementing safeguard procedures. According to U.S. laws, organizations cannot penalize or discriminate against whistleblowers. Also, the law encourages whistle-blowing in publicly held companies by supporting a culture sympathetic to employees having doubts that the company is following the law. Finally, it requires boards of directors’ audit committees to implement tracking systems for anonymous information from employees.117 LEADERS

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Robert Sherbow/Time & Life Pictures/ Getty Images, Inc.

LEADERSHIP S POTLIGHT LEADERSHIP SPOTLIGHT Nonprofit Leadership: The United Way’s CEO The United Way debacle is illustrative of lack of oversight concerning a powerful and corrupt CEO who had been at the helm of the organization a long time and had learned to centralize and consolidate his power. The case of the United Way and its flawed leader William Aramony provides an excellent vehicle to explore the matters of checks and balances, board oversight, and power consolidation and centralization. Aramony was CEO of the United Way of America for over 20 years, from 1972 to 1992. He helped build that organization into one of the top four nonprofits in the United States. He was fired in 1992 amid allegations of financial mismanagement and criminal activity, for which he was convicted and sentenced to prison. Aramony was convicted in 1995 on 25 counts including conspiracy to defraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, transportation of fraudulently acquired property, engaging in monetary transactions in unlawful activity, filing false tax returns, and aiding in the filing of false tax returns. He served seven years in a federal prison. Randy Bellows, the lead prosecutor in the case and an assistant U.S. Attorney, noted that Aramony had done “extraordinary damage to one of the most important charitable institutions in the United States.” For further details and background, please go to the following three web sites and related links: http://www.nptimes.com/Mar02/npt2.html http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1101920309-159170,00.html http://www.nytimes.com/1995/06/23/us/ex-united-way-leader-gets-7-years-for-embezzlement.html

Nonprofit and similar organizations There is a relative absence of outstanding examples of destructive leadership from the domain of universities and schools and other well-established nonprofit organizations. To be sure, there have been some major scandals, especially in intercollegiate athletics cases and in some nonprofits with significant sums of money flowing through them, such as the United Way or the Fiesta Bowl. In part, this relative paucity of major disasters is due to powerful checks and balances that tend to limit damage in those public and nonprofit of entities. In such organizations, it is rare to see absolute destruction or collapse. It is usually the case that toxic leaders in institutions with strong and effective followers and powerful institutions and checks and balances are associated with the derailment or dismissal of the leader. That is, the leader does something immoral, illegal, or stupid, he or she is found out, and then he or she is fired or resigns. Their organization continues along as it had before, perhaps after a period of decline and erosion of support. LEADERS

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Parting thoughts Toxic leadership in the end concerns organizational outcomes that leave the team or organization worse off in comparison to its rivals or competitors. It is a process that requires a toxic leader who takes advantage of susceptible followers and environments that are conducive to toxicity. Aside from an extremely rare terrorist act or accident caused by a single individual acting all alone, a flawed or toxic leader acting alone cannot typically result in destructive outcomes for an organization. Certain conditions involving the characteristics and inclinations of followers and toxicity levels in the environment must also exist alongside the destructive leader to allow the organizational destruction to happen and to endure. An important paradox of toxic leadership is that in order for followers to be more empowered and for environments to be less toxic, the leader has to give up power and control. Leaders may not like having someone looking over their shoulders, but someone clearly needs to do so in most instances. A government of, by, and for the people, to borrow Abraham Lincoln’s ending from his Gettysburg Address, can only exist if there are powerful and effective checks and balances that empower followers and make the organizational environments healthy, fair, and transparent. Tyrants fight against these democratic conditions and do all they can to remove them. Constructive leaders understand that in the longer run, positive results come only through persuasion, motivation, and movement toward goals and objectives that are widely shared.

KEY CONCEPTS Toxic leadership Destructive leaders • Charisma and narcissism • Personalized use of power • Negative life themes • Ideology of hate

Susceptible followers • Conformers • Colluders Conducive environments • Absence of checks and balances and institutionalization

• Instability of turbulence • Complexity • Perceived threats

QUESTIONS TO TEST COMPREHENSION 1. Is leadership synonymous with good? POSSIBLE ANSWER: Leadership might be considered as a neutral term. Examining leader outcomes or leader behaviors might then result in deciding that leadership is constructive or destructive. Leaders are rarely all good or all bad, and even good leaders might engage in unethical behaviors. 2. What three kinds of outcomes might you examine to determine if leadership is constructive or destructive? LEADERS

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POSSIBLE ANSWER: You might examine the leader behaviors, follower outcomes, and group or organizational outcomes. For example, an examination of leader traits might indicate the presence of a toxic leader. These traits might include a combination of charisma and narcissism, personalized use of power, negative live themes, and an ideology of hate. The presence of susceptible followers such as colluders and conformers. Followers who have unmet basic needs, negative core evaluations, low psychological

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maturity, ambition, and they have unsocialized values and beliefs in common with the toxic leader. Characteristics of organizations that may promote toxic leadership include absence of checks and balances, industry type, complexity, and perceived threat. 3. What characteristics of nonprofit organizations may protect them from toxic leadership situations? POSSIBLE ANSWER: Leaders of these organizations have less power than leaders in for-profit organizations. The followers and stakeholders in nonprofit organizations tend to be independent of the organization, which allows them to be more outspoken. Nonprofit organizations tend to have bureaucratic rules and routines that precede leaders.

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4. What are the five ingredients for toxic leadership? POSSIBLE ANSWER: Toxic leadership is about more than just the leader. Leadership outcomes are rarely all destructive, but toxic leadership has more destructive outcomes. Toxic leadership involves control and coercion. Destructive leaders are self-interested. Toxic leadership results in bad outcomes for the group and organization. 5. What can you do to prevent toxic leadership from emerging? POSSIBLE ANSWER: Diagnose negative leader characteristics; empower followers; ensure adequate checks and balances in organizations.

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CLASS ACTIVITIES (FACE TO FACE OR ONLINE) ACTIVITY 1: Toxic leadership in the news Instructions: Spend 15-20 minutes to conduct an Internet search on news sites, e.g., New York Times, Wall Street Journal. The goal is to find a story about an organization that reflects a toxic leadership situation. Come to class with (or post on class discussion board) the following items. 1. The URL and a short description (in your own words) of the story. 2. Describe the factors or elements that contributed to the destructive leadership situation.

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For example, was it because the followers or the board did not speak out? Did managers make the wrong decisions? Was there unethical or illegal behavior involved? Come prepared to describe the toxic leadership situation and what elements or factors contributed to the destructive leadership. Please include how you determined it is destructive, i.e., what outcomes were involved that make it destructive? Search tips: toxic leadership; worst performing companies; destructive leaders; illegal or unethical actions

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NOTES 1. Chang, J., & Halliday, J. (2005). Mao: The unknown story. New York: Random House. 2. Solzhenitsyn, A. (1985). The Gulag Archipelago: 1918–1956. New York: Harper & Row; Brzezinski, Z. (1990) The grand failure: The birth and death of communism in the Twentieth century. New York: Collier Books. 3. Healy, P., & K. Palepu. (2003). The fall of Enron. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 17, 3–26. 4. MacDonald, E. (2002). Tyco’s Goodwill Games. Forbes Magazine (June 13). Retrieved from: http:// www.forbes.com/2002/06/13/0613tycaccount.html 5. Frosch, D. (2007). Ex-chief at Qwest found guilty of insider trading. New York Times (April 20). Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/20/ technology/20qwest.html 6. McFadden, R. (2011). William Aramony, United Way leader who was jailed for fraud, dies at 84. New York Times (Nov. 14). Retrieved from: http://query.nytimes. com/gst/fullpage.html?res5950CE4D8153EF937A2 5752C1A9679D8B63&pagewanted5all; Arenson, K. (1995). Ex-United Way leader gets 7 years for embezzlement. New York Times (June 23). Retrieved from: http://www.nytimes.com/1995/06/23/us/ex-unitedway-leader-gets-7-years-for-embezzlement.html 7. Adapted from Padilla, A., Hogan, R., & Kaiser, R. (2007). The toxic triangle: Destructive leaders, susceptible followers, and conducive environments. Leadership Quarterly, 18, 176–194. 8. Padilla, A., & Mulvey, P. (2008). Leadership toxicity: Sources and remedies. Organisations & People, 15, 29–39; Mulvey, P., & Padilla, A. (2009). The environment of destructive leadership. In B. Schyns, & T. Hansbrough (Eds.), When leadership goes wrong: Destructive leadership, mistakes and ethical failures. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing. 9. Porter, L., & McLaughlin, G. (2006). Leadership and the organizational context: Like the weather? Leadership Quarterly, 17, 559–576. 10. Heifetz, R. (1994). Leadership without easy answers. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. 11. Meindl, J. R. (1995). The romance of leadership as a follower-centric theory: A social constructionist approach. Leadership Quarterly, 6, 329–41. 12. Howell, J., & Avolio, B. (1992). The ethics of charismatic leadership: Submission or liberation? Academy of Management Executive, 6, 43–54; Kellerman, B. (2004). Bad leadership: What it is, how it happens, why it matters. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.

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13. Burns, J. (2003). Transformational leadership. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, p. 29. 14. Joly, E. (1983). Mother Teresa of Calcutta: A biography. San Francisco: Harper & Row; Kwilecki, S., & Wilson, L. (1998). Was Mother Teresa maximizing her utility? An idiographic application of rational choice theory. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 37, 205–221. 15. The fact that leadership is more than about an individual person has long been recognized. However, studies that reflect this broader, more comprehensive notion have not been as common as those that focus on leader traits and behaviors. For an early study on leadership processes, see, for example, Albert J. Murphy, A. (1941). A study of the leadership process. American Sociological Review, 6, 674–687. 16. Howell, J. M., & Avolio, B. J. (1992). The ethics of charismatic leadership: Submission or liberation? Academy of Management Executive, 6,43–54. 17. Avolio, B. (2007). Promoting more integrative strategies for leadership theory-building. American Psychologist, 62, 25–33; Tepper, B. J. (2000). Consequences of abusive supervision. Academy of Management Journal, 43, 178–190; Tepper, B.J. (2007). Abusive supervision in work organizations: Review, synthesis, and research agenda. Journal of Management, 33, 261–289; Tepper, B., Duffy, M., Henle, C., & Lambert, L. (2006). Procedural injustice, victim precipitation, and abusive supervision. Personnel Psychology, 59, 101–123; Kark, R., & Van-Dijk, D. (2007). Motivation to lead, motivation to follow: The role of the selfregulatory focus in leadership processes. Academy of Management Review, 32, 500–528; Duffy, M.K., Ganter, D.C., & Pagon, M. (2002). Social undermining in the workplace. Academy of Management Journal, 45, 331–351. 18. Thoroughgood, C., Padilla, A., Hunter, S., & Tate, B. (in press). The susceptible circle: A taxonomy of followers associated with destructive leadership. Leadership Quarterly. 19. Kellerman, B. (2004). Bad leadership: What it is, how it happens, why it matters. Boston: Harvard Business School Press. 20. Padilla, A., Hogan, R., & Kaiser, R. (2007). The toxic triangle: Destructive leaders, susceptible followers, and conducive environments. Leadership Quarterly, 18, 176–194; Shaw, J., Erickson, A., & Harvey, M. (2011). A method for measuring destructive leadership and identifying types of destructive leaders in organizations. Leadership Quarterly, 22, 575–590.

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21. Harvey, P., Stoner, J., Hochwarter, W., & Kacmar, C. (2007). Coping with abusive supervision: The neutralizing effects of ingratiation and positive affect on negative employee outcomes. Leadership Quarterly, 18, 264–280.; Tepper, B. J. (2007). Abusive supervision in work organizations: Review, synthesis, and research agenda. Journal of Management, 33, 261–289; Tepper, B. J. (2007). Abusive supervision in work organizations: Review, synthesis, and research agenda. Journal of Management, 33, 261–289. 22. Thoroughgood, C., Tate, B., Sawyer, K., & Jacobs, R. (in press). Bad to the bone: Empirically defining and measuring destructive leader behavior. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies. 23. There are exceptions to this leader-centric approach. See, for example, O’Connor, J., Mumford, M., Clifton, T., Gessner, T., & Connelly, M. (1995). Charismatic leaders and destructiveness: A historiometric study. Leadership Quarterly, 6, 529–555; Padilla, A., Hogan, R., & Kaiser, R. (2007). The toxic triangle: Destructive leaders, susceptible followers, and conducive environments. Leadership Quarterly, 18, 176–194. 24. Conger, J. (1990). The dark side of leadership. Organizational Dynamics, 19, 44–55; Sankowsky, D. (1995). The charismatic leader as a narcissist: Understanding the abuse of power. Organizational Dynamics, 23, 57–71. 25. McClelland, D. (1970). The two faces of power. Journal of International Affairs, 24, 29–47; McClelland, D. (1975). Power: The inner experience. New York: Irvington. 26. House, R., & Aditya, R. (1997). The social scientific study of leadership: Quo Vadis? Journal of Management, 23, 409–473; House, R., & Howell, J. (1992). Personality and charismatic leadership. Leadership Quarterly, 3, 81–108; McClelland, D. (1975). Power: The inner experience. New York: Irvington. 27. Halperin, D. (1982). Group processes in cult affiliation and recruitment. Group, 6, 13–24. 28. Johnson, D. (1979). Dilemmas of charismatic leadership: The case of the People’s Temple. Sociological Analysis, 40, 315–323; Olsson, P. (2002). A malignant Pied Piper: Osama bin Laden. Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies, 4, 465–468; Popper, M. (2001). Hypnotic leadership: Leaders, followers, and the loss of self. Westport, CT: Praeger. 29. Raffy, S. (2004). Castro, el desleal. Madrid, Spain: Santillana Ediciones, translated by Paloma Gómez Crespo.

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30. Hogan, R., Curphy, G., & Hogan, J. (1994). What we know about leadership, effectiveness, and personality. American Psychologist, 49, 493–504. 31. Kellerman, B. (2004). Bad leadership: What it is, how it happens, why it matters. Boston: Harvard Business School Press. 32. Padilla, A. (2005). Portraits in leadership: Six extraordinary university presidents. Westport, CT: Praeger. 33. Padilla, A., Hogan, R., & Kaiser, R. (2007). The toxic triangle: Destructive leaders, susceptible followers, and conducive environments. Leadership Quarterly, 18, 176–194. 34. Weber’s original conception of charisma involved several elements, including a crisis, a gifted person, and a set of followers who judged that person to be charismatic. Later conceptions of the term included some of these elements, but also tended to focus more on leader characteristics rather than on the emerging relationship between leader and a set of followers. Weber, M. (1947). The theory of social and economic organizations. (A.M. Henderson & T. Parsons, trans.). New York: Free Press; Beyer, J. (1999). Taming and promoting charisma to change organizations. Leadership Quarterly, 10, 307–330; House. R. (1999). Weber and the neocharismatic leadership paradigm: A response to Beyer, Leadership Quarterly, 10, 563–574; Hunt, J., Boal, K., & Dodge, G. (1999). The effects of visionary and crisis-responsive charisma on followers: An experimental examination of two kinds of charismatic leadership. Leadership Quarterly, 10, 423–448. 35. Conger, J. (1990). The dark side of leadership. Organizational Dynamics, 19, 44–55; Hogan, R., Raskin, R., & Fazzini, D. (1990). The dark side of charisma. In K. Clark, & M. Clark (Eds.), Measures of leadership (pp. 343–354). West Orange, NJ: Leadership Library of America. 36. Agle, B. R., Nagarajan, N. J., Sonnenfeld, J. A., & Srinivasan, D. (2006). Does CEO charisma matter? An empirical analysis of the relationships among organizational performance, environmental uncertainty, and top management team perceptions of CEO charisma. Academy of Management Journal, 49, 161–174; Tosi, H., Misangyi, V., Fanelli, A., Waldman, D., & Yammarino, F. (2004). CEO charisma, compensation, and firm performance. Leadership Quarterly, 15, 405–420. 37. Conger, J. (1990). The dark side of leadership. 38. Conger, J. (1990). The dark side of leadership.

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39. House, R. J., & Howell, J. M. (1992). Personality and charismatic leadership. Leadership Quarterly, 3, 81–108; Kets de Vries, M. (2004). Lessons on leadership by terror. Northampton, MA; Edward Elgar Publishing, Inc. 40. Viney, J. (1999). Drive: What makes a leader in business and beyond. London: Bloomsbury Publishing; Padilla, A. (2005). Portraits in leadership: Six extraordinary university presidents. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers. 41. Burns, J. (1978). Leadership. New York: Harper & Row; Simonton, D. (1988). Presidential style: Personality, biography, and performance. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 55, 928–936. 42. Raffy, S. (2004). Castro, el desleal. Madrid, Spain: Santillana Ediciones, translated by Paloma Gómez Crespo. 43. Deluga, R. (1997). Relationships among American presidential charismatic leadership, narcissism, and rated performance. Leadership Quarterly, 8, 49–65; Post, J. (1986). Narcissism and the charismatic leader-follower relationship. Political Psychology, 7, 675–688. 44. Kets de Vries, M., & Miller, D. (1985). Narcissism and leadership: An object relations perspective. Human Relations, 38, 583–601. 45. Conger, J. (1990). The dark side of leadership. Organizational Dynamics, 19, 44–55; Howell, J. M., & Avolio, B. J. (1992). The ethics of charismatic leadership: Submission or liberation? Academy of Management Executive, 6, 43–54. 46. House, R., & Aditya, R. (1997). The social scientific study of leadership: Quo Vadis? Journal of Management, 23, 409–473. 47. O’Connor, J., Mumford, M., Clifton, T., Gessner, T., & Connelly, M. (1995). Charismatic leaders and destructiveness: An historiometric study. Leadership Quarterly, 6, 529–555. 48. Padilla, A. (2005). Portraits in leadership: Six extraordinary university presidents. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers. 49. Garmezy, N., & Masten, A. (1994). Chronic adversities. In M. Rutter, L. H. Taylor, & E. Taylor (Eds.), Child and adolescent psychiatry (pp. 191–208)., 3rd ed. Oxford, England: Blackwell Scientific Publications; Vaillant, G. (1977). Adaptation to life. Boston: LittleBrown. 50. Montefiore, S. (2004). Stalin: The court of the red tsar. New York: Knopf. 51. Vaillant, G. (1977). Adaptation to life. Boston: LittleBrown.

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52. Clinton, W. (2004). My life. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. 53. Kellerman, B. (2004). Bad leadership: What it is, how it happens, why it matters. Boston: Harvard Business School Press. 54. Gustaffson, S., & Ritzer, D. (1995). The dark side of normal: A psychopathy-linked pattern called Aberrant Self-Promotion. European Journal of Personality, 9, 147–183. 55. Chang, J., & Halliday, J. (2005). Mao: The unknown story. New York: Random House. 56. Cramer, P. (2000). Defense mechanisms in psychology today: Further processes for adaptation. American Psychologist, 55, 637–646. ; Garmezy, N., & Masten, A. (1994). Chronic adversities. In M. Rutter, L. H. Taylor, & E. Taylor (Eds.), Child and adolescent psychiatry (pp. 191–208). 3rd ed. Oxford, England: Blackwell Scientific Publications. 57. Montefiore, S. (2004). Stalin: The court of the red tsar. New York: Knopf. 58. Strange, J., & Mumford, M. (2002). The origins of vision: Charismatic versus ideological leadership. Leadership Quarterly, 13, 343–377. 59. Raghavan, A. (2002). Full speed ahead: How Enron bosses created a culture of pushing limits. Wall Street Journal (August 26), A1. 60. Milgram, S. (1974). Obedience to authority. New York: Harper & Row; Baharody, G., & Stoneman, Z. (1985). Peer imitation: An examination of status and competence hypotheses. Journal of Genetic Psychology, 146, 161–170; Asch, S. (1951). Effects of group pressure upon the modification and distortion of judgments. In H. Guetzkow (Ed.), Groups, leadership, and men (pp. 117–190). Pittsburgh: Carnegie Press. 61. Kellerman, B. (2004). Bad leadership: What it is, how it happens, why it matters. Boston: Harvard Business School Press; Lipman-Blumen, J. (2005). The allure of toxic leaders. New York: Oxford University Press. 62. Weierter, S. (1997). Who wants to play “Follow the Leader?” A theory of charismatic relationships based on routinized charisma and follower characteristics. Leadership Quarterly, 8, 171–193. 63. Kellerman, B. (2004). Bad leadership: What it is, how it happens, why it matters. Boston: Harvard Business School Press. 64. Padilla, A., Hogan, R., & Kaiser, R. (2007). The toxic triangle: Destructive leaders, susceptible followers, and conducive environments. Leadership Quarterly, 18, 176–194.

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