Breaking the Toxic Leadership Paradigm in the U.S. Army
ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
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A disturbing trend has developed within the Army, as evidenced by several brigade-level commanders being relieved of duty because of toxic leadership practices. The destructive actions of these senior leaders have renewed interest into this leadership issue because of the prevalence and seriousness of the consequences such leadership failures cause. Recent studies and surveys, including the 2009-2010 Annual Survey of Army Leaders conducted by the Center for Army Leadership, have validated the presence of toxic leadership within the Armys ranks. This issue has caught the attention of senior Army leaders, who are focused on rooting these negative leaders from the ranks. This paper explores the concept of toxic leadership, examines recent examples of such leadership in the United States Army, and discusses potential ways to rid the service of this leadership flaw. An analysis of current data shows how large a problem toxic leadership is in the Army today. The paper reviews research on the characteristics of toxic leaders potential causes of toxic behavior and toxic leadership styles i.e., The Narcissist, The Explosive The Bully, The Gangster, The Turncoat-Backstabber-Accuser, The Casanova, The Invertebrate, and The Zombie. The paper also discusses ways to counteract toxic leadership styles, Army initiatives to improve leadership, and changing Army culture to fix the problem. The paper concludes with recommendations for identifying toxic leaders and changing Army culture to prevent this destructive leadership practice in the future.
- Administration and Management
- Military Forces and Organizations