Toxic Leaders in the Military Essay

Total Length: 590 words ( 2 double-spaced pages)

Total Sources: 3

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Good leadership is an essential component in a military organization because of the complex nature of military operations. Such leadership is provided by good leaders with capability to adapt to rapidly changing situations in the operational environment. Some of the components that characterize good leadership in military operations and organizations include making quality decisions, creating a positive environment for all subordinates, analytical problem solving, and systems integration. In this regard, some of the core qualities military leaders should possess include intellect, presence, character, and ability. Even though the significance of good military leaders to successful operations is recognized in this field, there are toxic leaders who have negative impacts on military organizations.

Toxic leaders exist in military ranks and have negative impacts on the achievement of effective mission command. Reed & Olsen (2010) define toxic leaders as leaders who do not care for well-being of their subordinates and have personal or interpersonal techniques with negative impacts on organizational climate. Toxic leadership in military operations and organizations is characterized by subordinates’ belief and conviction that the leader is motivated primarily by self-interest. Toxic leaders in the ranks of the military utilize destructive leadership styles and techniques that generate a poor organizational climate and hinder organizational and operational effectiveness.

The negative impact of toxic leadership on operational and organizational effectiveness is attributable to the effect of these leaders on the human dimension of leadership. Toxic leaders affect the human dimension of leadership by being narcissistic. Doty & Fenlason (2013) contend that toxic leaders are selfish and self-serving individuals who destroy the motivation of subordinates and military units. This implies that toxic leaders affect the human dimension of leadership by focusing on their self interests at the expense of the motivation and well-being of their subordinates. Narcissism is considered as a critical and huge part of toxic leadership in the military since toxic leaders tend to have an exaggerated sense of self-importance and excessive preoccupation with themselves and their interests (Doty & Fenlason, 2013). During this process, toxic leaders show an apparent lack of concern for the motivation, interests, and well-being of their subordinates and units. Consequently, they end up affecting the human element of leadership since their personal success and satisfaction matters most in comparison to the overall success and effectiveness of the organization.

Since these leaders have considerable impacts on the effectiveness….....

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Doty, J. & Felanson, J. (2013). Narcissism and toxic leaders. Military Review, 93(1), 55-60.

Reed, G. & Olsen, R. (2010). Toxic leadership: Part deux. Military Review, 90(6), 58-64.

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