This is a study by Jean Lipman-blumen shedding more light on disastrous leadership. It offers a deep understanding of the corporate scandal as well as political folly. The author argues that, bad leaders are not the ones to blame but rather the subjects led since they are the one who put them into power and allow them to cling there. After analyzing the story of Adolf Hitler of Germany and Jeff Skillinngs of Enron, she makes the conclusion that the followers of the toxic leaders are the victims who gave way to misguided leadership. This book gives a deep understanding to anyone willing to know the relationship that exists between leaders and their followers.
In the recent past, there has been a rise in the number of these ruthless leaders. The author argues that this has been necessitated by the fact that majority of good doers and saints do not often seek political leadership or corporate leadership. However, this may not always be the case since as one rises up the corporate ladder traits of selfishness start emerging and once a god person may end up being so wicked. A commendable leader tries to be competitive, charismatic, better, self- confident and smart. These ambitious characteristics may push a leader to the toxicity (Jean 2006).
There arises situations whereby defining a toxic leader becomes tricky. We even find leaders who were near saints such as Mother Theresa, Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt behaving in a questionable manner and even end up making poor decision. The author advises on how to become a toxic leader. She says that a person should continue to exhibit toxic traits and engage in dysfunctional behavior routinely. She goes ahead to give the traits of toxicity as follows; they lack integrity and honesty in that they lie to their followers so as to boost a powerful vision. They are arrogant and full of egotism, which increase corruption and incompetence, they have an ambition that is outsized and this makes them put their needs above anything else. They indulge in actions that demoralize, marginalize and demean others, they hold firm to power and undermine potential successor, and they breach the human rights for the opponents as well as followers (Jean 2006).
Jean talks of how the toxic leaders try to pitch their adamant toxic vision. The leader must have an understanding, which is way above that of his followers’ psychological fears and desires. The leader again must understand that his followers crave for illusions and feed them with visions that will exploit that need. This vision must be very captivating so that it fulfills the followers’ quest to be associated with something big and beautiful. She says that Enron misguided his followers by promising them a business model, which was to be applied for more profitability, but it was never to be for it turned out a scum. She argues that toxic leaders will strive to offer cheap remedies for the problems that re complex. This gives the toxic leaders a competitive edge since outstanding leaders leave the followers to solve the tough problems thus the followers prefer the toxic leaders (Jean 2006).
Jean argues that, Al Dunlap clinched into position due to crisis. He became the CEO to a small appliances company known as sunbeam Corp. this firm continued to miss the set goals for profits. The company saw that hiring Dunlap was the ultimate solution since he always boasted f his past successes something which never lasted for a long period of time. Dunlap in short was a very rude as well as an arrogant leader. He was always on top of his voice yelling at his subjects and eventually the company succumbed into bankruptcy (Jean 2006).
Jean L., (2006), ‘The allure of toxic leaders: Why we follow destructive bosses and corrupt politicians--and how we can survive them, USA: Oxford University Press, ISBN: 0- 19531200-7