Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Toxic leadership is not resilient, but it is common

Let's end toxic leadership

Warning. This post should not be read by minors, or people new to HR. 

Chief nerd Comrade Carl Marks was caught with his pants down, as it were, in our management meeting today. Comrade Carl had entered the meeting 20 minutes late, having smoked a joint in the parking lot with a few of his nerds from the Internet of Things team. At first, he was jovial as a lark.

Little did Comrade Carl know that our CEO's brainy wife (Wifey) had read an article on toxic leadership by a certain Dr Joseph George. Wifey had grilled her husband Stan all night, saying "get rid of toxic leadership Stanley, before they get rid of you. And I want you to distribute this article to all your staff. This article should be classified as big data, or internet of things". 

To make things worse, CEO Stan has had a few bad interactions with our investors who he claims are "a bunch of goons". To make a long story short, CEO Stan has seen better days.

Needless to say, the entire team read the article before we started our management meeting. When Comrade Carl entered the meeting room, Stan said,

"Why the fu-k are you late Comrade Carl? Is that the way to lead by example, for Christ's sake? This entire management team is toxic, and if it were not for me, we'd all be down sh-t's creek with no paddle. I want point out two glaring examples of toxicity. 
Gloria,we all know that HR is god damn toxic. HR is about people, girl. And I want to emphasize to you Gloria, that kissing my arse is not enough. The nerds need to love you. Or you're out on your pretty ass, women's day or no women's day. 
And Comrade Carl Marks. You are the worst of the worst, from a toxicity perspective. Your team produces software products which are as useless as t-ts on a bull. All our clients think we suck, Comrade Carl. You invented toxic management". (My Dad Pierre Elliot used that red expression, almost word for word, all the time despite my mother's protests.)

The room was silent. I thought of how I could convey this message to my team in a positive fashion.
Comrade Carl stood up took of his shirt so we could all see his T shirt with the emblem posted below.

Then Comrade Carl swore at Stan in Russian. 
The meeting ended with the following action item:
"HR will drive out toxic leadership in a week." Owned by Gloria, supported by Comrade Carl.
Carl's T shirt








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