Watch Out for These 3 Kinds of Toxic Leaders

Great leaders are hard to find. We’ve all had our fair share of horrible bosses throughout the courses of our professional careers. But there are some managers and executives who are especially dreadful that you end up contemplating quitting your job.

Having to deal with these kinds of leaders can be so frustrating. We spend most of our days at work – how easy will it be to dismiss toxic behaviors displayed by your managers?

Some employees may think that it’s better to just take it all in and charge it to experience. But this is not exactly the right kind of attitude to have about toxic bosses. It’s best to start becoming aware of terrible patterns of behavior and knowing how to deal with them properly.

By knowing the kinds of toxic behavior that you need to look out for, you will know how to make decisions that will help you manage your situation better. Read on to find out about three kinds of toxic bosses and the traits you need to look out for.


The narcissistic leader

Have you ever had a boss who always insisted they were right? That’s a narcissistic leader. These bosses are out of touch with reality. They always have unrealistic expectations and maintain an image of the team in their head that’s purely aspirational.

These leaders have difficulty thinking on their feetĀ and will balk at planning for the future. They believe they already know everything and have reached their peak. They also refuse to take advantage of any opportunity for growth.

Narcissistic leaders never take the blame, but always grab credit. They don’t hold themselves to the same standard they expect from everyone else. They believe they are the exceptions to the rule.

These bosses are also often surrounded by “yes” mean. They prefer team members who don’t challenge them. Needless to say, they lack self-awareness of these kinds of behavior, too.

Leaders with toxic masculinity

Toxic masculinity is present in nearly every industry. It manifests itself in a lot of different ways. In the case of bosses, these leaders usually enable a work environment that allows sexual harassment and unequal pay to continue, whether actively or passively.

The zeitgeist of today is allowing people, not just females, to address problems brought about by toxic masculinity for the benefit of everyone. Leaders who dismiss and even make inappropriate comments on female employees and fail to make the workplace a safe space for them are enablers of the kind of toxic behavior that the world is no longer allowing.

A lot of big companies have had leaders accused of inappropriate behavior. Bosses who let a toxic culture persist instead of doing something to improve things are really falling short and falling behind, too.

The controlling leader

This is probably the easiest bad boss to spot in any workplace. There’s a good chance that there’s a control freak boss at any office. This is the type that thinks they have to be in charge of everyone and everything – the kind of leader that doesn’t let their team members make decisions for themselves.

It’s unfulfilling to work for a boss like this. They are most likely very insecure and suffer from a lack of self-confidence. They believe that they need to maintain power so that no one can outshine them. They also savor the feeling of being important.

This kind of leader rarely delegates work. They believe they can do everything better than others. In the end, the credit goes to them as well, and this validates them. There is hardly any room for growth when your boss is a controlling and insecure person.

How to deal with it

If you’re an employee, it’s not as easy to just choose to avoid these leaders. They are more common than you think. The ideal solution is to help fix these issues rather than avoid them. This will be better for everyone, including the boss that exhibits these toxic behaviors.

If you’re a leader and you think you might fall into these categories, it’s time to take a long, hard look at yourself. Talk to your employees about their perception of you. Acknowledge your shortcomings. Seek out a mentor or work with a coach that can help you change, and see how much better you can become without these toxic behaviors in you.