Senior boss, evil corporate overlord in the dark

Everything rises and falls at the instance of leadership. What it takes to mobilize and channel the efforts of a group towards attaining set goals is leadership with an understanding of the tenets of leadership.

What it takes to sink a ship is the wrong order from the captain. The wrong action from the captain can take the ship away from the place of safety into troubled waters. A leader’s decision can also make or mar the progress of the people they are leading.

Individuals make decisions and choices based on their personality and perception. If a leader has a dark side, the traits can affect the quality of decisions and extend the organization. The organization will most likely tilt towards the make-up of the leader, be it light or darkness.

Understanding the dark side of leadership?

To understand the dark side of leadership, you will have to first appreciate that every human has both bright sides and dark sides. The bright sides are those traits that leaders possess that make for productivity and collaboration in the workplace. However, the dark side of leadership is those traits that seem unhealthy, which may hinder orderliness and goal attainment.

Bright side versus dark side

The bright side of leadership showcases leaders at their best. They are primarily seen in a controlled environment and define your public personas. These bright sides become amplified, especially when meeting people for the very first time. Everyone wants to create a good impression at their first meeting, making them their best behavior.

However, there are dark sides of leadership that emerge once you let down your guard and settle into a corporate order. These traits may lie dormant for a long time without causing any harm. However, when work pressure comes into the picture, these traits may cause low performance and productivity.

In some situations, dark traits can be good traits that have been heightened or overused. This means that an individual has tuned their strength so much that it becomes the cause of discord in the organization. For example, being courageous and bold is a good trait. Boldness, when used accurately, can help motivate team members towards productivity.

If boldness as a trait is overturned, it can become a bad trait. For instance, a leader with an amplified boldness may force their opinion on others. This dominance can lead to frictions in the workplace.

Why the dark side is amplified in leadership

There are specific characteristics that leaders possess that make them fit to lead others. Leaders have strong personalities and focus, are assertive and confident. These traits, while good when used moderately, can be possible dark traits in the making.

As leaders continue to advance, there are little or no checks on their behavior. Unlike employees that have team leads they are reporting to, leaders have fewer checks. The higher their status in the organization, the fewer the external checks. Employees will find it difficult to point out destructive tendencies in superiors.

The feedback loop is necessary for every organization. Leaders need feedback on behavior to be self-aware while climbing that ladder of power. Where such information is not available, the leader may become handicapped with their dark side.

Signs that you may be dealing with the dark side as a leader

There are so many signs that indicate the presence of the dark side in a leader. Knowing these signs will help you take the appropriate steps in managing these behaviors before they get out of hand. Some of the signs to look for are as follows:

Wanting to always have the final say without considering the opinion of others.

Aggressive and overbearing attitude.

Tendency to want to have your way at all cost, even when it is against sound reasoning and counsel.

Irrationality when it comes to relating with others.

The condescending attitude towards others.

What to do when faced with the dark side of leadership.

The way you handle the dark side of leadership depends on where it is emanating from. If you notice such in yourself, you may need to reach out to trusted friends or colleagues who will tell you the truth without coating it. These individuals will help keep you accountable while you work on yourself.

If you observe the dark side in a colleague, voice out your concern using the best possible means. Telling the individual about it may help them take the needed steps in addressing the situation.

Where the individual is superior, you can point this dark side out through your organization’s feedback channel. You can do this anonymously if you are afraid to reveal your identity. Where you cannot cope with an employee’s dark side or where it hinders you from carrying out your function, you may find employment elsewhere.

Author

  • Juliet Ijemaru is a writer, author, life coach and minister of the gospel with years of experience and scores of success stories. A writer by day and a reader by night, her passion to help people attain all round fulfillment are mirrored in her works. In addition, Juliet Ijemaru also provides leadership consulting services to businesses of all sizes.

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Juliet Ijemaru is a writer, author, life coach and minister of the gospel with years of experience and scores of success stories. A writer by day and a reader by night, her passion to help people attain all round fulfillment are mirrored in her works. In addition, Juliet Ijemaru also provides leadership consulting services to businesses of all sizes.

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