The toxic manager is something we will all have faced at some time in our working lives. It is an interesting phrase to describe the boss that can drain us of our enthusiasm and make work an unpleasant place to be. I have been doing some more reading and viewing of lectures on the subject of leadership when this came up.
It made me reflect on the importance of the leader or manager in making work a fun and exciting place to be. This should be the case whatever it is you are doing. Amazingly the statistics show that around 70 per cent of managers have no impact or a negative impact and there would be no difference if they were not in post. Quite a shocking figure.
We can all remember working for people who micro managed us, made unnecessary or unacceptable demands, took the joy out of work and eventually they erode confidence and leave us as automatons. We don’t want to think or do things differently because it will lead to criticism, complaint or an argument. Sadly, we have all worked with someone like that. It leads many to quit and look for something new. It is a case of people joining organisations and leaving managers.
If we are going to be a better manager then we have to work at it. In the same way that becoming a parent doesn’t come with a manual and has to be worked at, so being an effective leader is something you have to work at. Thankfully, there is lots of help and support out there. The first thing for me though is you have to accept you have failings and that you need help to learn and develop.
It has taken me a bit of time to appreciate that I need help. But I am there and I am doing what I can to improve how I operate at work. Time will tell whether the work I am doing to understand how I behave and the impact it has will pay off. I hope it will and I will continue to work hard to get to the point where I am one of the small number of managers that does make people’s working lives better.