Leadership and…the Cascade Stress Effect
June 1, 2011 Leave a comment
The Toxic Stress of Controlling Leadership
If we use fear-based leadership, bullying, command-and-control leadership, belittling, sabotage or other forms of psychological violence, or allow them to be used by others in our organizations, we create the opposite of a supportive, productive learning organization. We create an environment of toxic stress that harms people and the organization.
Controlling leadership behaviors set off a cascade effect in organizations that looks like this:
- We create a toxic, constantly stressful environment
- which reduces people’s ability to learn and remember
- and think creatively.
- We get fear-based compliance
- without engagement
- which leaves people not doing their best work.
- We get a low-trust culture
- which leads to
- people spending time worrying
- individually and in groups.
- We get poor individual
- and group performance
- and poor business outcomes.
- We reduce the capacity of the business
- to accomplish its mission
- through people.
Center for Creative Leadership white paper exploring the impact of workplace stress on leaders: StressofLeadership.pdfVisit the Leading in Context® Digital Store for eBooks, training modules, discussion guides and graphics supporting ethical business leadership. Linda Fisher Thornton is Owner of Leading in Context LLC, a consulting firm helping business leaders lead responsibly in a complex world. She is also Adjunct Assistant Professor of Leadership for the University of Richmond School of Continuing Studies.