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I talked to business professional recently who was completely stressed out, gaining weight, suffering from anxiety and on the edge of quitting their job after 20 years working in the same company.

The problem was their supervisor. She told me her supervisor has made work miserable. The whole work environment has become toxic. Here are four glaring examples:

  1. The supervisor mandated that no employees can close their office doors because the manager needs to be able to see them at all times.
  2. The supervisor requested video cameras installed in the office to monitor if employees are on their smartphones during business hours (most have smartphones for work already).
  3. Employees have over heard the supervisor conspiring with other employees on how to get another employee fired.
  4. The supervisor also wrote up an employee for not being on call and threatened to fire her. However, the supervisor previously approved leave time for this employee (but forgot that she gave approval).

I was floored when I heard this. A leader that is a micromanager. A leader that is insecure. A leader that overworks employees and sets them up for failure. This is a work environment without trust. This is a toxic environment.

It is so toxic that the business professional who shared this with me had to seek medical help for stress, anxiety and rapid weight gain. Their doctor advised that the employee take 4 weeks off from work. Now, this employee is on Family Medical Leave because of a bad leader that has created a toxic work environment. The boss has made them sick!

Unfortunately, this is all too common in the workplace. I understand how bad leaders can create a bad culture. This causes high turnover and poor customer/patient satisfaction which increases cost. As we learned above, bad leaders can even make you physically sick.

This doesn’t have to be the case. I have a six pillar philosophy about how organizations should operate:

I. No one should be a part of a bad team.
II. No one should have to work in a toxic environment.
III. Everyone ought to enjoy their work environment.
IV. Organizations should take care of their employees.
V. Everyone deserves to have a good work life.
VI. Everyone deserves to work for a great leader.

Have you recently evaluated how you lead your team? Have you evaluated the kind of environment that you work in? Is your leader making you sick? Are you a leader making people sick?

Take some time and assess the team you are on. Do you see any of the examples above? If you do, what are you doing to improve things for yourself and your team?

Here’s to Building a World-Class Leadership Culture,


PS: Check out the podcast, People Worth Knowing with Nick Harrison. I was his special guest helping his listeners become better leaders. Let me know what you think of the interview:

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