It’s miserable to be in a workplace where toxic people come to work each day to undermine good employees.

Their focus is never the mission or the customers. It is the deeply dysfunctional belief – a pathology – that taking others down will somehow lift them up. Their mission and metric is “me.” Their entire workday is consumed by self serving activities which ruin any chance for a positive work culture or a strong team. The lie, gossip, blame, and look for every opportunity to try to make themselves look good by making others look bad.

They cost companies millions in sales, customers, litigation, bad press, time, and talent. They can wipe out entire departments.

They are deeply insecure because at some level they know they are incompetent and lacking in integrity. They are consistently your least talented employees. Their only discernible talent is knifing others.

They cannot stop themselves so you need to stop them. Never hire, retain, or promote them. If you reward this behavior once, it’s now your culture. Fail to deal with it and you are now writing your organization’s obituary.


From the Teacher: Leadership Lessons with Dr. Saviak is a weekly column with the esteemed Joseph C. Saviak, Ph.D., J.D., M.A., M.S., Management Consulting & Leadership Training.

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