In the ever-evolving landscape of corporate leadership, the term ‘leadership diseases’ has gained significant traction. Leadership is widely recognized as a critical driver of organizational success, but certain dysfunctional behaviors, often enclosed under the umbrella of toxic leadership, can harm an organization’s health and productivity. We will explore strategies to mitigate the impact of some of the most prevalent leadership diseases, from micromanagement to short-term focus.

Micromanagement: The Tight Grip That Suffocates

Micromanagement tops our list of leadership diseases. It’s characterized by a toxic boss’ excessive control over every aspect of work, leaving little room for team autonomy; it is one of the leaders’ toxic behaviors. This approach stifles creativity and initiative and creates an environment of dependency and discontent. It poisons the work culture.

The antidote? Empowerment. Leaders must learn to trust their teams, delegate effectively, and focus on providing guidance rather than dictating every step. By fostering a culture of autonomy, leaders can spur innovation and drive higher engagement and productivity.

Emotional intelligence allows to connect heart and brain.

The Missing Piece: Emotional Intelligence

Frequently overlooked, the lack of emotional intelligence is a critical pathology in leadership. Emotional intelligence encompasses self-awareness, empathy, and the ability to regulate emotions – vital for effective leadership. Leaders lacking in these areas may struggle to connect with their team, leading to a lack of trust and a communication breakdown. 

To combat this, leaders should invest in developing their emotional intelligence through training, feedback, and self-reflection. By doing so, they can build stronger, more cohesive teams and create a more positive work environment.

Shifting the Blame: Avoidance of Accountability

A toxic trait in leadership is the avoidance of accountability. Leaders who shift blame or refuse to own up to mistakes erode the foundation of trust and respect in their teams. They demonstrate a lack of moral courage – which Richard Holmes identifies as one of the critical leadership diseases. The remedy lies in cultivating a culture of accountability, starting at the top. 

Leaders must model the behavior they expect to see, owning their decisions, successes, and failures alike. This approach enhances credibility and encourages a more open, honest, and responsible workplace.

Lost in Translation: The Communication Conundrum

Effective communication is the cornerstone of successful leadership, yet leaders often must improve, leading to misaligned goals and clarity. Leaders must prioritize clear, concise, and consistent communication to address this pathology. 

This requires them to clearly state their goals and objectives, be open to suggestions, and engage actively in conversation. By improving communication channels, leaders can ensure everyone is on the same page, fostering a more aligned and engaged team.

The Myopia of Short-term Focus

In today’s business world, it’s easy for leaders to focus on immediate results instead of long-term sustainability. This narrow focus can lead to poor strategic decisions and overlook the long-term growth and health of the organization. 

Leaders must balance short-term achievements with long-term planning, ensuring that their decisions today do not jeopardize the organization’s future. This requires a strategic mindset, focusing on sustainable growth, innovation, and the organization’s long-term vision.

Combating Toxic Leadership: Strategies for Change

Recognizing and addressing these leadership diseases is only the first step. Organizations must foster a culture of continuous learning and development to combat toxic leadership. This can be achieved through regular training, mentorship programs, and providing opportunities for feedback and self-improvement. 

Additionally, creating a supportive environment where open communication, diversity of thought, and psychological safety are valued can help mitigate the effects of toxic leadership.

Transformative Leadership

Conclusion: A Call to Transformative Leadership

How do we change destructive behaviors in a leader? The journey from toxic leadership to transformative leadership is a challenging one. It requires a deep commitment to personal growth, a willingness to embrace change, and a dedication to fostering a positive organizational culture. 

As leaders, we must be aware of our behaviors and their impact on our teams. Addressing these leadership diseases can create a more inclusive, productive, and sustainable future for our organizations. Let’s embrace this challenge and lead towards a healthier, more effective leadership paradigm. 

Do you want to explore how you can become a transformative leader? Contact Dr. Aldo Civico for a free and personalized leadership assessment at