Army worries about ‘toxic leaders’ in ranks

By Published: June 26, 2011

More than 80 percent of the 22,000 officers and sergeants who responded to a Center for Army Leadership survey had directly observed a “toxic” leader in the last year and about 20 percent said that they had worked directly for one, according to an article by the Washington Post.

The Army defined toxic leaders as commanders who put their own needs first, micro-managed subordinates, behaved in a mean-spirited manner or displayed poor decision making.

The survey also found that 97 percent of officers and sergeants had observed an “exceptional leader” within the Army in the past year, the article said.

About half of the soldiers who worked under toxic leaders in the past year expected that their commanders would be promoted, the article said.

“This may create a self-perpetuating cycle with harmful and long-lasting effects on morale, productivity and retention of quality personnel,” the survey concluded, according to the release. “There is no indication that the toxic leadership issue will correct itself.”

Read more about the Army's worries about "toxic" leaders by the Washington Post.

Soldiers transport a trauma victim to a U.S. Army medical helicopter in Tarmiyah, Iraq, Sept. 30, 2007.


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