Dark Side Leadership

Key Idea

While the spoils of leadership can be great, the “dark side” of leadership can lead to catastrophic failures and missteps. The burden of leadership, with its heightened stress and unyielding competition for power and control, sometimes creates a situation where a leader succumbs to the “dark side.” The leader begins to be controlled by his or her insecurities and or fear of failure, rather than by their strengths and virtues. The “dark side” leader can quickly derail an organization.

Book to Read 

Overcoming the Dark Side of Leadership: How to Become an Effective Leader by Confronting Potential Failures by Gary L. McIntosh and Samuel D. Rima, Sr. (2007)

Quick take from the Book

  Below is a check list of questions that focus on whether a leader has succumbed to the “dark side”:

  • Are you leading selfishly or via deception?
  • Are you overly ambitious?
  • Do you need absolute control?
  • Do you have difficulty managing your emotions?

Quote of note 

“The dark side, though sounding quite sinister, is actually a natural result of human development. It is the inner urges, compulsions, and dysfunctions of our personality that often go unexamined or remain unknown to us until we experience an emotional explosion.”-Overcoming the Dark Side of Leadership

Related Styles: Bad Leadership, Narcissistic Leadership

Return to List of Leadership Styles