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Are You a TOXIC LEADER?
Stats: 1,707 words / Reading Time: 8.54 mins

Published: Monday, 15th November 2021

By: Obayomi Abiola Benjamin

Are You a TOXIC LEADER? is read 311 times on CentreNDL.org 311
  

ARE YOU A TOXIC LEADER?

Discover How Not to be A Toxic Leader


Listen To Podcast: Are You A TOXIC Leader?

Now, don’t be in a hurry to answer this question. You might want to wait until I have read to us our case study before you put yourself on the hot sit of answering the question. One thing we must understand is that many leaders today are toxic in their approach to leadership but they don’t realize it yet. The best many of the leaders in this category do is to find one explanation or the other to justify their toxicity. How best do you explain corruption emanating from a Leader, unethical behaviors, work-place discrimination, unnecessary aggressiveness, all emanating from a leader of an organization; other than being toxic? Sometimes ago, I saw a video of a leader of an organization engaging in a fist-fight with one of the employees of the same organization. What could be more toxic than this from a Leader?

 

There is a story in the Bible that we will consider today that would help us to understand who a toxic leader is. The story is in the book of Esther 3, and we are going to be reading a few verses in that chapter. Beginning from verse 1-6, the Bible says:

 

“Sometime later King Xerxes promoted Haman son of Hammedatha the Agagite over all the other nobles, making him the most powerful official in the empire. 2 All the king’s officials would bow down before Haman to show him respect whenever he passed by, for so the king had commanded. But Mordecai refused to bow down or show him respect. 3 Then the palace officials at the king’s gate asked Mordecai, “Why are you disobeying the king’s command?” 4 They spoke to him day after day, but still he refused to comply with the order. So, they spoke to Haman about this to see if he would tolerate Mordecai’s conduct, since Mordecai had told them he was a Jew. 5 When Haman saw that Mordecai would not bow down or show him respect, he was filled with rage. 6 He had learned of Mordecai’s nationality, so he decided it was not enough to lay hands on Mordecai alone. Instead, he looked for a way to destroy all the Jews throughout the entire empire of Xerxes.”

 

In this story we just read, there are three characters: King Xerxes, who is the overall leader, Haman, a subordinate leader under Xerxes with great authority and Mordecai, who happens to be the king’s gatekeeper. So, if we are to critically examine Mordecai’s position, he has no power or authority so to say. Also, in the story is a group of people called the Jews and Mordecai happens to be a member of that group as well. The story began when Haman was promoted, and the Bible says in verse two that “All the king’s officials would bow down before Haman to show him respect whenever he passed by, for so the king had commanded. But Mordecai refused to bow down or show him respect.”

 

Mordecai, because of his religious inclinations believe it was wrong to bow to any mortal. So, rather than Haman punishing Mordecai alone for his lack of respect for constituted authority, he decided to visit the punishment on the entire Jewish people in the land. Verse 5-6 says: “When Haman saw that Mordecai would not bow down or show him respect, he was filled with rage. 6 He had learned of Mordecai’s nationality, so he decided it was not enough to lay hands on Mordecai alone. Instead, he looked for a way to destroy all the Jews throughout the entire empire of Xerxes.”

 

Now, who is a toxic leader? A toxic leader is one who would punish the offence of one person on an entire group, just as we saw in the case of Haman that we just read. Haman set out to exterminate an entire Jewish population because of the offence of Mordecai. Haman’s desire for honor beclouded his judgement that he forgot what leadership is all about in the first place. Which one would have been easier for Haman: is it to punish just one man for his undoing or to exterminate an entire race? This is a major trait of toxic leaders.

 

Now, let us read the story further from verse 7-10. The Bible says:

 

“So, in the month of April, during the twelfth year of King Xerxes’ reign, lots were cast in Haman’s presence (the lots were called purim) to determine the best day and month to take action. And the day selected was March 7, nearly a year later. 8 Then Haman approached King Xerxes and said, “There is a certain race of people scattered through all the provinces of your empire who keep themselves separate from everyone else. Their laws are different from those of any other people, and they refuse to obey the laws of the king. So, it is not in the king’s interest to let them live. 9 If it please the king, issue a decree that they be destroyed, and I will give 10,000 large sacks of silver to the government administrators to be deposited in the royal treasury.” 10 The king agreed, confirming his decision by removing his signet ring from his finger and giving it to Haman son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the enemy of the Jews. 11 The king said, “The money and the people are both yours to do with as you see fit.”

 

Also, a toxic leader is a corrupt leader, and this was established in verse 9 of the verses we just read. In verse 9, Haman said to the king: “If it please the king, issue a decree that they be destroyed, and I will give 10,000 large sacks of silver to the government administrators to be deposited in the royal treasury.” Haman was ready to bankroll the evil he was planning to commit on innocent people who knew next to nothing about what was happening between him and Mordecai.

 

Now, the end of a toxic Leader is not always beautiful. A toxic leader pushes his luck to a certain degree where there would be no luck remaining and at that point, they meet their end. People like Haman, Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini who operated toxic leadership, didn’t end in the good books of history. People remember them today, not for the good things they did, but for the evil that they did in the course of their leadership. If you read Esther 7:9-10, you would discover that the same place where Haman had planned to execute Mordecai alongside his Jewish people was the same place Haman was killed. His evil plot against one man as a result of toxicity, caught up with him and there he met his end.

 

As leaders that we are, there is no reason for us to be toxic towards our followers or team members. As a Leader of an organization, there is no reason for you to be toxic towards your employees. If any team member or employee is misbehaving, instead of being toxic towards them, they can better be reassigned or queried for their misbehavior, rather than planning to harm them by every means. The end result of such action does not bring honor to your leadership and at the end of the day, it brings disrepute to the organization that you represent. As leaders, let us learn from the story of Haman that there is nothing to be gained in being toxic towards anyone. As a Leader, walk in love, lead with love, correct in love, educate with love. When you do these, it would establish your leadership authority and it would endear your followers more towards you.

 

Alright! This is where we are going to stop for today, I believe you have learnt something. Please don’t forget to share this podcast with your friends and also drop your comments in the comment section so that we can get to interact with ourselves. Till next time on Leaderview, I remain Abiola Obayomi. Thank you for listening.


Thanks for the gift of your time, I am Obayomi Abiola Benjamin!

Feel free to share your thoughts or testimony in the comment box below. I promise to respond to them as soon as possible!


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Word of Confession: (Optional)

Lord Jesus, I confess to you that I have sinned against the LORD God - in the rebellion of my heart, I have disappointed your expectations on my life. I have fallen from Your grace and followed wrong influences around me. Today, I retrace my steps back to you - and I ask that in your mercy you accept me as your son and give to me (again) the promise of the Father - the Holy Spirit. Lord Jesus, please, come and make my heart your home, and from there rule in the affairs of all men. In Jesus Name I have prayed.

Tags:     

Leadership Xerxes Haman Mordecai Jews Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini


Living for the pleasure of Christ does not begin with your desire to do bogus things for Him; it is as simple as trembling at His word, obeying His instructions and being subject to the leadership of the Holy Spirit on a daily basis.


Published: Apeh Francis Abah | Tuesday 30th November 2021


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Living for the pleasure of Christ does not begin with
  Living for the pleasure of Christ does not begin with
  Living for the pleasure of Christ does not begin with
  Living for the pleasure of Christ does not begin with
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ObayomiAbiola on CentreNDL
Obayomi Abiola Benjamin

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I am Abiola Benjamin Obayomi, a disciple of Jesus Christ, with a drive to mentor young believers into spiritual maturity. I am a student of God's word and a teacher as well, with passion in the areas of relationship & spiritual development. I am a worshipper, an ardent lover and follower of the Lord Christ.


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