8 Symptoms of a Toxic Command Climate

8 Symptoms of a Toxic Command Climate

Taken from the article located at https://taskandpurpose.com/leadership/8-symptoms-of-a-toxic-command-climate, the following symptoms exist in toxic environments.  While we discuss these things in the context of military organizations, such toxicity exists in large established organizations as well.

1. Micromanagement exists often on an epic scale.

2. There’s a lack of respect shown from higher echelons to lower, and the lack of simple professionalism.

3. Zero-defect mentalities and zero-tolerance policies are standard.

4. Leaders tend to have a suffocating adversity to risk.

5. There’s no meaningful purpose behind any order or task given to subordinate elements.

6. There is no attempt to develop subordinates.

7. Superiors take all authority from the noncommissioned officers and platoon-level officers within the command.

8. There is a complete lack of trust of superiors, between peers and between subordinates.


All of these items stem from a fear of failure.  Even the time to develop subordinates stems from the lack of time.  Leaders at the top berate subordinates for making mistakes, and there's a saying that "shit rolls downhill."  We've all seen an "if you're on time, you're late" philosophy get out of hand to the point that lower-tier subordinates show up to events up to an hour early for an insignificant meeting.

If we truly mean that People are our most valuable resourcewe must give them the opportunity to fail and learn from that failure. When lives are on the line, perfection should be demanded, but when it comes to smaller things, we need to be cognizant of the fact that an overemphasis on perfection makes an organization slower and less agile.


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