Selfish Quality

destructive leadership has a selfish quality—it focuses only on the leader’s goals and objectives rather than on the common goals of both leaders and followers, or the goals of the organization (Padilla et al., 2007). In essence, a destructive leader does not listen to followers and their interests, demanding that they fall in step with the leader’s desires. For example, the owner of a construction company might think that every one of his employees should do community service to enhance the image of his company in the community. As a result, he requires salaried employees to “volunteer” 10 hours of their off-work time each month at a local faith-based charity that builds homes for low-income families where he is also a board member. In this case, the leader’s requirement makes the employees resentful, in part because the required work for his charity cuts into their family and leisure time and also because many of them are already volunteering for their own charities. The employees find what the leader is asking them to do unfair and counterproductive. When a leader selfishly fixates on only their own goals, it hinders others from feeling autonomous; it also prevents followers from being empowered, which in the end has a negative impact on the climate of the organization.

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