Toxicity in Organizational Leadership (Ep 12)

An interview with Career and Leadership Coach Brenda Abdilla — Part I of II

By David Worley - April 14, 2019

Most people experience toxic work environments where consistent drama and infighting over resources and clout hampers the work of the organization; unfortunately, this not an isolated or rare experience. In this episode, we engage the challenge of dealing with toxicity in organizations.

Episode Length = 26 min

(For email subscribers click the following link to listen from groler website)


1:10 - An introduction to Brenda Abdilla

2:10 - How did Brenda realize that toxicity was a big problem in organizations?

3:10 - What is a toxic work environment?

5:00 - “Death by initiative…” and on being overly driven by the short term.

07:00 - VUCA: volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity.

09:00 - How do you know if you have a toxic culture?

11:20 - Creating room for people to speak critically.

12:30 - Gallup’s State of the American Manager Study (see links below).

13:30 - Expanding the definition of toxicity to include dysfunction.

14:50 - Patrick Lencioni quote, "there is no buy-in unless they get to weigh in."

15:50 - Why should executives choose to engage this costly toxicity problem?

16:30 - “Only 10% of leaders have everything that it takes” to be effective.

17:50 - We must choose not to retain people that are actively toxic even when high performers.

21:00 - David summarizes Brenda’s main points with added commentary.


Brenda Abdilla on LinkedIn
Management Momentum
State of the American Manager study - Gallup
Patrick Lencioni’s main page
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