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Too often I come across coaching clients that are employed by companies that have an inherent toxic culture.

It is remarkable to see the change in their demeanor when it becomes apparent that the reason why they are struggling with bosses and colleagues is not really to do with what they are doing. It is largely because the company’s culture is poisonous.

It might be worthwhile to note that a lot of companies have a disparaging and destructive culture – rule by fear and treat people like mushrooms. There is lack of authenticity – people are talking behind each others back and trust is non-existent.
It is also important to note that if you are a person who enjoys operating in such an environment you are at best arrogant and self-serving and at worst an out and out narcissist!

The interesting part is that this style of company culture is becoming an anachronism.

All the latest theories on leadership describe the leader as a character that, in today’s terms,  is quite scarce – connecting, supportive, engaging, compassionate, spacious and leading from the front.

And here is the bottom line. If your company has a toxic culture you can be sure it is coming right from the top!

If you work for such a company, I would say make plans to leave.

But that is not always possible. More particularly the culture is not as blatant as I have described. There are subtleties and nuances that make it seem that all is just fine.

The real challenge is to work in the confines of the company’s ‘ethos’ and not pass the negativity and distrust onto your team.

This will make you a special manager! 

About the author:

Clive Kaplan, is a CA(SA) having studied at both Rhodes and UCT. With over 20 years experience as an executive director in both listed and unlisted companies. Clive offers a wealth of wisdom on both the people and business front. He is the CEO of Green Mind Capital. The company focuses on assisting executives, especially emerging young CA’s, maximize their potential and fast-track their careers. Clive has been involved with coaching and self development since 1994. Green Mind Capital is an emerging leader in the field of personal development, self-actualization and career advisory services.