Are you thinking or feeling you are part of an unhealthy leadership culture at your church, business, non-profit or athletic organization?  Are there are series of warning signs or indicators your working environment has become toxic?  A unified leadership team is critical to any organization’s success.

Recently Albert Breer of The Monday Morning Quarterback broke a story on the dysfunctional front office of the Los Angeles Rams.  Specifically, Breer uncovered a highly-combative relationship between general manager Les Snead and head coach Jeff Fisher.  You can read his full article by clicking here.

As I read his article, I gleaned the following 11 Signs Your Church Or Business Has A Toxic Leadership Culture:

  1. In A Toxic Leadership Culture There Is No Sense Of Accomplishment – Poor performance is a breeding ground for toxicity.  If you want morale to increase in your church or organization, get some wins under your belt.  Good morale flows from accomplishment.  The Rams currently have a 4-8 record.
  2. In A Toxic Leadership Culture Your Staff Has Lost Respect For Leadership – Many in the Rams administrative offices are referring to their building as “Rams Junior High.”
  3. In A Toxic Leadership Culture Leaders Are Often Blindsided – You should never leapfrog leaders.  At a recent news conference, Rams head coach Jeff Fisher was asked about general manager Les Snead’s new contract.  Fisher’s response was astonishing considering they are supposed to be working together.  He said, “I’m so busy here, I was honestly unaware he was extended. I’m being honest with you, we’re just working here.”
  4. In A Toxic Leadership Culture People Are Finger-Pointing And Blaming Each Other For Poor Results – Fisher appeared to be accepting responsibility for the team’s poor record but then immediately shifted blame to Snead.  Fisher said, “I look at this as being my responsibility, the win-loss record. We need to do a better job from a personnel standpoint. We’ve had some unfortunate things take place with some high picks in Stedman Bailey and Tre Mason and those kinds of things you don’t anticipate.”
  5. In A Toxic Leadership Culture No One Seems In Charge – One unnamed Rams source said, “You see it under that umbrella (statement) —‘We need to do a better job in personnel.’ OK, but you want everyone to think that you have full control.”
  6. In A Toxic Leadership Culture Disputes Have Become Public – The Rams’s issues are no longer being dealt with behind the scenes.  Issues like this are generally handled in private.  Fisher going public is quite unusual and is a sign of tremendous discontent.  Another Rams source said, “Over five years (Snead and Fisher have been together), [Tuesday] was the first time you saw public comments. That should never happen.”
  7. In A Toxic Leadership Culture Your Organization Is Not Attracting Or Retaining Top Talent – There is universal agreement the Rams roster lacks quality depth.
  8. In A Toxic Leadership Culture The Wrong Leaders Are Being Hired – Fisher has hired two first-time offensive coordinators who were “in over their heads” and lacked the skills needed to be successful.
  9. In A Toxic Leadership Culture Talent Is Not Being Developed – Offensive line coach Paul Boudreau has done little to develop club personnel.
  10. In A Toxic Leadership Culture People Are Lazy, Lack Urgency, And Do Not Work Hard – There is concern the team is not paying the price necessary for success because they are not being asked to work hard.
  11. In A Toxic Leadership Culture Top Leaders Are Leaving The Organization – Coach Fisher’s top scout, Rich Snead, left the team last winter.

Is there at least one warning sign you read in this list which is causing you concern?  If so, are you willing to address it today?


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