Tarnished: Toxic Leadership in the U.S. Military

Tarnished: Toxic Leadership in the U.S. Military

Tarnished: Toxic Leadership in the U.S. Military

Tarnished: Toxic Leadership in the U.S. Military

Synopsis

Bad or toxic leadership, abusive supervision, and petty tyranny in organizations are perennial issues. But to date, there has been little effort to examine the scope and nature of bad leadership in the military. Tarnished rectifies that lack of attention by defining the problems and suggesting possible solutions appropriate to the military's unique structure and situation. Leadership is central to the identity of the U.S. military. Service academies and precommissioning processes have traditionally stressed the development of conscientious leaders of character. The services regularly publish doctrinal works and professional journal articles focusing on various aspects of leadership. Unsurprisingly, in most of those publications leadership is presented as a universally positive notion, a solution to problems, and something to be developed through an extensive and costly system of professional military education. Leadership expert George E. Reed, however, focuses on individual experiences of toxic leadership at the organizational level, arguing that because toxic leadership has such a detrimental impact on the military organizational culture, additional remediation measures are needed. Reed also demonstrates how system dynamics and military culture themselves contribute to the problem. Most significant, the book provides cogent advice and insights to those suffering from toxic leaders, educators developing tomorrow's military leaders, and military administrators working to repair the current system.

Excerpt

Over twenty-five years ago, Joseph C. Rost, a professor at the University of San Diego, was struggling to better understand leadership. He was at the center of an experiment—an interdisciplinary program that had leadership as its central focus but not as a subset of management as in business administration, or imbedded in an institutional approach as in political science, or even as a product of personality or group dynamics as in psychology and sociology. James MacGregor Burns had already published his book Leadership, which forever changed how we look at leadership by expanding our view beyond traits, characteristics, and behaviors of leaders alone to include the important role of followers. Burns took an interdisciplinary path with his career as well, starting out as a historian then directing his facile mind to political science and psychology. Burns was already well known for his biography of Franklin Delano Roosevelt The Lion and the Fox but before that he had served as a combat historian in the Pacific theater during World War ii. Rost had read voraciously—not everything that was written about leadership at the time, but a great deal of it. the remnants of his extensive leadership library can still be found at the University of San Diego’s Department of Leadership Studies in the School of Leadership and Education Sciences.

Rost was underwhelmed by the treatment of the subject by most scholars and dismayed to find that most of the writers of the . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.