Overcoming the Dark Side of Leadership


I stumbled onto a great little book that should likely be read by every leader.  The authors’ argument is that every leader has a potential dark side to their leadership DNA, and some leaders overcome this by recognizing and embracing it, while other leaders succumb to their dark side and either quit or are removed because of their failure. 

One of the most helpful ideas I found in the book dealt with the leaders motivation.  The authors rightly identify an alarming reality.  The drive in most leaders that gets them into organizational or influential leadership roles, is normally influenced in part by their dark side.  Unfortunately, this same dark side that helps fuel leaders into high leadership roles then works to subvert them as these leaders experience the obstacles, pressures and challenges of leadership.  Such a good insight.  Every leader needs to be aware of this concept and explore key questions like:

  • What is driving my passion?
  • What is driving the way I treat people?
  • Am I able to rest and enjoy life, or am I consumed by my role?
  • How did my family of origin shape me?
  • What needs in my life have not been met and how am I seeking to satisfy them?
  • In what subtle ways do I seek to control instead of trust others?
  • What is the dark side of my leadership?

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