Toxic Workplace!: Managing Toxic Personalities and Their Systems of Power
April 2009, Jossey-Bass
"Toxic Workplace! describes how to identify and best work
with toxic personalities. It also provides a systemic approach for
creating a culture that's positive and respectful while improving
the bottom line. Kusy and Holloway share how their national
research translates into real-world practices in organizations. I
endorse their practical, concrete approaches that will make a
significant difference in organizations today and in the
—Gregg Steinhafel, president and CEO, Target Corporation
"Toxic Workplace! brings a rare and valuable view of one
of the great challenges facing leaders in today's organizations. It
is a significant guidebook to the healthy enterprise of the future,
not only because of Kusy and Holloway's systems approach to dealing
with toxic personalities, but also their unique practice of
creating communities of respectful engagement. This book
demonstrates how this impacts both organizational social
responsibility and the bottom line."
—Frances Hesselbein, former CEO of the Girl Scouts of the U.S.A.; founding president and chairman of Leader to Leader Institute, formerly The Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management
"Transforming the culture to support the strategy and mission is
the real stuff of leadership. Toxic Workplace! gives you the
research-based tools to identify and deal with the 'dark side' of
this important dynamic. Read it and you will engage your
organization in new, more authentic, and effective ways!"
—Kevin Cashman, author, Leadership from the Inside Out and senior partner, Korn/Ferry Leadership & Talent Consulting
1. The Human and Financial Costs of Working with Toxic People: Toxic Behaviors Are Just the Tip of the Iceberg.
2. Recognizing the Toxic Personality: It Isn’t as Easy as You Think.
3. Leader Reactions and Strategies That Typically Don’tWork: Why Identify Strategies That Don’t Work?
4. Organizational Culture: How Toxicity Spreads Like an Infection.
Part Two: The Toxic Organization Change System Model.
5. Organizational Strategies: Dealing with Toxicity at the Highest System Level.
6. Team Strategies: Dealing with Toxicity at the Team Level.
7. Individual Strategies: Dealing with Toxic People One-on-One.
8. Myths and Truths About Toxicity—and Renewal from a Toxic Environment: How to Move Beyond Toxicity.
Appendix A: Our Research Methodology.
Appendix B: National Survey Responses on Toxic Behaviors.
Elizabeth Holloway, PhD, is a consultant and full professor in the graduate program in Leadership and Change at Antioch University. A Diplomate of the American Board of Professional Psychology and Fellow of the American Psychological Association, Dr. Holloway has had more than 25 years' experience as a practitioner, educator, and consultant with organizations, groups, and mental health clients. She consults globally on system approaches to mentoring, coaching, and creating organizational communities of respectful engagement.
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