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The Dark Side of Leadership
Anyone who has seen Star Wars remembers Yoda’s persistent warnings: “But, beware. Anger, fear, aggression. The dark side are they…”
Young kids – and adults, too – are intrigued by this “dark side” phenomenon. Yet, as we become more self-aware, we also begin to recognize that we all have “dark side” tendencies.Interested in the pervasiveness of certain negative behaviors in many leaders, including entitlement, compulsiveness, narcissism, paranoia, codependency, and passive-aggressiveness, Dr. Kelly Flores set out to learn more about why leaders tend to exhibit these behaviors and how these behaviors can be minimized in the workplace.
On Monday, March 3rd, City University of Seattle hosted business and academic leaders for a “Dark Side of Leadership” workshop. The event was organized to discuss the following questions:
- What is the “Dark Side” of leadership?
- How do we recognize the “Dark Side” in ourselves and others?
- What causes people to learn towards the “Dark Side”?
- How do these “Dark Side” behaviors show up in the workplace?
- How can we overcome the “Dark Side”?
- What are the consequences if we don’t overcome the “Dark Side”?
In this workshop, participants shared their thoughts on these questions and reflected on research related to basic needs and what behaviors might show up if these needs go unmet. Participants left with strategies for both recognizing “Dark Side” behaviors and combating these behaviors in their workplace.
More details about the content discussed during the “Dark Side of Leadership” workshop will be presented at the International Conference on Leadership and Education on March 29th at CityU’s downtown Seattle campus, and published in the university’s 3rd volume of Proven Practices in Higher Education.