Raj Subrameyer

Camp Counselor

Humanizing The Toxic Leader: The Secret Key To Healthier Work Cultures

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Tuesday, May 24, 2022 - 3:30 PM UTC, for 1 hour.

Regular, 60 minute presentation

Room: Campsite 6

Toxic Leadership
Global Issues

Have you ever worked with a disrespectful boss, who makes decisions that are detrimental to the team’s growth, takes credit for other people’s work, and is not pleasant to be around? I have, and working in such environments over a period of time made me act and think like one. I became a Toxic Leader. Environments of extreme stress bring out toxic traits in everyone and this has given rise to Toxic Leadership in the workplace. Toxic leaders start making decisions driven by emotions that affect not only them but everyone around them. In the “new normal” where most teams are working remotely due to the pandemic, there is this lack of human connection and it has amplified these toxic traits that are detrimental to positive growth. I am here to say that toxic leaders can make a change, as I once lived that life and after carefully studying and analyzing my own toxic traits, I was able to come out of it. And now, I help other successful leaders in tech do the same. Come join my talk, where I will share my real-life experiences of becoming a toxic leader, the different struggles I had to go through, and how I recognized my toxic traits. I will highlight three environments that give rise to Toxic Leadership and how we can get out of it. My talk will give other toxic leaders permission to be vulnerable and deal with their insecurities. Attendees will realize that toxic leaders are not born but made, and change is possible. Let’s get real and motivated! What do I want the audience's initial take away to be? Or How will my talk impact the audience? Being a toxic leader is unacceptable, but we don’t have to stay that way. There are things we all can do to hold a toxic leader accountable, so they can take responsibility for their actions and change them. Ultimately, I want the audience to feel some empathy for toxic leaders. Empathy does not excuse the behavior, but rather can help us give permission for the toxic leader to come out and acknowledge their toxicity. We all have toxic traits, but they show up differently in each of us. One challenge is that we’re living in a “cancel culture” society. We see instances of people messing up, being toxic, and getting barred from society because of it. Though they are doing unacceptable things, toxic leaders also have a lot of insecurities and may be afraid that they will be cancelled if they admit to their mistakes. This causes the toxicity to continue unabated. Yet when we’re able to see the person behind the actions and bring the behavior to the leader’s attention, we can help them overcome their insecurities which will lead to building more positive work cultures for all of us.


No prerequisite needed.

Take Aways

  • How do we become toxic leaders?
  • The 3 environments that lead to Toxic Leadership
  • How to come out of being a Toxic Leader?
favorited by:
Josh Gretz Shaq Mughal Sara Caldwell Josh Jones Tessa Kriesel Vanessa MacDougal