Three Leadership Addictions That Damage Work Culture

Posted on May 26, 2021 by Nate Regier / 0 comments
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Addiction is a compulsive relationship with a mood-altering experience that has life-damaging consequences. Here are three types of addiction that we accept from our leaders, and even promote for.


  • Please-aholic leaders have a compulsive need to please people in order to feel OK as a person.
  • They over-adapt, compromising their own boundaries and health.
  • The most damaging consequences are to their self-esteem, personal health, and relationships. They often smother people with unsolicited help and end up getting rejected for it.
  • Treatment: Recognize that how someone responds to you doesn’t define you. Your boundaries, needs, and feelings matter. Assertive anger is your friend, not your enemy.


  • Work-aholic leaders have a compulsive need to pursue perfection in order to feel OK as a person.
  • They overwork, over explain, over detail, and can’t finish things because it’s never good enough.
  • Damaging consequences include stress and burnout, and increased risk of cardiovascular illness. They micromanage employees and undermine everyone’s confidence and capability.
  • Treatment: Recognize that perfection is the enemy of excellence. Most things in life are ultimately out of your control. Feeling sad about lost time and opportunity is your friend, not your enemy.


  • Right-aholic leaders have a compulsive need to be right and do the right thing.
  • They point out what’s wrong and righteously crusade for their belief systems.
  • Damaging consequences include stress and burnout, cultures of fear and secrecy, and lack of trust. They question people’s commitment and motives, and criticize them for not measuring up.
  • Treatment: Recognize that being effective is better than being right. If you win the battle but lose the war, you aren’t effective. You can’t perfectly fulfill your obligations, but you can be a person of integrity and positive influence. Feeling afraid of your imperfections is your friend, not your enemy.

These addictions are personality-specific. Learn how to build your personality resilience.

Do you have a workplace addiction? Is it time for treatment? Check out our blog on how to build a positive workplace culture!

 Copyright Next Element Consulting, LLC 2021

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