The addictive leader may or may not be suffering from a personal addiction (i.e. alcohol, drugs), but this leader consistently exhibits traits that are characteristic of an addictive personality; denial of reality, failure to take responsibility for actions, controlling others, dishonesty, manipulation, blaming others and self-centeredness. And, as is often the case, the organization takes on the dysfunctional characteristics of the leaders and this is a recipe for disaster.
In Part 1 of this series on toxic leadership, we considered the self-focused leader. We saw that the self (vs. other) focus of the leader creates the foundation for a toxic environment as the organization becomes a way to meet the needs of the leader over not just the followers but also the mission and purpose of the organization itself.
The autocratic leader treats others as their servants and assumes the right to exercise power and privilege over them. This self-focus creates the toxic atmosphere that causes workers to walk on eggshells and know that they are not respected or appreciated by their leader. The worker becomes a means to an end and is a tool to be used vs. a partner to work with.