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What's Chip Reading?

The Allure of Toxic Leaders: Why We Follow Destructive Bosses and Corrupt Politicians–and How We Can Survive Them

As the Amazon book notes ask: "Why do we knowingly follow, seldom unseat, frequently prefer, and sometimes even create toxic leaders? Whether you agree with the premise or not, it is a fascinating question. In this book Lipman-Blumen seeks to define toxic leaders, and then attempts to define ways that we can rid ourselves of them.

I found the book to be similar in character to the recently reviewed “Snakes in Suits” by Babiak and Hare. In “Snakes” the authors define certain leaders as psychopaths, here Lipman-Blumen describes them as toxic. She uses psychological language to do so. While I have known some of both types of bosses, rarely is someone so easily definable. What both of these books seem to be doing is using a fancy way to say that you don’t like your boss. Forgive me, but this smacks of political correctness.


Jean Lipman-Blumen


Oxford University Press,



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