Transcript of How to Recover from Toxic Leadership Team Environments

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Hello, and welcome today to this month's edition of Great Leadership Teams, Great Leaders Build Great Leaders, Leadership Teams webinar series. Looking forward to an important topic today, an unfortunate but important topic today, on how to recover from toxic leadership team environments.

For those of you who don't know me, my name is Jack McGuinness. I'm the managing partner of Relationship Impact, a consulting firm that works with the CEOs of growing companies to help their leadership teams get in shape, both structurally and relationally, so they can scale their businesses as effectively as possible.

Just a note on logistics, before we get started. I say this every time, but my slides are not typical PowerPoint slides. I try to leave as much content as I can behind for folks, and so today's, you'll see in the PowerPoint slides, we'll go through it today, they're chock full. I'm not going to go through every word in the slides, but you'll have good content and some good links to some other good materials, as well. In terms of questions and such, please just raise your hand and use the chat feature, and I'd be happy to answer any questions you might have during the course of the conversation. Don't hesitate to interrupt me.

Again, Episode 17 in our Great Leaders Build Great Leadership Teams webinar series, How to Recover from Toxic Leadership Team Environments. These are unfortunate circumstances, and aren't always the norm, thank goodness. But the information you'll receive today, even if you're team is not necessarily toxic, it's just not being as, not as functional as it could be, there'll be some good information in here for you, as well. So, let's get started.

What's the challenge related to toxic leadership team environments? Well-

Sorry for getting started late. Welcome to this month's version of Great Leaders Build Great Leadership Teams webinar series, Episode Number 17, How to Recover From Toxic Leadership Team Environments. My name is Jack McGuinness, and I'm the managing partner of Relationship Impact, a consulting firm that works with the executive teams of growing companies to help their leadership teams get themselves in shape structurally and relationally, so they can scale as effectively as possible. A couple of notes here on logistics. Our slides are chock full of content, so a lot of information on every slide. I won't go through it all, but you'll have some good content, and some good links to view post the webinar.

Secondly, please, if you have any questions throughout the course of the discussion, please don't hesitate to raise your hand through our chat feature, and I'll do my best to address the question right away, if I can.

Okay, so let's get started. How to Recover from Toxic Leadership Team Environments. In our work, working with leadership and executive teams, we have come across several toxic environments, which we'll describe in greater detail at the start of a webinar. Fortunately, this is not the norm. Most of the teams that we work with, yeah, have some level of dysfunction that is getting in the way of them being as effective as they can be. But today's discussion is about, what happens when it really gets toxic, and you have to do some recovery work?

Let's talk a bit about the challenge. Bottom line is that, toxic leadership teams, I would say, not that they can get in the way, but they do get in the way of not only the teams being effective as they can be, but their organizations being effective as they can be. Our premise in relationship impact and why we started the firm is that, we believe that the leadership teams of growing companies are absolutely instrumental in accelerating the healthy and productive growth of their organizations. The opposite is true as well. Those that are not productive, and what we're talking about today is, those that are toxic, and will hinder the ability of their organizations to be as effective as they can be.

These are two studies that I'm leaving you here that are, I've used a few times in the past. One is by Aon Hewitt, and I don't think it's Aon Hewitt anymore, I think it's actually Aon, just Aon, but this global best practices research report indicated that engagement, employee engagement, is derived from the way senior leaders connect with each other and how effective and accountable they are, as a unit. So basically, that's just saying that, the organization is watching and take their cues from the leadership team. No question about it. We see it in how departments interact with each other in organizations. If the leaders are not interacting well, there's almost a direct correlation between the departments, as well.

This Google study, this just hammers it. If you guys haven't seen this study from 2015 on the Five Keys of a Successful Google Team, you have to take a look at this link, which will take you to a Inc. magazine article that will take you to the actual report. But it's a great study on when Google was trying to find out what their best, what the perfect team at Google will look like, they did this study. It was really interesting stuff. But basically it says, great teams increase performance and creativity, allow for early mistake detection and the initiative to take action and reduce emotional exhaustion. Think about that from a leadership team perspective. If that is not in place, the organization can grind to a halt. So, a big challenge. Dysfunctional teams can make progress. toxic teams almost grind their organizations to a halt.

Toxicity symptoms, let's talk a little bit about what these look like. Again, please interrupt me at any time if you have any questions, or you want to talk about anything. These are some of the symptoms. There's probably more, but these are some that we've derived from some of the teams that we work with. We're working with a couple, unfortunately, in the last year, have worked with a couple of very toxic environments, that required a lot of repair work.

Cynicism is prevalent throughout the executive team. Even when things are going well, people are, even when progress is made and there's a good project came to fruition, there's some cynicism on, "Well, we just got lucky," or, "They got lucky, because of this, that and the other thing."

Defensiveness is prevalent throughout a team. You can't say anything, and I guess that's related to heightened reactions too, we give someone feedback, or we even make a comment that's indirectly related to a leadership team member's scope of work, and the reaction is defensive, or there's a heightened emotional tone in their reaction.

Someone just asked me, "Will the deck be available?" It absolutely will be available, along with a link to an article that I wrote for Chief Executive Magazine. You'll get all that, hopefully later on today. If not, you'll get it probably on Thursday, as I'm heading out with my family to Portugal tonight. I'll be back at it on Thursday.

Avoidance. In toxic environments, avoidance is prevalent. What I mean by that is that, people have built walls around them, themselves as leaders and their departments. They basically do not interact with each other, or interact with each other by as minimally as they can, and when they do, it's very abrupt and cold. I'm sure some of you have seen this in some of the work that you've participated in.

Unhealthy coalitions. What I mean by that, you got a couple people that are forming together in unhealthy bonds, like where, "Did you hear what Bob said in that last meeting? That was the dumbest thing I ever heard. I'm not going to do anything that he said in that meeting, even though we all agreed to it," those types of things. Another one of the unhealthy coalitions that we oftentimes see, relates to the CEO, as well. Might have a meeting where there's some tacit agreement on how we're going to move forward with a particular issue, and then the lobbying begins with the CEO, either in a couple people going to the CEO saying, "We don't think we should go in that direction, even though we agreed to it in a meeting." Or, you have one-on-one conversations. Instead of holding up their hand and saying, "Stop, go talk to each other," the CEO contributes to the challenge and forms these triangles of decision making outside of the context of the team.

From our perspective, all toxic leadership teams environments eventually get to a place where there is diminished trust among the team members, and diminished trust. From our perspective, trust has three components to it. It has trust in my teammates' competence, trust in my teammates' character, honesty, integrity, and trust in my teammates' dependability, they do what they say they're going to do. When trust gets destroyed or blemished, really, really tough to repair. Toxic team environments can be repaired, but the work is brutally hard, as we'll see in the next few slides.

Again, please ask any questions if, are there any other symptoms that might appear in any of the environments you've worked in, other than these symptoms? If there are, please just throw them out to me.

This is potentially one of the biggest challenges you have in recovering from a toxic environment, is that in order to deal with the situation, the environment where people have gotten to a place where they don't trust what each other's saying, they're not willing to really work together, they're just ... They raise their hands and say, "I'm just going to roll up my sleeves and do my job and not worry about or interact with anyone else, and put my head down." When you hear things like that, then people are giving up on the team and just putting their head down and going to do their own thing. The challenge with coping mechanisms like that, is that they often become the new way of operating for a team, even when the repair work starts.

Let's go through a few examples of that from, pulled from the mouths of some of the clients that we're working with, those two toxic environments that I told you about earlier.

If you make sacrifices for the good of the company, it will hurt your department, "I have two roles as a leadership team member, my functional role and my enterprise role. But I'm not going to play that enterprise role, because every time I do, I, quote, lose. My department loses. We get budget taken away. We have resources taken away. We don't get the exciting project," whatever it might be.

If you reveal a weakness to the CEO, or, and this was a quote from a client, but, if you reveal a weakness in general, not just to the CEO, it will be held against you. Saying that I screwed something up or saying that we're not really sure how to tackle that problem, that becomes, "Yeah, Bob doesn't really know what he's doing," or, "Did you see Bob say he didn't know what's going on? How can we trust him?" If you reveal a weakness, it'll be held against you. That's a big one.

This is another one, in order to get approval from the CFO, or from some influential team member that holds the decision making authority or the influence in a particular situation, you have to act like it was his idea. You have to say something to the effect of, "Hey, Bob, I heard that we have this policy for going to conferences, and my department really would like to understand a little bit about what that looks like." Even if you're just going and saying, "Hey, I need approval for my three people to go to this conference out in California," you have to make it look like it was the CFO's idea, so he said, "Yeah, why don't you take Sue, Charlie and Matt." Having to play games rather than just being direct.

All these types of, and these are only three examples, right, but these types of examples become the way people operate. They cope by dealing with the toxic environment in certain ways. Unfortunately, when a team begins to do repair work, the needed repair work to rebuild trust, to deal with the assumptions that have been made, really hard for people to move beyond those ways of operating.

I'll give you a good example that I'm working with. A pharmaceutical company, a new CEO, been there about nine months now, put a new structure in place, logical, logical structure, for sure. He's a empowering type guy. He's not a micromanager. He wants to delegate and let people go in their department areas of scope. But the previous regime, the previous CEO, was the micromanager. He, actually it was a woman, she would, everything, she had to have her imprint on. Every decision big and small, every project big and small, she had her imprint on. You couldn't really do anything without her putting her two cents on the table. So the challenge there is that, people build up ... The new way of operating was that you better get the CEO's input, unless you want to get squashed.

The environment that that team is working in now, trying to recover from, is that even when the CEO just says, asks a question about a project, or gives his two cents on how the project should go, they feel like he's micromanaging. So, hopefully it gives you a sense what I'm talking about in terms of coping, and how things become operationalized.

Let's start, I have a great question here, "Starting at the top, where things drill down, is it not key that board members, when applicable, ought to have key strengths aligned to the optimal running of a company, i.e., they should promote a healthy environment, akin to what is expected and planned on the leadership team, starting with the CEO as a leader?"

Yeah, no question about it. In the companies that we work with, the board, in these two situations that we're, toxic environments that we're dealing with right now, there's no question the board became very aware of the challenges, in one case, removed the CEO. So you have a new CEO, this pharmaceutical company I talked about coming in, and had to ... Now the CEO is tasked with, "How do I recover from this toxic environment?" He's done some structural work to get there. He's restructured his team. He's done some other work that we'll talk about in a second that is starting to get there, as well.

In the other situation, the board is a little bit more remote, and wasn't clear on what some of the challenges were that were affecting the organization. The CEO recognized it himself and really brought us in to help take a step back, to see how they could recover from the environment. I agree with you, boards definitely play a strong role. It just depends, unfortunately, on how in tune the board is with the challenges. Did that address your question? If not, please elaborate, so I can address it further. Okay, if I don't hear ...

Okay, great. Thank you.

What are the root issues, from our perspective? I'm sure there are more, but these, from our perspective, these are the three big root issues behind ... Nicholas, your point about, that you just raised, about boards, is something that I hadn't considered here in terms of a root issue, but let's have a discussion about what that looks like. From our perspective, the root issues behind toxic team environments, how they evolve, are from three primary groups of stuff.

The first is the toleration of high performers who are, excuse my language, jerks. Those are high performers that get good results, that do good work, they might work really hard, but they create an environment where people just don't want to work with them. They're yellers. They're not interested in hearing any other people's perspectives. They're lone rangers. They're whatever it might be. For whatever reason, they're really good in their functional roles, and they get results. Particularly in their functional units, it could equate to a great sales leader that's getting great sales results, or it could equate to any functional leader.

The problem is with, when toxic, when these people are tolerated, it poisons the ability for a team to actually work together well. I mean, in very simple terms, if you view a team as an entity that's supposed to work towards a common purpose, with a shared way of operating, where the individuals are, "We're better together than we are separately," that there's a sense of resilience on the team, we can learn from each other, if you view that, and we do, as the some of the elements of the greatest leadership teams we've worked with, high performers who are not great executive team or leadership team players will squash that type of environment. That's been our experience. That's probably the thing we see the most often is ...

Actually, I was asked the question, I gave a workshop to a government contractor leadership team last week, and the question was asked, "What do you do with a performer that's really, really good at his or her job?" Our point of view is that they can't, unless they're going to commit to do something different and change to be more effective executive or leadership team members, then they really can't be on the executive team. We've seen situations where you put a box around a high performer. You put some rules of the game in place with how they interact with the leadership team and down the chain. But it's a risky proposition. Hey, look, and I get it. It's easy for a consultant to come in and say, "You got to get rid of Bob, because she's poisoning the team and down the ranks." But Bob is responsible for a good part of your revenue. Easy to say, harder to do. Long-term, I'll tell you, our experience is that if you don't do that, then the long-term implications are really difficult.

Destructive CEOs, destructive leaders. This could actually be a destructive, influential team member, someone that has just been there for a long time, that's got great experience, institutional knowledge, whatever, but is destructive. CEOs, the leader, the formal, and even informal, leaders on your executive team, those that don't listen, those that are, "My way or the highway," those that are actually on the opposite of that, don't hold the team accountable, that can just reinforce the symptoms we discussed on the previous page.

Clean up the mess later, or put it another way, an unbalanced focus on results. If anyone that's seen any of our webinars before will know, that the first principle we believe, or the first characteristic of a great leadership team, is one that is laser focused on results. However, if you're too much focused on what gets, have too much focus on what gets done at the expense of how it gets done, you can get yourself in trouble. You have to clean up the mess later. Oftentimes, the pace of an organization is such where, it's hard to clean up the mess later. It just becomes the way you operate.

These are the root issues, from our perspective. I think Nicholas, if I was going to, he's the one that raised a question before about boards, yeah, I would suggest that boards that are not in tune with how their leadership teams are operating and if it becomes a toxic environment and they're not in tune with it, they have a fiduciary role to play, as well.

These are some of the root issues we see behind the toxic teams that we've worked with. Again, please ask any questions or raise any issues that, as we go through.

The path to recovery. From our perspective, there's three parts to the path to recovery. The formal team leader has to model the behaviors to recover, and we'll go through those in a second. The team, as a entity, with facilitation from the formal team leader, has to get the team to acknowledge the problem. Finally, and these are all easy to say and they're all incredibly hard to do, particularly this last one, is that the team needs to work towards rebuilding trust. I almost feel silly saying that, because it's such a hard thing for individuals to do, and it's really hard for teams to do. But we're going to talk to you a little bit about how we see, what are some basic steps we see, on the path to rebuilding trust.

The challenge you have on the path to recovery is that those new ways of operating that have formed in the toxic environment are hard to overcome, even when a new leader is put in place, as I described before, even when a new structure is put in place, even when a toxic person has been removed. The assumptions we made, and the ways of operating, are hard to undo. The work arounds are hard to undo.

A key to moving from, again, from our perspective, moving from a toxic environment to one where the team is resilient, laser focused on results, and productively addresses increasingly complex challenges, is acknowledgement. The whole, the team, obviously first the leader, has to acknowledge and the team has to acknowledge that there is a problem here. Everyone knows it. I'm not saying anything that anyone doesn't know. But you have to name it. You have to call it. You have to talk about what the toxic situation is and what contributed to it and what we want it to look like, going forward. That's critical.

So, path to recovery: leader modeling, acknowledge the problem and rebuild trust.

The structural solution trap. I've mentioned this in a bunch of our other webinars, but we see this all this time, and I know, as a CEO and the chief operating officer of ... CEO of one company and a COO of another company, the structural solution trap, I know I fell in it several times. This basically is just, don't feel like you are solving the full problem by dealing with the structural side of the team, only. Replacing the leader, terminating a toxic employee, restructuring the boxes on the organization chart, redefining roles, those are all probably, in many cases, very important. When a team has lost trust, and the environment is such where people are really not working, or working at cross purposes, structural solutions alone are just not going to work. We've seen it, many times.

The pharmaceutical company we're working with, they have, the new CEO came in, great guy, really smart, great experience, came in with a good approach, in terms of getting people's input and understanding what was going on. His first reaction was to restructure the organization chart. Our first reaction was, "Oh, God, please don't just do that." But he didn't. His intentions were, "Yeah, we have to make some structural solutions, structural tweaks, but we also then have to very quickly address a lot of the relational damage that has occurred."

Recovery requires an absolute commitment to addressing damaged relational dynamics. When trust is broken, it just has to be, the work has to be done. Hard work, long work, patient work, has to be done to repair the damage. Recalibrating ingrained assumptions to those new ways of operating, right, and rebuilding trust, are critical, but they're really hard.

Let's talk a little bit about leader modeling. If we have an environment, let's go back a few slides, I know this is bad PowerPoint dynamics, but if you go back to an environment where there's cynicism, there's heightened defensive reactions, unhealthy coalitions, avoidance, the CEO, the formal team leader, is absolutely ... Before they even start talking about addressing the problem, they have to begin to model some behaviors that are different. They have to show some vulnerability.

If it's the current leader that is dealing with the toxic environment, they have to own their part of it, say, "Hey, this is my team that I'm leading, and I'm obviously getting in the way of us being as effective as we can. I'm not sure exactly everything I'm doing wrong, but these are a few things I'm doing wrong. For example, I've pitted people against each other, either intentionally or unintentionally. I have avoided confrontation or challenges between two leaders. I've just let it happen. I've let a toxic leadership team member that is a high performer fester," acknowledging that and then making steps to overcome that.

So, the opposite of those things is, "I'm going to take steps to hold that toxic high performer accountable." Easy thing to say, harder thing to do. "I'm going to embrace confrontation, more. It's going to be hard for me, but I'm going to make sure that I don't avoid it. If there is a challenge to be dealt with, we're going to challenge, we're going to deal with it collectively. When there," and on and on. So, making sure that the leader is modeling how they're going to ... They're acknowledging first how, what they've done that's contributed to toxic environment, and what they're going to do that is going to evolve it.

Leader modeling is absolutely critical. Without it, those leaders that say, "The team needs to be fixed," and they don't view themselves as part of the problem, particularly when the environment is toxic, are kidding themselves, number one. Number two, will will make very limited progress towards recovery.

Okay, so acknowledging the problem. Sounds like a simple thing to do. Not always the easiest thing to do. It's calling your baby ugly, as the CEO. "My team is not working well." In fact, it's worse than that. It's, "I've created an environment where things, people are just hate each other, and hate working together," whatever. So, the CEO has to present his or her views of what the root issues are. Basically, this is just about getting the dialogue started, "These are some of the things that I've done. These are some of the things that I've seen. These are some of the structural issues that I see getting in the way. These are some of the relational challenges that I see that we have."

And then, basically, generating dialogue, which is not easy to do, I'm not suggesting it is, but when the CEO can be vulnerable, it helps.

I have another question here, I'm going to go to it. Nicholas, thank you again. "Recent report: CEOs now average 4.2 years on the job. Do you think, impracticality, toxicity and unfairness could be part of the reason for this statistic? What do you think should be done in a situation like this, that appear to becoming more common. The leader is constantly changing, morale is affected, and turnover at the top is high."

My take on this question is, CEO turnover is contributing to dysfunctional, or in some cases, toxic environments. That could be the case. I've certainly seen that in a couple of instances. I think the biggest thing we try to do with the teams that we're working with is create environments that, where the team is stronger than any one individual, including the CEO. Now, I recognize, that's a nirvana state. I recognize that all CEOs want to have their imprint. But when teams are really working well together, and they have this sense that they have each other's backs, they're resilient, they're really learning from each other well, when they do screw things up, they get mad at each other, they're able to get back up and deal with it without the passive aggressive crap that gets in the way, when those environments exist, then the leader almost has to adapt to those situations. The team is much better able to adapt to a new leader.

Is that the case in every environment? Absolutely not. If you have a great team that I just described, and you have a new leader that comes in and is one of those unhealthy CEOs, that we talked about earlier, then the team is going to have a problem. No question about it. So, to answer your question, potentially the average of 4.2 years on the job, thanks for that statistic, I actually did not know that, so that's a helpful one, but yeah, I think it could be contributing. All the more reason to build a strong team without the dependence on any one leader, particularly the, quote, charismatic CEO. I hope that answered your question.

My pleasure.

Acknowledging the problem, right? So, you got to get to the root issues, CEO should be the person that's starting the discussion around how we facilitate this dialogue. Then, after gaining a good understanding of the challenges, that the team needs to reset expectations for how they want their team to operate. Now, a key question is, "What do we want this team to look like six months from now? We've recognize that it's not going to look like that overnight, but what are we building towards? We're building towards a team where people are direct enough with each other so that we don't hear stuff about each other out in the hallways or at a conference that we're not hearing first directly from each other," for example. If that's what we're trying to build towards, let's commit to making progress towards that.

Once the challenge is clear and the expectations are clear, they can be ... Yeah, you can begin to do the hard work of building trust, and building a healthier, more productive environment.

Rebuilding trust. Again, this is, I gave a whole webinar on this. I've written a couple of articles on this, that I think, I think as I get more experience over the course of our 10 years here, and particularly as we've been writing over the past few years, I feel like we have more to say on this topic, although we recognize this is a very difficult thing to do.

To start the rebuilding process, team members absolutely, just like we said the CEO did before, team members have to recognize and acknowledge their contribution to the toxic environment. If you're a team of 10 people, every person, from our perspective, has a role in how well the team is working and how well the team is not working. They have to acknowledge that. That could be as simple as, "I just shut up and don't say anything and let the bad behavior exist," to, "I'm one of the people that doesn't listen to anyone," for example.

Individuals have to evaluate the assumptions they've made about their teammates. Again, those things that become the new way of operating have to make, you have to evaluate those assumptions and take steps to test whether the assumptions are true in the new environment, or not. I'll go back to the pharmaceutical example company I'm working with. One of the assumptions that they identified was that, in our old way of operating, we were micromanaged and really couldn't say, "Boo," without us having been told by the CEO. Just by putting that on the table, yeah, that's what we call a hangover effect assumption, just by putting that on the table and talking about it, and having the CEO say, "Yes, just because I ask questions, or just because I put my two cents on the table, doesn't mean that I'm micromanaging. It just simply means that I'm putting my two cents on the table." Getting others to recognize that, and having a discussion about that, is important. What would it look like if he or she was micromanaging? What would it look like when he's not?

Behavioral assumptions. We talked the three components of trust, before, are character, dependability, and competence. What we often find is, when trust breaks down, the easiest thing to go to is to suggest that my colleague or colleagues are not competent at the work the do, because they potentially do it differently than I do, or they potentially have made some mistakes that have gotten us in trouble, before. Our assumptions are that, "Bob's just not competent." When, in fact, Bob is quite competent at his job, he just does it differently than I do. Just having, giving each other feedback about what it looks like and why I think you may have been not as competent as I would have like, gaining some insights into how we work together, a lot of this is just giving each other good feedback, and being able to hear it, well.

Next piece is, after a leadership team takes time to demonstrate vulnerability and test these new assumptions, it's critical that they make commitments to do something differently, as a team. That could be as simple as, "We're going to talk directly to each other. When we have challenges with each other or issues with each other, we're going to talk one-on-one, or as a team. We're not going to talk outside of this environment and badmouth our teammates outside of this environment." That could be one.

It could be, an individual commitment might be as simple as, "Yeah, sometimes I do take too long to get to the point. Sometimes I do ask too many questions. Sometimes I do have too many spreadsheets to bring to the table. But, it's not because I'm lazy. It's because I'm trying to get to the right answer. I recognize that that frustrates my teammates. What I'm going to do is, do my analysis outside of the room and get to the point quicker, and have the data to support myself, but get to the point quicker and help the discussion move quicker, rather than to bog us down. When I don't do that, please let me know, so I can work on it." Commitment making is huge.

That forms the basis, this is a simple discussion for a very difficult topic. The work is really hard. From our perspective, we boiled this down into a few important topics. One is, leaders need to model the behavior that is required, that they have, that's been getting in the way of the team begin as effective as it can be, from their leadership perspective. They have to help the team acknowledge that they're ... what the problem is. Everyone knows that there is a problem. But have a discussion about what is getting in the way. What are the roots behind it? Then, finally, is taking some steps to be, to acknowledge how we're contributing to the dysfunction and trying to get beyond the assumptions we've made of the last operating environment, the last, the environment that we're in right now, that's dysfunctional that we want to move to. What are the assumptions now, versus what are the assumptions that we want it to look like in the future?

I hope this has been helpful for you. It's something that we have dealt with pretty intimately in the last year, with a couple of our clients. Dealing with dysfunction is definitely a little bit different than dealing with toxicity. It's harder and deeper work, no question about it. But similar principles, nonetheless. Please, if anyone has any questions, I think I have another question here, yes,

"Last question, promise." Please ask more questions. I'm happy to answer. "Ladder of advocacy, what are your thoughts on how this dynamic should work? At the senior most level, should the ladder be two-way street, or should the CEO control things, whereby his or her team members have the same approach drilling down to their teams? This creates top-down environment only, where, if there is a hiccup, things come to a stop, because direction on top has, for one reason to the other, including turnover, lull times, halted, ultimately affecting the running of the company. Thoughts?"

I'm not totally sure I understand your question, but I'm going to give it a shot and you can ask it again, if I don't answer it correctly. But I think what you're getting at is that, how should the individual team members deal with the dysfunction, on any dysfunction, down the ranks on their teams?"

Our point of view is that, it's really important for the CEO to take control of the toxic environment. I don't mean take control in terms of solving the problem. I think what we mean is, by taking control of calling out the problem and calling out the fact that something needs to be done about the problem, and the team members need to work collectively to make, to take some steps to recover on the problem, or on the problems that exist. That's our premise, is that it's the team that, when there is a toxic environment, someone's got to be the adult in the room and call, "Hey, there's a problem, here." That's what we view as the leader's role. I would argue that would be no different down the ranks. How they go about doing that, and the particular approach that's used, I wouldn't hamstring a leader too much in terms of how they do that. Although, some of the principles we've talked about here are, I would hope, would be beneficial. I hope that answered your question. Did that get to your question?

Okay, cool. Thanks.

Anyone else have any questions? I've really appreciated the give and take here. I hope you have enjoyed the discussion today. I hope you will join us on our next webinar, which is, I'll come back to that in a second, it's, How to Optimize Collaboration on Your Leadership Team, July 31st, webinar. Click through the links on here, and you can register for that. Basically, what we're talking about there is, let's not collaborate for collaboration's sake. Let's collaborate when it's most important.

Again, I'll go back to this offer. I offer this many times, and lots of folks have actually been signing up for this, but complimentary leadership team assessment. We use Team Coaching International, their team diagnostic, that helps us, helps teams evaluate how they're doing, both structurally and relationally. This is an opportunity for team leaders: CEOs, presidents, GMs; to take this assessment on their team. What we'll do is, we'll just get on a half hour call and debrief the assessment and see what it looks like from the leader's perspective.

I think that's it. That's all I got for you. I appreciate your ... I just clicked on the registration, I didn't really mean to do that, but clicked on the registration for the next webinar. I will get all these slides and links out to you, hopefully this afternoon. If not, by the end of the week. I appreciate your participation. Thanks.