Three Brigadiers in three months - sacked or suspended…

I raise this because it seems like an example of the thread point I was going to make. Often it isn't the loud bullies who are the worst - although they are clearly not good. The worst toxic leaders are the ones who quietly hold grudges and seek to destroy subordinates for challenging them, perceived or real slights, or just general dislike. Throwing a chair and shouting give you overt, witnessed behaviours to challenge. Quietly informing you that you are going to get a career-ending report is a he-said-she-said problem that is almost always resolved in the favour of the ranking individual.

As we see the full integration of women into the army, there may be a gradual cultural shift away from the explosive and violent male style of poor leadership.

The quiet nurturing of grudges, spiteful career sabotage, and general undermining of 'enemies' may become far more common.

I was just rereading a couple of old favourites, Bugles and a Tiger and The Road Past Mandalay by John Masters. There was toxic leadership in those days, but throwing chairs around and shouting would have been considered not only ungentlemanly, but crass, petulant and childish.
 
Jasper De Quincey Adams, tells me all I need to know :)

Not referring to this or other recent investigations but. it really does call in to question the whole culture and structure of the Army. In the rest of the world such behaviour towards anyone would be construed as Gross Misconduct followed by pretty much instant dismissal.

Why anyone thinks rank, position or a couple of silly badges gives them carte blanche to bully people is beyond me. It really indicates weak and cowardly individuals hiding behind a system simply to get their own way and this behaviour infects the Army from LCpl to General.

Ducere est servire'? Meum asinum.

Exactly this. If a person needs to resort to threats or positional authority ("rock paper rankslide") to get their subordinates to not follow but merely obey then they have utterly failed as a leader, this is true in both the mil and civvy worlds.
 
I count myself lucky that in almost 40 years of Regular Service, I rarely encountered or was subject to toxic management, although I was aware it was going on in other units, through conversations with my peers. The nearest I came to it was when I was serving as a RLD Sgt with 1 Royal Scots and for some reason, the Signals Platoon WO had it in for me. Thankfully, I was posted a few months after he took up his role, so no real impact on my career or state of mind. He was a prick though and universally disliked.
I suppose the point I’m making here is toxic management isn’t confined to Officers!
 
I count myself lucky that in almost 40 years of Regular Service, I rarely encountered or was subject to toxic management, although I was aware it was going on in other units, through conversations with my peers. The nearest I came to it was when I was serving as a RLD Sgt with 1 Royal Scots and for some reason, the Signals Platoon WO had it in for me. Thankfully, I was posted a few months after he took up his role, so no real impact on my career or state of mind. He was a prick though and universally disliked.
I suppose the point I’m making here is toxic management isn’t confined to Officers!

There are a small number of key appointments within an infantry battalion, whose incumbents set the tone - and determine the quality - of day to day life.

If you get a constellation of toxic individuals in those roles, you rapidly have a toxic battalion. I've seen it happen.

A toxic battalion is a disaster on many levels and it can take many years to undo the damage.
 
There are a small number of key appointments within an infantry battalion, whose incumbents set the tone - and determine the quality - of day to day life.

If you get a constellation of toxic individuals in those roles, you rapidly have a toxic battalion. I've seen it happen.

A toxic battalion is a disaster on many levels and it can take many years to undo the damage.
Yes indeed,

I've also seen this in civilian life - it's especially apparent with mergers of like organisations where you would have the reasonable expectation that there would be a similar culture. Yet despite the personnel doing almost identical jobs, and coming from the same location and background, one would have more a toxic ethos than the other.
When you start to dig deeper, it comes as a bit of a surprise that a very limited number of people, even a single person, can set the culture for the whole organisation.
 
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There are a small number of key appointments within an infantry battalion, whose incumbents set the tone - and determine the quality - of day to day life.

If you get a constellation of toxic individuals in those roles, you rapidly have a toxic battalion. I've seen it happen.

A toxic battalion is a disaster on many levels and it can take many years to undo the damage.
The Battalions I was attached to in the 80s were pretty decent to be fair (Green Howards, 1 Royal Anglian and the Royal Scots) and the atmosphere and morale in the respective Sgts Messes was very good. The exception for me was the Black Watch, who were on another level in terms of bullshit and closed shop practices. As Corps attached, we were offered very little support or respect and it was pretty demoralising.
 

Sarastro

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
My DS on Staff Course was Int Corps and he was brilliant.
They do also have a number of non-competitive journeyman officers who are quite good, and stay in because of the large number of specialist staff roles.

Not sure which stream Shriv would have been, could be either. Initials MJ by any chance?
 
Yes indeed,

I've also seen this in civilian life - it's especially apparent with mergers of like organisations where you would have the reasonable expectation that there would be a similar culture. Yet despite the personnel doing almost identical jobs, and coming from the same location and background, one would have more a toxic ethos than the other.
When you start to dig deeper, it comes as a bit of a surprise that a very limited number of people, even a single person, can set the culture for the whole organisation.
[drift]

I think it was on the 737 MAX thread, someone mentioned the different cultures are Boeing, and MD . . . and, that post-merger the more "cavalier", financially (cost-cutting) driven, culture of MD, had influenced the then whole merged organisation :( .

[/drift]
 
. . . . I was unfortunately speaking from personal experience. Some so called leaders are so toxic that they get service complaints upheld against them by a one star, but do everything to deflect the blame from themselves. You will understand why I am cannot go into too much detail, but I share the view that the problem is people who are in roles that escape any sort of accountability or oversight . . .

There is also a problem, if/when one tries to make a complaint against a "one-star", in charge of - and, responsible for - a particularly toxic HQ . . . :(
 
I note that RC Cadets Branch have recently been torn to bits by an Army Inspectorate Report into their safeguarding.

I note that, entirely co-incidentally, the 1* in charge of the Branch is taking unscheduled early retirement to become Deputy CE of an RFCA instead.

I am shocked at these obviously entirely unrelated incidents.
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
I note that RC Cadets Branch have recently been torn to bits by an Army Inspectorate Report into their safeguarding.

I note that, entirely co-incidentally, the 1* in charge of the Branch is taking unscheduled early retirement to become Deputy CE of an RFCA instead.

I am shocked at these obviously entirely unrelated incidents.
WTF? FTA the TLAs and FLAs. CTE?
 
I think it was on the 737 MAX thread, someone mentioned the different cultures are Boeing, and MD . . . and, that post-merger the more "cavalier", financially (cost-cutting) driven, culture of MD, had influenced the then whole merged organisation :( .
Yes, after a merger I was involved in, I came to the conclusion that, however it's dressed up to be, there is no such thing as a merger apart from in name only - invariably the reality is that it's a take-over of one party by the other.
 

Niamac

GCM
Back to Brigadiers. Small hours in the Comcen Command. It's not going well with the EW boys doing their damnedest. On my Tod. Door opens and Brigadier Royal Signals lumbers in and sits behind me.
'phone rings and it's a staff captain on to complain. One of those people who thinks that he can get things done by shouting. As I'm explaining situation for the third time a big hand comes over my shoulder and takes the 'phone

"This is Brigadier Page, **** off."

Hands the 'phone back and off out into the night.

That's the kind of Brigadier I like.
 
As we see the full integration of women into the army, there may be a gradual cultural shift away from the explosive and violent male style of poor leadership.

The quiet nurturing of grudges, spiteful career sabotage, and general undermining of 'enemies' may become far more common.

I was just rereading a couple of old favourites, Bugles and a Tiger and The Road Past Mandalay by John Masters. There was toxic leadership in those days, but throwing chairs around and shouting would have been considered not only ungentlemanly, but crass, petulant and childish.
Won't change a thing, most of the bullying I suffered from in my last unit was by a Female Adj who also turned a blind eye to her CO and Trg Maj doing the same.

Women can be as bad if not worse than men when they get a bit of power and authority.
 

Donny

ADC
Won't change a thing, most of the bullying I suffered from in my last unit was by a Female Adj who also turned a blind eye to her CO and Trg Maj doing the same.

Women can be as bad if not worse than men when they get a bit of power and authority.
I think the middle para of @CSM's Despair..’s post was saying just that..

Consider yourself an early adopter ;-)
 
Won't change a thing, most of the bullying I suffered from in my last unit was by a Female Adj who also turned a blind eye to her CO and Trg Maj doing the same.

Women can be as bad if not worse than men when they get a bit of power and authority.
That can happen. Toxic culture is toxic culture.
I have been a soldier, a Civil Servant, worked for private businesses and am currently working in local government.
S’all the same, really. ********* wherever you go.
 
I think the middle para of @CSM's Despair..’s post was saying just that..

Consider yourself an early adopter ;-)

Yes.

Women are usually more subtle, but more tenacious (obsessive) in their bullying methods - at least in my experience. They are also very quick to turn the tables and play the victim card when they are challenged.

Most of the bullying incidents I've encountered in the civilian workplace were female on female and some were really nasty. Male bullies can also be exceptionally devious and are good at covering their tracks, but usually tend to be more physical and confrontational. Often it's about male pecking orders and the offer of a square go where there are no cameras and no witnesses will sometimes resolve a situation.
 

Bubbles_Barker

LE
Book Reviewer
If you're that lacking in basic self-control, maybe you should take leave more often.
Leave? I think something far more permanent would be more appropriate.
 

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