How do you handle a toxic leader in dictatorship environment? A leader that cannot take feedback, but instead manipulate you and yell at you for not “knowing your audience”. Oh and the company is owned by himself and his wife.

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I’ve worked for 2 leaders like this. Here is what I learned:
1) You cannot change them, nor will they change their behavior unless there is a significant forcing measure that gives them no other alternative. It’s unlikely you can introduce that.
2) While easier said than done, the only survival tactic that worked for me was focusing on the learning opportunity I was getting by navigating this kind of leader in the form of resilience.
3) Finally having the ah-ha moment that taught me “You receive what you will tolerate” when it comes to employment. When I finally recognized that the only thing standing between me and a better leader was my negative mind chatter, I started working my network and found a better place that was more deserving of my skills.
4) Your mental health is taking a hit, whether you recognize that now or you recognize it later. Protect yourself by seeking counsel and support in the form of therapy or coaching. You need reinforcing voices that offer you clarity of thinking.


Wow thank you, this is great information. I’d love to connect on LinkedIn to pick your brain!


Seek new opportunity 😕


I’ve never once judged an applicant or candidate for “giving up”. Everyone has their limitations. You might want to look at this brief stint as a “short term contract engagement”.


The best you can do in situations like this is to take full advantage of whatever opportunities the current company is giving you to start building your resume and leave! There isn't a need to stay in a toxic environment.


Oof. I would have shared pieces of advice upon reading the first sentence. However, when I saw the last sentence, my best advice would be to leave. Run and never look back.



My pleasure! Let’s do this!

Well, with everything that you said I'd be more than happy to seek job somewhere else. If it's toxic that it affects your mental health and increases your emotional stress, I'd rather say my goodbyes.

Toxic and dictatorship go hand in hand. As said above, you cannot really change them. They own the company so there's no one above them. You're in a tight spot, OP.

The first thought that came to mind was to oust them before I reached the part where you said he owned the company. In that case, there's just no use. You're better off finding a new job. Surely, any company would be better than this one. How are you holding up?

It’s hard because I care about the people there (having recruited most of them and selling them in this companys mission when I believed in it) and I feel awful leaving them in such a toxic culture when they look to me for help. And I also don’t want my friends to suffer bc the company will suffer if I leave without having someone to keep the company functioning on the back end

Often the best way is to leave the situation. I have often heard things like this happen and more often than not they do not end well. Hope you find a better place to work in.


Easier said than done of finding a new job in the current market. My advise would be to learn what you can. The most important learning would be what you should not do as a leader. In the meantime keep searching. I am sure you will have a better place soon.

You leave. They won't change and by staying you enable their poor behavior.

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