The Dark Side of Resilient Leaders: Vampire Leadership

Montgomery Van Wart, Shafiqur Rahman, Theo Mazumdar


While ‘bad’ leaders can include incompetent, oc­casionally self-indulgent, and lazy leaders, an import­ant special category of leader has long been estab­lished in the literature for those whose egotism and ill-will toward others have corrupted ‘good’ leader­ship norms. Such behavior is generally called toxic. This essay further builds on that analysis by exam­ining leaders who are not simply occasionally toxic, but whose whole agenda is to fan division, hatred, and malignant collective delusion. The article first examines good leadership using servant and resil­ient leadership theory. Then it provides examples of varying degrees of toxicity based on eight elements in which good leadership is perverted. Finally, the ar­ticle looks at President Donald Trump as an example of ruthless rapaciousness and whose tenacity (re­silience) enables him to maximize his toxicity over time – vampire leadership.


toxic leadership; bad leadership; negative leadership; narcissistic leadership; demagogic leadership; egotistical leadership; hypnotic leadership; vampire leadership.

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