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Identifying Destructive Leadership Behavior in Management Candidates


As a hospitality management professional, it is crucial to be aware of the various types of destructive leadership behavior that can hinder your career growth. This article aims to provide valuable insights and guidance for hospitality management professionals during the job application process. It is essential to understand the mistakes to avoid during a job interview, as recruiters often look for the right type of leaders who can drive organizational success. Let’s explore some common destructive leadership behaviors and strategies to identify them.


  1. Definition of Destructive Leadership Behavior:

Destructive leadership behavior refers to repeated actions by a manager that disrupt the company’s interests, sabotage organizational goals, and negatively impact the motivation, well-being, and job satisfaction of subordinates. 


  1. Absentee Leaders:

These leaders are psychologically absent and often avoid engaging with their teams, despite holding leadership roles. While they may appear well-organized and professional, there is a noticeable disconnection. During job interviews, they tend to provide vague answers, avoiding the mention of specific individuals and focusing solely on end goals rather than the team’s journey. “Red flags” to look out for include brief responses when asked about team members and a lack of enthusiasm or discomfort when discussing interpersonal relationships.


  1. Destructive Managers:

Destructive managers may be hardworking and achieve great results, but their toxic behavior undermines their team’s success. Beware of individuals who have not reached top-level positions or have frequently changed jobs without significant promotions. These managers may exhibit traits of narcissistic personality disorder or carry unresolved guilt or hurt that influences their behavior. In interviews, they may exaggerate their accomplishments, portraying themselves as heroes, firefighters, or policemen coming to the rescue. Such stories can indicate their toxic management style and tendency to put others down.


  1. Co-Dependent Managers:

Co-dependent behavior, commonly seen in personal relationships, can also manifest in the workplace. Codependency involves controlling actions and reactions between individuals. In a managerial context, this can lead to problematic dynamics. Beware of managers who rely heavily on their peers to complete their work or feel compelled to rescue others from their own mistakes. They may exhibit a range of behaviors, including becoming irate or resentful when things don’t go their way, offering unsolicited advice that may come across as insulting put-downs, and expecting perfection from themselves and others.


  1. Identifying Destructive Leadership Candidates:

To identify co-dependent managers, it can be effective to create situations in job interviews that make them uncomfortable. These individuals tend to react emotionally to personal comments and may become visibly upset. By knocking them off their pedestal, you can gain insight into their codependent tendencies.



As a hospitality management professional, it is crucial to be aware of destructive leadership behaviors that can limit your career growth. By developing self-awareness and focusing on personal growth, you can avoid these detrimental behaviors and become an effective and productive manager. During job interviews, recruiters are keen to identify these behaviors and hold upper management and executive positions for candidates who demonstrate exemplary leadership skills. Remember, you have control over your future and can shape yourself into a successful manager with effort and hard work.


To avoid personal opinions and bias in this article, we cited:






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