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General Brewster

Toxic leadership

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"The culture of any organization is shaped by the worst behavior the leaders are willing to tolerate."

You see, I've come across this quote a couple times over the years. It always rang true. Leadership comes in many shapes, sizes and cultural idea's. This is a given and not something that is wrong in and on itself. I say this because the cultural divide among the internet is significant enough to appreciate different styles of leadership. Myself I've always been someone that needs a sort of encouragement to grow but also the thrill, drive and willpower to be the best in what I do. I've been raised by a family of military officers, who then worked at the docks and industry. I dare say hard men with strong women in a time where emotional distancing was more common than social distancing. I wouldn't say it's bad, I rather enjoyed it but I also came to terms that it made me a flawed individual. Over the years I came to believe that leaders aren't afraid to show their emotions. Which is something I didn't learn to do and still struggle with. Yet I also think that as with other things, it needs a balance. Balance is key to many things but I cannot appreciate someone who is overly emotional as it's concept is rather foreign to me.

Why I typed the first paragraph I don't know. I see it as something of a prelude to the part I will be getting at right now. You see. I don't have the illusion many people will read this but I hope, two years after my last blog post. That this might relief some tension I am suffering from. You see I had a very bad weekend. Which came after some very bad weeks. Which have been prelude by some bad months. Since Oktober 2021 I've been doing the job of two people. I like doubling down on a massive workload. Having an internal motivation or the drive to always prove myself. To the borderline of it being toxic to myself. Since January I've been feeling increasingly disconnected from the higher purpose of my work. I no longer identify with my work, I do not see the purpose that it fulfills nor do I see what my added value is anymore. As I told a peer today. "I don't do anything that couldn't be done by someone else." While this sounds somewhat flat, what I mean with it was that anyone, the janitor at a school, the worker on the road or the teacher at a school could replace me if he had any managerial skills. I don't think or feel that I add any value anymore. My internal motivator is non existent.

How is that? You might wonder if you made it this far. I wonder myself as well as I told my woman and a close peer of mine earlier today. What I think it boils down to is that I no longer can stand the bureaucracy of many processes within the government. The expendable nature of myself at the whim of political decisions I don't influence. Most of all I am disappointed in leadership. I like to think I don't really complain often in the professional sphere. I suck it up and go on which is what you do in a hierarchy based organization. So when I complain that I cannot keep up what is required of me since I do the work of two. I expect you to act on it as a leader. Simply because the leader in question and his leader have acknowledged this can't go on and that they understand, see and underline that I truly am too busy to perform adequately at work. Hence the disappointment that nothing is done to better the situation. Even after I told the higher ups that I no longer feel joy at work. Arguably they have worked to make it worse since then.

Some two weeks ago something came across that one could identify as a significant problem. I tackled it. Proposed solutions and gave a presentation on the issue, paths to solve it, options, work through and measures to measure the success of said measures. Everyone happy until someone said. "well thats a good job for you cause only you can do it." I countered with the fact I had no time for implementation and that I outlined things so others could. The decision was made that I should drop things to do this.. easier said than done because when complains started to stream in, a mere day later.. I got called in to explain why I dropped other tasks and I had to do my normal tasks also. I hope you can sense the frustration this builds... I have to say this was a motivator for me so in one day, I probably did work for three days.. The wrong signal but when you tangle with my pride, I get triggered simple as that and im not afraid to admit it. Couple days later a new officer said something along the lines. "I dont understand how you do all the work, are needed for everything and still get handed more work when everyone can see its simply too much." This helped me get one a couple more weeks.

Fast forward two/three weeks to today. One deadline to implement some of the aforementioned measures was today. I spend the whole week makes around 1/3 more hours than I'm authorized too. Just so I can do everything required of me. To sit in a ing meeting and hear my financial backing for the measures were enough. So I didn't have to spend time to plan how to ing sell this all. Even though when I Monday asked what the idea was of me selling this. I was told to make an other presentation, financial slides and personnel slides. By the language you read, or has been blurred out, you can make up im somewhat agitated. Which I made visible. Ergo.. went back to my office, find some as report I delegated with a post it on it/ Can you write a response and present it next week. My secretary was there, saw me pick it up, read the post it and rip the whole thing up. She tried saying that it was only just delivered, I said I didnt care, asked her if she had nice plans for the weekend and promptly left for home.

Of crouse I know the ripping up was a bit too far out of emotion but in the car and massive traffic jam I realized that I no longer have a goal to achieve at work. My woman promptly added, later in the day, that I have zero private life/work balance anymore and that I care a bit too much about work. Frankly I've been denying these things because I think admitting this makes me weak. When I did admit it was too much and I was losing the joy in my work there was not a single act of action to make it better. You see, my leadership is more likely to be grateful to those who constantly up things rather than help those who pick up their pieces. The philosophy being. If you don't take up the pieces you can put them under the rug.

You see this might be a vague thing for y'all but it's all I can and want to tell on it. Frankly I don't know what to do.. how to regain the joy of work, how to sleep longer than a couple hours or how to keep it together to those I love. Frankly I'm a little lost with myself and I don't know what to do. How to set a goal, how to achieve it.. I feel like I am hindered by the environment I grew up in and can't escape who I am or what I do in certain situation while furthermore suffering from a leadership that puts the needs of themselves above the collective. Not serving the public good but their own and frankly I'm so tired of pretending I can get over it.

That's all for today..


  1. Narf's Avatar
    I really hope things get better for you Brew, do tell if there's something I can help with, is ok if its weird or strange, sometimes a wrench in the machine is whats needed. You don't deserve to be frustrated. Lets find a way through that, trust that there is one. You'll make it!
  2. Flinn's Avatar
    Bro, I guessed you were busy like a bee these past months.

    I'll be straight, you can be as concerned and effective as your leaders are, at every level, be it work, politics, family.. whatever. Trying to get past their level of concern will only result in them dropping their at you, nothing else. I've experienced that at work for all my life and basically every day since when I'm a Town Councilor. This is a battle you can't win, you can't change the system from below.. only when you reach the leadership role you have some chances, but they are very thin even then.. besides, reaching leadership levels is a thing that needs not only skills, but luck, social identity and a few more things we can all imagine.

    That being said, I see how you have been focusing yourself on work quite too much, I don't need to teach you any lesson bro, but let me just tell you this: step out of that pattern, turn around and look at life from other perspectives. Everything is important, nothing is essential, certainly not work.
    Updated April 14, 2022 at 05:41 AM by Flinn