How to avoid toxicity in the workplace

Dimitris Tsingos
1 min readMar 23, 2023

A healthy working environment is all about leadership. Interestingly, most startups which manage to grow and succeed actually do so thanks to their culture and attractive working environment. Unfortunately, however, both founders and investors seem to fail to acknowledge that reality and, in a way resembling shooting their own feet, they build management and leadership teams not aiming to further increase their strengths but, on the contrary, focusing on their weaknesses and how to mitigate them.

This so common -yet disastrous- choice creates a fundamental disconnect between the culture that helped the company succeed and the one of the management team which was hired in the scaling phase. What makes things even worse is that the vast majority of new hires will experience daily the culture of the managers / leaders, making them consider the vision outlined by the founder or the CEO as empty of real meaning. Which, unfortunately, is the initial generator of toxicity in the workplace — saying something but being perceived as meaning something else.

How, then, could this situation be avoided? Very simply with putting huge emphasis on creating and scaling management and leadership teams that enthousiastically embrace and support the founders’ culture, thanks to which the company managed to succeed and scale. Or, in one sentences, when selecting your leaders, don’t look for the ones that will cover your weaknesses; look for those who will further enhance your strengths!