Rowan van Dyk
Rowan van Dyk

How Lufthansa's difficult times highlights the cost of toxic leadership

Rowan van Dyk
Lufthansa's ground staff recently staged their second strike in a month, causing havoc and setting off a chain reaction. The Verdi workers union's strikes have stranded more than 100 000 passengers and highlighted a long-standing problem of employee dissatisfaction caused by toxic leadership.

Workers are demanding better working conditions and greater wages, which is driving the strike action. Verdi is requesting a 12.5% salary increase to compensate for inflation. According to the union, Lufthansa's reaction to these demands was "blatantly antisocial," a remark that reflects the severity of the divide between employees and management.



Identifying leadership mistakes

Recently, I wrote an article highlighting the top 10 mistakes leaders make today and this situation serves as a stark example of these common leadership mistakes.

Lufthansa employees feel ignored and undervalued due to the leadership's lack of a compelling vision. The situation is made worse since employees believe that their needs and concerns are not being taken seriously or dealt with because of what they view as a lack of trust and character.

The leadership of Lufthansa has failed to communicate and take accountability, which has caused the negotiations to collapse and trust to erode. Extreme actions like walking off the job have been prompted by a leadership team that lacks humility and flexibility in responding to employee complaints and demands.

Because they believe their opinions don't matter and their work is undervalued, members of the ground crew resorted to extreme measures not once, but twice in one month, highlighting the severe lack of empowerment.



Fixing the problem

To avoid this kind of disengagement and inspire their employees, executives should take a more relational approach. Attentive listening, communicating openly, and showing real concern for employees' well-being are all part of this. A more enjoyable and productive work environment can be achieved by giving employees greater authority by including them in decision-making and recognising their efforts.

Leaders should show humility and adaptability by listening to followers' criticisms and making adjustments when needed. Aligning the workforce and giving them a sense of direction is possible through the establishment of clear, attainable goals and a common vision.

A drastic change in leadership is urgently required in light of the recent strikes at Lufthansa and other industries. Organisations can steer clear of toxic leadership by adopting relational leadership principles, which in turn encourage a more engaged, fulfilled, and resilient workforce.

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Allgemeine Zeitung 2024-05-24

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SerieA: Cagliari 2 vs 3 Fiorentina Katima Mulilo: 12° | 30° Rundu: 11° | 30° Eenhana: 11° | 31° Oshakati: 12° | 30° Ruacana: 13° | 31° Tsumeb: 14° | 28° Otjiwarongo: 12° | 27° Omaruru: 11° | 28° Windhoek: 10° | 24° Gobabis: 12° | 25° Henties Bay: 15° | 29° Wind speed: 25km/h, Wind direction: SE, Low tide: 09:43, High tide: 03:39, Low Tide: 21:53, High tide: 16:11 Swakopmund: 16° | 21° Wind speed: 22km/h, Wind direction: S, Low tide: 09:41, High tide: 03:37, Low Tide: 21:51, High tide: 16:09 Walvis Bay: 19° | 28° Wind speed: 26km/h, Wind direction: S, Low tide: 09:41, High tide: 03:36, Low Tide: 21:51, High tide: 16:08 Rehoboth: 11° | 26° Mariental: 14° | 27° Keetmanshoop: 15° | 27° Aranos: 13° | 27° Lüderitz: 15° | 25° Ariamsvlei: 16° | 29° Oranjemund: 10° | 20° Luanda: 24° | 26° Gaborone: 12° | 25° Lubumbashi: 13° | 28° Mbabane: 12° | 22° Maseru: 7° | 21° Antananarivo: 10° | 20° Lilongwe: 14° | 27° Maputo: 17° | 27° Windhoek: 10° | 24° Cape Town: 14° | 20° Durban: 18° | 22° Johannesburg: 13° | 21° Dar es Salaam: 22° | 31° Lusaka: 16° | 27° Harare: 13° | 25° Currency: GBP to NAD 23.41 | EUR to NAD 19.97 | CNY to NAD 2.54 | USD to NAD 18.42 | DZD to NAD 0.14 | AOA to NAD 0.02 | BWP to NAD 1.31 | EGP to NAD 0.38 | KES to NAD 0.14 | NGN to NAD 0.01 | ZMW to NAD 0.69 | ZWL to NAD 0.04 | BRL to NAD 3.57 | RUB to NAD 0.2 | INR to NAD 0.22 | USD to DZD 134.39 | USD to AOA 848.36 | USD to BWP 13.6 | USD to EGP 47.1 | USD to KES 132.23 | USD to NGN 1474 | USD to ZAR 18.42 | USD to ZMW 26.59 | USD to ZWL 321 | Stock Exchange: JSE All Share Index 79150.84 Up +0.25% | Namibian Stock Exchange (NSX) Overall Index 1748.47 Down -0.71% | Casablanca Stock Exchange (CSE) MASI 13370.7 Down -0.04% | Egyptian Exchange (EGX) 30 Index 27205.14 Down -0.08% | Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) DCI 9141.35 Same 0 | NSX: MTC 7.75 SAME | Anirep 8.99 SAME | Capricorn Investment group 17.34 SAME | FirstRand Namibia Ltd 49 DOWN 0.50% | Letshego Holdings (Namibia) Ltd 4.1 UP 2.50% | Namibia Asset Management Ltd 0.7 SAME | Namibia Breweries Ltd 31.49 UP 0.03% | Nictus Holdings - Nam 2.22 SAME | Oryx Properties Ltd 12.1 UP 1.70% | Paratus Namibia Holdings 11.99 SAME | SBN Holdings 8.45 SAME | Trustco Group Holdings Ltd 0.48 SAME | B2Gold Corporation 47.34 DOWN 1.50% | Local Index closed 677.62 UP 0.12% | Overall Index closed 1534.6 DOWN 0.05% | Osino Resources Corp 19.47 DOWN 2.41% | Commodities: Gold US$ 2 332.42/OZ UP +0.02% | Copper US$ 4.73/lb DOWN -0.0039 | Zinc US$ 3 077.30/T UP 0.19% | Brent Crude Oil US$ 82.28/BBP UP +0.74% | Platinum US$ 1 026.03/OZ UP +0.62% Sport results: SerieA: Cagliari 2 vs 3 Fiorentina Weather: Katima Mulilo: 12° | 30° Rundu: 11° | 30° Eenhana: 11° | 31° Oshakati: 12° | 30° Ruacana: 13° | 31° Tsumeb: 14° | 28° Otjiwarongo: 12° | 27° Omaruru: 11° | 28° Windhoek: 10° | 24° Gobabis: 12° | 25° Henties Bay: 15° | 29° Wind speed: 25km/h, Wind direction: SE, Low tide: 09:43, High tide: 03:39, Low Tide: 21:53, High tide: 16:11 Swakopmund: 16° | 21° Wind speed: 22km/h, Wind direction: S, Low tide: 09:41, High tide: 03:37, Low Tide: 21:51, High tide: 16:09 Walvis Bay: 19° | 28° Wind speed: 26km/h, Wind direction: S, Low tide: 09:41, High tide: 03:36, Low Tide: 21:51, High tide: 16:08 Rehoboth: 11° | 26° Mariental: 14° | 27° Keetmanshoop: 15° | 27° Aranos: 13° | 27° Lüderitz: 15° | 25° Ariamsvlei: 16° | 29° Oranjemund: 10° | 20° Luanda: 24° | 26° Gaborone: 12° | 25° Lubumbashi: 13° | 28° Mbabane: 12° | 22° Maseru: 7° | 21° Antananarivo: 10° | 20° Lilongwe: 14° | 27° Maputo: 17° | 27° Windhoek: 10° | 24° Cape Town: 14° | 20° Durban: 18° | 22° Johannesburg: 13° | 21° Dar es Salaam: 22° | 31° Lusaka: 16° | 27° Harare: 13° | 25° Economic Indicators: Currency: GBP to NAD 23.41 | EUR to NAD 19.97 | CNY to NAD 2.54 | USD to NAD 18.42 | DZD to NAD 0.14 | AOA to NAD 0.02 | BWP to NAD 1.31 | EGP to NAD 0.38 | KES to NAD 0.14 | NGN to NAD 0.01 | ZMW to NAD 0.69 | ZWL to NAD 0.04 | BRL to NAD 3.57 | RUB to NAD 0.2 | INR to NAD 0.22 | USD to DZD 134.39 | USD to AOA 848.36 | USD to BWP 13.6 | USD to EGP 47.1 | USD to KES 132.23 | USD to NGN 1474 | USD to ZAR 18.42 | USD to ZMW 26.59 | USD to ZWL 321 | Stock Exchange: JSE All Share Index 79150.84 Up +0.25% | Namibian Stock Exchange (NSX) Overall Index 1748.47 Down -0.71% | Casablanca Stock Exchange (CSE) MASI 13370.7 Down -0.04% | Egyptian Exchange (EGX) 30 Index 27205.14 Down -0.08% | Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) DCI 9141.35 Same 0 | NSX: MTC 7.75 SAME | Anirep 8.99 SAME | Capricorn Investment group 17.34 SAME | FirstRand Namibia Ltd 49 DOWN 0.50% | Letshego Holdings (Namibia) Ltd 4.1 UP 2.50% | Namibia Asset Management Ltd 0.7 SAME | Namibia Breweries Ltd 31.49 UP 0.03% | Nictus Holdings - Nam 2.22 SAME | Oryx Properties Ltd 12.1 UP 1.70% | Paratus Namibia Holdings 11.99 SAME | SBN Holdings 8.45 SAME | Trustco Group Holdings Ltd 0.48 SAME | B2Gold Corporation 47.34 DOWN 1.50% | Local Index closed 677.62 UP 0.12% | Overall Index closed 1534.6 DOWN 0.05% | Osino Resources Corp 19.47 DOWN 2.41% | Commodities: Gold US$ 2 332.42/OZ UP +0.02% | Copper US$ 4.73/lb DOWN -0.0039 | Zinc US$ 3 077.30/T UP 0.19% | Brent Crude Oil US$ 82.28/BBP UP +0.74% | Platinum US$ 1 026.03/OZ UP +0.62%