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Corruption, injustice and toxic leadership

The global trend of corruption weakens justice and enables inept government

how much do toxic leaders cost

Transparency International Australia have released the 2023 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) ‘revealing that 124 countries have stagnated corruption levels, while the number of countries in decline is increasing’. In fact, the CPI reports ‘that most countries have made little to no progress in tackling public sector corruption'.

Corruption and injustice

Transparency International Australia, notes:

”The 2023 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) released by Transparency International reveals that most countries have made little to no progress in tackling public sector corruption in more than a decade. What is more, over two-thirds of countries score below 50 out of 100, which strongly indicates serious corruption problems.

Governments are largely failing to stop corruption – over 80 per cent of the world’s population lives in countries with CPI scores below the global average of 43.

The global trend of weakening justice systems is reducing accountability for public officials, which allows corruption to thrive. Authoritarian and also many democratic leaders undermining justice are increasing impunity for corruption, and even encouraging it by eliminating consequences for criminals."

"Corruption will continue to thrive until justice systems can punish wrongdoing and keep governments in check. When justice is bought or politically interfered with, it is the people that suffer. Leaders should fully invest in and guarantee the independence of institutions that uphold the law and tackle corruption. It is time to end impunity for corruption."

François Valérian, Chair of Transparency International

And in Australia…

"The views of the 9 independent data sources and thousands of experts that make up the CPI’s Australian score are in line with recent polling conducted by Transparency International Australia showing 76% of Australians think corruption in government is a ‘quite big’ or ‘very big’ problem."

It’s a problem, so now what?

Corruption, injustice and toxic leadership are certainly not ‘new’ issues, nor are they necessarily not understood, so why has nothing changed?

As a behavioural scientist, having worked 30 years within these very same systems, I had a front row seat to the machinations of hierarchal systems and time and space to observe and analyse the psychology and behaviours of leadership and those that enabled toxic systems and toxic cultures. ‘Toxic’ relates to harmful, much the same as corruption and injustice creates harmful cultures, organisations, and societies that permeate to each individual ensnared within the system. There are two main reasons why nothing has changed:

1. toxic leadership have established a stronghold to sustain the system that enables them to thrive, and

2. those ensnared within the system are psychologically unprepared to be able to untangle themselves from it.

My premise is that toxic leaders have dark personality traits that drive them to be the top-dog. They use bullying and harassment as a strategy to manipulate people and circumstances to keep their top-dog position. Being devoid of empathy and having a competitive drive enables toxic leaders to create hierarchies that keep them in power and control at the cost of lower echelons who inadvertently become enablers of toxic leadership by submission. The cycle goes round and round, as history has shown.

To break the cycle requires more than just awareness that corruption, injustice and toxic leadership exist (although some continue to deny these issues due to the psychological inability to confront this truth). To break the cycle requires understanding how toxic leadership continue to get away with it. My research and analysis showed toxic leadership strategy has been complex and multi-layered and requires unpicking and analysing each of the multitude of tactics used to create the web that ensnares us all.

Bullying and Harassment: Understanding the Psychological & Behavioural Tactics of the Toxic Leadership Stronghold, identifies over 170 different tactics used by toxic leadership. The book helps to identify patterns and behaviours that show how seemingly innocuous actions and instructions actually are components of codes that create algorithms for the perfect conditions for toxic leadership to thrive - that is, how toxic leadership get away with it.

If you want to make a change away from corruption, injustice and toxic leadership, start with examining how you are enabling it.


Believe in yourself.
Create the world you want.
That’s why you are here.

Susan Broomhall - The Art of Peace: Creating the Harmonic Humanity


For more information

For the full report and more information from Transparency International Australia please go to their website -

To get an insiders explanation on more than 170 different tactics used by toxic leadership that causes the erosion of trust and transparency, see my book Bullying and Harassment: Understanding the Psychological & Behavioural Tactics of the Toxic Leadership Stronghold.

To read more visit

toxic leadership

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