In a previous life, I worked in the world of corporate government as an analyst. I analysed lots of stuff with numbers and dollars, using giant amounts of data from many complex databases.
One of my many titles was 'Performance Measurement Analyst' where I worked on key performance indicators, outcomes measures, cost benefit analysis, profit margins, customer satisfaction, benchmarking, targets, program evaluation, employee performance, etcetera etcetera, etcetera...
Measurement enables the establishment of information to determine evidence for decision-making and is closely linked to data. Putting this information together in the right way enables one to track 'efficacy' and 'efficiency' - that is, determine whether the amount of resource attributed to the effort has 'paid off'.
I was asked to measure the efficacy and efficiency of a lot of things, including employee performance. But they never asked me to measure the performance of 'leaders'. In fact, in all my decades of work as an analyst, I was hard pressed to find much in the way of leadership efficacy and efficiency measures, much less the cost benefit of leaders.
Cost benefit, very simply, is a measurement of how much 'good' is gained for the amount of dollars spent. It's very easy to determine the cost benefit of some communal roles such as frontline workers - for example teachers teach, nurses heal, tradies build our homes, and farmers provide us with food.
So what do 'leaders' provide?
And since cost benefit is measured in dollars, what is the comparative cost of leaders' output to everyone else's output? And if we want to measure outcome (quality) rather than output (quantity), how do we compare the services rendered by leaders in the same way that we measure the services rendered by our frontline folk?
And then, if we wanted to be cost efficient and effective, where would be the best place for us to invest? And so, what is the cost benefit of toxic leadership?