Photo by Yui Mok/The Associated Press

In this era of toxic media, accusations from every angle, bullying and harassment in the workplace, and toxic workplaces, leaders are responsible for the culture of their organizations.

Gossip doesn’t benefit anyone. Gossip that is mean-spirited to mock, or make fun of someone that is not present in the conversation is wrong. It’s a form of harassment and many organizations struggle with this on a daily basis.

Leaders are supposed to set the tone of their organization, and provide a culture of fairness, openness, and collaboration to serve their clients/customers/etc.

What happens when the leaders of organizations are the ones spreading gossip? Leaders set the tone of how they want their company’s culture to behave.

What happens if those leaders are leaders of a country?

We saw that in action this week at the NATO summit, when several world leaders were recorded gossiping about the US President.

Like the US President or not, gossip doesn’t set a good example of your leadership style, and there are several leaders that failed to set a good example this week.

Leaders need to be transparent in what they feel. If the leaders are upset with a fellow leader about an issue, then approach them directly, not gossip behind their back.

If the conversation is confidential, then keep it that way between the two parties. Don’t bring in your “buddies” to pile on the person you’re gossiping about.

I expected better from our world leaders to behave, especially when these leaders are allies to each other.


  • Michael Levitt

    Chief Burnout Officer

    Breakfast Leadership, Inc.

    Michael Levitt is the founder & Chief Burnout Officer of Breakfast Leadership, Inc,, a San Diego and Toronto-based burnout prevention firm. He is a Certified NLP and CBT Therapist, and is one of the world's leading authorities in burnout recovery and prevention.  He is also a Fortune 500 consultant, #1 bestselling author, and host of the Breakfast Leadership Show, a top 200 podcast on iTunes. He is a 2x Top 20 Global Thought Leader on Culture with Thinkers360. He is a former Healthcare executive, CIO, and CFO overseeing $ 2 Billion budgets, so he’s seen and done it all.
    His main keynotes are:
    1. Burnout Prevention: How To Avoid Your Own Year of Worst-Case Scenarios 2. Workplace Culture: Create A Workplace That People Will Beg To Work With 3. Working Remotely With Boundaries: How To Accomplish More At Home, Without Burning Out