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Intoxicating Followership: in the Jonestown Massacre

Wendy M. Edmonds
Bowie State University, USA

Product Details
16 Mar 2021
Emerald Publishing Limited
100 pages - 152 x 229mm

Toxic behavior is on the rise in public safety organizations, businesses, politics, and churches, to name a few. Faced with unprecedented circumstances, there is a need to better understand leader/follower interdependence when destructive leaders are at the helm making harmful decisions.

Toxic followership begins with the pioneering spirit of a trusted individual who, through creative manipulation, transforms our mindset whereby we can so easily become an extension of a toxic leader’s moral decay. There is a myth that the Jonestown tragedy is a distant episode in history that can only happen in certain environments with people unlike oneself. The survivor’s stories are reminders that without understanding the framework of toxic followership, the unsuspecting targets are prey, available for consumption by a leader with liquidated morals.

This book is for those who desire to gain insight into the leader/follower dynamic in order to serve others by unmasking the dangers of toxic followership, provide prevention suggestions, and reveal followers' power, even in desperate situations.

Chapter 1. Jim Jones and Peoples Temple; 
Chapter 2. The Leadership-Followership Dynamic: Power and Leadership; 
Chapter 3. The Leadership-Followership Dynamic: Leadership; 
Chapter 4. The Survivors Speak; 
Chapter 5. The Toxic Triangle; 
Chapter 6. Toxic Followership;
Wendy M. Edmonds, Ph.D. an Assistant Professor at Bowie State University, is Chair of the Followership Learning Community at the International Leadership Association – the largest followership research and practitioner group in the world. Recognized internationally as a scholar-practitioner in followership, an emerging field of study in organizational leadership, Dr. Edmonds is the first researcher to conduct focus group studies with survivors of the 1978 Jonestown Massacre that occurred in Guyana.
Dr. Edmonds presents a work that is exceptional and relevant, especially during our current world situation. She has pinpointed the various aspects of toxic followership which highlights not just one stereotypical view of those who have joined toxic organizations, but several. This will help people recognize what Toxic Followership looks like. - Leslie Wagner-Wilson, Jonestown Survivor

Wendy Edmonds has made an important and crucial contribution to our understanding of the complex dynamics of toxic followership and how it played out in the Jonestown catastrophe in 1978! Given our own cultist movements in these Trump-influenced times, let us learn from Edmonds’s analysis and wisdom! - Cornel West, Harvard University, USA

Wendy’s book is concise, gripping and essential. Above all, this book is a call to action: We must do everything within our power to thwart toxic leadership but that won’t happen until we recognize the power and relevance of toxic followership. - Marc and Samantha Hurwitz, Authors of Leadership Is Half the Story: A Fresh Look At Followership, Leadership, and Collaboration

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