There are plenty of horror story compilations on ghosts, goblins and monsters, but what about all those leadership horror stories? Here are some of the greatest Leadership Horrors of all time:


Headless Horseman w/ Pumpkin Head

Headless Horseman, CC license by Josh Gross

Headless Horseman

In The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, the headless horseman is the ghost of a decapitated soldier who seeks his head and is willing to take yours, as a substitute. The leader horror story is much the same. A leader who lacks ideas and thoughts of his own, may turn to taking the heads of others instead. Headless Horseman Leaders seek to defame, destroy and tear down others as a means of making themselves look better.

Zombie Girl with Knife in Head

Zombie, CC License by aeviin

Zombie Leader

Zombies are the classic walking dead. In fiction, these undead are animated for the sole purpose of feeding on human flesh. Zombie Leaders are trapped between an inability to move on to the next life (a promotion) and an unwillingness to do the work of the previous life (direct reports). As a result, Zombie Leaders are also walking dead – useless to the organization while  seeking to feed on the production of others.

Screaming Banshee - Female Ghost

Banshee, CC License by Frozen Poltergeist

Shrieking Banshee

In fictional horror, the Banshee is typically a female ghost who’s whaling shrieks frighten, harm or even kill their victims. Often mistaken for a seagull manager, the Shrieking Banshee Leader believes yelling and screaming will change the outcome. These individuals often lose control of their tempers and emotions as they spew angry remarks and attacks on victims.

Werewolf Howling

Werewolf, CC License by Phil Renaud


The Werewolf in literature is a man or woman that changes into a wolf during a full moon. They prowl the night seeking human victims for dinner. The Werewolf Leader becomes a monster every time a particular issue comes up. For fear of becoming their next victim, team members cower in fear until the issue has passed. The Werewolf Leader can not be confronted on this issue, so it goes unresolved.

Screaming Vampire with Fangs

Vampire, CC License by Sandra Falkevik


Vampires are night crawling blood suckers afraid of daylight. Often defending himself in a sexual harassment lawsuit, the Vampire Leader is not unlike the Werewolf, in that certain conditions change their nature. However, unlike the Werewolf Leader, who becomes a raging monster, the Vampire Leader hides from their issues. When a tough decision must be made, the Vampire Leader is often nowhere to be found.


Exorcist, CC License by Bob Bekian

So what do you do when faced with a ghoul of demonic proportions like these Leadership Horror Stories? You exorcise the demons by eliminating the horrific leadership principles and introducing servant leadership, of course!

Question: Which is the biggest Leadership Horror of all? What other Leadership Horrors do you know?