I am ever amazed at human behavior especially relating to organizations and the people who lead and manage them. There seems to be way too much time in some organizations (public, private, and in church world), going over the same territory with the same challenges and the same mistakes happening over and over. Of course, this relates to the definition of insanity, i.e. doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.
The same can hold true for a change in leadership. If a toxic leader is let go what makes people think the #2 or #3 in command will not mimic the behaviors of the toxic leader in some way? Sure, the words can be said. The sincerity of those vying for the leadership role might appear to be oozing from their pores but the reality is toxic leaders typically hand-pick and surround themselves with those who are either like-minded or yes people. Usually, they are the ones who carried out the directions of the toxic leader even to the demise of the organization. It can be obvious when put in positions of leadership after the departure of a toxic leader the minions who run the organization still carry the traits of the toxic leader.
What’s the cure?
The bottom line is to rid the cancer from the organization. End of story. That’s why you sometimes see an entire leadership structure leave along with the toxic leader. The risk of not doing so is the surfacing of bad leadership and the true colors of those who take over. At the very least the non giftedness of leaders is apparent. There needs to be a house cleaning. The extent of the house cleaning can further reach to middle management, the board, and even elders in the case of a church. Just like a person who keeps hitting his hand with a hammer and complains about the pain needs to stop doing the obvious and move on.