Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Bombs Awaaaay

I was Googling around the Internet the other day and came across a leadership style that I’d never heard of – but it’s catchy. Being from Florida, it’s quite appropriate - “Seagull Management”. This is an expression used to describe a style of management where the person “flies in, poops on you, and then flies away again”. Gotta love it. It was actually referred to in Ken Blanchard's 1999 book 'Leadership and the One Minute Manager'.

When these folks are around, they typically give criticism and direction, often with no real understanding of what the job actually requires. Then, before you can object or try to clarify what they’re really looking for, they have an “important meeting” to get to – swoop, there they go. “Wow. Yuk. What just hit me?”

This type of management is by no means a positive one. When they’re around, these people talk continuously and actively discourage anyone else from saying anything. That includes avoiding eye contact and incessantly talking over people. Staff may typically feel under-valued and quite generally abused.

The Seagull Manager likes to think of themselves as important but they know they don’t know that much and fear being exposed by staff asking questions. So they immediately grab the reigns and don’t stop until they can duck out.

Seagull Management is something you need to AVOID . It may seem like an easy way to do things – swoop and leave - but it’ll alienate and demotivate your staff very quickly. The people above you will eventually find out what’s going on and your advancement will come to quick and painful death. So keep up good, meaningful relationships with your staff. Give them the time they deserve, respect, and communicate regularly AND with INTEGRITY.

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