Have you heard of Seagull Management?
Seagull managers fly in, make a lot of noise, poop on everyone, then fly out.
This concept was popularized through Ken Blanchard’s book called, “Leadership and the One Minute Manager.”
Seagull managers drop in only when there is a problem. They blame everyone else and criticize others. They contribute very little to the actual solution to the problem. When things are going well, they rarely offer praise. Instead, they draw attention to themselves to make them look good. The seagull style of management may be indicative of a manager who is untrained, inexperienced or newly-appointed.
Have you ever worked for a seagull manager?
A Seagull Manager in Action
A friend of mine recently quit his job.
Because he was working for a seagull manager.
He had an excellent career and he was head hunted to work for this company.
But it became clear rather quickly that it wasn’t a good fit.
The manager would change priorities daily, get unnecessarily mad, and drag his staff through the mud.
The manager also didn’t treat people very well in general.
He once visited a restaurant. His company owned the building the restaurant was in. He went to the counter to order some food. The attendant asked for payment. And the manager got upset at the attendant. He said:
Don’t you know who I am?
I own this place and my food is free.
The manager grabbed his food stomped out.
My friend couldn’t take it anymore. He especially disliked Mondays. The reason is that the manager would be upset by something on Friday. The manager would expect everyone to deal with it over the weekend. Then on Monday the manager would have forgotten about it. It wasn’t important anymore. My friend was left feeling frustrated because he just wasted his weekend working on something that wasn’t necessary anymore.
So, my friend quit.
Don’t Work for a Seagull Manager
We only get one life. Let’s not waste it working for a seagull manager.
After my friend quit, the manager begged my friend to return. So, my friend did, briefly. He was hoping the manager would have change. But the manager didn’t. So, then my friend left for good.
Working with a manager like this is demoralizing. It affects our lives in some deep ways. The pain caused by a bad manager can even spill over into your personal life.
Managers should be so much better than this. If your manager acts like this, encourage him to change. But if he doesn’t, then look for a better job with a better manager. Life is just too short not to.