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Sea Gull Leaders The Conclusion

Sea Gull Leaders The Conclusion

Part 3 The Dumper Leader

It’s a well-known leadership principle that discipline should be meted out in private and praise in public.  Unfortunately, Seagull leaders get that one only half way backwards as they are regularly criticizing the job performance of their followers in a public arena and, if ever, giving praise out only sparingly and grudgingly.  For many of these types of leaders the opportunity to tear someone down shows that they are vitally indispensable to the organization.  All the while they are alienating those around them and are a clear and present danger to their agency.  This could be seen with the preceptor who makes fun of the challenge that a new paramedic might have had while trying to start an IV on a difficult stick.  The preceptor doesn’t call it dumping.  No, instead it’s called by many names, “earning your stripes, that’s the way that I was taught” among others.  For some it can be outright hazing. 

The best leaders act as coaches in these situations, instead of the Seagull leaders approach of being the Warden from Cool Hand Luke (old move reference!).  This is one of the quickest ways to lose the trust of one’s followers even if they are not the object of the ridicule.  Effective leaders are always looking for ways to improve performance.  I’m not insinuating that this is the “everybody gets a trophy” mentality that is so rampant in our country today.  Instead the leader who is effective at identifying the problem AND developing a solution is generally appreciated and respected. 

Part 4 Fly Away Birdie!

The seagull leader is not interested in hard work for themselves. Just like the aviary that they are named after, these scavengers seek devotion while trying to put out the least effort possible.  It generally looks something like this.  The seagull leader swoops in and raises the alarm about a real or, often, a perceived threat to the organization.  Proclaiming loudly that sacrifices have to be made or everyone is out of a job, she swoops right back out of the area just as quickly as her arrival was.  As a result, they fly out quickly after raising attention to themselves. Most of the time, they want to make an appearance so that if the problem is resolved, they can claim the credit for getting the job done quickly and effectively.  At the same time, there is enough “wiggle room” to claim plausible deniability should all efforts fall short.  From their perspective, it’s a win-win. 

Leaders who encourage a high level of collaboration both within their team (shift) work group and other teams (other shifts) morph in to a positive and prolific atmosphere in the organization that leads to incredible results.  When leaders demonstrate that they can achieve objectives that require a high level of intergroup cooperation, synergy is created and every employee enjoys the work experience.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Published on February 01, 2016

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