Seagull manager

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A defecating European herring gull (Larus argentatus)

Seagull management is a management style wherein a manager only interacts with employees when they deem a problem has arisen. The perception is that such a management style involves hasty decisions about things they have little understanding of, resulting in a messy situation that others must deal with."[1][2][3] The term became popular through a joke in Ken Blanchard's 1985 book Leadership and the One Minute Manager: "Seagull managers fly in, make a lot of noise, dump on everyone, then fly out."[4]

As seagull managers only interact with employees when there is a problem, they rarely offer praise or encouragement when things are going well. When problems arise, they often seek to place the blame on other people,[5] and to draw attention to themselves in order to appear important. They criticize others but make little contribution to the solution of a problem.[6]

The seagull style of management may be indicative of a manager who is untrained, inexperienced or newly-appointed. [5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Andreou, Alex (July 25, 2012). "Why David Cameron is the ultimate "seagull" manager". New Statesman. Retrieved 2013-06-17. Back when I worked for a large organisation, we had a term: “seagull manager”. It described someone, usually a consultant, who flew in, made a lot of noise, dumped on everyone from a great height, then flew out again, leaving others to deal with the consequences. 
  2. ^ Bradberry, Travis (2009). "The cost of seagull management". Industrial and Commercial Training 41 (3): 139–141. doi:10.1108/00197850910950925. 
  3. ^ Witt, David (August 15, 2011). "Don’t become a “seagull” manager". Retrieved 2013-06-17. It’s harder than ever to avoid becoming a “seagull manager” these days. That’s when you fly in, make a lot of noise, dump on everyone, and then fly away again. 
  4. ^ Blanchard, Ken (1985). Leadership and the One Minute Manager. p. 38. Seagull managers fly in, make a lot of noise, dump on everyone, then fly out. 
  5. ^ a b "Seagull Management". Types of Management. Retrieved 30 July 2015. 
  6. ^ "Do You Have a “Seagull Manager”?". Modern Servant Leader. 30 July 2015. Retrieved 30 July 2015.