Thursday, January 11, 2020

Hamburger Management and Stress

It seems that Fast Company magazine has published a list of 10 coping mechanisms for workplace stress that managers should avoid [via]. Here is the list:
  • Avoiding confrontation to circumvent an angry outburst.

  • Not listening to advisors because of fear of change.

  • Refusing to own up to being wrong.

  • Thinking that dealing with problems will unearth more problems.

  • Not being able to let go of a losing venture.

  • Being fixated with strategy while ignoring its execution.

  • Taking the logical path and ignoring gut instincts.

  • Trusting gust instincts alone and ignoring analysis.

  • Encouraging a culture of favoritism.

  • Choosing to overlook issues they don’t understand.
This is a sensible list, for the most part (save for the odd statement that suggests deification of gut instinct, which is foolish). It is, also, a list of some of the typical characteristics of Hamburger Management.

Hamburger Managers:
  • Make confrontation their normal pattern of dealing with others.

  • Don’t waste time listening to anyone.

  • Never admit to being wrong. They think it makes them look weak.

  • Keep repeating the old mantra; “Don’t bring me problems. Bring me solutions” as if it represents some transcendental wisdom. In reality, they just don’t want to have to deal with any more problems.

  • Cling to whatever they have done before, however obviously it has failed.

  • Love to talk about “strategy” because that allows them to blame someone else for their failures.

  • Revel in gut instincts. Their guts are gurus. They have no time for logical thought at all. That’s why they never see the consequences of their actions until it is too late.

  • Think analysis is only for geeks.

  • Only like people who toady to them. Hate anyone who questions them.

  • Ignore whatever they don’t understand, don’t like, or don’t feel will reflect well on them.
The conditions that cause stress—especially crazy expectations and an obsessive focus on short-term profits and “making the numbers” every quarter—also cause Hamburger Management. It’s not surprising, therefore, that you find so many Hamburger Management responses to conditions of stress. Such responses produce a circular pattern: more stress produces more Hamburger Management, which in turn produces more stress.

To lower stress, stop this cycle. Let go of Hamburger Management and you will soon start to lower the amount of stress present in any situation.

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Kathleen DeFilippo said...

Amen! I wrote a post last night about the danger of always focusing on problems, and how doing so can lead to a spiral of poor morale and high turnover. These examples of Hamburger management - and the spiral of bad management that it creates - is a nice bookend.

6:19 PM  
Carmine Coyote said...

Thanks for your comment, Kathleen.

For people who may not know where your posts are, here's the link. I enjoyed what you wrote, and hope others do too.

Keep reading, my friend.

9:21 PM  

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