Sunday, November 09, 2008

Seagull Management Redefined: Book Review

By: J Williamson, Jargontalk

The term Seagull Manager dates back to the late '80s, and was used in an article by Michael Madison, who used it to describe a particular management approach of interacting with employees, of only dealing with them when a problem arises, making quick-fire decisions about things, then leaving and letting others have to deal with all of the mess left behind. But is was Ken Blanchard who really quantified the term in his 1999 book , Leadership and the One Minute Manager. where he said something like: Seagull managers fly in, make a lot of noise, dump on everyone, then fly out.

Read this line those years ago, and for awhile enjoyed the guilty pleasure of quoting it when dealing with issues as a middle manager. And if you've never dealt with Seagull Management yourself, then just think of Donald Trump in his NBC reality show, The Apprentice, where he walked in and so often uttered his now-famous line ”This one's easy for me... you're fired.”

That's 'seagull management.'

When I saw a blurb in print about the forthcoming release of Squawk!: How to Stop Making Noise and Start Getting Results it was interesting, and more so because the author was Travis Bradberry, Ph.D., and his management seminars have become famous. Have I attended one of them? No, but I have suggested them to others, then looked over the material they brought back. And Dr. Bradberry's book looks like it was tailor-made for his seminars.

It's not a difficult read, and as you make your way through the pages, following the adventures of Charlie, a seagull manager, you'll pick up a number of good, solid middle-management pointers. It's an easy-to-follow narrative, and has an often humorous story line. Dr. Bradberry shows us the three crucial qualities of leadership that help us deal with seagull managers in the workplace. And if you're really lucky, you might even see yourself as a “Charlie the Seagull Manager," and be able to identify areas worthy of self-improvement.

If you're a middle manager, get this book. Once you've finished with it, think if you want to loan it to your boss, or maybe buy copies for some who report to you. You might like it and you might not, but this reader found it to be an engaging and worthy read.

You might want to also consider a couple of Dr. Bradberry's other books The Personality Code or The Emotional Intelligence Quick Book to add your own management or leadership library.

In truth, I didn't like this book at first, and was thinking ”been-there-done-that" in the first thirty or so pages. I found Charlie to be irritating, but as the parable continued, found myself warming to it and to the seagulls and the other critters. In the end had to admit that it was a better book than I had first thought.

OK, enough of my squawking... it's an easy 5-star read.

Go to and vote on Jargontalk’s review.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

CNN's Hologram on its Election Coverage was not really a Hologram

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I have always been a huge Star Wars fan and this was something right out of Star Wars, which made it very cool to me. Only problem, like the special effect in the movies, it, too, was not real. The hologram was not really a hologram at all.

Here is a story which I am sharing with you courtesy of

(Posted by Sascha Segan).

One of the most talked-about features of last night's election coverage was CNN's supposedly-holographic projections of correspondent Jessica Yellin and musician Will.I.Am onto the CNN studio floor. But CNN's name for the technology was misleading.As Gizmodo explains, the anchors on the studio floor couldn't see 3D images of the correspondents - there was no "hologram" being projected.

Rather, the correspondents were being shot by 35 HD cameras simultaneously to create a 3D image which was then digitally composited into CNN's broadcast image of their studio. There was no live, glowing, 3D picture that people could walk around. The "image" of Jessica Yellin and Wolf Blitzer standing in the same room existed only on TV screens.

If you want to be really pedantic (oh, and I do), Merriam-Webster describes a hologram as
a three-dimensional image reproduced from a pattern of interference produced by a split coherent beam of radiation.

The CNN shots weren't three-dimensional images - they existed only on two-dimensional TV screens. And they weren't produced from a pattern of interference, etc. They were produced by meshing live feeds from 35 cameras pointing in different angles.

It was movie magic, folks, similar to what we all remember from The Matrix. Given that it was done live without a hitch, it was extremely, way-cool. But it wasn't a hologram, and no amount of wishing will make it so.

Segan’s article was very well written, fully explaining the stunt, so I thought it was worth sharing. We are now in 2008 and I would have expected to see more real technology like having an anchor interact with a hologram, or fending off an onslaught of flying cars or (insert your favorite sci-fi futuristic ability here). Until I checked into it, I would have assumed CNN mastered the latest technology, broadcasting at least one of those inventions. (Though it now appears completely unnecessary, it was kind of cool to watch Anderson Cooper interview Will.I.Am in this manner. Here is a link to watch the video of this particular hologram interview.

I am a little disappointed that the interviewer was just staring at blank space, and at no time was there an actual holographic image being projected anywhere. The more I think about it, the more it seems the illusion was pointless. On the other hand, it did made me watch CNN last night, and I am writing about it today... so it can't be all bad.

Spinning a Tale and Weaving a Story - LIVE with Shari Taylor

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Spinning a Tale, Weaving a Story - LIVE! at the City of Langley Library

Shari Taylor is our Langley Artist in Action for the month of November.

Drop by the City of Langley library Friday, November 14th, between 2:00 and 4:00 p.m. to watch and learn as Shari demonstrates spinning and weaving. While demonstrating her artistic skills in-the-moment, Shari will answer your questions about this beautiful and practical art form.

Call or visit the library to reserve a spot:

20399 Douglas Crescent



Langley Arts Council