Curated Leadership for Today's World

the seven deadly sins of utensillary management: what’s in your drawer?

Posted on 02 November 2011

angrychef1#1 The Spoon: A spoon has a small, shallow bowl at the end of it for serving. The spoon-fed manager is an adult bird that always got what he wanted so he never stopped wanting. Accustomed to getting worms dropped in their mouths, they sit behind their desks and expect everything to be brought to them. Because they fail to ever leave their perches, their stench of entitlement reeks to all those unfortunate enough to have to sit under them.

#2 The Fork: A fork has several narrow tines on the end. A forked tongue means you are saying one thing while deliberately meaning or doing another. This manager is a multi-lingual liar and promises things they have no intention of delivering. They are not to be trusted and will withhold or give misleading information to make themselves look good. Probably has a streak of narcissism because it’s all about them and not the organization or people.

#3 The Knife: A knife is used for cutting. A knife in the back is used to disparage or cause grievous, irreparable harm to a subordinate, co-worker or employer. The most lethal of all utensils, sometimes the victims never even see it coming. Maybe it’s a fellow employee using your good reputation to get what they want, or a boss who claims credit for your work. They most probably suffer from psychopathic tendencies as evidenced by their ability to rapidly strike, twist, and move on.

#4 The Butcher Block: The butcher block is used to lay out food in preparation for slicing and separating the gristle from the lean meat. If you’re ever been through a reorganization, reduction in force, or merger and acquisition, you’ve been served up on this. It takes an extremely keen eye to separate the waste from the meat and that ability is tied to the butcher’s experience, true motives, and bonus.

#5 The Toaster: The toaster is used to heat up and brown bread. If you work for one of these types you’re used to getting grilled in meetings and other situations where the heat is routinely turned up. Exposure to this type of management may cause actual scorching or burns. They like turning the temperature up to see who can stand the heat. One minute your people will be safe with their fellow slices earning their bread of life, and the next they’re under the broiler. Watch out, probably has sadistic tendencies.

#6 The Grater: The grater is used to grate foods into fine pieces. This manager zestfully takes pleasure in breaking down individuals’ contributions into tiny insignificant bits. In diminishing them, they feel it makes them look bigger. They get hung up in the details and lack the ability to form a cohesive plan of direction because they are too focused on shredding everything in their path into useless little crumbs.

#7 The Rolling Pin: The rolling pin is used to shape and flatten dough. This type of manager forces everyone on the team into one big, indiscernible ball and then works to flatten out any uniqueness. Individual talents and ideas are squeezed out until everyone is on one flat playing field. This is most often used by inexperienced or lazy managers who are uncomfortable dealing with specifics and multi-tasking. Unless you want cookie-cutter employees, steer clear of this.

Are your managers patting people on the head or looking to serve them up on a platter? Are they whipping employees into shape or beating them to a pulp? Better examine what’s in your kitchen drawer to make sure you’re not cooking up any utensillary management disasters!!

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