About Me

My photo
Los Angeles, CA, United States


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Hysteria, Histrionics, and Hyperbole

I've been on a bit of a hiatus from this blog because of my new job.  But I'm back and have some new things I want to get off my chest.

I was watching the news the other day about a CEO discussing his time spent on an advisory board for Obama on how to streamline the government.  He said, "Congress operates on the 3 H's-Hysteria, Histrionics and Hyperbole."  That comment has been stuck in my head for a while as I reflected upon the different management styles I've encountered at while working at different companies.

There is no doubt that the 3 H's occur at most if not all companies.  Why? Because there is always someone who invariably adopts this management style because it's his or her way of tell all the others, "Hey, look at me, I care."  More often than not, these are the people who create drama and are the centerpiece.  They will yell or speak louder during a discussion.  Their points will be self indulging without looking at the total picture and usually, there the first to criticize a decision if it runs counter to their opinion.  Instead of being solution-oriented and working through the issue, a 3H manager will focus on the cause looking for someone to throw under the bus.  And the funny thing is that these type of managers are convinced that they're doing the right thing.

Yeah, I've worked with quite a few and admittedly, I think I may have fallen into the 3H mode once or twice in my career.  But overall, I try to think of solution.  First, deal with the current problem, fix or mitigate the consequences then focus on the cause and determine if the process was flawed or was it a training issue.  Oh, the dreaded "training issue"- it's management-speak for saying someone really f'd up and the only explanation is that they weren't properly trained.  It's often used as a euphemism when someone has a brain fart. 

I think it's important to make a distinction between urgency and Hysteria/Histrionics/Hyperbole.  Urgency is that feeling that something needs to get done asap and people are in problem solving mode and willing to do what it takes to make the issue better.  The triple H method is to fly around blaming others, avoid any accountability, throw darts, and generally pull a Pontius Pilate and wash their hands of the mess. 

Rather than being respectful, a 3H manager will talk about your actions behind your back to anyone who would listen.  A 3H manager is the screamer and if he/she is in a superior position, watch out because this is a type of manager that will undress you with a verbal tirade in front of your peers and employees.  I know, I've been there.

Oftentimes, a 3H manager will mask their deficiencies behind all their rhetoric.  It's a good way to deflect their lack of understanding of business and the complexities of the processes. 

So if you're reading this and wondering where I'm going with it; honestly, I have no clue other than to reminisce about my experience with hysterical drama queen managers.   If you have to work with one, my deepest sympathies to you and your co-workers.  Just remember not to fall into the 3 H mode or you may lose all respect from your colleagues and more importantly, your self.

Saturday, October 15, 2011


Hi y'all.  Yes, I know it's been awhile since I've blogged but the past couple of weeks have been spent adjusting to a new routine called work.  I've had some ideas for blogs but just haven't had the time to put thoughts to pen (or keyboard) lately. 

Have you ever felt like you just want to disconnect from mass media aka radio, tv and internet?  I've been feeling this way in the past couple of weeks.  Sometimes, I think the networks (radio & tv) treat the public like sponges just repeating and saturating our senses with crap they "think" we're interested to the point that we can't take it anymore.  It just makes me want to unplug from it all.

Take the release of the Iphone 4S as an example.  Do we really need to see a bunch of nerds lined up in the middle of the night waiting to be the first ones to get the iphone?  Don't these guys have something better to do?  If these guys were so smart, why didn't they just order the iphone over the internet and have it delivered the same day it was released instead of spending the night freezing on cold pavement. 

Then there's the Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Boston, Occupy LA.  WTF is that all about?  You got throngs of news reporters at these sites interviewing these grunge 21st century hippies who are just camping out to protest all injustice in the world without providing solutions or a focus on their agenda.  IMHO, it's just a way for some of the unemployed and those in the creative arts to just hang out, smoke some ganja, meet people and possibly hook up in their Coleman tents.  Former President Clinton is right when he says, get focused and provide an agenda.  Protesting against corporate bailouts, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the $5 debit card fee by BofA, and the evils of red meat is just a bit too broad for any politician to really pay attention.  The Occupy (name your city) is just another excuse for a party.  It's a poor man's Woodstock without the music.  Why the media thinks I care about it I have no idea?  Maybe it's the panache of these rebels without a cause that is so endearing.  It's the 21st century civil disobedience.  Would Henry David Thoreau approve?  I think not.

Moving on to another subject of saturation (SOS), the passing of Steve Jobs.  I'm not going to disparage the man because his life is a compelling story.  However, the media just filled the airwaves with tributes and interviews.  Even in death, Steve Jobs found a way get his company free advertising.  People must remember that no man is an island.  He didn't engineer all the great products at Apple.  It takes a synergy produced by a team of employees to create such innovative products.  Jobs knew that and rewarded his employees handsomely while basking in the glory of their efforts.  Jobs knew how to manipulate the media and create suspense and the media just played into his hands.  Consequently, the guy is revered to almost deity standards. 

And what bothers me the most is that there are American soldiers dying in the Middle East.  Do they get an in depth biography in the LA Times or local news?  There are people dying in the hundreds in East Africa as they struggle against famine but how often does this hit the news.  Tragedies occur daily and everywhere in the world and often in our backyard like the Seal Beach salon tragedy.  Where should we draw the line in honoring a victim's life while respecting the privacy of those grieving the deaths?  Another story will come along and the media's attention will focus their attention there and today's tragedy will become yesterday's fading memory. 

Maybe that's just the way of today's world of social networking and mass media.  But for me, I long for the days of yesteryear when the media wasn't so prevalent in our lives and every detail of some newsworthy topic wasn't broken down so much like a color analyst during a football broadcast.  I think it's time to unplug and disconnect.