It's tough at the top... deal with it
- Date: Monday 1st March 2010
I'VE been reading with interest the news that Gordon Brown has been accused of bullying staff at No10.
I've met every kind of boss and managing director and it's true that some have got to the top by being strong and giving staff a right good rollicking when they feel it's needed.
Often there's a certain ruthlessness when you reach the height of your profession and the person at the top needs to be able to make their voice heard.
Our most successful ever football boss, Alex Ferguson, is famous for dishing out the half-time hairdryer treatment when his stars aren't performing at the level he expects.
Gordon Ramsay has been shouting and swearing at kitchen staff for years now - he's world-renowned for it.
Although screaming and bawling is not a technique I have ever used, different people have different ways of dealing with pressure and managing and getting the best out of their staff.
So I wasn't shocked or appalled in any way when I read that Gordon Brown has been accused of losing his temper on occasions.
The Prime Minister heads up the biggest organisation in the country, he is in charge of thousands of staff and his company is answerable to over 60 million clients.
PMs don't usually get praise for the good work they do, they become the poster-boy for everything that's wrong with the country.
Gordon Brown's time as PM has been rocky to say the least.
He's had the recession, bankers' bonuses and brave troops dying in Iraq and Afghanistan.
I can't imagine that kind of pressure.
He needs everyone pulling in the same direction and employees need to know when they make mistakes.
Losing your temper is not a great management technique, but sometimes things get heated and people's passion takes over - it's rarely personal.
Commentators and opposition parties have seized upon the allegations of bullying to further undermine Gordon Brown and prevent a fourth consecutive Labour government.
If the polls are to be believed, it looks likely that the embattled PM will lose the next General Election and his short and turbulent time at the top will be underwritten by allegations he was a bully as well as a poor leader.
I don't think it's fair to add that to the man's legacy.
His decisions and performance may not be anything to shout about and I'm not a fan of bawling at your colleagues to get the job done better.
But situations get tense and everyone deals with pressure differently.
Gordon Brown's staff are supposed to be leading professionals at the top of their game, capable of handling the significant pressures that working in government brings.
But complaining to a bullying helpline when things in the country's top office get a bit heated is ridiculous.
Some of them should look in the mirror and ask themselves if they are in the right job.