Friday, March 9, 2007

Managing Through Adversity

Layoffs and voluntary separation packages (VSPs) have become part of the Sprint Nextel culture this year. It's been such a distraction that many teams have become paralyzed. Our department has been lucky in that we were relatively untouched by the downsizing. However, our favorite Vice President submitted his resignation two weeks ago and left promptly last Wednesday. He's pursuing a great opportunity, as many people do. One of our favorite Directors, my friend, is also leaving at the end of March. Another great opportunity, this time in San Francisco. More adversity for a large team.

As a Director myself, I know that it's important to remain "human" through all of this. People react differently to these changes and times of uncertainty. Many keep their noses to the grindstone and shuffle between meetings like dutiful "Bedouin nomads" as one employee put it. Others want continuous information and communication. It seems that gossip abhors a vacuum. So if you're not giving updates, updates are being given on your behalf, truth be damned.

Talk to people and broadcast information to the team. I've never gotten negative feedback for over-communicating.

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