Yesterday, as I read Andrew Mason’s goodbye email, I remembered my own (which was met with less online interest but whatever). If it’s not abundantly obvious, my mention of cocktails and naps signified my need for a jumbo-sized break. I forgot what my spark was and to get it back, I needed to detox. Fortunately, spark is like a salamander tail…it grows back.
Anyway, what I think is particularly notable about Andrew Mason’s email is the humanity. And it’s really too bad that it comes as such a surprise to us that someone would admit their failings and do the right thing by the organization they helped build. Nobody believes that “spending more time with family” BS anyway. Deciphering goodbye email subtext is like a sport to me.
I hope that we are starting to see companies and leaders adopt a more human voice and lose the fear that if they do, the interwebz will reject them. That’s one of the things I liked about blogging when I was at Microsoft. I could represent a company but still speak as myself. It was novel and fun and I truly believe that it packed more social media punch than regurgitating copy passed down by PR or marketing (which I never did). Knowing what your strengths are as an organization? Good. Not being able to share your own personal experiences? Meh.
Now when I see employees at a company all update their Facebook pages with the same status, verbatim, it makes me a little sad inside. I’m not the one to lead the online humanity revolution. I’m too busy starting a business and picking paint colors for my home. But I’ll be a drop in the ocean. Andrew Mason may have screwed the pooch toward the end of his tenure at Groupon. But when it comes to his approach to communicating with the marketplace? Well, more of this please.