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The Grossman Group CEO and communications expert David Grossman shares his insights on the importance of meaningful leadership communication in today’s business climate. With high level tips on engagement and connection, insights into employee motivations and behavior, and firsthand stories from the frontlines of America’s leading companies.

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Critiquing Groupon CEO’s Exit Memo: What Works and What Doesn’t

  
  
  
  
  
  

Hit or Miss'ive, CEO review, CEO critique, David Grossman, Andrew Mason, Groupon

I’m pleased to share with you my inaugural post of Hit or Miss-ive—our new CEO communications critique column.  Over the past months I’ve seen a plethora of leader communications that were leaked to media.  With the nature of online information sharing today, these communication leaks inevitably get out, and fast. 

This allows us to see the good, the bad, and the ugly (and there’s more bad and ugly than there should be).  I see this as a coaching and learning opportunity for all of us, as well as an opportunity to dialogue about what effective leadership communication from the top looks and feels like.

I’m launching Hit or Miss-ive to help us avoid the traps and to celebrate leadership communications victories.  I’ll analyze what works and what doesn’t, along with give strategies and recommendations for credible and meaningful communications that employees can rally around and leaders can be proud of.

My format is simple…I’ll share my thoughts of what was done right and what the senior leader could have done better.  

Today…CEO Andrew Mason’s departure letter from Groupon.  While humor is a smart way to demonstrate humility, my sense is that Andrew took it too far.

Click the image below to see how his humor derails, and as importantly, what he did so well.

 Hit or Miss'ive, the grossman group, andrew mason fired, groupon, david grossman, ceo critique

Please weigh in and add to the discussion.

- David Grossman

_________

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Comments

I was unable to view Mason's letter by clicking the image above but didn't have a hard time finding it online.  
 
I found the tone and content of Mason's letter refreshing and don't believe that he went too far. It was nerdy and, yes, self-effacing, but harmless ultimately.  
 
What's most important to consider is whether the letter is consistent with Groupon's culture. From what little I know of the company, it does. If that's true, this is effective communication. Mason knows his audience and he spoke its language.  
 
Regardless of culture, there is something to be said for coming clean in a way that does't appear to be a plea for sympathy or an atta boy.  
 
Job well done if you ask me.
Posted @ Thursday, March 07, 2013 1:27 PM by Christopher Brown IV
I agree with Christopher. I thought Andrew nailed it with class and humor. Everything else is "to pursue other interests." Yawn.
Posted @ Thursday, March 07, 2013 1:34 PM by Frank Strong
David, 
 
Great analysis. I heard from a few who thought the memo was refreshingly candid - and I tend to agree. But, taking a closer look, I do see some language and references that are inappropriate for a CEO or the workplace. And, what CEO (or former CEO) would sign off with "Love?"
Posted @ Wednesday, March 27, 2013 11:00 AM by John Novaria
I found this article as conducting research on groupon and this information was useful. Also thanks to the commenters who have left their opinions and feedback , Helped me greatly.
Posted @ Wednesday, September 11, 2013 5:17 AM by Melvin Rajiv
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