Sometimes Leading Means Letting Go During the Pandemic
(Lessons Learned in Zoom Rooms)
Two weeks after laying off 28% of the company, we were getting ready to start an all hands meeting and watching 300+ people pop into a Zoom room. Our agenda was to lay out the financial plan and adjusted OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) for the rest of the year, accounting for our new reality. But then we noticed someone’s Zoom background was showing text in reverse. Someone made a joke about palindromes, leading to a chat pile-on of everyone’s favorite palindromes. It was weird and organic and hilarious.
In a private Slack conversation, my co-founder and I were talking, “Just wait…don’t kick off the meeting yet…I think these palindromes are the meeting.”
Our company was inherently unsettled at that moment. From a financial perspective, our previously predictable business suddenly felt way less in our control. From a human perspective, scores of awesome employees were just laid off, with the remaining
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