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david-sims_1's picture

Lucy Kellaway on the Do's and Dont's of Firing Memos

I've long been a fan of Financial Times columnist Lucy Kellaway's talent for skewering corporate speak and the hubris that lies behind it. Her Martin Lukes columns were gems of satire, illustrating ways managers should never behave through the squirmingly embarrassing -- though hilariously entertaining -- Blackberry missives of a fictional British marketing exec in the would-be "Masters of the Universe" mold.

Her Monday column in this week's FT is a timely (given the season) contrast of awful and somewhat-better ways to deliver bad news in corporate memos. The first obscures the bad news of 1,400 layoffs at State Street in a chorus of chest-thumping pomposity about the company's invincibility, while the second delivers a clear and honest explanation of why a senior executive is leaving Gawker.

"Two memos divided by understanding" is worth a read over at the FT's site. (Free registration required.)

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