Wick Communications

Facebook friends

In Management on October 8, 2010 at 8:01 am

In Sunday’s New York Times, there was a story about a pair of Facebook friends. The story begins:

Every Monday, a bit before 10 a.m., Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, dashes off a quick e-mail to her boss, Mark Zuckerberg. “We have a routine,” Ms. Sandberg says. “I e-mail, ‘Coming in?’ He replies, ‘On my way.’”

The story goes on to say the two executives — two of the most important personages in Silicon Valley — huddle for an hour on Monday mornings and again on Friday afternoons. They discuss big picture things. They also keep each other grounded. The article states that the two superstars of the Internet age provide each other with perspective that sycophants won’t touch. And because they meet regularly, bad blood never has a chance to boil. I bet they are honest with one another and that they share gossip, bad news, their fears and an occasional joke…

I am able to make that bet because I have similar “meetings” with Half Moon Bay Review Publisher Debra Hershon. Virtually every day, she and I slip out the door about 1:30 p.m., headed for the local Starbucks. A quick caffeine boost in the afternoon is nice, but that’s not really why we do it. Deb and I have found through long experience that 10 minutes spent out of the office is good for the soul and a chance to share stuff that might otherwise grow into a problem.

We discuss new advertisers, the week’s big feature story, something crazy that just happened at the office, dinner plans, the fact that I can’t help with my daughter’s seventh-grade math homework — in other words, we just talk.

If I were so bold as to provide one management tip, it would be this: Talk to the people above and below you in the chain of command — and don’t wait for a good reason. Do it now. E-mail is nice. Social networking helps you keep in touch. But even at Facebook, the bosses make time for face-to-face friendships as well as the virtual kind.

– Clay

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  1. Clay, this is absolutely right on target. It’s so important to talk and have face-to-face interaction. It’s a reason visits to Wick newspapers are so important to me. Thanks for passing along something important to how we all interact.

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