Team Building Today: It’s Unfollowing Those Who Left Your Organization

Did you see what Mike Tomlin, head coach of the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers, did last week to the players who didn’t make the final cut of the team?

Here it is, from Deadspin:

This is pretty much the perfect 21st century NFL story, pairing the coldly impersonal nature of personnel moves with the vapidity of social media relationships. After the Steelers made their final roster cuts, head coach Mike Tomlin promptly unfollowed them on Twitter.”

First, let me say, I love this!

Going “all in” with the team

As a fan of most sports, there is nothing more I love than to see a coach go all in with his team, and that’s exactly what this is. I’ve got 53 on the roster, so I’m following 53 on Twitter. That’s my team. We live together, We Tweet together!

Whether it’s athletics or business, you want your team to focus and support the team you’ve got. If that means making a gesture like unfollowing someone on a social network, so be it. We want to win!

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Leadership is all about signs and symbols. While this might seem small and insignificant in the larger scheme of running a National Football League team, I love the detail of it!

So, what about you? Do you unfollow (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) past employees who left your organization?

This was originally published on Tim Sackett’s blog, The Tim Sackett Project.

Tim Sackett, MS, SPHR is executive vice president of HRU Technical Resources, a contingent staffing firm in Lansing, MI. Tim has 20 years of HR and talent background split evenly between corporate HR gigs among the Fortune 500 and the HR vendor community ? so he gets it from both sides of the desk. A frequent contributor to the talent blog Fistful of Talent, Tim also speaks at many HR conferences and events. Contact him here.

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4 Comments on “Team Building Today: It’s Unfollowing Those Who Left Your Organization

  1. Wow! Short, and not so sweet. Harsh and inhuman. Is a relationship only about the business here and now? What of networking? What about common decency?

    You do not have to hang around with them anymore (time seldom allows that), but your world is not only your team. And if you think it is, it will only be a short and maybe sweet amount of time that your team is either gone or impotent.

    Think bigger. Stay focused. Win.

  2. I think that Twitter is something totally different than say, LinkedIn. I see Twitter as more of a “fun” promotional tool where LinkedIn or Facebook could be geared more towards business or just keeping in touch.

  3. Thank you for sharing! I have to say, I’m torn between your viewpoint and Paul Schmid’s because I can see both sides. However, I would like to point out that there are differences between a high-profile individual’s Twitter actions as opposed to that of a business/organization, a professional individual, and an average Twitter user.

    Tomlin’s position in the Steelers family and NFL organization makes it likely his strategic “unfollowing” was more a public statement than a personal vendetta. In the business realm, a brand would suffer greatly by not consistently gaining rapport with past, present, and future relationships! Similarly, a networking individual should aim to keep as many bridges unburned while pursuing new connections. Lastly, the average user may aimlessly add celebrities and delete fickle friends as he/she so desires.

    Who does the talking makes a huge difference in what the message is!
    @AwardsNetwork @missasizzle

  4. So why don’t they set up a new twitter acct for the team alone. Once they quit getting twitts from the team they will get it. But give them time to process. To dump someone from the team and all contact could lead one to lash out to do something unthinkable. They are still human and are devastated from being released and then being dumped from all communication. Yes it’s a business but also these are humans who for most have received life changing and mind spinning news.

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