The Recession Hits Home

Today, was a very difficult day at Thomas Nelson. We informed fifty-four of our friends and co-workers (about 10% of our workforce) that we have eliminated their jobs, effective this Friday. This will affect nearly every department in our company.

a road sign with the words "2008 Recession" on it

This was the second round of reductions this year. Unfortunately, this one was no less painful. We did the first round after significantly cutting our SKU count. However, this second round was purely a result of the slowdown in the economy.As a leadership team, we struggled with this decision for several weeks. As recently as September 19, I assured our employees that we were not planning another reduction in our workforce. It was not even a remote consideration. But the final September and October sales reports changed that.

I don’t think I need to elaborate on the global financial crisis. I’m not an economist, but I do know that whatever is happening has had a very adverse effect on retailers, including booksellers. Despite some initial positive news regarding Black Friday, many retailers have shared with us that they are still “bracing for a difficult holiday season,” and that they expect “the trend to continue well into 2009 and perhaps beyond.”

Obviously, it is extremely difficult to part with long-time friends and co-workers. I am at a loss for words to describe the emotion; I am personally close to several of them. However, we are offering generous severance packages, including professional outplacement, to each person. We are committed to assisting them in their transition.

The one thing I do know is that the world needs our message of inspiration now more than ever. As a result, I remain optimistic about our prospects once we get past the current economic crisis.

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  • http://armsofgrace.wordpress.com/ Michelle Brinson

    My heart goes out to you and especially to those who have lost their positions. I’ve been in this situation too many times to count. Somehow, some way, God always provides. I will be lifting you all up in my prayers.

  • http://armsofgrace.wordpress.com/ Michelle Brinson

    My heart goes out to you and especially to those who have lost their positions. I’ve been in this situation too many times to count. Somehow, some way, God always provides. I will be lifting you all up in my prayers.

  • http://ministrysofabulous.com/ Amy Beth

    My first thought when reading this post? What a classy way to address it.

  • http://ministrysofabulous.com Amy Beth

    My first thought when reading this post? What a classy way to address it.

  • http://www.triciagoyer.com/ Tricia Goyer

    Know that my thoughts and prayers are with everyone at Thomas Nelson today. Having worked with the company on two books, I have a great appreciation for everyone there. And, Mr. Hyatt, you have my respect. I know this is a difficult thing for you. May God give you peace. He is in control!

  • http://www.triciagoyer.com Tricia Goyer

    Know that my thoughts and prayers are with everyone at Thomas Nelson today. Having worked with the company on two books, I have a great appreciation for everyone there. And, Mr. Hyatt, you have my respect. I know this is a difficult thing for you. May God give you peace. He is in control!

  • http://deenasbooks.blogspot.com/ Deena @ My Bookshelf

    It’s so easy to look at the numbers and to forget for every number, there’s a face and a family touched by this economic crisis.

    I will continue to keep all of the Thomas Nelson family in my prayers, especially those who are hurting most deeply by this turn of events.

    Thank YOU for your integrity, your generosity, and your love to your TN family. That speaks well of your spirit, and of God’s Spirit who lives in you.

  • http://deenasbooks.blogspot.com Deena @ My Bookshelf

    It’s so easy to look at the numbers and to forget for every number, there’s a face and a family touched by this economic crisis.

    I will continue to keep all of the Thomas Nelson family in my prayers, especially those who are hurting most deeply by this turn of events.

    Thank YOU for your integrity, your generosity, and your love to your TN family. That speaks well of your spirit, and of God’s Spirit who lives in you.

  • http://www.uneekdolldesigns.etsy.com/ Debbie

    Oh how sad that is! My husband is facing the same situation at work. It saddens me greatly to see this happen to so many who don’t deserve to lose their jobs.

  • http://www.uneekdolldesigns.etsy.com Debbie

    Oh how sad that is! My husband is facing the same situation at work. It saddens me greatly to see this happen to so many who don’t deserve to lose their jobs.

  • http://www.ad1024.wordpress.com/ Andy Depuy

    This is my prayer for the entire company of Thomas Nelson My God My Dad
    This prayer goes to every member of your family that is with your company, Dad this company is your company and I know that you are in control, Dad please protect those that are hurting and that the hurt away, Dad you knew this was coming before anyone else did and you have a plan that is greater than we know, Please show your plan to the ones that are hurting and that care of their needs, Please comfort the hearts of the Exec team that you placed with your company. Dad most of all it is time that we look upon your place and see the peace you have for us. Now be with us and guide us through your path that you have for us. In Your Son’s Name and My Brother’s Name Jesus Christ Amen

  • http://www.ad1024.wordpress.com Andy Depuy

    This is my prayer for the entire company of Thomas Nelson My God My Dad
    This prayer goes to every member of your family that is with your company, Dad this company is your company and I know that you are in control, Dad please protect those that are hurting and that the hurt away, Dad you knew this was coming before anyone else did and you have a plan that is greater than we know, Please show your plan to the ones that are hurting and that care of their needs, Please comfort the hearts of the Exec team that you placed with your company. Dad most of all it is time that we look upon your place and see the peace you have for us. Now be with us and guide us through your path that you have for us. In Your Son’s Name and My Brother’s Name Jesus Christ Amen

  • http://difficultseasons.com Jim Hughes

    Some of the most painful times of my life were the days leading up to and including laying people off. It became a way of business in my industry (oil), and the personal effects on everyone were devastating. You have my thoughts and prayers as you continue to process this.

  • http://evaulian-thebestoftheworst.blogspot.com/ Eva Ulian

    I’m an outsider and perhaps have no business commenting but…
    From this side of the Atlantic we know that, in comparison, where jobs are concerned: when a door closes in America, a window somehow always opens- in Italy it remains bolted!

    Good luck everyone.

  • http://difficultseasons.com/ Jim Hughes

    Some of the most painful times of my life were the days leading up to and including laying people off. It became a way of business in my industry (oil), and the personal effects on everyone were devastating. You have my thoughts and prayers as you continue to process this.

  • http://evaulian-thebestoftheworst.blogspot.com/ Eva Ulian

    I’m an outsider and perhaps have no business commenting but…
    From this side of the Atlantic we know that, in comparison, where jobs are concerned: when a door closes in America, a window somehow always opens- in Italy it remains bolted!

    Good luck everyone.

  • http://www.colleencoble.com/ Colleen Coble

    So grieved you’re all having to go through this! I know and love so many at Nelson. I’ll be praying for doors to open for them to whatever God has planned. And I know He has a plan! And bless you, Mike, for caring so much about your people. I can hear the pain in your post.

  • http://www.colleencoble.com Colleen Coble

    So grieved you’re all having to go through this! I know and love so many at Nelson. I’ll be praying for doors to open for them to whatever God has planned. And I know He has a plan! And bless you, Mike, for caring so much about your people. I can hear the pain in your post.

  • Tamara McBride

    This truly is a very difficult time for those that have been laid off as well as those left behind to carry a heavier workload.
    I would like it to be know from one of the employees laid off today, and the mother of someone laid off in April,that Thomas Nelson is a wonderful company to work for and I appreciate the 9 years I have had there.
    I realize this was a very difficult choice that had to be made. I have the utmost respect for Thomas Nelson as a company. They truly do care and it shows in the way they have and are handling this difficult choice.
    I have formed great friendships with so many wonderful people and I will truly miss working with you all.
    I would like to thank those praying for us and our families and Thomas Nelson.

  • Tamara McBride

    This truly is a very difficult time for those that have been laid off as well as those left behind to carry a heavier workload.
    I would like it to be know from one of the employees laid off today, and the mother of someone laid off in April,that Thomas Nelson is a wonderful company to work for and I appreciate the 9 years I have had there.
    I realize this was a very difficult choice that had to be made. I have the utmost respect for Thomas Nelson as a company. They truly do care and it shows in the way they have and are handling this difficult choice.
    I have formed great friendships with so many wonderful people and I will truly miss working with you all.
    I would like to thank those praying for us and our families and Thomas Nelson.

  • http://www.lightvox.com/ Christopher

    I remember from my days on Wall St and the M&A business. One of the senior bankers told me “If you can do these things without concern for others, get out of the business.”

    Michael, our thoughts are with you, for having the task of shouldering this weight and the courage to share your feelings. We will keep your Thomas Nelson family in our thoughts.

    – Christopher

  • http://www.lightvox.com Christopher

    I remember from my days on Wall St and the M&A business. One of the senior bankers told me “If you can do these things without concern for others, get out of the business.”

    Michael, our thoughts are with you, for having the task of shouldering this weight and the courage to share your feelings. We will keep your Thomas Nelson family in our thoughts.

    – Christopher

  • http://michaeldmiller.wordpress.com/ mike miller

    My prayers are with those affected and with you Mike in this hard season of leadership.

  • http://michaeldmiller.wordpress.com mike miller

    My prayers are with those affected and with you Mike in this hard season of leadership.

  • http://www.yourbookpublishingcoach.com/ Diane Eble

    I’m so sorry to hear of this news. Will be praying for all who lost jobs (and those left). It’s a sign of the sea changes going on in publishing that I’ve been watching (and living, and writing about) for a long time.

    Wondering: Is publishing ready for a new model? What would that be?

  • http://www.yourbookpublishingcoach.com Diane Eble

    I’m so sorry to hear of this news. Will be praying for all who lost jobs (and those left). It’s a sign of the sea changes going on in publishing that I’ve been watching (and living, and writing about) for a long time.

    Wondering: Is publishing ready for a new model? What would that be?

  • http://sharonlavy.blogspot.com/ Sharon A Lavy

    May God continue to bless your Thomas Nelson family in these difficult times.

  • http://sharonlavy.blogspot.com/ Sharon A Lavy

    May God continue to bless your Thomas Nelson family in these difficult times.

  • http://www.steppingintothelight.net/ Diane L. Harris

    I’m so sorry that you’ve been forced to make such a difficult decision. My last job was eliminated in a similar workforce reduction 5 months ago and I’m still looking but have enjoyed every bit of free time between temp assignments because I’m allowing the Lord to direct my path and the renewal in my life is so exciting. I pray that a similar spirit of hope and joy rather than fear will overcome both those former Thomas Nelson associates who’ve been let go and those who remain. To God be the glory in all things.

  • http://www.steppingintothelight.net Diane L. Harris

    I’m so sorry that you’ve been forced to make such a difficult decision. My last job was eliminated in a similar workforce reduction 5 months ago and I’m still looking but have enjoyed every bit of free time between temp assignments because I’m allowing the Lord to direct my path and the renewal in my life is so exciting. I pray that a similar spirit of hope and joy rather than fear will overcome both those former Thomas Nelson associates who’ve been let go and those who remain. To God be the glory in all things.

  • http://www.writingfromhome.net/ Elizabeth M Thompson

    Such sad news! It is terrible for those who have lost their jobs (at Thomas Nelson and beyond), but I hope those displaced employees leave with the confidence that their contributions are valuable, they have learned new skills they will apply in their next role and they will be greatly missed by you and your team.

    I appreciate your vulnerability Michael and the fact that you get in front of tough news and give your perspective on it. I pray that you will continue to lead with wisdom and humility through these tough times and on into the the new direction of Christian publishing–whatever that means.

  • http://www.writingfromhome.net Elizabeth M Thompson

    Such sad news! It is terrible for those who have lost their jobs (at Thomas Nelson and beyond), but I hope those displaced employees leave with the confidence that their contributions are valuable, they have learned new skills they will apply in their next role and they will be greatly missed by you and your team.

    I appreciate your vulnerability Michael and the fact that you get in front of tough news and give your perspective on it. I pray that you will continue to lead with wisdom and humility through these tough times and on into the the new direction of Christian publishing–whatever that means.

  • http://www.teawithtiffany.blogspot.com/ Tiffany Stuart

    This was hard to read. I’m sorry to know so many are affected by our economy. Time to pray some more.

  • http://www.teawithtiffany.blogspot.com Tiffany Stuart

    This was hard to read. I’m sorry to know so many are affected by our economy. Time to pray some more.

  • darrell a. harris

    well written, brother.

    we are so sorry for all you guys are going though.

    praying for you all~

  • darrell a. harris

    well written, brother.

    we are so sorry for all you guys are going though.

    praying for you all~

  • max lucado

    Count on our prayers, Mike. I can’t imagine how difficult these decisions were for you and your team.

    Max Lucado

  • max lucado

    Count on our prayers, Mike. I can’t imagine how difficult these decisions were for you and your team.

    Max Lucado

  • http://www.suspensenovelist.blogspot.com/ Peg Brantley

    Emotions filled as I read your post and remembered the times in my old corporate life I had to sit in front of someone and deliver the news they were losing their job. I made very nickel of my salary in those moments.

    I’ve shared this blog with any number of people (based on topic) because of the amount of respect I’ve garnered for you. Your forthrightness, sorrow, and integrity in the current circumstance only underline that decision.

  • http://www.suspensenovelist.blogspot.com Peg Brantley

    Emotions filled as I read your post and remembered the times in my old corporate life I had to sit in front of someone and deliver the news they were losing their job. I made very nickel of my salary in those moments.

    I’ve shared this blog with any number of people (based on topic) because of the amount of respect I’ve garnered for you. Your forthrightness, sorrow, and integrity in the current circumstance only underline that decision.

  • Geoffrey Stone

    This is sad news as it is a difficult time to be looking for a job. I was part of the first round of layoffs and must say that the first three months were very difficult. However, I’ve since been able to relocate closer to my wife’s family. It worked out for the best, and I’m very grateful to the generosity of Nelson with the severance package and career counseling help. The outplacement service was extremely beneficial not just to me but has allowed me to help others with their placement needs. I’m sure that all will work out for the best for all involved. My prayers go out to the leadership at Nelson and the employees who were let go.

  • Geoffrey Stone

    This is sad news as it is a difficult time to be looking for a job. I was part of the first round of layoffs and must say that the first three months were very difficult. However, I’ve since been able to relocate closer to my wife’s family. It worked out for the best, and I’m very grateful to the generosity of Nelson with the severance package and career counseling help. The outplacement service was extremely beneficial not just to me but has allowed me to help others with their placement needs. I’m sure that all will work out for the best for all involved. My prayers go out to the leadership at Nelson and the employees who were let go.

  • http://cfcpca.org/ Winston Maddox

    Dear Mike, Thanks for your candid and honest remarks. As retailers out here in the trenches we are well aware of the trials. My wife who runs the bookstore has taken two payroll checks since June. I am noticing that everyone in retail seems to be sharing in the hits. that is, landlords are lowering rents, retailers are offering deeper discounts than ever before, and employees are doing more work for the same pay. Thanks for leading the publishing industry and maybe you can encourage them to help us with mark downs and terms on our existng accounts. This is a great opportunity for us, the church, the publishers, and the stores to unite once again in our common cause to equip the saints for His Glory.

  • http://cfcpca.org Winston Maddox

    Dear Mike, Thanks for your candid and honest remarks. As retailers out here in the trenches we are well aware of the trials. My wife who runs the bookstore has taken two payroll checks since June. I am noticing that everyone in retail seems to be sharing in the hits. that is, landlords are lowering rents, retailers are offering deeper discounts than ever before, and employees are doing more work for the same pay. Thanks for leading the publishing industry and maybe you can encourage them to help us with mark downs and terms on our existng accounts. This is a great opportunity for us, the church, the publishers, and the stores to unite once again in our common cause to equip the saints for His Glory.

  • http://building-his-body.blogspot.com/ Anne Lang Bundy

    Mike, I’m sorry for the loss to Thomas Nelson, and to you personally. It’s always difficult to hear about how the recession is affecting people we care about, and I do care about you and your organization.

    Our music pastor recently shared a message from aish.com titled The Music of Recession. Perhaps it will encourage you and your staff.

    In Christ’s love,
    Anne

  • http://building-his-body.blogspot.com/ Anne Lang Bundy

    Mike, I’m sorry for the loss to Thomas Nelson, and to you personally. It’s always difficult to hear about how the recession is affecting people we care about, and I do care about you and your organization.

    Our music pastor recently shared a message from aish.com titled The Music of Recession. Perhaps it will encourage you and your staff.

    In Christ’s love,
    Anne

  • http://michelleshocklee.blogspot.com/ Michelle Shocklee

    So sorry to hear this news. My husband lost his job last month after working for a golf company for 23 yrs. However, you treated your employees with dignity and respect and showed appreciation for all they’d given Thomas Nelson, unlike the company my husband worked for. May God continue to bless Thomas Nelson, the staff, and those who now seek new employment.

  • http://michelleshocklee.blogspot.com Michelle Shocklee

    So sorry to hear this news. My husband lost his job last month after working for a golf company for 23 yrs. However, you treated your employees with dignity and respect and showed appreciation for all they’d given Thomas Nelson, unlike the company my husband worked for. May God continue to bless Thomas Nelson, the staff, and those who now seek new employment.

  • http://www.withoutwax.tv/ Pete Wilson

    Praying for the entire Thomas Nelson family.

  • http://www.withoutwax.tv Pete Wilson

    Praying for the entire Thomas Nelson family.

  • Matthew

    Quick question…if you are truly grieved from letting friends and co-workers go, what is with the Twitter comment this morning boasting about the wonderful and full night’s rest that you got? Perhaps, I am too emotional, but if I were about to announce a decision that impacted the lives of my friends on a profound level, I would be pacing the floors the night before.

    Also, as often comes to mind with layoffs, I would love to know the percentage of VP and executive positions were let go versus that of individuals who do not have nearly the same impact on the trajectory of the company.

    I have seen first hand how these decisions impact the lives of individuals, and with the second round of layoffs in a year, maybe it is time for less Twittering, blogging, and sharing of musical preferences and more all nighters devoted to quantifiable revenue generating ideas and unique cost reduction measures (outside of axing mid-level and lower level employees).

  • Matthew

    Quick question…if you are truly grieved from letting friends and co-workers go, what is with the Twitter comment this morning boasting about the wonderful and full night’s rest that you got? Perhaps, I am too emotional, but if I were about to announce a decision that impacted the lives of my friends on a profound level, I would be pacing the floors the night before.

    Also, as often comes to mind with layoffs, I would love to know the percentage of VP and executive positions were let go versus that of individuals who do not have nearly the same impact on the trajectory of the company.

    I have seen first hand how these decisions impact the lives of individuals, and with the second round of layoffs in a year, maybe it is time for less Twittering, blogging, and sharing of musical preferences and more all nighters devoted to quantifiable revenue generating ideas and unique cost reduction measures (outside of axing mid-level and lower level employees).

  • http://jennicatron.tv/ Jenni Catron

    Praying for you all through this transition.

  • http://jennicatron.tv Jenni Catron

    Praying for you all through this transition.

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com/ Michael S. Hyatt

    @Matt: Yes, I was grateful that I got a full night’s sleep last night, after being sick for a week and not getting more than a few hours sleep for several nights in a row. I don’t think I was boasting; just grateful.

    Believe me, I have paced the floor many nights, as have my colleagues. This layoff impacted every level of the company.

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com Michael S. Hyatt

    @Matt: Yes, I was grateful that I got a full night’s sleep last night, after being sick for a week and not getting more than a few hours sleep for several nights in a row. I don’t think I was boasting; just grateful.

    Believe me, I have paced the floor many nights, as have my colleagues. This layoff impacted every level of the company.

  • http://www.CincinnatiHomeschoolConvention.com/ Brennan Dean

    Mike, you – and especially those affected families – are in our prayers!

    Anne Lang Bundy…thanks for the link to “The MUSIC of RECESSION.” That was beautiful and inspiring.

  • http://www.CincinnatiHomeschoolConvention.com Brennan Dean

    Mike, you – and especially those affected families – are in our prayers!

    Anne Lang Bundy…thanks for the link to “The MUSIC of RECESSION.” That was beautiful and inspiring.

  • http://in-fraction.blogspot.com/ Thom

    Thank you, Mike, for your continual pursuit of the highest standards of ethical leadership. This post is just an example of that. Thomas Nelson is a family, and, though I am no longer with the company, my prayers go out to everyone both in and out of the company. I pray that you and the rest of the ELT will be given wisdom in the coming year to continue to steer the mission through so many difficult changes. The challenges don’t go away, even while the economy rages. Prayers, too, for your son-in-law. So glad you are feeling better. And it bears to reason that anyone with the leadership weight you carry serves his neighbor better with the help of a good night’s sleep (see Ps 3).

  • http://in-fraction.blogspot.com Thom

    Thank you, Mike, for your continual pursuit of the highest standards of ethical leadership. This post is just an example of that. Thomas Nelson is a family, and, though I am no longer with the company, my prayers go out to everyone both in and out of the company. I pray that you and the rest of the ELT will be given wisdom in the coming year to continue to steer the mission through so many difficult changes. The challenges don’t go away, even while the economy rages. Prayers, too, for your son-in-law. So glad you are feeling better. And it bears to reason that anyone with the leadership weight you carry serves his neighbor better with the help of a good night’s sleep (see Ps 3).

  • http://www.pammeyerswrites.blogspot.com/ Pamela Meyers

    Mike,
    I’ve been in the position of being laid off more times than I can count. In some cases from jobs I was sure I’d have for a long time. Sometimes the situation was handled with grace and respect and sometimes not. I cannot imagine how it must feel to have to tell good workers they have no job.

    Praying for you all.

  • http://www.pammeyerswrites.blogspot.com Pamela Meyers

    Mike,
    I’ve been in the position of being laid off more times than I can count. In some cases from jobs I was sure I’d have for a long time. Sometimes the situation was handled with grace and respect and sometimes not. I cannot imagine how it must feel to have to tell good workers they have no job.

    Praying for you all.

  • Lynn Kehler

    That’s a tough decision and, unfortunately, one that more and more companies will be considering over the next several months. At 51 years old, I don’t recall any economic environment that matches today’s – not the inflationary early 80s, the ensuing S&L crisis or the carnage of the dotcom meltdown.

    There just aren’t many options to take in situations like this – where the windshield is foggy and the rear view mirror provides little guidance on the future. I hope that your employees (both current and former) can make peace with this and move forward. Kudos to the Nelson team on the severance arrangements and outplacement assistance.

  • Lynn Kehler

    That’s a tough decision and, unfortunately, one that more and more companies will be considering over the next several months. At 51 years old, I don’t recall any economic environment that matches today’s – not the inflationary early 80s, the ensuing S&L crisis or the carnage of the dotcom meltdown.

    There just aren’t many options to take in situations like this – where the windshield is foggy and the rear view mirror provides little guidance on the future. I hope that your employees (both current and former) can make peace with this and move forward. Kudos to the Nelson team on the severance arrangements and outplacement assistance.

  • http://www.donnapartow.com/ Donna Partow

    Not to sound like pollyanna (my husband has lost three jobs in the last 2 years so I “get it”) but I can honestly say that getting downsized in the aftermath of Black Monday (the October 1987 stock market collapse) was one of the best things that ever happened to me.

    It forced me to re-evaluate where I was heading with my life. Answer: wrong direction. I went into ministry and haven’t looked back.

    I’m praying for everyone who has lost a job (including my own husband) that God will bring good out of it. God’s very good at bringing good out of lousy situations.

  • http://www.donnapartow.com Donna Partow

    Not to sound like pollyanna (my husband has lost three jobs in the last 2 years so I “get it”) but I can honestly say that getting downsized in the aftermath of Black Monday (the October 1987 stock market collapse) was one of the best things that ever happened to me.

    It forced me to re-evaluate where I was heading with my life. Answer: wrong direction. I went into ministry and haven’t looked back.

    I’m praying for everyone who has lost a job (including my own husband) that God will bring good out of it. God’s very good at bringing good out of lousy situations.

  • http://www.buildingchampions.com/ Dan Meub

    Mike, my prayers go out to you, your Exec team, and the company. Layoffs are the most trying assignment a leader is ever given and frankly, in my experience, it gets tougher, the more you have to do it. Why? Because you know how painful it is for EVERYONE in the company and so you work that much harder so you will not have to do it again. Unfortunately, TN like many, many companies has been hit by an economic tsunami. I know though that you and your ELT did everything possible to avoid it. My prayers will continue to be with you, those that were laid off, and those that remain. May He ease the pain.

  • http://www.buildingchampions.com Dan Meub

    Mike, my prayers go out to you, your Exec team, and the company. Layoffs are the most trying assignment a leader is ever given and frankly, in my experience, it gets tougher, the more you have to do it. Why? Because you know how painful it is for EVERYONE in the company and so you work that much harder so you will not have to do it again. Unfortunately, TN like many, many companies has been hit by an economic tsunami. I know though that you and your ELT did everything possible to avoid it. My prayers will continue to be with you, those that were laid off, and those that remain. May He ease the pain.

  • http://profile.typekey.com/chownage/ Kyle

    As a small business owner myself who just laid off an employee, it sucks. I feel for you, your exec team and the families that this impacts.

  • http://profile.typekey.com/chownage/ Kyle

    As a small business owner myself who just laid off an employee, it sucks. I feel for you, your exec team and the families that this impacts.

  • Geoff Dennis

    Praying for you and your company.

  • Geoff Dennis

    Praying for you and your company.

  • http://www.courageoussingleparenting.blogspot.com/ Scoti Springfield Domeij

    As a single mother who never had any kind of safety net nor received court-awarded child support, I’ve found myself unemployed more often than I wanted. Each time I felt terrified, abandoned and alone. On paper, there is no way I could have financially survived. Yet, somehow I didn’t lose my home and never went hungry. As I look back on each traumatic time, I now realize that God was and is my provider–and I stand amazed.

  • http://www.courageoussingleparenting.blogspot.com/ Scoti Springfield Domeij

    As a single mother who never had any kind of safety net nor received court-awarded child support, I’ve found myself unemployed more often than I wanted. Each time I felt terrified, abandoned and alone. On paper, there is no way I could have financially survived. Yet, somehow I didn’t lose my home and never went hungry. As I look back on each traumatic time, I now realize that God was and is my provider–and I stand amazed.

  • http://michaelewaddell.com/ Michael E. Waddell

    Thank you for your integrity dealing with such tough decisions.

    Michael E. Waddell

  • http://www.emeraldva.ca/ Gladys

    My prayers are with all Thomas Nelson people tonight. I’ve been on both sides of down-sizing and I don’t know which is worse. But like Donna Partow said,God’s very good at bringing good out of lousy situations.

  • http://www.emeraldva.ca Gladys

    My prayers are with all Thomas Nelson people tonight. I’ve been on both sides of down-sizing and I don’t know which is worse. But like Donna Partow said,God’s very good at bringing good out of lousy situations.

  • http://michaelewaddell.com Michael E. Waddell

    Thank you for your integrity dealing with such tough decisions.

    Michael E. Waddell

  • http://passionsforthesoul.typepad.com/vicki Vicki Small

    I, too, could “hear” the grief you are experiencing over this tough decision, and I add my prayers to all those previously offered. And I think God knew you were really going to need a good night’s sleep before facing this difficult day.

    My husband and I own a small “Mom and Pop” business with no other employees. That means we are not having to make the unhappy decisions about which ones we can keep and which ones we must let go.

    As you know, God has a plan for each person. In difficult and uncertain times, I really cling to Jer. 29:11-13. He is never caught off-guard.

    For all of you: “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace” (Num. 6:24-26).
    Amen

  • http://passionsforthesoul.typepad.com/vicki Vicki Small

    I, too, could “hear” the grief you are experiencing over this tough decision, and I add my prayers to all those previously offered. And I think God knew you were really going to need a good night’s sleep before facing this difficult day.

    My husband and I own a small “Mom and Pop” business with no other employees. That means we are not having to make the unhappy decisions about which ones we can keep and which ones we must let go.

    As you know, God has a plan for each person. In difficult and uncertain times, I really cling to Jer. 29:11-13. He is never caught off-guard.

    For all of you: “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace” (Num. 6:24-26).
    Amen

  • Jake

    I have never had to fire anyone, so I don’t know what that is like — I can only imagine that kind of hurt. But there have been times in my life I have been on the other side and desperate for hope. At those times books (the faith producing kind) have been a huge comfort to me. Actually, I have a hope shelf that contains that type of book that I lend out. Of course, the greatest hope book is the Bible.
    My dad was a pastor of a small church and, at the same time, he was the chaplain of our state senate when they were in session, in a city far from our town.
    While he was there one year, he became critically ill and was rushed to a hospital in that distant city.
    It was Christmas time, which compounded the distress for my Mom, who was trying to stay brave for us four little ones. To add to her problems, the church fired Daddy, in his absence, at the December business meeting. If he did live through the crisis, he would still require a long recovery and they couldn’t pay him plus all the necessary supply preachers.
    One night, I walked into the dark bathroom to use it, and there was my mom on her knees, crying and praying before the Lord. She stopped at my presence and tried to act normal, so I wouldn’t worry. But my big sister filled me in.
    She said that mom had no way to visit Daddy, plus she would have to move out of the parsonage to another house in his absence and with no money. There would be hospital and doctor bills and she had no Christmas presents for us.
    Eventually, she and the Lord got it all worked out. We did have a happy though modest (understatement) Christmas. We were offered an entire small haunted hotel to live in rent free, and Daddy finally came home and moved us away from the frozen north to the wild west. Before the days of Uhaul, God even gave us a truck.
    But watching God provide was my real Christmas present that year — the example my mom set in taking her burdens to the Lord was another present — useful all these years.
    Those who can whip out a check book and pay for every need miss the chance to really know, first hand, what God can do. In a way, God said that himself in the Bible “Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom …..?” James 2:5.
    My heart goes out to all you employees that will struggle to mumble the “Merry Christmas” greeting this year. When those gut wrenching worries and insecurities rear their ugly head, say with confidence, “I am not afraid because my trust is in You, Lord, alone and not in that job, not in my wallet, not in my bank account and certainly not in any bad breaks that have come, or are coming my way.”
    Then watch God’s hand in the days ahead and that confidence will grow as you watch Him work in your behalf and in order to keep His promise ……. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and ALL these things will be added unto you.” You will sing “Great is Thy Faithfulness” by this time next year with tears in your eyes. I know.

  • Jake

    I have never had to fire anyone, so I don’t know what that is like — I can only imagine that kind of hurt. But there have been times in my life I have been on the other side and desperate for hope. At those times books (the faith producing kind) have been a huge comfort to me. Actually, I have a hope shelf that contains that type of book that I lend out. Of course, the greatest hope book is the Bible.
    My dad was a pastor of a small church and, at the same time, he was the chaplain of our state senate when they were in session, in a city far from our town.
    While he was there one year, he became critically ill and was rushed to a hospital in that distant city.
    It was Christmas time, which compounded the distress for my Mom, who was trying to stay brave for us four little ones. To add to her problems, the church fired Daddy, in his absence, at the December business meeting. If he did live through the crisis, he would still require a long recovery and they couldn’t pay him plus all the necessary supply preachers.
    One night, I walked into the dark bathroom to use it, and there was my mom on her knees, crying and praying before the Lord. She stopped at my presence and tried to act normal, so I wouldn’t worry. But my big sister filled me in.
    She said that mom had no way to visit Daddy, plus she would have to move out of the parsonage to another house in his absence and with no money. There would be hospital and doctor bills and she had no Christmas presents for us.
    Eventually, she and the Lord got it all worked out. We did have a happy though modest (understatement) Christmas. We were offered an entire small haunted hotel to live in rent free, and Daddy finally came home and moved us away from the frozen north to the wild west. Before the days of Uhaul, God even gave us a truck.
    But watching God provide was my real Christmas present that year — the example my mom set in taking her burdens to the Lord was another present — useful all these years.
    Those who can whip out a check book and pay for every need miss the chance to really know, first hand, what God can do. In a way, God said that himself in the Bible “Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom …..?” James 2:5.
    My heart goes out to all you employees that will struggle to mumble the “Merry Christmas” greeting this year. When those gut wrenching worries and insecurities rear their ugly head, say with confidence, “I am not afraid because my trust is in You, Lord, alone and not in that job, not in my wallet, not in my bank account and certainly not in any bad breaks that have come, or are coming my way.”
    Then watch God’s hand in the days ahead and that confidence will grow as you watch Him work in your behalf and in order to keep His promise ……. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and ALL these things will be added unto you.” You will sing “Great is Thy Faithfulness” by this time next year with tears in your eyes. I know.

  • David in Nashville

    Michael thank you for this timely word. As I lay here early this morning struggling with just exactly how to communicate this bad news to some of my employees this week, I am seeking the Lord in prayer to give me strength and wisdom and also compassion.
    It is this love for our fellow man that is deep within our hearts that bring us pain when we have to be the bearers of bad news.
    But I am reminded of the “good news” that is a message of hope in these times of great need. I find it in Jeremiah 29:11.
    “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord; plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”
    I have quoted this word back to the Lord many times when I needed some ,light shed into the darkness.
    His plans do not always seem right or good at the time, but we MUST trust that He loves His children and will make a way.

    And I also pray at this same time
    this prayer over myself…the prayer of Jabez…1 Chron 4:10.
    “Lord, bless me abundantly that I might bless others…and enlarge my territory and expand my sphere of influence for your glory. Be with me and keep me from harm…bring no pain to me…and let me not bring pain to others near me.”

    As the leader making these tough decisions, we need the comfort of our Lord that it is He who has these plans and it is He who can remove all pain.

    Thank you for Godly leadership in tough times.

  • David in Nashville

    Michael thank you for this timely word. As I lay here early this morning struggling with just exactly how to communicate this bad news to some of my employees this week, I am seeking the Lord in prayer to give me strength and wisdom and also compassion.
    It is this love for our fellow man that is deep within our hearts that bring us pain when we have to be the bearers of bad news.
    But I am reminded of the “good news” that is a message of hope in these times of great need. I find it in Jeremiah 29:11.
    “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord; plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”
    I have quoted this word back to the Lord many times when I needed some ,light shed into the darkness.
    His plans do not always seem right or good at the time, but we MUST trust that He loves His children and will make a way.

    And I also pray at this same time
    this prayer over myself…the prayer of Jabez…1 Chron 4:10.
    “Lord, bless me abundantly that I might bless others…and enlarge my territory and expand my sphere of influence for your glory. Be with me and keep me from harm…bring no pain to me…and let me not bring pain to others near me.”

    As the leader making these tough decisions, we need the comfort of our Lord that it is He who has these plans and it is He who can remove all pain.

    Thank you for Godly leadership in tough times.

  • http://www.goodhonestdollar.com/ Andrew

    Having never personally been in a position of business leadership before, I can’t say that I know how you feel – I can only imagine.

    Having to let good people go in tough times certainly could not be any fun for anyone – them or you.

    I suppose the only consolation is that although the labor market may be tough now, many of the people you let go now will move on to different things and start new adventures and experiences in their corporate life.

  • http://www.goodhonestdollar.com Andrew

    Having never personally been in a position of business leadership before, I can’t say that I know how you feel – I can only imagine.

    Having to let good people go in tough times certainly could not be any fun for anyone – them or you.

    I suppose the only consolation is that although the labor market may be tough now, many of the people you let go now will move on to different things and start new adventures and experiences in their corporate life.

  • http://building-his-body.blogspot.com/ Anne Lang Bundy

    Mike, I seem to recall your remark a couple of weeks back that you forgot about your plans to spend a few days off work with family, and saw it as proof for the need to take those days off. I too am grateful for the moments in which God gives you rest from the burden you’re carrying.

    Brennan, you’re very welcome. Does anything other than God’s Word comfort our souls in affliction the way music does?

    Lord, thank You for Your promises—
    of perfect peace for the mind stayed upon You, of providing all we need as we seek first Your kingdom and righteousness, and of working good in all things for those who love You. Please grant rest, peace and faith to my brothers and sisters at Thomas Nelson. Please use whatever pain this situation causes to increase dependence on You.

  • http://building-his-body.blogspot.com/ Anne Lang Bundy

    Mike, I seem to recall your remark a couple of weeks back that you forgot about your plans to spend a few days off work with family, and saw it as proof for the need to take those days off. I too am grateful for the moments in which God gives you rest from the burden you’re carrying.

    Brennan, you’re very welcome. Does anything other than God’s Word comfort our souls in affliction the way music does?

    Lord, thank You for Your promises—
    of perfect peace for the mind stayed upon You, of providing all we need as we seek first Your kingdom and righteousness, and of working good in all things for those who love You. Please grant rest, peace and faith to my brothers and sisters at Thomas Nelson. Please use whatever pain this situation causes to increase dependence on You.

  • http://www.goldenkeyesparsons.com/ Golden Keyes Parsons

    I am a new author with Thomas Nelson, but seasoned in the very tough ups and downs of life, and particularly in the losing of a career. I am grieved that our company is having to go through this, but also know that God is faithful. Please know that my prayers are with all of you during these difficult days.

  • http://www.goldenkeyesparsons.com Golden Keyes Parsons

    I am a new author with Thomas Nelson, but seasoned in the very tough ups and downs of life, and particularly in the losing of a career. I am grieved that our company is having to go through this, but also know that God is faithful. Please know that my prayers are with all of you during these difficult days.

  • John Young

    Much of what attracted me to an interest in publishing was the passion of TNP employees. It was more than a numbers game. Guys like Victor Oliver would argue for a title to be released because “the Body needed it.” It’s a different industry today often appealing to a different and fast moving audience. While some would argue many books are a non essential purchase subject to the economy I cherish memories of lives changed by your catalog. In 2006 only 10 authors sold more than 1 million books. So this adjustment in customer perception of true value has been a changing dynamic long before the economy forced your decision. I hope the result is we all think smarter and deliver “must have” titles that people keep around forever. Truth is our customer needs our product in most cases now more than ever. You’ve done this long enough to come to solid conclusions Mike. Perhaps one idea is to adjust the hardback to trade paper ratio and hope to impact more lives with a better price. My fear is when people stop thinking of books, it’s harder than ever to win them back as customers.

  • John Young

    Much of what attracted me to an interest in publishing was the passion of TNP employees. It was more than a numbers game. Guys like Victor Oliver would argue for a title to be released because “the Body needed it.” It’s a different industry today often appealing to a different and fast moving audience. While some would argue many books are a non essential purchase subject to the economy I cherish memories of lives changed by your catalog. In 2006 only 10 authors sold more than 1 million books. So this adjustment in customer perception of true value has been a changing dynamic long before the economy forced your decision. I hope the result is we all think smarter and deliver “must have” titles that people keep around forever. Truth is our customer needs our product in most cases now more than ever. You’ve done this long enough to come to solid conclusions Mike. Perhaps one idea is to adjust the hardback to trade paper ratio and hope to impact more lives with a better price. My fear is when people stop thinking of books, it’s harder than ever to win them back as customers.

  • http://berlysue.blogspot.com/ Kim

    What an humble and wonderful post. My prayers go out to those families affected by this situation.

    Thank you for a thoughtful post.

  • http://berlysue.blogspot.com Kim

    What an humble and wonderful post. My prayers go out to those families affected by this situation.

    Thank you for a thoughtful post.

  • http://www.trishlawrence.com/blog Trish Lawrence

    I’m very sorry to hear this, but I would like to offer best wishes to the households affected by this. There is opportunity in these situations. Steve Jobs says it was the best thing to happen to him to be laid off from his own company. Ten years later, he was back and better than ever.

    Sending prayers to all those leaving and to those staying (both are difficult positions to be in). Can’t wait to see how God proves Himself in each life in days to come!

    Trish L.

    http://www.trishlawrence.com/blog

  • http://www.trishlawrence.com/blog Trish Lawrence

    I’m very sorry to hear this, but I would like to offer best wishes to the households affected by this. There is opportunity in these situations. Steve Jobs says it was the best thing to happen to him to be laid off from his own company. Ten years later, he was back and better than ever.

    Sending prayers to all those leaving and to those staying (both are difficult positions to be in). Can’t wait to see how God proves Himself in each life in days to come!

    Trish L.

    http://www.trishlawrence.com/blog

  • http://www.musicrowautographs.com/ Rebecca Sterling

    I was once a TNI employee, and I thank God for each day I was there. You all are in my prayers, I wish the best for all leaving and staying at TNI. Its a cruel world, but with such amazing family members, friends and co workers we all will land on our feet. God Bless you all.

  • http://www.musicrowautographs.com Rebecca Sterling

    I was once a TNI employee, and I thank God for each day I was there. You all are in my prayers, I wish the best for all leaving and staying at TNI. Its a cruel world, but with such amazing family members, friends and co workers we all will land on our feet. God Bless you all.

  • Deb Kinnard

    My prayers are with those laid off and those not laid off. Both will bear heavy burdens.

    But now I’m off to go do what I can: buy a book!

  • Deb Kinnard

    My prayers are with those laid off and those not laid off. Both will bear heavy burdens.

    But now I’m off to go do what I can: buy a book!

  • http://www.lucyannmoll.com/ Lucy Ann Moll

    I appreciate your honesty and your caring, Mike. A loss for everyone at TN. A loss for you. May our Lord bless you beautifully during these ugly times.

  • http://www.lucyannmoll.com Lucy Ann Moll

    I appreciate your honesty and your caring, Mike. A loss for everyone at TN. A loss for you. May our Lord bless you beautifully during these ugly times.

  • Robin

    I’m saddened to hear about another Christian publisher hit by the current economic conditions. As a past Nelson employee, I still have several friends that work there. It is a small industry and we are all grieving.

  • Robin

    I’m saddened to hear about another Christian publisher hit by the current economic conditions. As a past Nelson employee, I still have several friends that work there. It is a small industry and we are all grieving.

  • http://www.expectgreaterthings.com/ John Myers

    Our prayers are with you. Thanks for addressing this tough issue with class, heart, love and integrity.

    The Faith Community and the culture at large will benefit from your compassionate leadership.

    Our prayers are with the employees and their families.

    John

  • http://www.expectgreaterthings.com John Myers

    Our prayers are with you. Thanks for addressing this tough issue with class, heart, love and integrity.

    The Faith Community and the culture at large will benefit from your compassionate leadership.

    Our prayers are with the employees and their families.

    John

  • http://www.publishedauthors.net/robsargeant Rob Sargeant

    I pray for the grace of God to be upon your company during this difficult time of transition. I can imagine how hard it was to deliver this news.

  • http://www.publishedauthors.net/robsargeant Rob Sargeant

    I pray for the grace of God to be upon your company during this difficult time of transition. I can imagine how hard it was to deliver this news.

  • http://www.fabwhitebook.com/ Ken Mansfield

    As a current Thomas Nelson author I am blessed among men. The manner in which this situation has been addressed by the company is an example of their class and caring approach to a tough business. I especially appreciate the manner and care taken in contacting my agent and myself immediately so we could hear it from a “family member” first and to be assured that their intensity of purpose remains intact. I find it interesting that I am currently reading an uplifting TNP book – a testament to their vision during this time of much sadness for my friends and associates. God bless us all.

  • http://www.fabwhitebook.com Ken Mansfield

    As a current Thomas Nelson author I am blessed among men. The manner in which this situation has been addressed by the company is an example of their class and caring approach to a tough business. I especially appreciate the manner and care taken in contacting my agent and myself immediately so we could hear it from a “family member” first and to be assured that their intensity of purpose remains intact. I find it interesting that I am currently reading an uplifting TNP book – a testament to their vision during this time of much sadness for my friends and associates. God bless us all.

  • Jimmy Clark

    Mike,

    I’m probably way out of line–and I mean no offense–but I’ve got to ask the question:

    What role, if any, has the constant Twittering by company execs over the last year played in the crisis? Seems to me that Twittering (including the time spent reading other Twits) poses a huge distraction to clear, uninterrupted thinking, strategic planning, and the timely implementation of goals.

    You’ve written in the past how your old email management habits (checking & answering email throughout the day) robbed you from engaging in large blocks of time to work, think, and finish a task. To fix that, I believe you indicated you started dealing with email just twice a day.

    It stands to reason that someone who feels the pull to Twitter about their day–throughout the day–might just be equally distracted, less efficient, and perhaps not as razor sharp as these tough times require.

    Somehow I can’t picture Michelangelo putting down his brush to dash off a Twitter: Just about finished working on Adam’s outstretched fingers. God’s hand is next.

    Could it be we’re Twittering while Rome burns?

  • Jimmy Clark

    Mike,

    I’m probably way out of line–and I mean no offense–but I’ve got to ask the question:

    What role, if any, has the constant Twittering by company execs over the last year played in the crisis? Seems to me that Twittering (including the time spent reading other Twits) poses a huge distraction to clear, uninterrupted thinking, strategic planning, and the timely implementation of goals.

    You’ve written in the past how your old email management habits (checking & answering email throughout the day) robbed you from engaging in large blocks of time to work, think, and finish a task. To fix that, I believe you indicated you started dealing with email just twice a day.

    It stands to reason that someone who feels the pull to Twitter about their day–throughout the day–might just be equally distracted, less efficient, and perhaps not as razor sharp as these tough times require.

    Somehow I can’t picture Michelangelo putting down his brush to dash off a Twitter: Just about finished working on Adam’s outstretched fingers. God’s hand is next.

    Could it be we’re Twittering while Rome burns?

  • http://www.midlandjack.blogspot.com/ Jack Hager

    The sovereignty of God is relatively easy to accept when things are good; when things go south it is human to wonder and question. Romans 8.28 is a glorious verse – to share with other people. Tougher when you are in it. Having just come out of a 14 month long “valley,” I encourage all to take comfort that He is with us THROUGH the valley…

  • http://www.midlandjack.blogspot.com Jack Hager

    The sovereignty of God is relatively easy to accept when things are good; when things go south it is human to wonder and question. Romans 8.28 is a glorious verse – to share with other people. Tougher when you are in it. Having just come out of a 14 month long “valley,” I encourage all to take comfort that He is with us THROUGH the valley…

  • http://www.thomasnelson.com/ Lindsey Nobles

    @Jimmy: The world is going digital and we have a duty, if we are going to remain viable, to experiment with and embrace new technologies. I believe the use of social networking (Twitter, Facebook, Blogging, etc.) is becoming more and critical to marketing.

  • http://www.thomasnelson.com Lindsey Nobles

    @Jimmy: The world is going digital and we have a duty, if we are going to remain viable, to experiment with and embrace new technologies. I believe the use of social networking (Twitter, Facebook, Blogging, etc.) is becoming more and critical to marketing.

  • Jimmy Clark

    Lindsey,

    I don’t disagree that there’s a place for new inventions. The larger question has to do with whether or not these new technologies pose a distraction to clear thinking and productivity.

    I think you’d have to agree that if Twittering or any other “must have” digital device caused a measurable drop in effectiveness, it would make some sense to opt out and stay viable.

  • Jimmy Clark

    Lindsey,

    I don’t disagree that there’s a place for new inventions. The larger question has to do with whether or not these new technologies pose a distraction to clear thinking and productivity.

    I think you’d have to agree that if Twittering or any other “must have” digital device caused a measurable drop in effectiveness, it would make some sense to opt out and stay viable.

  • Michael

    I think the valuable question is not whether these new technology tools can be used in marketing books because surely they can. But, how does a CEO using them generate revenue for a company?

  • Michael

    I think the valuable question is not whether these new technology tools can be used in marketing books because surely they can. But, how does a CEO using them generate revenue for a company?

  • chris thomason

    Praying for you and the team Mike. Please know that we stand with you and all at Nelson during this difficult time.

    God’s people fulfilling God’s purpose on God’s planet for God’s glory is still the goal!

    chris thomason

  • chris thomason

    Praying for you and the team Mike. Please know that we stand with you and all at Nelson during this difficult time.

    God’s people fulfilling God’s purpose on God’s planet for God’s glory is still the goal!

    chris thomason

  • http://profile.typekey.com/TomGrey/ Tom Grey – Liberty Dad

    I am seriously wondering if anybody was offered a ‘half time’ option instead — or perhaps to the whole bottom third (half) of the company?

    If 20% of the workers go half time, that’s less than 10% cost reduction, but for very little reduction in effective work — because the most important work by those 20% folk would still get done.

    Unfortunately, I read far more blogs and short subject (see article about Does Google Make Us Stupid, can’t find link) than books. Publishing will drift down in importance, more slowly than newspapers, but the same direction.

    The financial industry should be downsizing even faster.

    Where will the new jobs be created? It depends on who are the new entreprenuers, those who see market niches that aren’t yet served.

    I am so sorry for any and all who get laid off, and offer humble prayers for them and their families.

  • http://profile.typekey.com/TomGrey/ Tom Grey – Liberty Dad

    I am seriously wondering if anybody was offered a ‘half time’ option instead — or perhaps to the whole bottom third (half) of the company?

    If 20% of the workers go half time, that’s less than 10% cost reduction, but for very little reduction in effective work — because the most important work by those 20% folk would still get done.

    Unfortunately, I read far more blogs and short subject (see article about Does Google Make Us Stupid, can’t find link) than books. Publishing will drift down in importance, more slowly than newspapers, but the same direction.

    The financial industry should be downsizing even faster.

    Where will the new jobs be created? It depends on who are the new entreprenuers, those who see market niches that aren’t yet served.

    I am so sorry for any and all who get laid off, and offer humble prayers for them and their families.

  • Luci Swindoll

    Oh my! What can I say that hasn’t already been said? Thank God, He doesn’t leave us during the times we feel so alone…when we’re forced to leave the place of our employment. I’m joining all of you in prayer. These are such difficult days for everyone! May God give all of us inner PEACE…even beyond our own understanding.

  • Luci Swindoll

    Oh my! What can I say that hasn’t already been said? Thank God, He doesn’t leave us during the times we feel so alone…when we’re forced to leave the place of our employment. I’m joining all of you in prayer. These are such difficult days for everyone! May God give all of us inner PEACE…even beyond our own understanding.

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com/ Michael S. Hyatt

    @Jimmy Clark,

    No, I don’t think Twittering is a waste of my time.

    First, let’s put this in perspective. On average it take me 30-45 seconds to write one tweet. For the sake of argument, let’s assume 45 seconds. I average 13 tweets a day. That’s 585 seconds (45 x 13) or less than 10 minutes. Total. Per day.

    Second, my job as the CEO is, in part, to find the future. Publishing is rapidly going digital. Social networking via the Internet is rapidly replacing traditional marketing. I have a duty to all of my constituents, including my employees, to jump in with both feet and figure this out. Twitter is only a small part of a much larger attempt on my part to understand online media.

    Finally, I don’t think the comparison with Michelangelo is valid. I’m not a fine artist and I’m not living in the 16th century. I am trying to run a major corporation in an industry where product formats and delivery methods are changing rapidly. I am running hard to keep up, and, as a result, I am multi-tasking throughout the day. When I need extended periods of concentration, I unplug and focus on the task at hand. It’s not that difficult.

    Thanks,

    Mike

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com Michael S. Hyatt

    @Jimmy Clark,

    No, I don’t think Twittering is a waste of my time.

    First, let’s put this in perspective. On average it take me 30-45 seconds to write one tweet. For the sake of argument, let’s assume 45 seconds. I average 13 tweets a day. That’s 585 seconds (45 x 13) or less than 10 minutes. Total. Per day.

    Second, my job as the CEO is, in part, to find the future. Publishing is rapidly going digital. Social networking via the Internet is rapidly replacing traditional marketing. I have a duty to all of my constituents, including my employees, to jump in with both feet and figure this out. Twitter is only a small part of a much larger attempt on my part to understand online media.

    Finally, I don’t think the comparison with Michelangelo is valid. I’m not a fine artist and I’m not living in the 16th century. I am trying to run a major corporation in an industry where product formats and delivery methods are changing rapidly. I am running hard to keep up, and, as a result, I am multi-tasking throughout the day. When I need extended periods of concentration, I unplug and focus on the task at hand. It’s not that difficult.

    Thanks,

    Mike

  • http://davidballard.com/ David Ballard

    I think your tweets are viable and prove you are a leader by embracing new technology and methods of communication. I applaud you! Keep on Tweeting!

  • Enga71429

    I think you should Twitter your little heart out. People are so judgemental.
    What have you done to offend anyone? You can have an opinion.
    In fact, I find your posts very positive and uplifting.

  • Enga71429

    I think you should Twitter your little heart out. People are so judgemental.
    What have you done to offend anyone? You can have an opinion.
    In fact, I find your posts very positive and uplifting.

  • http://davidballard.com David Ballard

    I think your tweets are viable and prove you are a leader by embracing new technology and methods of communication. I applaud you! Keep on Tweeting!

  • http://www.twitter.com/mburleson Mark Burleson

    Michael, I like your comments.

    Jimmy Clark,
    Honestly, I think his twittering has actually helped foster better consumer relationships with Thomas Nelson as a whole. Because of following Michael’s blog then twitter after he joined, it helps sense what’s behind the company, rather than the almighty dollar..

    I personally have recommended to friends to buy Thomas Nelson and personally have intentionally purchased Thomas Nelson material rather than borrow because of his involvement in the conversation called twitter.

    My hat is off to you Michael and my prayers are with you, your staff, and those who are starting a new journey.

  • http://www.twitter.com/mburleson Mark Burleson

    Michael, I like your comments.

    Jimmy Clark,
    Honestly, I think his twittering has actually helped foster better consumer relationships with Thomas Nelson as a whole. Because of following Michael’s blog then twitter after he joined, it helps sense what’s behind the company, rather than the almighty dollar..

    I personally have recommended to friends to buy Thomas Nelson and personally have intentionally purchased Thomas Nelson material rather than borrow because of his involvement in the conversation called twitter.

    My hat is off to you Michael and my prayers are with you, your staff, and those who are starting a new journey.

  • Joe Hernandez

    Mike, so what else should a CEO stop doing, or the reverse, what are the only things that they should be doing?

    Your thoughts in response to the comment to you are extremely valid.

    Embrace the future, adapt to the best things, continue being relevant from a Christian perspective, be as a leader or not.

    cheering you on…

  • Joe Hernandez

    Mike, so what else should a CEO stop doing, or the reverse, what are the only things that they should be doing?

    Your thoughts in response to the comment to you are extremely valid.

    Embrace the future, adapt to the best things, continue being relevant from a Christian perspective, be as a leader or not.

    cheering you on…

  • http://everydotconnects.com/ Connie Reece

    I absolutely agree with you, Michael, that Twittering is valuable. As you said, it’s very short-form and can be done in small time segments that can often be borrowed from other tasks. For example, I will tweet while standing in line at the grocery store, or in the waiting room at the doctor’s office.

    Just as you did with your blog, you’re putting Nelson ahead of the curve by being on Twitter. Studies show that the majority of consumers *expect* companies to be using social media and to be on social networks — they want to connect with the real people behind the company logo.

    You may not be able to calculate a direct ROI for your presence on Twitter, but by adopting new communications channels (most of which are free), you’re positioning the company to be profitable in a rapidly changing market. And the PR value of a customer being able to contact, and interact with, a top executive on Twitter or a blog is huge. I applaud your foresight.

    And like many others, I pray for you, and the company, and those who have lost day-to-day relationships as well as their jobs.

  • http://www.nibby.net/ Nibby Priest

    Michael, By all means keep on twittering. You have made me aware of Thomas Nelson. Before I started reading your twitters, I never knew of the company. Because of you I have been looking before I buy any Christian material to see who the publisher is! You have really helped me in my personal and business life with your twitters and blogs.

  • http://www.nibby.net Nibby Priest

    Michael, By all means keep on twittering. You have made me aware of Thomas Nelson. Before I started reading your twitters, I never knew of the company. Because of you I have been looking before I buy any Christian material to see who the publisher is! You have really helped me in my personal and business life with your twitters and blogs.

  • http://everydotconnects.com/ Connie Reece

    I absolutely agree with you, Michael, that Twittering is valuable. As you said, it’s very short-form and can be done in small time segments that can often be borrowed from other tasks. For example, I will tweet while standing in line at the grocery store, or in the waiting room at the doctor’s office.

    Just as you did with your blog, you’re putting Nelson ahead of the curve by being on Twitter. Studies show that the majority of consumers *expect* companies to be using social media and to be on social networks — they want to connect with the real people behind the company logo.

    You may not be able to calculate a direct ROI for your presence on Twitter, but by adopting new communications channels (most of which are free), you’re positioning the company to be profitable in a rapidly changing market. And the PR value of a customer being able to contact, and interact with, a top executive on Twitter or a blog is huge. I applaud your foresight.

    And like many others, I pray for you, and the company, and those who have lost day-to-day relationships as well as their jobs.

  • Sheila Walsh

    I understand the concern but I disagree with the conclusion. We live in a world where a large majority of the population feels disconnected and adrift. Where families once were a stone’s throw away, now they can be at the other side of the country. I believe that one of the reasons that twittering has become so popular in a relatively short amount of time is that it offers a level of connection and comfort.
    I love the fact that you twitter Mike. I think it is the gift of a new kind of leadership that is open, accessible, aware and vulnerable.

  • Sheila Walsh

    I understand the concern but I disagree with the conclusion. We live in a world where a large majority of the population feels disconnected and adrift. Where families once were a stone’s throw away, now they can be at the other side of the country. I believe that one of the reasons that twittering has become so popular in a relatively short amount of time is that it offers a level of connection and comfort.
    I love the fact that you twitter Mike. I think it is the gift of a new kind of leadership that is open, accessible, aware and vulnerable.

  • http://www.bigfishministries.com/ Thom McGuire

    As someone who worked in the industry for several years and then showed up to work with a foreclosure notice on the door.

    I think that letting a small percentage of employees go in order to make the company more solvent makes sense.

    I personally would have been much happier to have been let go then to have all of my friends loose their jobs as well.

    Now to the question of twittering, blogging, or any web 2.0 activity. These are the waves of the future I would much rather a CEO be in the mix of what is going on then being clueless and missing the boat.

  • http://www.bigfishministries.com Thom McGuire

    As someone who worked in the industry for several years and then showed up to work with a foreclosure notice on the door.

    I think that letting a small percentage of employees go in order to make the company more solvent makes sense.

    I personally would have been much happier to have been let go then to have all of my friends loose their jobs as well.

    Now to the question of twittering, blogging, or any web 2.0 activity. These are the waves of the future I would much rather a CEO be in the mix of what is going on then being clueless and missing the boat.

  • http://www.duffbert.com/ Thomas “Duffbert” Duff

    The use of social software (insert your favorite term here) is one of those things you can’t necessarily tie back to a solid dollar ROI before you participate in it. But once you dive in, you realize the benefits in terms of community, networking, and understanding far outweigh the time cost to do that.

    Mike’s twittering and blogging has allowed me to get to know him on a level far beyond that of any other publishing contact I have. He’s also provided more inspiration and emotional support than he realizes. He’s put a “face” on the corporate entity known as Thomas Nelson, and as such I feel much different about his company than I do others like it.

    I would say that more CEOs should be blogging and twittering, not less. In these extreme tumultuous times, you have to extend your reach outside of the normal “golf course and rotary club” circles that historically have been the stomping grounds of executives. These tools provide a level of insight to the person, and can make all the difference in whether you feel you can trust and commit to a company and their products…

  • http://www.duffbert.com Thomas “Duffbert” Duff

    The use of social software (insert your favorite term here) is one of those things you can’t necessarily tie back to a solid dollar ROI before you participate in it. But once you dive in, you realize the benefits in terms of community, networking, and understanding far outweigh the time cost to do that.

    Mike’s twittering and blogging has allowed me to get to know him on a level far beyond that of any other publishing contact I have. He’s also provided more inspiration and emotional support than he realizes. He’s put a “face” on the corporate entity known as Thomas Nelson, and as such I feel much different about his company than I do others like it.

    I would say that more CEOs should be blogging and twittering, not less. In these extreme tumultuous times, you have to extend your reach outside of the normal “golf course and rotary club” circles that historically have been the stomping grounds of executives. These tools provide a level of insight to the person, and can make all the difference in whether you feel you can trust and commit to a company and their products…

  • http://www.lawrencewilson.com/ Lawrence W. Wilson

    I think Jimmy Clark’s question is valid; I wonder about Twitter’s effect on my own productivity.

    For now, however, I agree with Mike that publishing leaders, of all people, need to be getting ahead of the social networking and digital delivery curve. The implications of these media for our businesses are huge.

    Beyond that, I think the blog/Facebook/Twitter phenomenon is an indication of the way leadership is chanigng. There is no such thing as a corner office anymore. All communication is horizontal, and Twitter is the latest (for now) medium for reaching people.

  • http://www.lawrencewilson.com Lawrence W. Wilson

    I think Jimmy Clark’s question is valid; I wonder about Twitter’s effect on my own productivity.

    For now, however, I agree with Mike that publishing leaders, of all people, need to be getting ahead of the social networking and digital delivery curve. The implications of these media for our businesses are huge.

    Beyond that, I think the blog/Facebook/Twitter phenomenon is an indication of the way leadership is chanigng. There is no such thing as a corner office anymore. All communication is horizontal, and Twitter is the latest (for now) medium for reaching people.

  • Jill

    I rather think that the Twittering is condemned by the individual above because your positive tweets would seem to be “sitting in the cheap seats”. Of course you can say its a glorious morning (despite forthcoming layoffs in your company) because as a CEO the expectation is that you’ve been banking money from a six figure salary. The people who get laid off have not had that luxury; they make far less than the average CEO and therefore will suffer far more at practical and fundamental levels than will you. Even if the downturn of the company’s fortunes isn’t due to any mismanagement at your end, it’s still not the CEO who suffers. (One notes — meaning no disrespect –that you didn’t take a salary cut or ask your senior executives to take a salary cut before you laid off workers with less than a week’s notice.) The twittering itself is not the problem. The problem is the disparity in the pain experienced in the executive suite as compared with the pain experienced in the office cubicles and loading docks.

    Seriously, I don’t fault you for twittering. I commend you as a CEO for trying to understand the new technologies that impact publishing. I hope you continue to tweet and blog and play. But the message may be that you need to be more aware of and sensitive to the disparity between your personal financial status and that of the workers you just laid off. What concrete actions do *you* take at this point to try to equalize the pain in this situation?

  • Jill

    I rather think that the Twittering is condemned by the individual above because your positive tweets would seem to be “sitting in the cheap seats”. Of course you can say its a glorious morning (despite forthcoming layoffs in your company) because as a CEO the expectation is that you’ve been banking money from a six figure salary. The people who get laid off have not had that luxury; they make far less than the average CEO and therefore will suffer far more at practical and fundamental levels than will you. Even if the downturn of the company’s fortunes isn’t due to any mismanagement at your end, it’s still not the CEO who suffers. (One notes — meaning no disrespect –that you didn’t take a salary cut or ask your senior executives to take a salary cut before you laid off workers with less than a week’s notice.) The twittering itself is not the problem. The problem is the disparity in the pain experienced in the executive suite as compared with the pain experienced in the office cubicles and loading docks.

    Seriously, I don’t fault you for twittering. I commend you as a CEO for trying to understand the new technologies that impact publishing. I hope you continue to tweet and blog and play. But the message may be that you need to be more aware of and sensitive to the disparity between your personal financial status and that of the workers you just laid off. What concrete actions do *you* take at this point to try to equalize the pain in this situation?

  • http://evaulian-thebestoftheworst.blogspot.com/ Eva Ulian

    Dear Mr Jimmy Clark, Have you any idea what people, especially writers think of publishers? Well it’s not often pleasant. Mr Hyatt has humanized that opinion and I’m sure that whatever field you work in you will blend better with a twitterer rather than someone whom you know nothing about. Twittering is a place where psychology reigns supreme and I can see it becoming vital to a workforce.

    As for lack of concentration, I’m not Buonarrotti but I am a fine artist and twittering has never interferred with my concentration- if anything it stops the mind from stagnating being kept continuously on toes, it sharpens not only your memory but your wit and above all it keeps you sane when everything else seems to be falling to pieces. By the way do you know Aesops’ Fable about the grapes and the fox?

  • http://evaulian-thebestoftheworst.blogspot.com/ Eva Ulian

    Dear Mr Jimmy Clark, Have you any idea what people, especially writers think of publishers? Well it’s not often pleasant. Mr Hyatt has humanized that opinion and I’m sure that whatever field you work in you will blend better with a twitterer rather than someone whom you know nothing about. Twittering is a place where psychology reigns supreme and I can see it becoming vital to a workforce.

    As for lack of concentration, I’m not Buonarrotti but I am a fine artist and twittering has never interferred with my concentration- if anything it stops the mind from stagnating being kept continuously on toes, it sharpens not only your memory but your wit and above all it keeps you sane when everything else seems to be falling to pieces. By the way do you know Aesops’ Fable about the grapes and the fox?

  • Tracee

    I think we were well into these tough times long before twittering. It seems a bit unrealistic to use twitter as a reason for them.

    I use several tools, twitter included, to stay current with what is happening with people, clients, and peers. Many times this information is useful for my clients. Had it not been for following Michael on twitter, and his blog, I would not be aware of the issues facing the publishing industry. This information has been helpful to me as well as my clients.

  • Tracee

    I think we were well into these tough times long before twittering. It seems a bit unrealistic to use twitter as a reason for them.

    I use several tools, twitter included, to stay current with what is happening with people, clients, and peers. Many times this information is useful for my clients. Had it not been for following Michael on twitter, and his blog, I would not be aware of the issues facing the publishing industry. This information has been helpful to me as well as my clients.

  • http://www.colleencoble.com/ Colleen Coble

    I love the way your blog and tweets have given us a glimpse into the man at the helm of my publishing company. You lead by example and your example has helped me open myself to my readers. Keep it up, Mike!

  • http://www.colleencoble.com Colleen Coble

    I love the way your blog and tweets have given us a glimpse into the man at the helm of my publishing company. You lead by example and your example has helped me open myself to my readers. Keep it up, Mike!

  • http://www.brainleadersandlearners.com/ Ellen Weber

    4 brief points come to mind.

    1. Most presidents and CEO’s don’t twitter or interact with others in much of any way. That’s the traditional way of staying at the top and out of touch, and without community.

    2. While I run an international brain based center myself, (and work crazy long hard days) I choose to hear ideas that engage people at every level. Twitter allows that exchange, and I value it, as I value your chances to speak out because this fine blog exists for that purpose.

    3. While it is so sad to see jobs lost, fine people often reinvent great careers – and show the world that faith leads the brain more to create than to criticize others. Research shows the two CANNOT co-exist – so we’d best choose creativity over criticism.

    4. Systems that once held jobs safe security in tact, are fast yielding to uncertainty. Amazing opportunities for great minds like exhibited in many of these comments, come with changing horizons. Every time we take hold of courage, build new neuron pathways forward, and move on in life, the brain rewires itself (literally) for more of the same success!

    May all in this community find God’s extravagance for their lives, create wonder in His hope, and turn criticism into what we can each do (as the power of one) to bring about a finer way.

    Nuff said — and a good discussion on a difficult topic! Stay blessed!

  • http://www.brainleadersandlearners.com/ Ellen Weber

    4 brief points come to mind.

    1. Most presidents and CEO’s don’t twitter or interact with others in much of any way. That’s the traditional way of staying at the top and out of touch, and without community.

    2. While I run an international brain based center myself, (and work crazy long hard days) I choose to hear ideas that engage people at every level. Twitter allows that exchange, and I value it, as I value your chances to speak out because this fine blog exists for that purpose.

    3. While it is so sad to see jobs lost, fine people often reinvent great careers – and show the world that faith leads the brain more to create than to criticize others. Research shows the two CANNOT co-exist – so we’d best choose creativity over criticism.

    4. Systems that once held jobs safe security in tact, are fast yielding to uncertainty. Amazing opportunities for great minds like exhibited in many of these comments, come with changing horizons. Every time we take hold of courage, build new neuron pathways forward, and move on in life, the brain rewires itself (literally) for more of the same success!

    May all in this community find God’s extravagance for their lives, create wonder in His hope, and turn criticism into what we can each do (as the power of one) to bring about a finer way.

    Nuff said — and a good discussion on a difficult topic! Stay blessed!

  • Tom Mack

    I found the article about the layoffs on the front page of Drudge. Located in the article was this blog site, which I read, which lead me to the Thomas Nelson web site, which led me to the catalog tab, which led me to hear the great 4 songs on the catalog page. If anyone can tell me the names of the songs and the artist, i will buy that music,if available from Thomas Nelson. I will also look for other books that might interest me to purchase for gifts for the family. Life is hard and funny. To the families that recently lost their incomes; don’t get caught in the sway, stand tall, ask for help when needed and make sure to give back when you get back on your feet. Always think of your future 7th generation, peace to all.

  • Tom Mack

    I found the article about the layoffs on the front page of Drudge. Located in the article was this blog site, which I read, which lead me to the Thomas Nelson web site, which led me to the catalog tab, which led me to hear the great 4 songs on the catalog page. If anyone can tell me the names of the songs and the artist, i will buy that music,if available from Thomas Nelson. I will also look for other books that might interest me to purchase for gifts for the family. Life is hard and funny. To the families that recently lost their incomes; don’t get caught in the sway, stand tall, ask for help when needed and make sure to give back when you get back on your feet. Always think of your future 7th generation, peace to all.

  • http://www.heathergemmen.com/ Heather Gemmen Wilson

    Mike, your tweets inspire me to want to live my life well every day. Your joy is clearly evident (and contagious), but I doubt that has anything to do with your salary. I’m sure your job actually places a huge burden on you, but you clearly know the truth of being content in all circumstances. Thanks for making yourself vulnerable via Twitter/blogs so that we all can learn from you.
    @_HeatherWilson

  • http://www.heathergemmen.com Heather Gemmen Wilson

    Mike, your tweets inspire me to want to live my life well every day. Your joy is clearly evident (and contagious), but I doubt that has anything to do with your salary. I’m sure your job actually places a huge burden on you, but you clearly know the truth of being content in all circumstances. Thanks for making yourself vulnerable via Twitter/blogs so that we all can learn from you.
    @_HeatherWilson

  • http://brainbasedbiz.blogspot.com/ Robyn McMaster

    From all the “Tweets” I’ve seen you publish, Mike, you show yourself human and caring of others. You were very concerned, for instance, when Books a Million made cutbacks. Would you care less for your own flock? My first impression is that you would care more.

    In social media, such as this blog, peoples’ voices are heard on both sides. I’m glad former and employees and the rest of us are able to speak their mind here.

  • http://brainbasedbiz.blogspot.com Robyn McMaster

    From all the “Tweets” I’ve seen you publish, Mike, you show yourself human and caring of others. You were very concerned, for instance, when Books a Million made cutbacks. Would you care less for your own flock? My first impression is that you would care more.

    In social media, such as this blog, peoples’ voices are heard on both sides. I’m glad former and employees and the rest of us are able to speak their mind here.

  • http://sharonlavy.blogspot.com/ Sharon A Lavy

    It is time to quit blaming. Our country is in a financial crisis and it is time to try to pull together.

  • http://sharonlavy.blogspot.com/ Sharon A Lavy

    It is time to quit blaming. Our country is in a financial crisis and it is time to try to pull together.

  • http://www.perkypaula.blogspot.com/ Paula Lipper

    I appreciate your blog and your comments on Twitter. Your love for your company is evident and your ability to lead inspires many. My very personal thought is that I admire the discipline of many as they comment on the events of their day. It encourages me to persevere.

  • http://www.perkypaula.blogspot.com Paula Lipper

    I appreciate your blog and your comments on Twitter. Your love for your company is evident and your ability to lead inspires many. My very personal thought is that I admire the discipline of many as they comment on the events of their day. It encourages me to persevere.

  • http://www.mindyhyattspradlin.com/ Mindy Spradlin

    Dad,

    As you know, the day before TN made the cutbacks, I called you crying because Nathan has just gotten laid off from the company he was working for. At that time I didn’t know TN was doing layoffs the very next day, but I can only image what was going through your head as I was sharing my anxiety with you. When you told me about the upcoming layoffs, I could hear the immense internal struggle within you. Here you have your daughter on the phone with the fresh, raw emotions of her husband losing his job knowing full well 55 more families would be in the same situation the next day.

    I know you wanted to make it all better. Not just for me, but for all the families at TN as well.

    Not that anyone on this blog has said this, but if there are any people that think this was easy for you, that you didn’t care about the families, that they were just numbers, etc, etc, there is only one plain and simple fact about those people…They do not know you. Anyone who thinks you were not affected by these layoffs on many levels is very misinformed. You love and care for each employee of TN. Truly, you do.

    You and the ELT did everything you could to avoid this. This is just an effect of our current economic situation.

    I love you & am praying for you and every family that was affected by this. I can identify with many of them. It is a difficult time, but thankfully we have something much greater within us that can sustain us. I pray each and every family recognizes that.

  • http://www.mindyhyattspradlin.com Mindy Spradlin

    Dad,

    As you know, the day before TN made the cutbacks, I called you crying because Nathan has just gotten laid off from the company he was working for. At that time I didn’t know TN was doing layoffs the very next day, but I can only image what was going through your head as I was sharing my anxiety with you. When you told me about the upcoming layoffs, I could hear the immense internal struggle within you. Here you have your daughter on the phone with the fresh, raw emotions of her husband losing his job knowing full well 55 more families would be in the same situation the next day.

    I know you wanted to make it all better. Not just for me, but for all the families at TN as well.

    Not that anyone on this blog has said this, but if there are any people that think this was easy for you, that you didn’t care about the families, that they were just numbers, etc, etc, there is only one plain and simple fact about those people…They do not know you. Anyone who thinks you were not affected by these layoffs on many levels is very misinformed. You love and care for each employee of TN. Truly, you do.

    You and the ELT did everything you could to avoid this. This is just an effect of our current economic situation.

    I love you & am praying for you and every family that was affected by this. I can identify with many of them. It is a difficult time, but thankfully we have something much greater within us that can sustain us. I pray each and every family recognizes that.

  • http://www.abbyblogs.com/ Abby

    I think it’s awesome that you twitter, Mike. I would echo what many people have already said. I just think it’s great and I think you should keep doing it. I also appreciate your blog. I pray for everyone at Nelson right now including you. Times are tough, but Jesus is still Lord.

  • http://www.abbyblogs.com Abby

    I think it’s awesome that you twitter, Mike. I would echo what many people have already said. I just think it’s great and I think you should keep doing it. I also appreciate your blog. I pray for everyone at Nelson right now including you. Times are tough, but Jesus is still Lord.

  • Jimmy Clark

    Hey Mike,

    I feel as if the spirit of my question was missed. I didn’t mean to imply that you or your executive team should stop Twittering. All I did was raise the question whether or not the act of Twittering creates a distraction to clear, uninterrupted thinking.

    That’s a fair question, one that I ask because I don’t Twitter and cannot speak from experience. Furthermore, I’m thankful that you are experimenting with this medium by keeping your ear to the pavement. If it’s working for you and the team, wonderful.

    At the same time, to this Twitter-free writer, who watches ideas flit away at the drop of a hat, I cannot personally fathom staying in the creative “zone” with an estimated 65 or more tweets interruptions during my work week–not to mention the time spent reading tweets from fellow Twitters. No doubt there are others who can–or think they can–juggle the added stimuli without loss of momentum. More power to ‘em.

    As for the idea a number of readers have raised that Twittering helps create a sense of community, maybe so. In pre-Twitter days, community in the business environment was partially accomplished by standing around the water cooler or hanging out in the break room swapping the latest happenings. I get that need for building community.

    Then again, if an employee was found standing by the water cooler ten times a day–however briefly, that might raise a few worthy questions about time management . . . which goes to the heart of my point: how much of a distraction does this new tool create?

    I’ve got to believe that even the gentle purring of a cell phone in the pocket of an executive, announcing the arrival of a new Twitter post, is bound to break the flow of the meeting. Is it any wonder why we’re prone to exhibiting the habit of half-listening to each other when we’re actually face-to-face?

    Thanks for your insight.

  • Jimmy Clark

    Hey Mike,

    I feel as if the spirit of my question was missed. I didn’t mean to imply that you or your executive team should stop Twittering. All I did was raise the question whether or not the act of Twittering creates a distraction to clear, uninterrupted thinking.

    That’s a fair question, one that I ask because I don’t Twitter and cannot speak from experience. Furthermore, I’m thankful that you are experimenting with this medium by keeping your ear to the pavement. If it’s working for you and the team, wonderful.

    At the same time, to this Twitter-free writer, who watches ideas flit away at the drop of a hat, I cannot personally fathom staying in the creative “zone” with an estimated 65 or more tweets interruptions during my work week–not to mention the time spent reading tweets from fellow Twitters. No doubt there are others who can–or think they can–juggle the added stimuli without loss of momentum. More power to ‘em.

    As for the idea a number of readers have raised that Twittering helps create a sense of community, maybe so. In pre-Twitter days, community in the business environment was partially accomplished by standing around the water cooler or hanging out in the break room swapping the latest happenings. I get that need for building community.

    Then again, if an employee was found standing by the water cooler ten times a day–however briefly, that might raise a few worthy questions about time management . . . which goes to the heart of my point: how much of a distraction does this new tool create?

    I’ve got to believe that even the gentle purring of a cell phone in the pocket of an executive, announcing the arrival of a new Twitter post, is bound to break the flow of the meeting. Is it any wonder why we’re prone to exhibiting the habit of half-listening to each other when we’re actually face-to-face?

    Thanks for your insight.

  • Jim Thomason

    Jill,

    It sounds simple to play the class warfare card and discuss CEO pay. It sounds simple and plays on people’s envy to say things like “less than one week’s notice”. Here’s the facts; we told everyone on Tuesday, but this was expected broadly across the organization. Some were suprised it was “them”, but nobody was suprised it happened. My department is taking care of these great people with severance packages of no less than a month and up to six months full pay and benefits in a package that’s structured to allow them to simultaneously draw unemployment. This stretches each person’s salary the equivalent of 2 – 10 additional weeks depending upon their salary level. We are providing professional outplacement to each person regardless of rank, and we follow up on each person weekly to see how they’re doing. I’m on the front lines counseling people every day and re-crafting exit packages so that they help each person to the fullest extent possible. Read the comments of the people who identify themselves as former Nelson employees and hear the positive things they have to say as to how well they were treated when they were let go back in April, or this week. I’ve run the numbers on executive pay cuts, and there aren’t enough executives whose pay I could cut to save more than 5 jobs. When I’ve done that, what do I do about the other 49 people? If you think any of us are getting off easy, I’ll trade you the tough conversations I’VE had this week, and the sleepless nights, and Mike’s, and the ELT’s if you think we’re getting off easy.

  • Jim Thomason

    Jill,

    It sounds simple to play the class warfare card and discuss CEO pay. It sounds simple and plays on people’s envy to say things like “less than one week’s notice”. Here’s the facts; we told everyone on Tuesday, but this was expected broadly across the organization. Some were suprised it was “them”, but nobody was suprised it happened. My department is taking care of these great people with severance packages of no less than a month and up to six months full pay and benefits in a package that’s structured to allow them to simultaneously draw unemployment. This stretches each person’s salary the equivalent of 2 – 10 additional weeks depending upon their salary level. We are providing professional outplacement to each person regardless of rank, and we follow up on each person weekly to see how they’re doing. I’m on the front lines counseling people every day and re-crafting exit packages so that they help each person to the fullest extent possible. Read the comments of the people who identify themselves as former Nelson employees and hear the positive things they have to say as to how well they were treated when they were let go back in April, or this week. I’ve run the numbers on executive pay cuts, and there aren’t enough executives whose pay I could cut to save more than 5 jobs. When I’ve done that, what do I do about the other 49 people? If you think any of us are getting off easy, I’ll trade you the tough conversations I’VE had this week, and the sleepless nights, and Mike’s, and the ELT’s if you think we’re getting off easy.

  • Just Observing

    I’m sorry but you’d think from 99% of the comments that Mike lost his job. Did he and other top management offer not to take their bonuses last April that most likely could have paid for the 20% of the employees salaries? Did management consider taking a salary freeze of their 6 & 7 figure salaries so other families could keep feeding themselves and stay in their homes? This is supposed to be a Christian company, right? It would be nice to see it operate on Christian principles. I’m sure Mike’s a nice guy; but my God, can we give the twitter & blogging praise a rest and think and pray for those left in the cold before Christmas?

  • Just Observing

    I’m sorry but you’d think from 99% of the comments that Mike lost his job. Did he and other top management offer not to take their bonuses last April that most likely could have paid for the 20% of the employees salaries? Did management consider taking a salary freeze of their 6 & 7 figure salaries so other families could keep feeding themselves and stay in their homes? This is supposed to be a Christian company, right? It would be nice to see it operate on Christian principles. I’m sure Mike’s a nice guy; but my God, can we give the twitter & blogging praise a rest and think and pray for those left in the cold before Christmas?

  • http://randyelrod.typepad.com/ Randy Elrod

    Twitter is a must for any leader. Period. Social Media provides an unprecedented opportunity for the leader to put a face on his corporation. The bigger the corporation the more vital the need for a face to the internal fans (the employees) and the external fans (the customers). The adage “the bigger we are the smaller we must become” has never been more true than in this present financial crisis.

    The old school (non-twitterers, if you will) automotive industry, music industry, financial industry and the government, only to name a few, have lost touch with their customers. And when corporations lose touch, the death knell will be tolling in the distance, or in the case of the aforementioned, wailing at the funeral.

    Never has it been more important to engage our clients in this digital world. Social Media like Twitter and Facebook is simply people having conversations online. In 2008, if you are not on a social networking site, you are not on the Internet! It is a fundamental shift in the way we communicate. The old model was a monologue and the new model is a dialogue.

    78% of people trust the recommendations of others. In the monumental paradox of change, trust is now built more effectively online than face to face. It is cost effective and it is a must.

    It is especially a requirement to the 75 million strong Millennial Generation under the age of 26. A staggering 98% of them are on a social networking platform of some kind. 98%! They make up one of the hottest potential markets for 2009 and beyond. And they know your face because they see it on Facebook via your Twitter feed.

    I applaud you and other leaders, Mike, who are brave enough to look around the corner and embrace technology instead of branding it as useless and wasteful.

    May your tribe increase!

    Randy Elrod

  • http://randyelrod.typepad.com Randy Elrod

    Twitter is a must for any leader. Period. Social Media provides an unprecedented opportunity for the leader to put a face on his corporation. The bigger the corporation the more vital the need for a face to the internal fans (the employees) and the external fans (the customers). The adage “the bigger we are the smaller we must become” has never been more true than in this present financial crisis.

    The old school (non-twitterers, if you will) automotive industry, music industry, financial industry and the government, only to name a few, have lost touch with their customers. And when corporations lose touch, the death knell will be tolling in the distance, or in the case of the aforementioned, wailing at the funeral.

    Never has it been more important to engage our clients in this digital world. Social Media like Twitter and Facebook is simply people having conversations online. In 2008, if you are not on a social networking site, you are not on the Internet! It is a fundamental shift in the way we communicate. The old model was a monologue and the new model is a dialogue.

    78% of people trust the recommendations of others. In the monumental paradox of change, trust is now built more effectively online than face to face. It is cost effective and it is a must.

    It is especially a requirement to the 75 million strong Millennial Generation under the age of 26. A staggering 98% of them are on a social networking platform of some kind. 98%! They make up one of the hottest potential markets for 2009 and beyond. And they know your face because they see it on Facebook via your Twitter feed.

    I applaud you and other leaders, Mike, who are brave enough to look around the corner and embrace technology instead of branding it as useless and wasteful.

    May your tribe increase!

    Randy Elrod

  • http://www.clearbrilliantcrystal.wordpress.com/ Crystal Offhasu

    I would like to offer a very simple thank you for your Twittering. It is nice to see a perspective from someone in leadership even if your tweet is about a random happening in your day. It’s nice.

  • http://www.clearbrilliantcrystal.wordpress.com Crystal Offhasu

    I would like to offer a very simple thank you for your Twittering. It is nice to see a perspective from someone in leadership even if your tweet is about a random happening in your day. It’s nice.

  • http://www.christianwriteruk.blogspot.com/ Abidemi Sanusi

    I’m glad I discovered this website. Reveals the human behind the organisation. Wishing you well from this side of the Atlantic (London).

  • http://www.christianwriteruk.blogspot.com Abidemi Sanusi

    I’m glad I discovered this website. Reveals the human behind the organisation. Wishing you well from this side of the Atlantic (London).

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com/ Michael S. Hyatt

    @Just Observing: With all due respect, you have no idea what I or management did or didn’t do. Suffice it to say, we took the actions you suggested—and more. No, we didn’t publicize it.

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com Michael S. Hyatt

    @Just Observing: With all due respect, you have no idea what I or management did or didn’t do. Suffice it to say, we took the actions you suggested—and more. No, we didn’t publicize it.

  • http://lynnrush.wordpress.com/ Lynn Rush

    May God bless you, your staff, and your company.

  • http://lynnrush.wordpress.com/ Lynn Rush

    May God bless you, your staff, and your company.

  • B Franklin

    Sir,

    While you say that you had to make these “reductions” due to the economy and defend your use of social networking 10 minutes a day to stay in touch it seems that more of this lies with you than you are accepting.

    I recall that you stated earlier that you reduced your offerings by half but that strikes me as putting your eggs in one basket. I suppose it is fine as long as you only turn out successful offerings. But we know that is not the case and your declining sales are partially the results of that questionable decision. Blaming the economy is a cop out!

    It amazes me that all of these people can continue to sing your praises and commend you and your “courage” when you tweet that you are well rested and back from a vacation the very day (and Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas) that you are FIRING 50+ people. I am sure that many will be better off in a new environment but there are many who will suffer. As you stated, having assured your staff, personally, that there would not be any forthcoming layoffs, it strikes me that you admittedly lied and that is hard to forgive or forget in a leader. Of course circumstances can change but please.

    Trust, like china and glass, is easily broken and difficult to mend, maybe you should read Poor Richard for ten minutes one day! Shame on YOU!

    As for your, we did not publish what we (you and your exec’s) did or didn’t do, I notice that you still did not say that you personally felt any kind of pain from this besides your anguish. I think that had you said (or been able to say if you really did, which I find hard to believe) that you took a personal hit before cutting your lower and mid level employees living (I am sure that some were productive in both the cut and keep categories) in this troubling time some of that praise would be due.

    Perhaps you should get down to business and publish good books rather than good chat/blogs/tweeting But from where I sit it, I am going to twitter this, “I am putting my boots on it is getting thick!”

  • B Franklin

    Sir,

    While you say that you had to make these “reductions” due to the economy and defend your use of social networking 10 minutes a day to stay in touch it seems that more of this lies with you than you are accepting.

    I recall that you stated earlier that you reduced your offerings by half but that strikes me as putting your eggs in one basket. I suppose it is fine as long as you only turn out successful offerings. But we know that is not the case and your declining sales are partially the results of that questionable decision. Blaming the economy is a cop out!

    It amazes me that all of these people can continue to sing your praises and commend you and your “courage” when you tweet that you are well rested and back from a vacation the very day (and Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas) that you are FIRING 50+ people. I am sure that many will be better off in a new environment but there are many who will suffer. As you stated, having assured your staff, personally, that there would not be any forthcoming layoffs, it strikes me that you admittedly lied and that is hard to forgive or forget in a leader. Of course circumstances can change but please.

    Trust, like china and glass, is easily broken and difficult to mend, maybe you should read Poor Richard for ten minutes one day! Shame on YOU!

    As for your, we did not publish what we (you and your exec’s) did or didn’t do, I notice that you still did not say that you personally felt any kind of pain from this besides your anguish. I think that had you said (or been able to say if you really did, which I find hard to believe) that you took a personal hit before cutting your lower and mid level employees living (I am sure that some were productive in both the cut and keep categories) in this troubling time some of that praise would be due.

    Perhaps you should get down to business and publish good books rather than good chat/blogs/tweeting But from where I sit it, I am going to twitter this, “I am putting my boots on it is getting thick!”

  • Jill

    To Mike and Jim Thomasen: I appreciate the fuller response to my challenge in the follow-up. My response wasn’t intended as “Playing the class card” and I apologize if my response above seemed rude as that was truly not my intent.

  • Jill

    To Mike and Jim Thomasen: I appreciate the fuller response to my challenge in the follow-up. My response wasn’t intended as “Playing the class card” and I apologize if my response above seemed rude as that was truly not my intent.

  • http://teridawnsmith.com/ Teri Smith

    As a new writer seeking to be published, I feel a little insignificant here, but I’d like to say that the twitter from a CEO at Thomas Nelson helps us to know that these gifted men at the top are real Christians, real people, and not mysterious executives who have no touch with the rest of us. I think it shows a genuine desire to connect with us and include us in communication. How could anyone suggest Mr. Hyatt stop? Thankfully, he knows what he’s doing and won’t.

  • http://teridawnsmith.com Teri Smith

    As a new writer seeking to be published, I feel a little insignificant here, but I’d like to say that the twitter from a CEO at Thomas Nelson helps us to know that these gifted men at the top are real Christians, real people, and not mysterious executives who have no touch with the rest of us. I think it shows a genuine desire to connect with us and include us in communication. How could anyone suggest Mr. Hyatt stop? Thankfully, he knows what he’s doing and won’t.

  • http://www.fictionmatters.blogspot.com/ Bonnie Grove

    Michael, My prayers to the families affected. Difficult, difficult.

    I wonder if Canada played a role in these layoffs? When R. G. Mitchelle closed their doors and filed for bankrupcy, Thomas Nelson was owed C$1.25 million.

    That’s a huge hit for any company to try to absorb.

    ~A wondering Canadian writer~

  • http://www.fictionmatters.blogspot.com Bonnie Grove

    Michael, My prayers to the families affected. Difficult, difficult.

    I wonder if Canada played a role in these layoffs? When R. G. Mitchelle closed their doors and filed for bankrupcy, Thomas Nelson was owed C$1.25 million.

    That’s a huge hit for any company to try to absorb.

    ~A wondering Canadian writer~

  • derek jager

    When Mike had to lay people off earlier this year, I contacted him and his HR people to see which laid-off editors they would recommend to assist me on a freelance basis to help polish up a book I was writing.

    Mike and his HR team immediately provided me with a list of names and I was able to put some money into a-just-laid off editor’s pocket.

    My point is, any writers reading this, if you need some editorial help-and ALL writers do!–think of contacting Mike and getting the names of those who were just laid off. They are a wonderful, talented group of people and by hiring them, you are putting legs on your faith…and money (and hope) into their pocket!

  • derek jager

    When Mike had to lay people off earlier this year, I contacted him and his HR people to see which laid-off editors they would recommend to assist me on a freelance basis to help polish up a book I was writing.

    Mike and his HR team immediately provided me with a list of names and I was able to put some money into a-just-laid off editor’s pocket.

    My point is, any writers reading this, if you need some editorial help-and ALL writers do!–think of contacting Mike and getting the names of those who were just laid off. They are a wonderful, talented group of people and by hiring them, you are putting legs on your faith…and money (and hope) into their pocket!

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com/ Michael S. Hyatt

    @Bonnie: Yes, indeed, it was factor. R.G. Mitchell’s bankruptcy negatively impacted several Christian publishers.

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com Michael S. Hyatt

    @Bonnie: Yes, indeed, it was factor. R.G. Mitchell’s bankruptcy negatively impacted several Christian publishers.

  • http://www.GabeSmith.com/ Gabriel Smith

    Very sorry to hear the news, Mike. Our thoughts are with you and your team.

  • http://www.GabeSmith.com Gabriel Smith

    Very sorry to hear the news, Mike. Our thoughts are with you and your team.

  • TN Employee

    Mike,

    I am surprised you even say anything anymore (online or face to face) because of all of the negative responses thrown your way. Thank you for adressing what is going on in our company and for doing it so honestly and openly.

    Also, thank you for giving us the opportunity (through your twitters and blogs) to have a direct line to you with our questions and concerns – as well as the liberty to remain anonymous. I have never worked for a company where the executive leadership gave their “lower-level” employees such direct access to their time.

    Here is what I hope you and Jim can help us with moving forward – I have seen job cut after job cut this year (2 at TN & 4 at WOF) and sometimes feel as though I am coming to work and just waiting to get fired. How can the ELT encourage and motivate us who are still employed (and who’s productivity is crucial to the sucess of TN) to continue working hard – and even harder now that we may be picking up additional responsibilities for those jobs that are no longer?

    Please don’t get me wrong – I thank God everyday that I wake up and have this job to go to, especially in our economic environment. However to me, these cutbacks are more of a distraction than blogs, twitters, and facebook.

    Thanks for any inspiration you can give. Maybe it’s a topic for your next blog…

  • TN Employee

    Mike,

    I am surprised you even say anything anymore (online or face to face) because of all of the negative responses thrown your way. Thank you for adressing what is going on in our company and for doing it so honestly and openly.

    Also, thank you for giving us the opportunity (through your twitters and blogs) to have a direct line to you with our questions and concerns – as well as the liberty to remain anonymous. I have never worked for a company where the executive leadership gave their “lower-level” employees such direct access to their time.

    Here is what I hope you and Jim can help us with moving forward – I have seen job cut after job cut this year (2 at TN & 4 at WOF) and sometimes feel as though I am coming to work and just waiting to get fired. How can the ELT encourage and motivate us who are still employed (and who’s productivity is crucial to the sucess of TN) to continue working hard – and even harder now that we may be picking up additional responsibilities for those jobs that are no longer?

    Please don’t get me wrong – I thank God everyday that I wake up and have this job to go to, especially in our economic environment. However to me, these cutbacks are more of a distraction than blogs, twitters, and facebook.

    Thanks for any inspiration you can give. Maybe it’s a topic for your next blog…

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com/ Michael S. Hyatt

    @TN Employee: Yes, I was actually planning on writing on this topic. My working title is, “So We’ve Had the Layoffs. Now What?” I want to specifically address those who have survived a layoff (or two).

    Thanks for your input.

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com Michael S. Hyatt

    @TN Employee: Yes, I was actually planning on writing on this topic. My working title is, “So We’ve Had the Layoffs. Now What?” I want to specifically address those who have survived a layoff (or two).

    Thanks for your input.

  • http://www.ramonarichards.com/ Ramona

    Yow! To Mr. “Franklin,” perhaps you should take your own advice about reading Poor Richard (or our own Bible products) and not judge someone based solely on public statements. Until you have walked Mike’s path, you cannot know him, his heart, or his judgment.

    I am an author and a current employee of TNI who thought I would be one of the ones cut. I had already cleaned my desk and prepared my personal employees (I’m the mom of a disabled child who has caregivers) because the loss of my job would affect the income of three families. That I am still employed is a praise, but there were six who are leaving my department. We all know it happens.

    You have no idea how the employees who have been cut feel about this move. Some are justifiably angry, but most I’ve talked to understand what’s happening inside and outside Nelson. Some have already received inquiries from other publishers because those in our industry know how well Nelson trains their employees.

    And some are rejoicing that God has closed one door and opened others. Yes – REJOICING. This is not lip service to the bosses; this is private expression to friends.

    Today our department is taking those who are leaving out to lunch to love on them. I’ve already hired one as a freelancer to help her transition. This afternoon, they have the outsourcing counseling.

    To seriously believe that Mike is not grieving because he’s not constantly beating his chest in public and slicing open the inner workings of Nelson’s private finances is a serious misjudgment of the man and the company. To say that cutting our output is to blame (or is short-sighted) is to reveal a lack of knowledge of what we cut (much of which was NOT new product or innovative, helpful books) and how the book business works.

    So you are judging not only Mike but his team without full information or knowledge. Your disgust is seriously misplaced.

  • http://www.ramonarichards.com Ramona

    Yow! To Mr. “Franklin,” perhaps you should take your own advice about reading Poor Richard (or our own Bible products) and not judge someone based solely on public statements. Until you have walked Mike’s path, you cannot know him, his heart, or his judgment.

    I am an author and a current employee of TNI who thought I would be one of the ones cut. I had already cleaned my desk and prepared my personal employees (I’m the mom of a disabled child who has caregivers) because the loss of my job would affect the income of three families. That I am still employed is a praise, but there were six who are leaving my department. We all know it happens.

    You have no idea how the employees who have been cut feel about this move. Some are justifiably angry, but most I’ve talked to understand what’s happening inside and outside Nelson. Some have already received inquiries from other publishers because those in our industry know how well Nelson trains their employees.

    And some are rejoicing that God has closed one door and opened others. Yes – REJOICING. This is not lip service to the bosses; this is private expression to friends.

    Today our department is taking those who are leaving out to lunch to love on them. I’ve already hired one as a freelancer to help her transition. This afternoon, they have the outsourcing counseling.

    To seriously believe that Mike is not grieving because he’s not constantly beating his chest in public and slicing open the inner workings of Nelson’s private finances is a serious misjudgment of the man and the company. To say that cutting our output is to blame (or is short-sighted) is to reveal a lack of knowledge of what we cut (much of which was NOT new product or innovative, helpful books) and how the book business works.

    So you are judging not only Mike but his team without full information or knowledge. Your disgust is seriously misplaced.

  • http://www.lynettesowell.com/ Lynette Sowell

    First, I am sorry about the difficult decision TN had to make to let people go. Let’s hope that Christians will step up and support those who’ve been laid off at times like this, and let’s hope that we can point others to opportunities.

    As far as a CEO twittering, I see no problem with it. As a “worker drone” in the company I work for, it has been easy for me to think of CEOs as being out of touch with what “average” people are doing. Twitter can be a tool to change that. At least I hope so.

  • http://www.lynettesowell.com Lynette Sowell

    First, I am sorry about the difficult decision TN had to make to let people go. Let’s hope that Christians will step up and support those who’ve been laid off at times like this, and let’s hope that we can point others to opportunities.

    As far as a CEO twittering, I see no problem with it. As a “worker drone” in the company I work for, it has been easy for me to think of CEOs as being out of touch with what “average” people are doing. Twitter can be a tool to change that. At least I hope so.

  • http://christianfictiononlinemagazine.com/ Bonnie Calhoun

    Mike, I am so sorry to hear this sad news. My empathy goes out to you. I know it is a great burden on your heart, and I will pray that God grants you peace at this time of the season when hearts should be joyous.

    In life we don’t have a testamony until we’ve had the test and gone thru the fire.

    I have worked with some very fine people at Nelson, and I pray that the Lord gives them encouraging directions in this great time of distress.

    God bless!

  • http://www.colleencoble.com/ Colleen Coble

    Mike’s foresight in cutting back on titles a few months ago prevented more people being laid off. I’m CEO of American Christian Fiction Writers and I heard from many publishing professionals–and bookstores–that Thomas Nelson’s move was smart and what was very much needed in the industry.

    One thing I love about Mike is that he is always thinking ahead to what is best. He has a huge weight on his shoulders and takes his responsibilities very seriously. No one was more grieved at having to lay off employees than Mike. I’m proud to be part of the Thomas Nelson author family and proud of Mike’s integrity.

  • http://www.colleencoble.com Colleen Coble

    Mike’s foresight in cutting back on titles a few months ago prevented more people being laid off. I’m CEO of American Christian Fiction Writers and I heard from many publishing professionals–and bookstores–that Thomas Nelson’s move was smart and what was very much needed in the industry.

    One thing I love about Mike is that he is always thinking ahead to what is best. He has a huge weight on his shoulders and takes his responsibilities very seriously. No one was more grieved at having to lay off employees than Mike. I’m proud to be part of the Thomas Nelson author family and proud of Mike’s integrity.

  • http://christianfictiononlinemagazine.com/ Bonnie Calhoun

    Mike, I am so sorry to hear this sad news. My empathy goes out to you. I know it is a great burden on your heart, and I will pray that God grants you peace at this time of the season when hearts should be joyous.

    In life we don’t have a testamony until we’ve had the test and gone thru the fire.

    I have worked with some very fine people at Nelson, and I pray that the Lord gives them encouraging directions in this great time of distress.

    God bless!

  • B Franklin

    Ramona,
    As a pragmatist, author and scholar, I and my namesake reject your statements about judgments. It is for us to judge the information that we are provided from the source and since this is passed to the public forum, it is what it is. As a CEO, Mr. Hyatt, should be judged on what he says and does rather than the “love on them” mentality that you expound. That is the problem that brings us here today. How are your books doing by the way?

    I have held several positions and walked many a mile, granted not in his shoes, and have made sure that I personally had exhausted all possibilities and made a demonstration before affecting others. We have felt the pain and prospered before.

    I find it astounding that you do not feel that you were betrayed from the top. We will not have any additional layoffs and 60 days later, back from my vacation feeling good, oh by the way I was wrong, now good luck and get out in winter.

    Perhaps you feel blessed and you are fortunate. Others were not and I am one of the angry.

  • B Franklin

    Ramona,
    As a pragmatist, author and scholar, I and my namesake reject your statements about judgments. It is for us to judge the information that we are provided from the source and since this is passed to the public forum, it is what it is. As a CEO, Mr. Hyatt, should be judged on what he says and does rather than the “love on them” mentality that you expound. That is the problem that brings us here today. How are your books doing by the way?

    I have held several positions and walked many a mile, granted not in his shoes, and have made sure that I personally had exhausted all possibilities and made a demonstration before affecting others. We have felt the pain and prospered before.

    I find it astounding that you do not feel that you were betrayed from the top. We will not have any additional layoffs and 60 days later, back from my vacation feeling good, oh by the way I was wrong, now good luck and get out in winter.

    Perhaps you feel blessed and you are fortunate. Others were not and I am one of the angry.

  • Lindsey Nobles

    @ B Franklin: As a Thomas Nelson employee, I just want to clarify one thing. Mike Hyatt did not tell us on September 19th that there would be no further layoffs. He said that a layoff was not being planned and that there had been no discussions about layoffs at that time. Obviously the economy has seriously eroded since that date and they become unavoidable.

    This is a difficult time for Thomas Nelson employees, both those who remain and those who have lost their jobs. I think that our time should be focused on how we can support each other during these hard times instead of pointing fingers and placing blame.

  • Lindsey Nobles

    @ B Franklin: As a Thomas Nelson employee, I just want to clarify one thing. Mike Hyatt did not tell us on September 19th that there would be no further layoffs. He said that a layoff was not being planned and that there had been no discussions about layoffs at that time. Obviously the economy has seriously eroded since that date and they become unavoidable.

    This is a difficult time for Thomas Nelson employees, both those who remain and those who have lost their jobs. I think that our time should be focused on how we can support each other during these hard times instead of pointing fingers and placing blame.

  • http://www.ramonarichards.com/ Ramona

    Mr. “Franklin,” then we will have to agree to disagree. I would not have felt “betrayed from the top,” even if I had been one of the ones cut. As I said, I was prepared for it because I keep my head up, stay aware of my environment, and listen to those around me, including the ones at the top.

    As for my books, they are doing quite well. The ones I edit here are fine, and the ones I write for another publisher (who has also seen losses recently) just as nicely. I’ve been doing this for 30 years, and publishing has always been feast or famine. It’s the nature of the beast.

    I’ve been fired before, the kind where they escort you to the door and ship your personal things to you in crumpled boxes. I know how it feels. It happened to me when my husband and I were already bankrupt. It was the last straw and resulted in a divorce and three years of part time jobs. So I’m not talking from an ivory tower. I’m talking from the position of a survivor.

    So, yeah, I feel blessed, and I can see all too clearly how TNI is handling this. I’ve never known a company to handle it better. And I will continue to love on those who are leaving and support the ones left with the heavier workloads.

    It’s life.

  • http://www.ramonarichards.com Ramona

    Mr. “Franklin,” then we will have to agree to disagree. I would not have felt “betrayed from the top,” even if I had been one of the ones cut. As I said, I was prepared for it because I keep my head up, stay aware of my environment, and listen to those around me, including the ones at the top.

    As for my books, they are doing quite well. The ones I edit here are fine, and the ones I write for another publisher (who has also seen losses recently) just as nicely. I’ve been doing this for 30 years, and publishing has always been feast or famine. It’s the nature of the beast.

    I’ve been fired before, the kind where they escort you to the door and ship your personal things to you in crumpled boxes. I know how it feels. It happened to me when my husband and I were already bankrupt. It was the last straw and resulted in a divorce and three years of part time jobs. So I’m not talking from an ivory tower. I’m talking from the position of a survivor.

    So, yeah, I feel blessed, and I can see all too clearly how TNI is handling this. I’ve never known a company to handle it better. And I will continue to love on those who are leaving and support the ones left with the heavier workloads.

    It’s life.

  • http://www.faithmouse.com/ Dan Lacey

    A cartoon of encouragement for you-

    http://www.faithmouse.com/a_strong_foundation.jpg

  • http://www.faithmouse.com Dan Lacey

    A cartoon of encouragement for you-

    http://www.faithmouse.com/a_strong_foundation.jpg

  • http://www.daveneta.com/ Neta Jackson

    Oh my. I am just now hearing about the layoffs at TN. My heart goes out to all who have been laid off, to those who had to make the tough decisions, and to those still holding the fort. It’s tough, tough, tough on everyone. I’ve been in this business with its ups and downs long enough–and believe me, as a TN author, I’m having to cut new notches in my belt too–to know one thing: God is faithful. I will be praying for all concerned.

  • http://www.daveneta.com Neta Jackson

    Oh my. I am just now hearing about the layoffs at TN. My heart goes out to all who have been laid off, to those who had to make the tough decisions, and to those still holding the fort. It’s tough, tough, tough on everyone. I’ve been in this business with its ups and downs long enough–and believe me, as a TN author, I’m having to cut new notches in my belt too–to know one thing: God is faithful. I will be praying for all concerned.

  • Mary

    I’m sorry (and a little surprised I guess since personally I’ve been on a book buying spree lately) to hear of the layoffs.

    Books make wonderful Christmas gifts and usually cost a good deal less than say, a nice sweater.

    Just a thought from a satisfied customer (I recently purchased all the Frank Peretti books for kids but I’m not affiliated with Thomas Nelson.)

    I’d like to add that our son experienced a devastating lay-off several months ago. He found his dream job earning 4 times as much and “having” to travel to Paris several times a year. I know it’s anecdotal but when you hear these stories again and again ….

  • Mary

    I’m sorry (and a little surprised I guess since personally I’ve been on a book buying spree lately) to hear of the layoffs.

    Books make wonderful Christmas gifts and usually cost a good deal less than say, a nice sweater.

    Just a thought from a satisfied customer (I recently purchased all the Frank Peretti books for kids but I’m not affiliated with Thomas Nelson.)

    I’d like to add that our son experienced a devastating lay-off several months ago. He found his dream job earning 4 times as much and “having” to travel to Paris several times a year. I know it’s anecdotal but when you hear these stories again and again ….

  • http://www.brainleadersandlearners.com/ Ellen Weber

    Hearts have gone out – and that’s as it should be. My question is this: “When it is time to let anger and regret go? Why care about letting go, when emotions heat? Dynamic new research shows there are barriers to the plasticity you’ll need to rewire the brain’s plasticity for the next exciting place in your call. Holding onto anger and blame is the brain’s road to disaster for you!

    http://www.brainleadersandlearners.com/

    No accidents here – but huge barriers to the very place that holds new rewards for each one let go! Why block these new segues?

    Life is tough. People move on – and get stronger for so doing.

    We’ve all been disappointed and we’ve all been given mental tools we need to engage in order to make new wonders happen. We are all rooting for you, but only you can break loose from anger and move into curiosity for God’s next place for your fine talents! Why tie His hands from moving you on!

  • http://www.brainleadersandlearners.com/ Ellen Weber

    Hearts have gone out – and that’s as it should be. My question is this: “When it is time to let anger and regret go? Why care about letting go, when emotions heat? Dynamic new research shows there are barriers to the plasticity you’ll need to rewire the brain’s plasticity for the next exciting place in your call. Holding onto anger and blame is the brain’s road to disaster for you!

    http://www.brainleadersandlearners.com/

    No accidents here – but huge barriers to the very place that holds new rewards for each one let go! Why block these new segues?

    Life is tough. People move on – and get stronger for so doing.

    We’ve all been disappointed and we’ve all been given mental tools we need to engage in order to make new wonders happen. We are all rooting for you, but only you can break loose from anger and move into curiosity for God’s next place for your fine talents! Why tie His hands from moving you on!

  • http://www.brainleadersandlearners.com/ Ellen Weber

    Sorry – why let it go and how to do so now – should have read http://www.brainleadersandlearners.com/plasticity/let-it-go/

    I posted wrong url.

    Best blessings Thomas Nelson Community! You deserve the best!

  • http://www.brainleadersandlearners.com/ Ellen Weber

    Sorry – why let it go and how to do so now – should have read http://www.brainleadersandlearners.com/plasticity/let-it-go/

    I posted wrong url.

    Best blessings Thomas Nelson Community! You deserve the best!

  • Mary

    I often comment then go back to read what everyone else is saying. I hope it’s okay to add one more thought … I appreciate reading posts like these and all the comments as it’s a reality check for me. I prefer to put my energy into working hard, getting (and/or staying) out of debt, saving and giving to those less fortunate than to be so critical. It’s easy to deal out harsh words but I don’t think that is productive or helpful. I do think Christmas is a season of giving and it will be more needed and appreciated than ever.

  • Mary

    I often comment then go back to read what everyone else is saying. I hope it’s okay to add one more thought … I appreciate reading posts like these and all the comments as it’s a reality check for me. I prefer to put my energy into working hard, getting (and/or staying) out of debt, saving and giving to those less fortunate than to be so critical. It’s easy to deal out harsh words but I don’t think that is productive or helpful. I do think Christmas is a season of giving and it will be more needed and appreciated than ever.

  • Mike Mason

    As a former Nelson employee, I grieve at the loss of jobs for some old friends and their families. These decisions are agonizing for senior management. I know, I recently had to do it myself. I also know that Mike is one of the finest people I have ever known. During the most difficult year of my professional life, a year in which I was thrown around like a ragdoll in a political tornado, he befriended me when there was nothing to be gained by it. He kept my spirits up and I will always be in his debt for that. I have no doubt he treated the affected employees with that same love and care.

  • Mike Mason

    As a former Nelson employee, I grieve at the loss of jobs for some old friends and their families. These decisions are agonizing for senior management. I know, I recently had to do it myself. I also know that Mike is one of the finest people I have ever known. During the most difficult year of my professional life, a year in which I was thrown around like a ragdoll in a political tornado, he befriended me when there was nothing to be gained by it. He kept my spirits up and I will always be in his debt for that. I have no doubt he treated the affected employees with that same love and care.

  • Troy Miller

    Michael,
    Maybe less “twitter” and more work?
    My prayers are with the people that were laid off, their families and the wisdon of your Board of Directors who are responsible for your review. The reason why your stock went up was that you cut expenses… people.

  • Troy Miller

    Michael,
    Maybe less “twitter” and more work?
    My prayers are with the people that were laid off, their families and the wisdon of your Board of Directors who are responsible for your review. The reason why your stock went up was that you cut expenses… people.

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com/ Michael S. Hyatt

    @Troy:

    I answered the Twitter question above, earlier in the comments.

    With regard to our “stock price,” we are not a public company. Our stock is not traded, so I am not sure where you got the idea that our “stock went up.” Perhaps it was from my earlier tweet that our market share went up. This is completely different and unrelated to cutting expenses.

    Thanks,

    Mike

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com Michael S. Hyatt

    @Troy:

    I answered the Twitter question above, earlier in the comments.

    With regard to our “stock price,” we are not a public company. Our stock is not traded, so I am not sure where you got the idea that our “stock went up.” Perhaps it was from my earlier tweet that our market share went up. This is completely different and unrelated to cutting expenses.

    Thanks,

    Mike

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com/ Michael S. Hyatt

    I am shutting down this thread. Everything that could be said has been said. It’s time to move on.

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com Michael S. Hyatt

    I am shutting down this thread. Everything that could be said has been said. It’s time to move on.