How This Manager Helps Inspire 1,400 Employees
Photo Credit: Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock
This post is part of a series of branded posts sponsored by Verizon Business. The focus of the series — part of a paid partnership between Verizon Business and CircleAround — is on women small business owners, and how they are navigating the complexities and challenges of contemporary business, from the pandemic to the economy.
Managing a team of any size requires patience, organization, and collaboration. These skills become even more important when working with particularly large groups. Wendy Taccetta, senior vice president for nationwide small business and channel chief for Verizon Business, knows this firsthand. She works with more than 1,400 employees and is responsible for helping her team achieve greatness.
"I am thrilled to be responsible for two critical initiatives at Verizon: small business growth and expanding our partner program to bring new and custom solutions to our customers," Taccetta tells CircleAround.
When the pandemic hit, Taccetta helped her team quickly adapt to the changes. “We leveraged our acquisition of BlueJeans, our video platform for business, to help companies solve their virtual challenges,” she says. “[...] but the most important thing we did was bring our employees along for the journey. We spoke to them every day at noon and shared our progress. #ForwardTogether was our mantra, and it kept our customers and our employees at the center of our decisions.”
Taccetta knows that fostering a culture of collaboration and growth among employees is of the utmost importance. “The first step of large team collaboration is to define the problem and what success would entail,” she tells CircleAround. “Ideally, you can capture the mission on one page. And then every meeting should include a snapshot. All of the reporting and recognition should align to the core mission.”
Taccetta also understands that being a manager is a privileged role, and that it’s her job to ensure junior team members have a voice, especially during times of crisis. “If you are the senior member of the team, never be the first person to offer an opinion,” Taccetta says. “If you want real feedback from the team, encourage opinions before you share your own.”
One of her favorite strategies includes creating a Destroy the Plan team. This is a team made up of people who will be directly impacted by the work. Their main objective is to identify five things that could make the plan fail. "I believe in the power of listening posts. Without front-line feedback, you can easily create a plan that doesn’t meet the needs of the people doing the work,” Taccetta tells CircleAround.
Taccetta also leads weekly Get Things Done (GTD) meetings. “This meeting doesn’t have an agenda until the day before,” she explains. “It is a standing meeting for the core team that can make decisions. The items that are stuck are brought to the meeting and a decision is required at the end. Sometimes it is one topic, and sometimes it’s five. The goal is to carve out a consistent time for a must-have meeting. It reduces the amount of ad hoc meetings and it means that the right players are always in the room. We always say we will cancel if we don’t need it. I’m still waiting for that to happen.”
As the world begins to adjust to new norms of living and working, Taccetta is humbled to lead new initiatives that will help small businesses recover even faster. Such solutions will be agile and allow team members to work from anywhere.
"I am a passionate employee advocate, committed to leadership development, and a champion of women and other minorities in business," Taccetta says. "I believe diversity is not only the right thing to do but that it creates a stronger company and society. I work hard to keep the door of opportunity open and am committed to sustaining efforts that will give the same opportunities to others."
For this senior vice president, anything is possible, no matter how large or small her team may be. As new challenges arise, Taccetta is ready to face them head-on. “I am proud of the work that I have played a role in over the last 20 years,” she concludes. “I am excited about the possibilities that lie ahead."