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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Stan Gryskiewicz, November 5, 1998. Interview S-0016. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Aftermath of 1973 management reorganization

Gryskiewicz discusses the immediate aftermath of the 1973 reorganization of the Center for Creative Leadership's management team. During the reorganization, Gryskiewicz's supervisor, Doug Holmes, was removed from his position, as were a number of others. Gryskiewicz describes how the Center approached this, emphasizing that the Center was not vindictive in its hiring and firing processes. The passage concludes with Gryskiewicz's brief comments about David Campbell, who was hired to help with curriculum development.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Stan Gryskiewicz, November 5, 1998. Interview S-0016. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

JOSEPH MOSNIER:
Tell me about settling in after the reorganization. Bob Dorn has come to your house after you had to be down in Florida.
STAN GRYSKIEWICZ:
Yeah, yeah. Then the announcement was made and all these people—as much as Holmes had stuff going this way, well, when he brought in this captain, there was a lot of stuff going this way, too. So here were these people who all of a sudden realized that we looked around and we're going to go. Sherry Douglas, she may be worth interviewing. I think I can get you—she's in Austin, Texas now. She's got another name. But I can get that for you. And then there was this new Ph.D. that Doug had just hired and three months, six months later, she lost her job. So she had to leave. The captain left. He went to work for Celanese. He's now working for Exxon, I believe. There were several people. There may have been one or two more, but I remember those distinctly, those three.
JOSEPH MOSNIER:
How was that, the reorganization handled?
STAN GRYSKIEWICZ:
Joe Wexler was another one. Joe Wexler was yet another one who left. And he's now with Compaq Computers and doing fine.
JOSEPH MOSNIER:
How did they handle it? I mean did people pack up and leave?
STAN GRYSKIEWICZ:
No, I think they handled it pretty well. They gave them a period of time. They gave them, I think, some cash. And they helped them find work.
JOSEPH MOSNIER:
So it wasn't just...
STAN GRYSKIEWICZ:
No, no, no, no. This organization has never done that. I don't think it's ever, ever done that. In fact, one of my learnings as a manager, one time I managed a large group here was to fire someone, which is always a difficult thing to do. So the Center let the guy stay here for a couple weeks. Well this couple of weeks turned into a couple months. I remember having finally to go down and take him and say, "David, you need to go." I took him to the front door. He said, "Oh, okay." It was David Strong, and he's out in Hawaii now. But he also had a lady inside the organization that he was living with, so he would spend a lot of time at her desk. So I finally had to say, "David, David, David." So he was out. But we've never done anything that was you're out of here. Never, never. At least I'm not aware of it. It may have happened, but...
JOSEPH MOSNIER:
How did Bob Dorn kind of regroup for everybody and get things going again?
STAN GRYSKIEWICZ:
He had this guy working for him named Al Scarborough. So he had Scarborough, Sternbergh, Gryskiewicz, and Peter, a guy named Peter who left too. Peter left too, Peter Murdoch. He was an English psychologist from Manchester University. So Bob clearly had to move us in the direction of we needed. And what they said was okay was a leadership training program. So we've got to make this happen. So we fussed around for a long time trying to find out what that would be and it was this group of executives they brought in again, listened to what we said could be in this thing and tried out some of our exercises and they were giving us feedback like yeah, yeah. And John Red eluded to this the other day. Remember, one of them was my former father-in-law. He was an executive at Prudential, and he was very supportive, liked what we were doing. So early on, we had Prudential people coming through courses. But in terms of moving us along quickly, it took really was David Campbell coming in to finally say there's a northbound train. We need a curriculum. We need to run a program.
JOSEPH MOSNIER:
Let's spend a little time on that. Did the arrival of Ken Clark at the level of chairman of the board of governors and David Campbell as this person who's going to have this big role as recharting research direction.
STAN GRYSKIEWICZ:
You've heard my story about this, I thought they had the wrong Campbell. Oh, it was great. I said, "This stupid board we have, we've got the wrong Campbell." There are at least three Campbells at the University of Minnesota. We heard Campbell form Minnesota. David is the last one that who's had any interest in research and leadership in management. There was a John Campbell. There was a Donald Campbell. And then they said, "No, it's David Campbell." You mean the interest measure guy? John Campbell is an industrial organizational psychologist. What? You know. Oh yeah, the other name that was floating around then was Marvin Dunnette, which was another big name. But David Campbell, I said, "This stupid board." We had the sense of the board doesn't know what they're doing. But David came on with another great person who for me was Donald MacKinnon, who opened doors for me and he was the one who got me to go back and get my Ph.D. And he was the one who counseled me through my divorce. This guy in his 70's here and he was telling me, "You know, I've studied creative people all my life and there's a lot of turbulence in their life." He said, "Not to worry, this will pass." A wonderful human being. So Campbell and MacKinnon came in at the same time.