Daily CSR
Daily CSR

Daily CSR
Daily news about corporate social responsibility, ethics and sustainability

A decade long experience at T-Mobile


An inspiring take by Mike Siever.

Wow, it's been ten years since I started at T-Mobile. Ten years! To say A LOT has happened in that time would be an understatement. T-Mobile was rebuilding after a failed merger but working on another with MetroPCS when I joined Team Magenta.

We had slightly more than 33 million customers. Our former CEO, John Legere, had only recently joined. We didn't have the iPhone or LTE service yet. We had just launched our first nationwide unlimited 4G data plan. We were focused on prepaid and our "challenger strategy" in cities, and we were just getting started on plans for a new groundbreaking Un-carrier approach that would change wireless as we knew it.

That only scratches the surface, but a LOT has happened in that time.

Work "Magentaversaries" are a big deal in our Un-carrier culture. We enjoy celebrations (especially when there is magenta confetti involved! ), but these annual moments of recognition are more than that. Our people and distinct culture are what distinguishes us as the Un-carrier, and Magentaversaries allow us to reflect on what we've accomplished — together. Wins, losses, and successful and unsuccessful moments Without a doubt, we've seen it all and learned a lot along the way.

We don't always take the time to reflect on how far we've come in the fast-paced world of wireless. People who have influenced us. The actions we've taken. But we must! Even as we welcome new talent to the team (we've hired more people every year since the merger closed in 2020! ), we should never pass up the opportunity to recognize these achievements — from first years to impressive 20-, 25-, or 30-year anniversaries, and everything in between and beyond!

In that spirit, I was reflecting on what I've learned from a decade of work here and what has inspired me. I decided to share ten things with you. Time flies for me when I'm doing big things for our customers with the most dedicated team of employees. Every day is an exciting and fast-paced adventure!

Smart decision making on risks
T-Mobile recognized that customers deserved better in the early days of the Un-carrier. Under John's leadership, our team decided to put customers first and put them first in everything, and we've built on that approach in the years I've been CEO. We quickly realised back then that we needed to force change on a severely broken wireless industry. Playing it safe just won't do. We needed to take some risks in order to truly shake up wireless... so we did.

People thought we were crazy for making daring Un-carrier moves like eliminating hidden fees and eliminating data limits for good, but we knew it would pay off. Our conviction? Invest in your customers, and if you serve them well, they will invest in you back. Today, we have more than 20 Un-carrier moves (and additions to those moves) under our belt (and counting), as well as an unwavering focus on providing customers with the best network, the best value, and the best experiences.

Competition is the mother of innovation
This has always been a fiercely competitive industry, and the good news for T-Mobile is that it is exactly what we want. When faced with pressure from the competition, you can either buckle or pave the way, as we are doing with our large lead in 5G. T-Mobile has the largest, fastest, and most reliable nationwide 5G network, as you are probably aware. That new level of quality competition, made possible by our game-changing merger with Sprint a few years ago, is inspiring all kinds of investments and change across the industry. Consider the massive 5G investments our competitors are now making in order to catch up to T-Mobile!

When true competition occurs, customers at all carriers win. That is why T-Mobile is advancing technology for consumers by introducing 5G standalone, a significant step toward unleashing life-changing apps that will thrive on a pure 5G network. We also created Easy Switch, a simple, innovative, and quick (only five minutes!) way for people to use their unlocked eSIM-compatible smartphones to switch to the Un-carrier.

Swim upstream
Putting customers first can be costly and, at times, lonely. But when everyone else is going in the opposite direction, it only strengthens our resolve at T-Mobile. This summer, both of our main competitors implemented significant price increases to their monthly plans for millions of customers, generating significant revenue. We were repeatedly asked if we would respond in kind. What was our reaction? Price Lock is our signature guarantee that we will not raise the price of your monthly voice and data plan. It's a great example of us going it alone and trusting our customers. What's more, guess what? This year, our postpaid service revenue growth has outpaced the industry's major players, demonstrating that swimming upstream for customers is not only good, but also good business.

Creating an inclusive culture
T-Mobile is a vibrant and diverse workplace, and our customer-focused employee community is the Un-carrier's single most important differentiator. Investing in our team — and working to foster a culture in which every employee from every background can work authentically — is a key component of our success. Every day for many years, we've worked to cultivate and nurture a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Our Equity In Action plan ensures that DE&I remains at the center of our values.

Our focus here makes the company a better place to work, benefits the communities we serve, and contributes to our market success. We still have a lot of work to do here, and we're far from finished. But I know the effort is worthwhile when I meet team members who tell me how our efforts to foster an open and inclusive culture have improved their lives — and the lives of our company.

You’re never too old to learn
I've previously discussed the growth mindset. T-Mobile refers to this as the "We Won't Stop" mindset. We're all about growth, which means developing people and filling positions based on what you can do rather than "what you've done." We strive to invest in potential because it isn't always about formal qualifications or lines on a resume. It's all about tenacity. And restlessness — a never-ending pursuit of the difficult. I'm grateful to the leaders who have allowed me to test my potential and thirst for opportunity throughout my career.

They took a chance on me, and I've enjoyed the opportunity to repay them. T-Mobile is all in on finding talented individuals who are ready to bring their passion, tenacity, and agility — because we have big things to accomplish together!

We value these students because learning from others is an important part of the leadership journey. We should all invest in our career and personal growth by learning and listening, whether through casual connections with those we admire or formal mentoring opportunities. This year, I launched my Sidekicks Conversations series with the idea that everyone has a story to tell and something to teach us.

Success breeds success
In 2012, we had 26.5 million branded customers. With over 110 million customer connections, we continue to add more customers than our two largest competitors combined. T-Mobile has the most momentum in wireless, and we've built on that by focusing on a tragically broken broadband industry that was locking customers into expensive contracts for subpar service. We've made it simple for customers to "break up" with their cable company with Internet Freedom, our groundbreaking Un-carrier move to support T-Mobile 5G Home Internet! Today, our 5G Home Internet service is experiencing industry-leading growth by adhering to the same customer-first principles that have propelled us to the forefront of mobile connections.

Mistakes can be useful
T-Mobile has an insatiable appetite for taking risks and charting new, uncharted paths... But not everything works every time, and we have to accept that. Warning: cheesy poster-quote alert: You're not taking enough shots if you're making every one. Alternatively, if you don't go out on a limb, you'll never get the best fruit. But, in reality, failures aren't always bad; they can be exactly what you need to grow. We move quickly, learn from our customers, and change direction without hesitation or regret. We also continue to move as we learn, adjust, learn, and adjust again. That rate of change can be stressful, but it's also normal at the Un-carrier.

Be the owner 
Have you ever had the experience as a customer that it is simply preferable to deal directly with the owner of a business? They accept accountability. Customers are important to them. They respond quickly to problems. We noticed it as well. That's why, under our previous CEO, we decided years ago to make every T-Mobile employee an owner through meaningful annual stock grants. That's a policy I've upheld during my tenure as CEO of the combined company. We behave as if we are owners because we ARE owners.

Generate real impact
T-business Mobile's is to connect people — and that includes everyone. Our commitment to standing up for customers — to delivering 5G for GOOD — includes underserved communities, first responders, remote populations, and at-risk students. I'm especially proud of the work we've done through Project 10Million, our ground-breaking program that aims to provide a free hotspot, free or heavily subsidized data plans, and access to low-cost laptops and tablets to 10 million eligible students.

So far, we've invested $3.65 billion in services to connect 4.3 million students in the United States, and our efforts are ongoing. Big businesses like ours have a huge impact on the world we live in, and it is critical that we use our business platforms to help achieve systemic change.

Perseverance and succeed
T-Mobile and Sprint merged. Do I need to say more? Try again and again. It took a lot of guts to bring a supercharged T-Mobile to life. Despite obstacles and challenges, we never wavered from our goal of delivering a transformative nationwide 5G network, better products at unrivalled value, increased competition, and access for underserved communities.

Check, check, check, and check some more. We persisted because we knew we were correct in believing that our new company would bring a new level of competition to the market, and that T-Mobile and customers everywhere would benefit. After two and a half years of planning and fighting for the merger, and another two and a half years of integrating the companies to form today's T-Mobile, we have achieved unprecedented success in telecommunications history. I'm so proud of this team and the work they do every day. And I'm excited to see what the next ten years bring!