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Echo Global Logistics, Inc., a leading provider of technology-enabled transportation and supply chain management services, announced today the appointment of Cheryl Johnson to the post of Senior Vice President of Talent. Ms. Johnson holds more than 16 years of progressive HR industry experience, which includes several executive-level appointments.

Ms. Johnson previously led talent management for retail chain Ulta Cosmetics. Prior to her time with Ulta, Ms. Johnson served as Divisional Vice President of Strategic Talent Management for Sears Holding Company and also spent time as Vice President of Human Resources for Fossil Inc.


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Workplace Communications: Yes, Sometimes We Still Need to Talk

I’ve been picking up the phone and calling my most important clients,” he said. “You can’t stop because there’s no email.

This was a quote based on the outage of MS Outlook this past week. The Washington Post headline blared MS Outlook outage brings offices back to the 1980’s.

For the people who were working in corporate, this was an era when there was no email to speak of, and for that matter, no computers. I had an office on Sixth Avenue in New York at that time and all I had was a phone on my desk. That was it. 

Afraid of being out of touch?

But I was in sales back then and that was all I needed. I broke every sales record at that time with just a phone. Even today, when I need to get it done and over with, I simply pick up the phone and dial.

As I read that Washington Post headline, I thought that maybe, just maybe, we could get more done if we did not hide behind the modern-day forms of communication. We have conversations today but they are ground in modern technology: email, and increasingly, text messages, Facebook messenger, Twitter, etc.

I travel quite a bit and I notice that in airports that you can always tell where the power outlets are because people are congregated around them recharging their mobile devices. They are being charged not, for the most part, to make a call, but to be able to communicate across the other platforms.

As you notice people, everyone is staring at the screen. My 85-year-old mother-in-law mentioned to me a while back that every time she travels she notices that people are not talking on their phones but are staring at the screen.

I realized that this was a conversation that I could not continue with her because she just would not understand what I was talking about. She uses her cell to make a call and then turns it off immediately. She thinks it costs more to keep it on.

Are we that afraid of being out of touch? Here in the Middle East where I work, everybody basically has two (2) phones and some will have three. When I’ve asked why, I never seem to get a credible explanation.

The Baltimore-Washington Airport (BWI) recently turned a bank of pay phones into charging stations. No one was using the public phones, so now those old style phones provide 184 outlets and USB ports at BWI for our new style of communication

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10 Difficult Coworkers and How to Cope With Them

Getting along with coworkers mostly means minding your own business, according to Geoffrey James, author of Business Without the Bullsh*t: 49 Secrets and Shortcuts You Need to Know.

          “However, there are some coworkers who need a little ‘handling,’” he explains. “It’s not difficult once you’ve spotted the behaviors.”

          Here are 10 of the most difficult coworkers:

1. The Waffler
Wafflers study everything to death, always seeking that mythical single last bit of information that will make a decision into a no-brainer. If your project hinges on a waffler, establish a deadline, with a default if no course of action is chosen.

2. The Competitor
The competitor defines the world as a zero-sum game. He always must feel that he’s won and that someone else has lost. To deal with him, channel that competitiveness into helping his team win (and somebody else’s team lose).

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Leadership Secrets From Yum! Brands CEO David Novak

By Kevin Kruse, Forbes Contributor

Chairman and CEO of Yum! Brands and author of Taking People With You, David Novak, shared his leadership advice this week in a keynote for the Society for Human Resource Management’s annual conference in Orlando, Florida.

In his role at Yum! Brands, Novak leads 1.5 million employees who work in over 40,000 KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell locations in 120 countries around the world.

“When you think about what you need to get done in your company, you know you can’t get it done by yourself,” Novak said. “There is no way you can get something done without taking people with you.”

Novak personally teaches his leadership course eight times a year. It is one of the ways that he extends his own “shadow of leadership.” His key lessons include:

1. Put people first. 
A recurring theme throughout the SHRM conference, echoed by many speakers, was that it all starts by acquiring and developing great talent. Novak said, “If you get your people capability right first…and continue to make it your first priority…I guarantee you the results will follow.”

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Are Leaders Born or Made?

A question on leadership that is still not completely resolved is whether leaders are born or made? The opinion remains scattered. However, we may know for sure that leaders can emerge from all walks of life; from all cultures, backgrounds, and in all physical appearances. Leadership is not only determined by the character and capacities of the leader but definitely also by the followers. There is no leader without followers. Another aspect that is at least as important but often overlooked is the influence a situation can have on leadership.

Some people can never emerge as a leader because everything around them runs flawlessly. Most of the world renowned leaders become great due to crisis in their times: the climate demanded action, and they came forward because their particular leadership competence was stimulated. In fact it is difficult to pin point one universal set of leadership characteristics that count for every leader because different circumstances require different performances from a leader.

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How A Top Female Exec At Google Brings Poise From Ballet To Business

It’s not often you hear a high-ranking executive at a tech company discuss the merits of classical ballet as a business metaphor, but Bonita Coleman Stewart isn’t your typical leader.

Currently, she’s vice president of partner business solutions at Google, having worked her way up from a position as national industry director of automotive when she was originally hired by the search giant in 2006. Though many Googlers were recruited right out of Stanford’s computer science program around that time—founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin are both Stanford alums—Stewart hailed from DaimlerChrysler. In pre-bust Detroit, she was busily leading the automaker’s charge in interactive communications.

A graduate of Howard University and Harvard’s MBA program, Stewart points out that she started her career in IBM’s sales and marketing departments. These bookends in tech companies gave me a radar detector for new possibilities, she says. Stewart, who takes ballet classes at least once a week when she’s not traveling, stretching beyond limits is second nature to her.

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Why your team thinks you’re a bad boss

No matter how great a boss you are, the odds are against you that your team holds the same opinion.

According to recent studies, 31% of employees say they don’t like their boss, 65% of executives would rather have a new boss than a raise, and the majority of people would trust a stranger over their boss.

No one sets out to be a bad boss. We’re just messy human beings doing the best we can. Of course with these odds, most of us are dealing with a difficult boss, too. That kind of stress flows downhill. Here are five behaviors to watch out for.

Five reasons your team thinks you’re a bad boss

1. You kiss up and stomp down

You drop everything to support your boss. You treat her with deep respect, and move mountains to accomplish whatever she asks. The problem is, all that responsive urgency leaves your team spinning, stressed and overworked.

How to fix it: Treat your team with the same level of respect you give your boss. Be just as professional and polite. Consider the impacts before making commitments. Check in frequently on workload and discuss priorities.

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The Reality of Career Reinvention

By Howard Adamsky, contributor

For those no longer fully engaged at work, or for the moment unemployed, the experience can be soul crushing. We struggle to seek out new opportunities and often have little to show for it. How are we to cope with our inability to move forward? Perhaps the answer lies, as Shakespeare said, “not in our stars but in ourselves.” Perhaps the answer lies in reinvention.

A large part of the cure to what ails us is in our ability to adapt and be flexible (think willow tree) as opposed to doing the same things and being strong (think oak tree). Our ability to change who and what we are is clearly tied to our ability to lead meaningful and productive lives. Here are five tips for moving from the people we are to the people we hope to become:

  • Play to your strengths. Many people waste time trying to become strong in the areas in which they are weak. I am a writer, a speaker, and a relationship person. I deal with ideas, concepts, words, and trust. I am not a math guy and never will be. I can try to shore up that weakness until the cows come home, but it will never happen. Even worse, it is a waste of my talent. Cope with your weakness and learn what you need to get things done as required, but play to your strengths. No one is good at everything.

  • Move three things forward. Many of us in the hunt for new jobs and new lives wake up each morning with a ton of things we want to do and not enough focus on making a difference in any one area. We try to do too much, too fast, and in a manner that is too dispersed. My suggestion for tomorrow’s plan is to pick three things that need to be done and write them down tonight. Focus on those three items. Check email when you wake up, then at 1 p.m., and then at 5 p.m. Shut down your phone. If people really need you, they will find you. Try this and you will see real results. For example, if you want to build your online presence, understand that this is a daunting task. My suggestion is to pick one thing on which to work, such as your LinkedIn profile, and spend the day doing just that. The next day, work on something else.

  • Find a partner, or a few partners. I hear from Bill every day, if not by email then by phone and at least once a week in a face-to-face over lunch. Bill is my good friend, and we have joined forces to provide leads, support, connections, ideas, and all other things positive to make a job search a bit more palatable, and at times, dare I say, a bit more fun. Having two or three partners is good because the collective work of several people is infinitely better than the individual effort of a siloed existence.

  • Get a coach. I have had more coaches in my life than anyone I know. I seldom venture out and do new things unless I get ideas and counsel from those currently standing in the place I wish to be. I don’t always agree with what they’re saying, but I get perspective and insight from trusted individuals, which helps me fight my natural inclination to believe I have all the answers. This is painful at times but necessary if you are in the reinvention business, because regardless of what you are trying to accomplish, those who are already doing it can help you. For example, if you are a CPA who wants to become an actuary, find an actuary and get the lay of the land. Tell the person what you want and then listen to his or her feedback. You might just learn something.

  • Help others. Helping others to get what they need is as old as time. Helping others does not stand so tall in importance because it is a nice thing to do but because it is a necessary thing to do. It is a requirement of being human. As a rule, I try to help everyone. Is this easy? No, but I have gotten far more in return than I have given out, and that seems to be a very good deal. Is there the occasional person who never reciprocates? Of course, but those people are rare, and in reality, who cares?

The reinvention of you and, quite frankly, of me is not going to be fun or easy. It is the daily struggle of working smart, imagining the possibilities, and sharing the journey with others. If we can remain open-minded to the possibilities that come our way and embrace meaningful change, good things are possible.

It is not too late to seek a newer world.


Want Feedback to Really Work? Start Giving It a Lot More Frequently

Last year, Globoforce CEO Eric Mosley launched his book Crowdsourced Performance Review. The primary thrust of the book is the annual performance review is broken, but it does serve a valuable purpose.

The opportunity lies in fixing the broken elements, which are largely centered around feedback coming from one person given on a very infrequent basis. The fix is adding informal frequent, timely, detailed positive recognition feedback from peers, colleagues and managers – “the crowd” – to the formal, annual performance appraisal process.

Because of this approach, I’m often asked, “So, do you collect constructive feedback as part of the employee recognition program, too?” 

Fielding feedback takes practice

The answer is “no” because the point of social recognition is creating a positivity dominated workplace, which becomes much more difficult when the recognition experience becomes clouded with negative feedback, too.

However, that doesn’t mean negative or constructive feedback isn’t critical to employee performance, productivity and success. But giving constructive feedback isn’t particularly helpful if the employee receiving the feedback isn’t processing the feedback for various reasons.

Check out this Wall Street Journal article on why feedback is often ignored and how to help recipients accept the feedback better. As the article points out:

Click to read more ...


Who knows what employees really want?

By Julie Winkle Giulioni, Smartblogs Contributor

For decades, articles, authors and studies have tried to help managers come to terms with how to motivate employees and drive optimal performance by understanding what employees really want and need from work. The list is long (and alphabetized for ease).

  • Achievement and accomplishment
  • Appreciation
  • Autonomy and self-direction
  • Being part of a team
  • Boss they respect and trust
  • Career advancement
  • Challenge
  • Clear goals and objectives
  • Coaching
  • Connections and relationships with each other
  • Decision-making authority
  • Empowerment
  • Fair compensation
  • Fair treatment
  • Freedom to innovate

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Getting Outside the Box: The 5 Behaviors of Successful Leaders

“I think frugality drives innovation, just like other constraints do. One of the only ways to get out of a tight box is to invent your way out.”Jeff Bezos, founder of

If I had to pick just one piece of business advice that’s become pure cliché over the past few decades, I’d select “think outside the box.”

I’ve heard this so many times in business circles, I have to resist rolling my eyes when I hear it. However, the intent has merit. 

Not seeing beyond your borders

Although overuse has run it into the ground, the lesson remains valid: don’t let your preconceptions, habits, lack of information, and narrow-mindedness keep you from considering all possible aspects of a problem. Get outside your own mental constraints and consider all the information at your disposal, allowing yourself to see beyond your normal, limited horizon.

I hate to pick on Borders bookstores, which I still miss nearly three years after they went out of business, but their failure to acknowledge that electronic publishing really did represent the wave of the future helped kill them. Their executives couldn’t see beyond their own borders (to coin a phrase).

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