united airlines

I Was Fed Up With United Airlines’ Culture Even Before They Started Dragging People Off Planes

John Hollon Culture, Current Affairs, John Hollon, Leadership

Believe me when I tell you this: I soured on the customer service practices of United Airlines long before they decided that dragging people off planes would enhance the flying experience. You’ve probably seen the video by now. You know the one — where the customer on the last flight of the night from Chicago to Louisville refuses to give up …

lion idea

Nobody Gets a Great Idea When They’re Being Chased by a Lion

John Hollon Culture, John Hollon

I subscribe to the old adage that there’s nothing new under the sun. But once in awhile even I get gobsmacked (as the British like to say) by a new insight that’s so thoughtful and incisive that it makes up for all the crap that normally passes for management wisdom these days. The insight that grabbed me comes from Mark Nathan, CEO of Zipari, a …

online job ads

It Takes a Lot of Luck For Anyone to Really Win With an Online Job Ad

John Hollon job postings, John Hollon

Here’s a confession: I hate online job ads, because they’re a crappy way to find the best candidates. On the one hand, my recruiter side loves the fact that a smart, well-focused Internet job post can pull in a boatload of candidates for a position. It’s a great way to get a bunch of resumes in short order. But on the other hand, …

uber ceo travis kalanick

A Lesson From Uber: You Are What Your Culture Says You Are – Like It or Not

John Hollon Culture, John Hollon

Why do so many people think that companies only focus on building strong, positive workplace cultures? The fact is, organizations are ALWAYS building their culture — whether they mean to or not. You know what I’m talking about: Those kinds of businesses where workers spend more time yakking about all the bad management and terrible decision making going on around them than …

passive aggressive

The One Thing It Takes to Be a Real Manager

John Hollon Employee Relations, John Hollon, Leadership

Although it pains me to say it, I’m somewhat of an expert on passive-aggressive behavior. The good people at Wikipedia describe passive-aggressive behavior as follows: The indirect expression of hostility, such as through procrastination, stubbornness, sullen behavior, or deliberate or repeated failure to accomplish requested tasks for which one is (often explicitly) responsible. That’s a good definition, but Urban Dictionary gets …

ohana

Here’s Why Life — and HR — Is So Very Different in the Aloha State

John Hollon Employee Relations, HR, John Hollon

HONOLULU — It’s been 20 years since I’ve been in Hawaii, but the moment I arrived back in Honolulu last week, it felt like I had never left. My connection with the Aloha State goes back a long way. Not only did my wife and I honeymoon here, but we lived on Oahu for three years in the mid-90s when I …

A Sad Reminder That People Don’t Leave Their Companies, They Leave Their Managers

John Hollon John Hollon, Retention

Sometimes, you just need to be reminded of some basic principles of the workplace. Here’s one to keep in mind as your organization struggles with recruiting and retention: Employees don’t leave their company, they leave their managers. Victor Lipman wrote a book about this last year — The Type B Manager: Leading Successfully in a Type A World — and in it (and …

holiday

Office Holiday Parties? They’re OK, But I’m a Big Fan of the Office Holiday Lunch

John Hollon Employee Engagement, Holidays, John Hollon

We’re deep into the holiday season, and nothing gives me pause as much as my fellow FOTer Laurie Ruettimann’s recent post on the perils of the office holiday party. It’s a personal, no-holds-barred view of such annual get-togethers, and I pretty much agree with her sober words of warning. Yes, it’s always dangerous when you mix alcohol, co-workers, and a gathering …

A Workplace Leadership Lesson in the Age of Trump

John Hollon Employee Communications, John Hollon, Leadership

Most employees don’t have much contact with their CEO. When they do hear from them, they tend to listen pretty closely to what the CEO has to say, and while it’s not like God giving Moses The 10 Commandments, it’s pretty darn close. That’s why the comments made by GrubHub CEO Matt Maloney to his staff in the wake of our …

Want to Foster a Risk-Taking Culture? If So, You Better Be Willing to Deal With a $2 Million Mistake

John Hollon Culture, John Hollon, Risks, Uncategorized

You’ve heard managers say it over and over — “we want our employees to feel they can take risks!” — yet you wonder how many companies really, truly believe it. My experience is that despite the rhetoric that they do, most don’t. Over many years working for a variety of organizations, I’ve found that people rarely get patted on the back for …