Looking Back at What May Just Be the “Ballsiest” Cover Letter of All Time

John Hollon Candidate Pool, John Hollon, Pop Culture

Remember the old military concept of “shock and awe“? It got a lot of attention during the Iraq War, and is defined as rapidly dominating an opponent “by the initial imposition of overwhelming force and firepower.” But “shock and awe” isn’t just for the military; it’s useful whenever you want to overwhelm someone quickly and unexpectedly. In fact, I think …

Amateur Hour at Uber: Too Many Managers With Too Little Experience

John Hollon Bad HR, Change Management, John Hollon, Leadership

Managers don’t get much respect at Uber. How else would you explain the fact that 63 percent of the ride-share company’s management team is, according to head of global diversity and inclusion Bernard Coleman, made up of rookie, first time managers ? In other words, it’s amateur hour when it comes to management practices at Uber, and it probably explains why …

Attention Walmart: It’s Managerial Malpractice When You Push Sick People to Work

John Hollon Bad HR, John Hollon, wellness

Here’s a leadership lesson that every manager should have drilled into their head: You don’t let employees work when they’re sick. Sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it? Of course it does, because it doesn’t take a management genius to know that sick workers hurt you in a number of different ways: Sick workers don’t perform as well as healthy ones. Productivity drops …

IBM remote employees

News Flash From IBM: There IS a Downside to a Remote Workforce

John Hollon Communication, Corporate America, John Hollon

I’m surprised this didn’t happen sooner, but IBM, an early and vocal champion of a remote workforce, finally discovered what any remote worker could have told you years ago. The problem with remote work is that you work remotely. I know, I know — that sounds like double-talk. But as someone who worked in a typical office environment for most …

Here’s a Scary Video For HR Leaders Who Really Worry About Getting Sued

John Hollon Employment Law, HR, John Hollon, Lawsuits

Over many years as a manager and editor, there’s one thing I have heard over and over about HR professionals: They’re always worried about getting sued! It’s true. In our ultra-litigious 21st Century society, with 1 attorney for every 300 Americans, people sue other people at the drop of a hat. Human resource departments are especially focused on lawsuits since HR is charged …

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 …