Women In Trucking Blog

Otto Transfer Hosts Girl Scout Event

Seven Girl Scouts, ranging in age from 8 to 15, visited Otto Transfer in Delano, Minn., Thurs., Sept. 13 to learn about trucking from CEO Liz Morris Otto and CFO & Safety Director Kevin Otto. The girls learned about various careers in trucking, and particularly enjoyed seeing the inside a truck and getting behind the wheel. Older Girl Scouts with driving permits learned how to operate their vehicles safely around trucks while driving during a brief "Share the Road" session. All the Girl Scouts enjoyed hearing about Otto’s health program for its drivers, which includes a weekly delivery of organic produce grown in a garden at Otto’s headquarters -- and customized exercise YouTube videos that demonstrate how to use a truck to get fit. Finally, Liz and Kevin’s 16-year-old daughter, Eileen, shared how she contributes to the family business, including visiting the Minnesota Capitol to help advocate for state policies that help make Minnesota trucking businesses successful. 

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Engagement and Retention of High Potential Leaders

This is a true story: In a meeting at a popular technology company, the CEO and his team had just completed their annual talent review of up-and-coming leaders within the company. Retention of top talent was a high priority, and the CEO gave an example of “Joe,” a direct report of the Chief Operating Officer. The strategy included giving Joe a huge raise and assigning him to a high-visibility special project in addition to his demanding day job. The CEO stated that these actions would ensure Joe doesn’t become a flight risk. 

The problem is that such retention strategies often backfire and are contributing factors in the voluntary departure of high-potential leaders. Let’s examine why. 

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3 Practices of High-Performing Teams

In ancient mythologies from around the world, it’s common to find gods and monsters bearing multiple heads, and such beings are depicted as formidable and difficult to defeat. It turns out the ancient people were not just creative; they had good business sense too.

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7 Qualities of an Effective Personality Assessment

By Jacque Casoni

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Vote Now: "Top Companies for Women to Work For in Transportation"

What makes a company desirable for women to work? Many say it comes from such reasons as a corporate culture that’s supportive of gender diversity, flexibility in hours and work requirements to accommodate family and life balance, competitive compensation and benefits, training and continued professional development, and career advancement opportunities. 

If your organization is one that features these benefits (or more!), then it could be an ideal nominee for “Top Companies for Women to Work for in Transportation.” This is the first year this program will be featured in Redefining the Road, the official magazine of the Women In Trucking Association, with the goal to highlight companies in the industry that are friendly for women in BOTH driver and professional capacities. 

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What if Your Top Sales Manager Quits?

Imagine this. One of your top sales managers has asked to meet with you. You settle into your morning coffee, take a seat at your desk, and invite the sales manager into your office. Right away, you notice something off in his tone.  And then it happens … he delivers his two-weeks’ notice.

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5 Tips for Hiring and Managing "Twenty-Somethings"

Let’s get this out of the way first:  Millennials have been such a frequent topic in hiring discussions recently that managers are admitting to being positively fatigued by the word.  If you’re in that camp, it may come as good news that soon it won’t even be the right word when we’re talking about younger, less-experienced workers. Some Millennials have been in the workforce for well over ten years, and—are you ready for this—you’ll be receiving job applications from Generation Z pretty soon. You may even have one or two as interns!

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6 Tools for Teambuilding in a Global Economy

The importance of effective teamwork has never been more critical than it is now. Why? Simply put, businesses aren’t run the way they used to be. In the past, organizations had a clear top-to-bottom hierarchy, departments were self-contained, and neat borders existed between individual roles. Such a set-up may appeal to our sense of order, but, as we all know by now, silos aren’t particularly efficient or agile in today’s business environment.

Thanks to technological innovations in an ever more global economy, a new world of possibility has opened up regarding how we conceive, develop, and deliver products and services. And it takes a new kind of teamwork to pull it off successfully.

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Exploring the State of the Canadian Transportation Industry

By Brian Everett, Lead Strategist for the Women In Trucking Association and Industry Thought Leader in Transportation Marketing and Sales

Last month, I met with more than 40 sales, marketing and business professionals in transportation and logistics at the Toronto Airport Marriott Hotel during a transportation marketing and sales conference. The dialogue at this conference was provocative - and extremely relevant in today's competitive market in North American transportation. I was particularly impressed with the gender balance of those who attended - a very balanced mix of high-level men and women, most of whom made significant contribution to the discussion. Here are just a few of the items covered:

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It's Time for HR to Embrace People Analytics

"Talent is now the most scarce and valuable commodity on earth, so companies who really understand how to attract, retain, and manage people will win.”- Josh Bersin, principal and founder of Bersin by Deloitte, Deloitte Consulting LLP. (1)

It is undeniable that the demand for talent across the business world has been picking up for the past few years, and the things employees value most have shifted as well, partly because of generational attitudes and partly because new technologies redefining the workspace.

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4 Critical Elements of Succession Planning

You will be replaced.

Don’t feel bad; it happens to all of us. It’s the cycle of life in the business world. But whether you are taking on a new role or sailing into retirement, it’s important that the person following your footsteps is ready and able to tackle the challenge. Hopefully, that person is already on the payroll.

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Predictive Indicators of Leaders with High Potential

When it comes to identifying high-potential (hi-po) leaders, the 9-Box has become a familiar template, largely because of its highly publicized usage at GE. However, the template provides no guidance on how to define “high potential.” Many large organizations view high potential as the capacity to reach a certain executive level (such as Vice President) within a specific time frame (5 years, for example). But that approach is not meaningful in smaller companies with fewer management layers. Any size organization can have difficulty differentiating genuine hi-pos from people who are solid performers but have limited potential to succeed in much more complex roles. 

As noted in a Harvard Business Review article (“How to Keep Your Top Talent”; May 2010), only about 30% of high-performing leaders have significant advancement potential. Put another way, 70% of high-performing leaders do not qualify as high potential! What this suggests is that a track record of high performance is a necessary, but not sufficient, factor in determining advancement potential. 

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5 Ways Psychometrics Improve Hiring and Development

“Do psychometrics really work with regard to hiring and development?”

After all, people are the most valuable asset in an organization, so it makes sense to explore all avenues for hiring the best talent. In considering personality tests for that purpose, everyone is looking to gain a competitive advantage, but no one wants to waste money.

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How to Hire and Develop Effective Salespeople

Identify the success factors.

To hire effectively, you have to be absolutely clear about the kind of person you are looking for. You don’t just want a job description; you want a description of the person you are seeking.

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4 Ways to Ensure Employee Engagement

Employee engagement begins with leaders showing that they value their people and that they are willing to spend time and resources helping them capitalize on their strengths. However, studies show that only a small fraction of today’s leaders are creating an engaging environment for their people.

Engagement can be increased by creating appropriate development programs both for your leaders and your individual contributors. Start by determining what your organization needs and what goals you want to achieve. Then you’ll be ready to explore what kinds of plans and programs are available to address the specific issues, challenges, and objectives that are critical to achieving your ideal organizational state.

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Contribute Your Expertise! Join the WIT Content Advisory Council

Do you have significant experience in trucking and logistics - and have a passion to help advance the mission of the Women In Trucking Association? Then you should consider participating on the WIT Content Advisory Council.

This newly established content advisory council provide expertise, advice and direction both the Redefining the Road magazine and the Accelerate! Conference & Expo. Our goal is to have professionals on the council to represent those who are regular participants in the WIT community. 

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Be The Change: Women-Owned Businesses that Thrive

By Brian Everett, Publisher of Redefining the Road Magazine and WIT Strategist

For years, over-the-road trucking is a traditional industry where entrepreneurial men have put their leadership skills and intelligence to the test. They start their own companies and ultimately develop them into a successful enterprise.

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By Sandy Long

Truckers have always gotten a chuckle out of the antics and questions of newbees. Some of us because we remember similar situations we got into when starting out, or wishing we had someone to ask a question of back then. There is an adverse upswing in this on social media to where the chuckle becomes brutal at times and downright mean.

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Do As I Say, Not As I Did

By Sandy Long

In my forty plus years in the trucking industry, I have known a lot of lady truck drivers. Many of us share the same bad habit, that of not wanting to take time to adequately take care of ourselves. How did this bad habit get started, upon reflection, from many sources.

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It Really Ain’t Smokey and the Bandit

By Sandy Long

Perhaps one of the greatest disservices to the trucking industry outside of the old ABC’s 20/20 Killer Truck Drivers segment is how trucking has been portrayed in movies and television. People watch the iconic Smokey and the Bandit movie and its sequel and think that trucking is all about fighting the law, raising havoc, and having fun. Other productions like television’s B. J. and the Bear, show a young, good looking guy traveling around with good looking women in every stop.

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