Why performance often has zero to do with rewards

Quentin Fottrell, writing for Marketplace and the Wall Street Journal, included me in his Augst 16, 2013 article about the connection between performance and pay.  He writes that, “Most people think of workplace bonuses as reward for top performers. But many recipients don’t meet that standard, according to a new study.”  Read More

Avoiding First Job Disaster: Tips From Career Coach Steve Langerud

Blogger Rob Martin wrote a post including an interview with me on Millenials in the workplace.  He writes, “Millennials have been raised in a time filled with innovation and endless possibilities. The traditional dream jobs of doctor and astronaut still apply, but so does being the next Steve Jobs or Bill Gates. College provides Millennials an opportunity to experience new things,  build new relationships, learn what they’re passionate about, and understand which career path or job would make them happiest. So, when they get that coveted first job out of college, it’s a shock when they realize they completely hate it.”  Read more

7 Things to Avoid in a Thank You Note

According to Steve Langerud, a workplace consultant and director of professional opportunities at DePauw University, “Not sending a thank you says, ‘I just don’t care.’”

1. Start with ‘Hey.’ It’s too informal. “Any thank you that starts with ‘Hey…’ is doomed,” Langerud says. Other informal phrases to avoid: “thanks in advance,” and “hope to see you soon.”

Read the article.

Can J.C. Penney’s Ullman pull a Steve Jobs?

Quentin Fottrell from the Wall Street Journal writes, “J.C. Penney tried to steal some of Apple’s magic when it poached Apple retail guru Ron Johnson to be its CEO. And the company seems to be trying again with Myron “Mike” Ullman, the retailer’s once and future CEO. Apple’s current dominance, after all, didn’t begin until Steve Jobs returned to the fold for a second tenure as the company’s leader. So can Ullman, who ran J.C. Penney  from 2004 to 2011, pull a Jobs?”

Some returning CEOs carry on the policies of their successors, but investors often have more confidence in the original leader to execute those plans. Howard Schultz returned to Starbucks Corp.  in 2008 after serving for CEO from 1987 to 2000, and continued an aggressive expansion program that began in his absence. However, he also vowed to close underperforming locations and cut down on the bureaucracy, expanded into tea and premium juices and opened a flagship store in New Delhi. The shares have risen from $20 when Schultz returned to around $58 today. “Clear communication, shared values and unwavering direction made it work,” says Steve Langerud, a workplace consultant and director of professional opportunities at DePauw University

Glass Ceiling Still Exists

Is it easier for a woman to become a political leader than a business one?,” asks MarketWatch‘s Quentin Fottrell. “More than three decades after Margaret Thatcher became prime minister of Britain, the answer still appears to be yes.” (photo: Margaret Thatcher walking on the DePauw campus before her Ubben Lecture; April 8, 1992)

The text notes, “Women currently hold 97, or 18%, of the 535 seats in Congress: 20 of the 100 seats in the Senate (an all-time high), and 77 of the 435 seats in the House of Representatives, according to the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University. By contrast, just 4% of women hold CEO positions in Fortune 1,000 companies.”

The piece concludes, “And it should be noted that for all of women’s advances in politics, no woman even been nominated for a presidential run by one of the two major parties. Even at a state level, says Steve Langerud, a workplace consultant and director of professional opportunities at DePauw University, ‘we’re not going to see that equity between men and women for a long time.’ “