Traits & Profiles of Great Employees


A.M. Transport (Infographic)

TP of Great Employees (2)

Infographic created by AM Transport’s Andrew Gulovsen, CTB, LCB

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Continuous Learning in the Workplace


What’s in it for employees and employers?

It’s no surprise that when we come to work, we are faced with.. well, work. Our already packed schedules seem to continue to grow throughout the day and sometimes it can be overwhelming. The thought of adding something that is not required does not usually fall at the top of anyone’s “to-do list”. So why would one continue to seek education/training once they have landed the job that they want? Aaron Skonnard, CEO of Pluralsight noted “I am a big believer that fostering ongoing learning in the workplace not only results in a pleasant and energizing work environment but a successful one with top-performing employees who aren’t afraid to question the status quo and work together to seek the truth during difficult situations.” [1]

As an employee, having motivation and a plan will only go so far if the company culture and/or team structure is not set up in a way that is conducive to workplace learning. This infographic highlights some common barriers in the development of a learning culture in the workplace.

learning culture

If you find yourself in a workplace that seems resistant to the idea, consider handing them a copy of the comic below (we kid, we kid… kind of), but having a conversation with your direct manager about the specific benefits to the team, company, and customers is a good place to start. Check out this article for information on how employers benefit from a learning culture as well as a list of suggestions of how employers can begin to create one:


[1] Skonnard, Aaron. (2014) How Making Employees Lifelong Learners Can Help Your Company Succeed. Entrepreneur.

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Who is Wally Pipp?



Remember the Story of Wally Pipp

At AM Transport, we tried to put as much of our personality into our work spaces as we could. If you come and visit our office, you will see that in the back is the most popular meeting area…that doesn’t exactly look like a meeting area. It has a funky carpet and modern lighting, a mini fridge, a gold framed whiteboard/projector screen, and other cool and swanky things. The walls are also painted red. Many of us fondly call it the “red room,” but a noteworthy piece hanging in the middle of one wall has given it another name: the Wally Pipp room.

Why Wally Pipp? Well as our employee handbook explains, Wally Pipp hangs on the wall as a very important reminder that you must always stay hungry. Here’s the story.

Wally Pip – First baseman for the New York Yankees 1915-1925

According to the most popular version of the story, Pipp showed up at Yankee stadium one day with a severe headache and asked the team’s trainer for two aspirin (there is some conjecture as to whether or not it was due to being hit in the temple by a ball during ap previous game). Miller Huggins, the Yankees’ manager, noticed this and said, “Wally, take the day off. We’ll try that kid Gehrig at first today and get you back in there tomorrow.” Gehrig played well and became the Yankees’ new starting first baseman. This story first appeared in a 1939 New York World-Telegram on Gehrig’s career, in which Pipp was interviewed. Pipp was later quoted to have said, “I took the two most expensive aspirin in history.“

Lou Gehrig went on to play 2130 consecutive games and became one of the most famous and respected baseball players in the history of the game. Pipp, while a good and powerful hitter in his day, became a footnote in Gehrig’s history.

The moral: In a competitive environment, there is always someone hungry waiting behind you. If you do not continue to push forward and develop yourself, there are folks waiting to overtake you.

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The Powerful Word that Changed Tom Hank’s Career



The Power of One Word

As one of the most recognized and honored actors of all time, Tom Hanks has walked quite the interesting road. But he didn’t hit home runs like Cast Away right off the bat. If you lovingly remember the early days of Tom Hanks – e.g. Money Pit, Turner & Hooch, Joe Versus the Volcano – he didn’t start out his career raking in the Oscar nominations. So what helped him get to his first, second, third, etc. Oscar nominations? One word: no.

“I realized…that I had to start saying a very, very difficult word to people, which was “no.” The odd lesson for that is, I figured out that’s how you end up making the favorable work you do…. Saying yes, then you just work. But saying no means you made the choice of the type of story you wanted to tell and the type of character you want to play.

Justin Bariso, the founder of Insight, writes how finding the power of “no” impacted not only his life, but the life of his family as well.

“When I started my business some years ago, I literally took whatever work I could get my hands on. Living in a foreign country with a family to feed, I had no choice. But as time went on, I established my brand and gained more freedom–especially in deciding which clients and jobs I wanted to focus my efforts on. And let me tell you, there’s no better feeling than having that freedom. But you have to take advantage of it.”

But just saying “no” to everything doesn’t get the job done. It is saying “no” strategically. Take a moment to think about your decisions. How will this choice affect me and my loved ones? How will it impact my bottom line? Will saying yes to this eliminate the opportunity to say yes to something else more important? Does saying yes add value to my time? Evaluate each instance and decide if no is the right way to go.

Want to read more about Justin and Tom’s take on saying no? Read the full article here.

Need more inspiration? Here’s the beloved piano scene from the movie Big with Tom Hanks. Enjoy.

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Find Your Gorilla: Career Lessons from Sir David Attenborough (LinkedIn Pulse)



Find Your Gorilla

Sir David Attenborough (who just turned 90 years old this week – happy birthday!) is a British naturalist and documentary maker. He has captivated children worldwide with his television programs and documentaries on the wonders of nature. His career has not only been a very public one, but it is one that he has filled with his own passions. And it is a career that has inspired many children around the world to follow in his footsteps.

Richard George, contributor to LinkedIn Pulse, identifies three lessons that we can all take from Sir David’s incredible career. All of us may not be interested in travelling the world, studying animals and plants, and sharing those findings with the rest of mankind, but we can certainly find our own dream roles full of interest and passion – we can find our own gorillas.

Three lessons from Sir David’s career:

1. Find your passion, or something that drives you
Figure out what it is that gets you out of bed in the morning. You may not currently be working in your dream role, so find aspects of your job that allow you to expand on your other interests. Sign up for a more creativity-based project, take classes in a skill that you have not quite developed yet, or work with people that can teach you elements of your job that you have never explored.

2. Take risks
Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. As Richard points out, “the greatest and most wonderful things we do often happen as a result of putting ourselves at risk and grasping the things that scare us.” Do more things that you would normally shy away from, such as public speaking or leading your coworkers. Test new ideas. Reach for that promotion. You may not succeed every single time, but you will certainly learn crucial lessons all along the way.

3. Don’t worry so much about what clothes you wear
While presentation can be important, it is your content and connections with others that matter most. The more distractions we can eliminate, the more barriers to communication we can break down. Find something that works and stick with it. Then move on to bigger and more important decisions.

Read Richard’s full LinkedIn Pulse article here. And for more about Sir David, check out his biography.

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May AMT Recommended Reads – 2 New Titles



Give and Take and Extreme Ownership

We have two new books added to the AM Transport book club rotation. In addition to those previous great reads still being passed around (such as Hug Your Haters and Good to Great), we have added a few new faces to the book club groups and a couple new titles to the bookshelf.

1. Give and Take
Author – Adam Grant

For generations, we have focused on the individual drivers of success: passion, hard work, talent, and luck. But today, success is increasingly dependent on how we interact with others. It turns out that at work, most people operate as either takers, matchers, or givers. Whereas takers strive to get as much as possible from others and matchers aim to trade evenly, givers are the rare breed of people who contribute to others without expecting anything in return. Using his own pioneering research as Wharton’s top-rated professor, Adam Grant shows that these styles have a surprising impact on success.

Give and Take highlights what effective networking, collaboration, influence, negotiation, and leadership skills have in common. This landmark book opens up an approach to success that has the power to transform not just individuals and groups, but entire organizations and communities.

2. Extreme Ownership
Authors – Jocko Willink and Leif Babin

This book explains the SEAL leadership concepts crucial to accomplishing the most difficult missions in combat and how to apply them to any group, team, or organization. It provides the reader with Jocko and Leif’s formula for success: the mindset and guiding principles that enable SEAL combat units to achieve extraordinary results. It demonstrates how to apply these directly to business and life to likewise achieve victory.

Through those difficult months of sustained combat, Jocko, Leif and their SEAL brothers learned that leadership–at every level–is the most important thing on the battlefield. They started Echelon Front to teach these same leadership principles to companies across industries throughout the business world that want to build their own high-performance, winning teams.

Do you have recommended reads we should add to our book club? We would love to hear about them! Send them over to me –

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