Grocery store owner retires and gives ownership to his employees

Talk about giving back!  Joe Lueken, owner of Lueken's Village Foods is retiring and is giving ownership of his three stores to his 400 employees.  He is doing this wonderful move despite several large offers from national grocery store chains.

The Lueken's Village Foods website describes how Joe is transferring ownership through an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP).

“My employees are largely responsible for any success I've had, and they deserve to get some of the benefits of that," Joe Lueken said in the Star Tribune. "You can't always take. You also have to give back."

Joe Lueken has run the business for 46 years, but will now enjoy retirement by traveling the world with his wife.  He will give the CEO position to Brent Sicard, a longtime employee who started off as a custodian and worked his way into management.

This is such a wonderful story!


Peace & Love,


- The Good World News


91 year old mailman clocks in 64 years of service and he's still going

He has a work ethic that is any company's dream.  Morris Wilkinson, 91, is always on time, never calls in sick, and is always sharply dressed and ready to go!  “He’s a good one,” Tommy Morrison, Wilkinson's supervisor states. “He’s always on time, and he never calls in sick. His shirts and pants are always pressed — no wrinkles — and his shoes are shined just like when he was in the Marines.”  His work ethic may have started when he joined the marines in the 1940's.

Morris has always driven the same route in Birmingham, Alabama and is well known in the area.  He doesn't waste any time and ensures that his mail route is always on schedule.  “I like to stay busy,” he explained. “I don’t like to sit around and be idle".  In fact, he would not even take an interview about his story until he clocked out!

He was recently honored for all his years of service.  “He’s working on his eighth decade of service; it’s that kind of devotion to service that keeps somebody young,” stated Joseph Breckenridge, a spokesman for the U.S. Postal Service.

“I feel much better if I get up at the regular time and get dressed and go to work,” Wilkinson said. “It ain’t normal if I don’t. If I sat around at home and didn’t do anything, I would just gain weight and be miserable.”

Mr. Wilkinson's dedication is admirable!


Peace & Love,


- The Good World News


Car dealership owner thanks each employee with $1000 per year of service

Who's the man? Howard Cooper is the man, the myth and the legend.  Why?  Read on :)

Howard Cooper, the owner of Howard Cooper Auto Import Center in Ann Arbor, decided to give his employees a special token of appreciation before he retired.  Cooper, who is now 83 years old, ran his successful auto dealership for 47 years.  In order to give his employees thanks for incredible service, Cooper gave all 89 of his employees $1000 per every year that they were employed!!!!!

On, employee Sandy Reagan said, “The lady behind me had tears running down her face. I sat next to a person who drives the parts van and he’s been here almost 28 years. He doesn’t make a ton of money, but he got almost $28,000.  I watched his face and he just said, 'Oh my God,'"  Reagan, who was been with the company for 46 long years, received $46,000!

His employees gave him a standing ovation when he distributed the checks.  Bob Jenkins, who after 26 years of service received $26,000 responded, "I was shocked.  You don't expect something like that.  The whole place was just in shock."

The man, the myth, the legend, Howard Cooper!


Howard Cooper sold the business to Germain Motor Co., an Ohio-based company.  His employees sure will miss him!  Cooper stated, “I wanted to thank my employees and that was a way I could do it.  I hope it makes a difference in their lives like they have made in mine."

Cooper definitely knows how to pay it forward.  He has changed the lives of all of his employees.  Way to go Cooper!  Enjoy your retirement!!

Peace & Love,


- The Good World News


Macy's longest serving employee retires after 73 years

Can you imagine staying with one company for 73 years?  That's pretty difficult for many to comprehend because the average time that individuals stay at a particular job today is between 4 and 5 years according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Rose Syracuse Richardone began working at Macy's flagship store in NY in 1939 when she was 17 years old.  She said that Macy's has changed a lot since then going from a complete "one-stop" shop to the store that we are familiar with today.  "You could get meat, straight pins, really anything. "We had an apothecary, liquor store, and even a butcher shop. We have obviously evolved since then.", Richardone said.

Now she is retiring from Macy's at the age of 92!  She had a nice retirement party where Terry Lundgren, the current CEO of Macy's, dropped to one knee and thanked her for her years of service.

During her farewell party, Rose stated "Life is good. You go on each day, you're happy where you're at. And people -- bosses, supervisors, they appreciate you. And you stay. That's the way it is. Thank God. It's been good."


Enjoy your retirement Rose!


Peace & Love,




Lenovo CEO gives away his annual bonus to employees

Yang Yuanqing, the CEO of the Lenovo computer company, has made 10,000 of his employee very very happy :).  Coming off their best year ever with a 73% jump in profit, Yuangling was awarded a $3,000,000 bonus.  Yes, that is $3 MILLION! Instead of buying a batmobile, he decided to give it all away to 10,000 lower ranked employees in Lenovo's office, call centers, and factories.  The compensation equated to about $314 per worker which is the equivalent to one month's salary for many Lenovo workers.

The employees at Lenovo know that they are appreciated!  Hopefully more CEOs will follow suit.  Thank you Yang Yuanqing - You have made Good News headlines!


Peace & Love,



- Thanks Mike for the story!


The Only Management Strategy You'll Ever Need

I was struggling to engage the audience. Okay, be honest, I tried not to let it show but I was dying onstage.

Maybe I was having an off day. Maybe they were having an off day.

Or maybe the fact every one of the 100 people in attendance was a CEO, an executive, or the owner of a medium to large business meant they were way more accustomed to being listened to than they were to listening.

So I took a different approach. "In one sentence, what is the key to leading people?" I asked.

Throwaway question? Absolutely. I knew no one would answer.

That was the point.

They would sit and stare and then I would supply an intentionally against-the-grain answer sure to spark some heat and conversation. (A little contrived, sure, but hey, I was dying.)

So I asked the question and then paused to read the room. Some people looked down. Some looked away. As I expected, no one was going to answer. Cool.

I was about to speak when a voice broke the silence.

"I think I know," a man sitting in the back corner said, somewhat hesitantly.

A few heads turned in his direction.

Mine did too, because I was a little surprised and a lot concerned. Shoot, I thought, now I've stepped in it. He's about to whip out some leadership cliché or channel his inner John Maxwell or Stephen Covey.  I started scrambling to figure out how to recover from the dead end I had created.

So I was only half-listening as he said, fairly quietly, "No one cares how much you know until they first know how much you care about them."


"Can you repeat that?" I said.

A number of heads slowly turned in his direction. "We think we have all the answers, and maybe we do, but that doesn't matter. No one cares how much you know until they first know how much you care about them," he repeated.

I stared. More heads turned in his direction.

He took the silence in the auditorium as disagreement.

"No, really," he said, starting to sound more confident. "Yeah we're in charge and yeah we talk about targets and goals and visions, but our employees don't care about any of that stuff for very long. We can communicate and engage and connect all we want, but no one really listens to us. They just smile and nod and go back to doing their jobs the way they always do.

"Our employees don't really care about what we want them to do until they know how much we care about them. When an employee knows--truly knows--that you care about them, then they care about you. And when they know you care, they will listen to you... and they will do anything for you."

Best answer ever.



Haden, Jeff.  "The Only Management Strategy You'll Ever Need". Inc Magazine. 15 June 2012. Web. 

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Wiping Out $90,000 in Student Loans in 7 Months

Economists are increasingly worried that many young Americans will spend coming years buried under student debt. Joe Mihalic was determined not to be one of them.

Faced with $90,000 in student debt from his days at Harvard Business School, Mihalic vowed last August to eliminate every penny by this summer. He did — three months early.

The 29-year-old from Austin, Texas, is now becoming an Internet celebrity of sorts as financial advisers and young Americans link to his blog,, which had 180,000 hits as of Thursday morning. His story is touching a nerve at a time when young Americans are more indebted than ever.

So how did he cut through $90,000 in seven months? It helps to have a low-six-figure salary, as Mihalic does working for Dell Inc. But he also recommends getting roommates, a second job (in his case, landscaping), forgoing all restaurant dining (even McDonald’s), selling all unnecessary items around the house — and getting a flask.

Mihalic said he spent months taking a flask of liquor to bars so he could continue to go out drinking with friends without running up a tab. (Be warned: this is typically illegal.) Instead of the movies, he took dates out hiking, or for bagels and coffee. He ate protein bars packed from home and walked several miles to the city, to save a few bucks on transportation, during a trip to Michigan. He got two roommates to rent out his house.

Mihalic also took steps that financial advisers typically say are a no-no: He liquidated his individual retirement account, drawing a tax penalty, and stopped contributing to his 401(k), even though his employer offers a matching contribution.

“My mentality was I want to be done with these student loans as quick as possible,” Mr. Mihalic says in a phone interview, adding: “It was an emotional decision.”

He made his last student-debt payment six weeks ago. He said he saved roughly $40,000 in interest that he would have paid had he stayed on the 15-year schedule for repayment of his loans.

He says he learned other lessons, too.

“The flask thing, it’s kind of demeaning,” he says. “The funny thing is that girls weren’t really sketched out by it…They did laugh, and I could still get their phone number. It taught me a lot — you don’t have to be this flashy dude, buying drinks.”



Mitchell, Josh.  "Wiping Out $90,000 in Student Loans in 7 Months". Yahoo via Wall Street Journal. 18 May 2012. Web. 

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7 Ways To Become More Creative

Those of you with scouting experience likely remember the myriad tricks used to start campfires. I'm not talking matches -- I'm talking the things you threw a lit match on with the hope of getting a serious enough flame going to eventually light the kindling. In my troop, I have a vague memory of paper egg cartons, filled with something like dryer lint and wax. Now, of course, you can buy all kinds of fire-starter kits. Probably you could then, too, but isn't dryer lint so much cooler? 

I think there's a metaphor in there for creativity. We often speak of ideas as flames. We try to "spark" ideas. Recently, for instance, "Happiness Project" author Gretchen Rubin posted a list on her blog of "7 Tips I Use to Spark My Creativity." People who've read her book know she likes to keep notes in books and read random magazines. These are great ideas. I subscribe to a ridiculous number of magazines in part because I figure if I find one idea in each per year they've more than paid back the subscription price. Plus, reading magazines is my moment of zen. I like nothing better than reading a story about how someone lost 50 pounds and now fits into her old wedding dress (thank you,Redbook, for that story last month).

But as I think about creativity, I wonder if -- to stretch the spark metaphor -- it's also important to have a lot of fire-starters in your toolkit. These are activitiesthat can take the germ of an idea and nurture and multiply it. Because no matter what job you're in, more ideas are probably better than fewer ideas. Even if you get a lot of bad ideas, success is largely a numbers game. Most likely, of 1,000 ideas, they can't all be awful. And one great one is worth a lot. Some equivalents of wax and dryer lint:

1. Work up a sweat.

Oh, I wax eloquent about running to the point where book reviewers make fun of me. But whenever I take a break in the workday to go for a run (or go for a run before breakfast) I come back with better ideas for whatever project I'm working on. There's something about running that "jogs" thoughts loose. I imagine this also works with biking, swimming, Zumba class, etc.

2. Do some cyberloafing.

I love the word cyberloafing. It means to surf the web in pursuit of pleasurable things. I have the blogs I love to read (Wandering Scientist, for instance, and many, many others). Sometimes these bloggers have written things that I can then tee off of and make my own. There's no love like link love.

3. Take in an art museum.

Just getting out of the office often gets the egg carton and dryer lint smoldering. But there's something about the images in museums, the juxtapositions of colors, the insights and such that make ideas come to me. If you can't make it to a museum, you can approximate it by looking at online images from great places like the Louvre. Or Pinterest. Just don't get so sidetracked with ideas for remodeling your bathroom that you cease doing work at all.

4. Be still.

We're so used to having every spot of boredom filled that situations where we're not constantly hyped up put the brain in a new and curious mode. I find that sitting in church makes ideas start churning in my head. So does listening to a symphony in a concert hall. Or forcing myself to sit outside with nothing but a notebook (and not the electronic kind) for at least half an hour.

5. Talk to someone smart.

I've been lucky enough in life to interview a few people who've just made my head spin (John Taylor Gatto was one of my favorites -- a former New York state teacher of the year who now advocates homeschooling, among other things). But whatever line of work you're in, it helps to talk to people who'll tolerate your babbling and add something insightful. Who's on your list?

6. Hit the library.

To be sure, this is a variation on reading sundry magazines. But I find that haunting the stacks can make me think of poetry and evolutionary biology within a few minutes. This causes strange and wonderful pathways to form as the synapses fire. These strange and wonderful pathways keep the egg cartons burning long after I've driven home.

7. Think a lot.

Like anything, the ability to come up with ideas can be honed with practice. If you need to come up with 10 article ideas a week, your brain will learn to come up with 10 article ideas a week. Soon, effortlessly it flows, like flames through dry kindling. Or not. Some weeks it's like someone's poured swamp sludge on the fire starters. But after much purifying, the ideas will be there too.

How do you nurture your creativity?



Vanderkam, Laura. "7 Ways To Become More Creative" AOL. 11 June 2012. Web.

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Hire Me! Billboard Sign Gets 22 yr old a Job

Cover letters not working out? Already tried guerilla social media strategies to get noticed by a potential employer? Think bigger.

Billboard-size bigger.

After losing his job at a casino in March, 22-year-old Bennett Olson needed a job, and he needed to stand out.  So, naturally, the Minnesota resident took a cue from the Paul Rudd-Jason Segel bromance I Love You, Man and bought space on an electronic billboard near downtown Minneapolis last month, KTSP reports.

The billboard featured an 8-second clip of Olson’s smiling face next to his message, “HIRE ME!” He also included the address of his personal website. His $300 investment in 24 cumulative hours of screen time paid off, too: Olson was hired for a marketing position by a 3D scanning company in Bloomington.

“After receiving quite a bit of attention, support and ultimately interviews I felt that Laser Design & GKS Services was the right fit because they are a young, yet established company which will provide me with the opportunity to learn and grow my career,” Olson told KARE 11.

It’s a tough economy, but what’s next? Blimps? Flash-mobs in the company parking lot? Singing telegrams? Maybe the next growth industry will be coming up with novel jobhunting strategies.

Got a better idea on how to get a job? Let us know in the comments.




Zafar, Aylin. "Guy’s Billboard Resume Gets Him a Job" TIME. 11 May 2012. Web.

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Where to Find Great Talent

You can hire the best, even if you're on a budget. You just need to know where to look.

"To succeed, surround yourself with great talent." Sounds great.

Also sounds expensive.

Hiring the best is really hard to pull off in practice, especially if your goal is to hire Lamborghinis and all you have is a Kia budget.

So what can you do? Try taking a contrarian investment approach to hiring.

People, just like stocks, are often underappreciated and undervalued, like people who have great skills but no experience in your industry. Or people who are well educated, but their education is in the "wrong" field. Or people whose current job lacks sufficient "status."

Or people who suffer due to negative social stereotypes.

The key to finding great talent at a price you can afford is to be a hiring contrarian. Go against the grain. Go against conventional wisdom. Then you can find your next superstar while giving someone deserving a chance to show what they can really do.

Here are some examples of great talent that are often hiding in plain view:

Career switchers

Teachers are a great example. Many love to teach but grow to dislike the relatively low pay. Teachers are excellent trainers, understand how to manage different personalities, and are great at motivating, encouraging, and nurturing other people.

While you can train skills, do you have the time and resources to "train" your employees to possess qualities like those?

Where career switchers are concerned, the key is to ignore their industry and look at the qualities the person possesses: Good salespeople are self-starters. Good police officers work well under pressure. Good mechanics are excellent troubleshooters.

With a little training, outstanding people excel in almost any job.


I might be biased, but I think sports create an excellent training ground for business. A recent graduate who played a sport is self-disciplined, motivated, great at multitasking, able to overcome adversity, appreciates the value of teamwork... aren't those qualities you want your employees to have?

Every year approximately 400,000 student-athletes graduate from college and enter the job market. Snap one up.


This time I'm definitely biased. I hired hundreds of people and definitely made mistakes, but I never regretted a single ex-military hire.

Not one.

If you need a leader (and who doesn't?)  the military is probably the only organization that puts as much or more emphasis on leadership training as it does on skills training.

If you need someone to see a task through, or to be able to follow as well as lead, or to be able to make smart decisions on the fly-and stand behind those decisions, go with a veteran.

You'll be glad you did.

Not so impressive current job

You glance at a resume: The current job listed is telemarketing, or fast food, or stocking shelves. What's your first thought?

Admit it. You think, "Well, if that's all they're doing now..." It's easy to assume a person who currently has a less than wonderful job is only "worth" a job like that.

Wrong: The fast food kid probably has more customer service experience than you do, and the warehouse worker may possess the attention to detail of an accountant on performance-enhancing drugs.

Look past the job title and think about the duties and responsibilities; that's what really matters.


Of course younger workers don't have any experience. How could they?

You and I were young once too. Someone gave us a chance-and we worked hard to show that person they made the right decision. Make sure at least a small percentage of your new hires are young people just entering the workforce. Then you get energy, ideas, enthusiasm-and the chance to truly grow your own talent pool.



Haden, Jeff. "Where to Find Great Talent: 5 Contrarian Ideas" INC Magazine. 10 April 2012. Web. 

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