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  • When Your Entire Team Sells

    by Anna Mischke | Jun 01, 2018

    shutterstock_574544962If you ask who in your organization is in Sales, it’s likely that only your dedicated sales team would confidently raise their hands. However, every single person in your company regardless of their role contributes to your bottom line. While they may not all be dialing potential customers or presenting your services door to door, everyone should understand that their actions and decisions ultimately affect the company’s revenue, profits, and growth.

    Consider your receptionist. When a potential customer calls, will they be confident in your brand if the phone is answered unprofessionally? Or think of the interactions clients have with your customer service representatives. Do they feel valued when receiving assistance or do they sense impatience or annoyance? How will that experience affect their decision of where to place their business next?

    Creating a sales culture where everyone feels that their input and efforts are valuable, even if they may not directly affect finances, will ultimately help the goals of your company overall and generate a stronger sense of belonging within your organization.

    Connect your teams

    Rather than forming siloes around each department, build a sense of collaboration. By encouraging everyone to see their role as an interwoven aspect of overall success, they will be more likely to appreciate different positions and varying skillsets. When the team experiences a business loss, everyone should be working together toward a solution. When achieving a win, everyone should be celebrated for their part in the accomplishment.

    Think outside the role

    Sales opportunities come in all ways, shapes, and forms. Working with people with diverse talents and viewpoints may present fresh approaches when it comes to selling. Why not work with all of your employees to discover new methods to retaining clients, giving a proposal, or marketing your company?

    Share the loudspeaker

    When someone feels empowered to sell the company, the likelihood of them becoming an ambassador of your brand skyrockets. “Sales” doesn’t need to be in someone’s title for them to share the abilities of your product or service; people listen to others who are passionate about their work. By affirming each of your staff that their role is vital and directly influences overall success, you give them the opportunity to be proud of their role and of their importance.

  • When Discomfort Prods Innovation

    by Anna Mischke | May 04, 2018

    Monthly Blog_050418Most people are inclined to stay within their comfort zones: in business and at work, socially, even physically. We’ve learned to focus our attention where our strengths lie and tend to stay in this space, confident that we are meeting the requirements set out for us. While this mindset is understood and accepted in many environments, it is essential to realize that some of the greatest moments of innovation and learning happen when outside of that comfort zone, during a state of unease when pushing our limits.

    This apprehensive aspect of growth may touch on experiences from the past: walking into an unfamiliar classroom full of unknown peers, getting behind the wheel alone for the first time, or starting a new position in a role you haven’t yet mastered. From those moments, lifelong lessons are acquired: from important social behaviors to vital safety behaviors to being open to adaptation and learning quickly. When we explore outside our normal daily parameters, it’s typical to feel nervous, wary, or scared. The possibilities of failure are many and old habits have proven to work well enough thus far. But what might happen if we move into a space less comfortable than our norm and face questionable areas head on?

    Numerous coaches, therapists, and authors champion the importance of discomfort when looking for an innovative mindset.  Uncomfortable scenarios look different for everyone: some may find sharing ideas publically a challenge when others have difficulty properly engaging and listening. Short deadlines can be a motivating push for one individual and an anxiety-ridden timeline for another. Certain personalities like to work as a team and others prefer to function independently. Rather than retreating from a situation that doesn’t feel easy to tackle, focus on why you want to challenge yourself. Gauge where your comfort zone ends and when you begin to feel a stretch.

    Once you know where your discomfort begins, you can work toward finding an area where you can improve. Rather than completely disengaging from your current routine, make small steps in getting comfortable with new situations that can cause unease. As you become more confident and experience successes within this new scope of opportunity, you may find yourself more receptive to change and even begin to seek out challenges that stir creativity and innovation. New skills always feel awkward at first – but trying things differently allows us to perceive things in fresh light and lends the opportunity to approach challenges with unexpected solutions. 

  • Centerline a Perennial Sponsor of National Private Truck Council Expo

    by Anna Mischke | Apr 27, 2018

    2018-NPTC-AC

    Centerline Drivers returns as a Platinum Sponsor for the annual National Private Truck Council (NPTC) Annual Education Management Conference and Exhibition held in Cincinnati, Ohio. From April 29th through May 1st, over 180 exhibitors and 1,200 attendees will join to share industry insights and explore products and services from leaders in the industry.

    Centerline welcomes guests at Booth 110 to explore their five distinct premium driver staffing solutions: Driver Management Service™, Mobile Drivers, Flexible Drivers, Delivery Drivers, and Permanent Search and Placement. Centerline has connected over 50,000 drivers with Fortune 1000 and mid-sized companies since its founding in 1975. Professional drivers rely on us as their coach to find satisfying jobs where they can excel. Each driver we employ knows they will work with a team that is professional, courteous, resourceful and respectful. 

    Centerline is pleased to share that John Trahan, Director of Business Development, DMS, will be awarded the prestigious NPTC Professional Leadership Award.

  • The 6 Behaviors of Inspiring Leaders

    by Anna Mischke | Mar 02, 2018
    Monthly Blog 030518

    In a 360-degree leadership case study from over 87,000 leaders from around the globe, Zenger Folkman, a strengths-based leadership development group, found the top three leadership traits that matter were the ability to focus on customer needs, the ability to collaborate with colleagues, and the ability to inspire. However, it was discovered that inspiring and motivating others is the most difficult competency for leaders to grasp. In studies for over a dozen years, this skill continues to place last in overall leadership effectiveness. Considering that the ability to motivate and encourage is perceived as the strongest influence on the engagement level of direct reports and the behavior that most appreciate in a leader, it is striking that this is where leaders are least effective.

    According to the report, there are two main factors that make inspiring others a difficult competency to embody. Individuals find different techniques effective depending on their personal nature and leaders find what type of behavior to exhibit to inspire difficult to grasp. Of the top 1,000 leaders in the assessment who ranked highest on the competency of inspiring and motivating others, it was found that they shared six common approaches. Some are specific and tangible using highly engaged, extraverted behavior and others leaned more towards emotional connections and close, effective communication. Regardless of the type of approach, the research was palpable: the more of these behaviors a leader demonstrated, the more the leader is seen as inspiring.

    Visionary: Provides a clear, concrete vision of the future. They are strategic and innovative and make future goals appear achievable to the team through effective communication. 

    Enhancing: Creates strong individual relationships along with team relationships by focusing on others and treating them with respect. These leaders show great interest in the ideas and opinions of others’ and connecting on an emotional level.

    Driver: Focuses on achieving company goals: meeting deadlines, fulfilling commitments, and reaching objectives are necessary, not optional.

    Principled: Model integrity and take action that follows rules and procedures, never asking others to compromise their ethics.

    Enthusiast: Display passion and energy surrounding their work and the organization, generating enthusiasm and energy among the organization.

    Expert: Offer expert, important information and use strong technical direction to solve problems.

    Evidence shows that when 310 leaders focused on improving their ability to inspire and motivate by actively refining any one of these leadership approaches, they moved from the 42nd percentile to the 70th percentile. By employing motivating tactics that suited their various personality types, creating a strong development plan, providing and receiving strong feedback, and building awareness- leaders were able to make substantial improvements in their ability to inspire and motivate their teams.
  • Innovators’ Five Obsessions

    by Anna Mischke | Feb 02, 2018

    Monthly Blog 020218For Josh Linkner, “creativity and innovation are the lifeblood of all human progress.” An entrepreneur, author, and keynote speaker, Linkner has founded five tech companies and built his businesses from scratch into a combined value of over $200 million. All this while helping raise $150 million of venture capital for over 100 other companies and playing professional jazz guitar. In Linkner’s keynotes on innovation, creativity, hyper-growth leadership, and reinvention, he aims to help people and organizations hone in on their hardwired creativity to find their ultimate success. In several essential addresses, Linkner shares the top five focuses of innovators who are making a difference in driving growth and setting their businesses apart.

    Rediscover Your Curiosity

    “The more curious you are, the more creative you’ll become.” Ask questions before making decisions, particularly the difficult ones: try the simple “why?”, “what if?”, and “why not?” You may be surprised at the new approaches that you discover by being inquisitive.

    Embrace Change

    While companies may find great success, it’s not necessarily static. Many companies who rest in their complacency find their downfall in their failure to keep striving for what’s next. Businesses must “lean into change, embracing new approaches rather than clinging to old ones.” Innovators have a desire to constantly explore the newest trends, tech, concepts, and products; letting go of old ways can make all the difference.

    Challenge Tradition

    “Blindly doing things in a traditional way has been the downfall of far too many companies and careers.” Observe the traditions your company follows and see how you can transform the norm. Question what the contrary action would achieve and assess the potential outcome. While changing for the sake of it isn’t ideal, understanding whether your traditions are outdated or relevant is key. “This is the point where breakthroughs occur.” 

    Find Your Grit

    Getting into the weeds can make all the difference. Our ability to innovate comes from within, not from outside resources like money, headcount, or raw materials. Resilience and tenacity make for valuable qualities when finding the best way to do things, creatively; “instead of blindly throwing money at a problem, try throwing your imagination at it instead.” 

    Experiment, Learn, Adapt
    True innovation takes time: “only through a series of setbacks and mistakes, failures and pivots, tweaks and micro-innovations, does an idea gain any real merit.” You’re unlikely to find a concept that makes the biggest, strongest impression right out of the gate. Working creatively in small, fast bursts as a daily habit can produce the most bracing impact.

  • Industry-Wide Change in 2018

    by Anna Mischke | Jan 05, 2018
    shutterstock_701003395_300x240

    With the New Year comes new challenges and while trucking faced a difficult time in 2017, 2018 will present unique trials. 2017 was a year boasting the creation of close to 2 million new jobs, stock markets reaching an all-time record high, and unemployment hitting a 17-year low. However, even with the strength of the nation’s tech, e-commerce and professional services- the driver shortage proved to be a hurdle difficult to overcome.

    The U.S. economy continues to heat up and with that comes better-paying jobs that don’t require work away from home for long periods of time or specific licensing such as a CDL. It is more important than ever to adapt to the current market and take action to proactively search for, recruit, and retain strong drivers.

    Andrew Chamberlain, chief economist for Glassdoor, explains that trucking isn’t the only industry going head-to-head with these challenges: a larger sect of industries will experience difficulties in 2018. Chamberlain’s recent forecast What’s Ahead for Jobs? Five Disruptions to Watch in 2018 touches on artificial intelligence (AI) and mobile technology and its influence on job seekers.

    What are five movements to expect in the coming year?

    Automation and AI are changing the Worker’s Landscape

    As technology’s impact greatens, automation and AI will effect every single industry in some facet. Whether viewed as positive or negative, AI tools may complement workers in HR and finance. In the trucking industry this movement means we will see the driver role evolve as old burdening tasks are eliminated and open up opportunity for drivers to provide other value-added service.

    Transparency is Key

    Transparency in the workplace has increased, but job seekers are asking for more insight into the mobile application process and status of their application in real time.

    Mobile Job Apps Need an Overhaul

    Applying for jobs from your mobile phone should be a user-friendly experience- something that isn’t necessarily available now.

    Labor-Intensive Roles, Health Care, and Tech Growth

    An aging population and advances in tech will increase the industry’s labor-intensive positions such as restaurant waiters and truck drivers: jobs that cannot easily be automated. Technology will also begin to touch trades not previously so tech-centric.

    Employee Role Experimentation to Support Goals

    Businesses are creating ways for employees to experiment with their roles to find positions that stoke their strengths, skills, and passions. By allowing staff members to work in different areas, companies may be able to better match talent with the roles they support best. By doing this, companies are able to retain their teams much better by generating internal lateral job moves.

    For the full report, download here on Glassdoor.

  • Our Duty

    by Anna Mischke | Dec 08, 2017

    Monthly Blog 120817As we enter the final month of the year, safety is at the forefront of our minds. With the holidays in full swing and balancing work and life is a frenzy, doing all we can to ensure our employees’ safety is paramount.

    Big shifts happen this month with the implementation of the ELD mandate. No matter your stance on the issue, things are moving ahead and it is our duty to safeguard our drivers and prepare them for this new season of regulation. Compliance has increased among small fleets to 75% according to a CarrierList survey released last week. While many small fleets have delayed compliance, we are all realizing that the time is now and being progressive about change is imperative.

    Let’s do our valued drivers a favor and equip them with the tools for success on the road. Providing them with FMCSA compliant ELDs is only a step. How can we further our driver’s knowledge and commitment to safety on the road? How can we promote education and protect well-being? We can be the frontrunners in demonstrating safety and leading by example. We can show that we take our drivers’ protection seriously by promoting safety – particularly during the inclement winter months. Equipping our drivers with the understanding of how they can improve safety measures and protect themselves and those around them only adds value to everyone in the picture.

    It is our responsibility to do all we can to give assurance to our drivers and their families that they’ll be home, safe and sound, and I hope that you’ll join me in not only caring for the success of our business, but the welfare of those who literally drive it.  

  • Emotional Intelligence – the Other Factor of Success

    by Anna Mischke | Nov 06, 2017

    Monthly Blog 110617In the workplace, there are two types of people: those who crumble under pressure, and those who tackle the challenge and succeed. The main difference between these people is not just their background, education or experience. While all of these factors play a role in defining success, emotional intelligence may be the most important factor of all.

    What is emotional intelligence?

    Emotional intelligence allows us to perceive and manage our emotions. More importantly, it allows us act on these emotions. These skills are a key indicator as to how we will react to stress, confrontation, success, and failure. As all of these situations are inevitable in the workplace, it’s no wonder why professional success is closely linked to high emotional intelligence.

    Improving Emotional Intelligence to Improve Success

    Unlike IQ or personality, emotional intelligence is flexible, and can be developed over time. Learning to manage emotions in the workplace can drastically increase performance. In fact, a TalentSmart study shows that 90% of top performers are skilled at managing their emotions – especially when under pressure. When work gets to be too much, it’s important to handle stress in a positive way, before it becomes detrimental. Coping mechanisms typically fall into two buckets: emotional and physical.

    • Emotional: These coping mechanisms typically involve staying positive and avoiding the “what ifs.” By focusing on the positives, roadblocks become smaller and easier to manage.
    • Physical: These coping mechanisms typically involve improving self-care through increased hours of sleep and disconnecting from the stressor. It’s important to remember that taking a step back does not mean stepping back completely – it’s just another way to refocus energy.

    Everyone handles stress differently. Understanding which method works best for you is the key to improving emotional intelligence, and professional performance.

  • Learning Personalities to Improve Holistically

    by Anna Mischke | Oct 20, 2017

    CL Monthly Blog 101317While there are those who may be resistant to the ever-evolving world of technology, many new innovations can improve the workplace, business, and the experience of your staff. There are countless tools which can help aid retention rates and boost company influence and desirability through employee satisfaction, clear understanding from the executive and leadership teams, and stronger communication from all sides.

    Socrates knew the importance of self-knowledge, teaching that “the unexamined life is not worth living.” While drastic, the understanding that people should “know thyself” holds extreme value. Personality tests may seem trivial, but research shows that some are very worthwhile: they can help balance a team and support individual workers in considering how to best interact with each other. Getting to know how your frontline people and drivers operate allows you to gauge how to best partner them in day-to-day duties, engage in a meaningful way, and communicate successfully for all parties. 

    An online search for “truck driver personality tests” displays results of aptitude tests profiling whether a career in truck driving suits their disposition, to assessments describing a person’s driving style. While these may prove to be helpful, there are general personality tests that have been proven to lend strong insights such as the popular DISC Profile, Myers Briggs Type Indicator, Big Five, Social Styles, Wilson Learning, and The Birkman First Look Assessment Test.

    With the resources available to better assess each of your team members, it is highly worthwhile to utilize these tools to get everyone working together, stronger. 

  • How to Increase Employee Engagement

    by Anna Mischke | Sep 21, 2017

    Monthly Blog 092117A company with engaged employees reaps numerous benefits: such as reduced employee turnover, increase productivity, improved customer retention, and an increase in profits. All vital elements to a successful business. So it is particularly unsatisfactory to find that only 33 percent of employees in the United States are engaged with a whopping 17 percent actively disengaged, according to Gallup. What exactly does engagement mean when it comes to your staff? An engaged employee is truly committed to the company’s vision, mission, and goals and willing to put forth their best to care for customers, clients, and associates.

    How do you ensure that you are promoting engagement within the workplace? Of course there are programs, consultants, and product-driven methods to increase employee engagement- but there are plenty of things you can authentically and organically do as an employer to encourage your workforce to think and act as a team.

    Ask

    Go directly to the source: ask your employees what would help them feel more engaged. Start from day one: when bringing an employee on board, show your own enthusiasm for the company. Help your associate get right to work by providing them with the proper tools they need: someone to turn to when they have questions, and resources to help them succeed. For more seasoned employees, conduct a ‘Stay Interview’. They don’t have to be time consuming, you can learn what you need with 5 simple questions:

    • What do you look forward to in your work?
    • What are you learning?
    • Why do you stay with us?
    • When did you last think of leaving?
    • What can we do to make your job better?

    Consider the answers you receive to help determine what you can do to improve the work environment ultimately boosting employee happiness, production, and profit. Each valued employee may have a different engagement plan, focus on what may be done for each staff member to hone in on their particular skills and strengths.

    Walk the Walk

    The people who work with and for you will turn to you as an example of leadership. When you demonstrate behaviors that you expect to see, it is more likely that others will follow suit. 55 percent of workers are more engaged, and 53 percent are more focused and likely to stay at companies where leaders exhibit the desired behaviors themselves.

    Show appreciation

    Two little words can go a long way. “Thank you” seems like such an ordinary thing to say, but is often times overlooked. Show your gratitude by publicly thanking your associates when they do a great job; it builds relationships, energizes the workplace, and increases engagement. A public opportunity to uplift someone for their hard work encourages all employees and imparts a sense of camaraderie.

     

    Be Clear

    Communicate why an employee’s role is vital in meeting your goals as a company. Understanding the importance of their job is a major factor in employee engagement. When someone feels that their role in the overall picture (of the company, economy, and life in general) is important- they are much more likely to put forth true effort and care towards their duties.

    Stay Open

    Employees are much more likely to share ideas and recommendations in a workplace where they feel comfortable and respected. Create a space for open dialogue by continuing to ask questions about their experience and how you can help and just as importantly, accept their feedback as constructive criticism and truly consider their insight.

    Enjoy

    When employees find joy in their work and among their coworkers, engagement comes easily. Whether participating in a friendly contest, rubbing elbows at a fun work function, or volunteering together to make a positive difference. People are naturally more inclined to engage during the day-to-day after positive experiences with their team.

    There is no universal solution to improve employee engagement. In the particularly tough transportation industry keeping strong employees is paramount. You can aim to improve productivity, increase customer satisfaction, and escalate profit by sharpening your own daily habits as a leader, consistently reach out to work on improving the workplace, and strengthening relationships within the company. 

  • The ATA Forecasts Continued Growth for Trucking

    by Anna Mischke | Aug 21, 2017

    CL Blog_August InfographICThe American Trucking Associations (ATA) has released their newest edition of the ATA American Trucking Trends, a yearly collection of trucking industry data. ATA President and CEO, Chris Spear said, “The information in Trends highlights exactly what I tell elected officials, regulators and key decision-makers every day: trucking is literally the driving force behind our great economy.”

    Trends finds that trucking industry revenues in 2016 amounted to $676.2 billion and Spear iterated that “safe, reliable and efficient motor carriers enable businesses throughout the supply chain to maintain lean inventories, thereby saving the economy billions of dollars each year.”

    The ATA projects sustained growth for the trucking industry in their U.S. Freight Transportation Forecast, and that 15.18 billion tons of freight will be moved by all modes this year. It is expected that by 2028 that number will rise to 20.73 billion tons. Spear explained, “As we look ahead at the rest of the 21st Century, the projections found in U.S. Freight Transportation Forecast are invaluable to decision makers in the board room and the hearing room alike” and “having good accurate, data is critical to making sure businesses are making appropriate investments in their companies and that our government is making the proper investments in our nation’s infrastructure.”

  • The Era of Social Media Recruiting

    by Anna Mischke | Jul 26, 2017

    shutterstock_570069328cropped-tmb-mediumWhile the world spends time trying to understand Millennials, the trucking industry continues to struggle to find drivers in a thinning workforce. As many seasoned drivers retire, transportation companies are turning to a younger, more tech-oriented generation and tweaking their recruitment strategies to attract new hires.

    This year HireRight, an employee background check firm, reported that trucking companies are leaning towards new tactics that appeal to an audience very different from their previous employees. Trucking companies are implementing benefits that speak to Millennials’ desire for freedom and flexibility in the workplace alongside the need for stability. With online connectivity proving to be of highest importance, rollout of social networking has increased by 13 percent with 60 percent of trucking companies participating in social media campaigns to increase candidate engagement. Although referrals remain the strongest recruiting strategy within the industry traditional job boards and trade publications are beginning to take a back seat.

    According to Randall Reilly, Facebook is currently the most responsive social media platform in the trucking industry, with 60% of drivers having an account. In addition to Facebook, some companies are exploring other image-focused networks like Instagram and Snapchat to engage with potential hires. And overall there is a push for mobile-friendly applications and screening processes to offer a more seamless hiring experience.

    What does all this mean? The trucking industry has a new potential workforce with a new personality. From social media centric behaviors to wellness in the workplace, recruiting tactics are set to change. Learning to tap into the needs and wants of the largest pool of potential candidates is paramount: utilizing our social accounts can be the first step towards that.

  • How to Evoke Foresight for the Future State of Your Company

    by User Not Found | Jun 19, 2017

    shutterstock_284040746When making business decisions one must always consider the future impact. If you focus only on the immediate state you’ll ultimately create a reactive culture that will force you to spend your days putting out fires. When faced with a problem take the opportunity to develop a solution that will improve your operations; make them run faster, more precise, more profitable. This mindset cannot be achieved alone. To successfully build an innovative mindset for your company you must shape the culture. George E.L. Barbee, one of the original Batten fellows at the University of Virginia Darden Graduate School of Business and former PwC partner, elaborates on two steps to help you do exactly that.

    1. Build your “foresight network.”
    Look for individuals on your team who think creatively as well as long-term. Start out with a small group and center discussions around where the company could go. When you feel it’s time to expand this circle, have the team invite one to two others they feel could contribute to the conversation. As your group grows you will have slowly made your foresight network. A network of people who can brainstorm and talk powerfully about the future state of the company.

    2. Improve your imagining practice.
    In meetings use the phrase “Imagine if…” to help move the conversation from internal, immediate concerns to a long-term, customer mindset. When you can start to focus on the customer and outward implications, your internal environment will shift to support the initiative.

    Barbee provides further explanation and examples of each step in his article, “Two Simple Concepts for Thinking about the Future.”

  • The Best Way to Be Safe: Lead By Example

    by Anna Mischke | May 17, 2017

    leadApril is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. A reminder that when it comes to safety, you should always address negative habits otherwise the consequences could be fatal. Deborah Lockridge, Editor-in-chief of TruckingInfo.com, recently published an article titled, When Safety Comes From the Top. The article resonated with us here at Centerline because we continuously strive to create a culture of safety that reaches our entire organization. This includes our president, recruiters, drivers and everyone in between.

    New technology emerges each week promising to be the next leap in safety and productivity innovation. While technology is constantly reviewed, purchased and upgraded, a safety first attitude is not something you can buy, it is something that must be taught.

    As a large player in the transportation industry, it is our responsibility to do our due diligence to protect the motoring public, a responsibility we take very seriously. No matter what the new tech tool is or does, the decision for safety will always fall to each individual. This means if something doesn’t pass a safety check or a driver is just slightly out of compliance, there is a hard line and decision to not deploy until everything is in order. The lives of our drivers and everyone out on the road are too important to us. When this philosophy starts at the top of an organization, your employees will know they are backed by their leaders to always choose safety first no matter the cost.

  • Autonomous Trucking Means Opportunity not Extinction

    by Kelsey Stafford | Mar 23, 2017
    Digital City

    In this age, it is no longer sufficient or wise to focus on your product or service offering without considering the advancement in technology and its implications. If one wants to survive, every company must become somewhat of a tech company. The evidence of this for trucking is in the new autonomous truck technology that is in development, and some areas, in practice. This was a topic of interest at the recent Transport Topics Recruiting and Retention Conference held in Nashville, TN.

    With the word autonomous comes excitement, innovation and a little fear. At Centerline, the topic of autonomous trucks is not one we wish to ignore but it doesn’t make us nervous either. When you break it down, as the speaker at the R&R conference pointed out, it may actually be a great opportunity for the role of the truck driver to evolve.

    Consider this; autopilot did not replace pilots. Just as pilots are extremely necessary for the guidance, monitoring of autopilot systems and in general still control the landings and takeoffs, likewise drivers will be necessary for the first and last mile. A driver may begin to take on the role of a conductor; ensure everything is running smoothly and safely and focus more on the load they carry and its well-being. The driver could also take on dispatch and load planning responsibilities. This shift in role may also prove to be the selling point for the new millennial workforce. The appeal of a more customer representative role is attractive and promising to develop new interest in the industry.

    Although advance, there are still many barriers to entry for the autonomous technology. These challenges include:

    • Infrastructure will need to be invested in and meticulously maintained.
    • The last mile will still need to be handled by the driver. Interstate yards will need to be established because they won’t be able to come into cities.
    • Technology challenges will be present, from security against cyber-crimes to creating, updating and maintaining the software.
    • Legislation and regulation will need to be determined and established.
    • Social adjustment and acceptance will need to be won over and the public will need its safety proven.
    • Insurance policies and liability will be scrutinized. New agreements must be made on whose fault an incident is; the government, the tech manufacturer, the software developer, the driver, or the company.

    There is a lot to consider when introducing this new technology however progress has already been made. Remote control trucks are currently used in mines and platooning technology is being put into practice. The future is bright for drivers. Autonomous technology is presenting new opportunities for the role to evolve.

  • How to Leave No Man Behind When Change Hits

    by Kelsey Stafford | Feb 10, 2017
    Change and Innovation

    It has become critical to be able to update or shift directions quickly based on new information in order to stay relevant and innovative in our fast paced world. While change can be good, constant change can be daunting on your employees. Jeffrey Schwartz, Pablo Gaito, and Doug Lennick took a closer look at how to reshape the way your employees think of change through the lens of neuroscience and behavioral research. They developed a virtuous cycle of focused values. The cycle provides six steps to help a company’s employees refocus attention on company goals and values to lessen the volatile response to the idea of change.

    1. Recognize the need for change: Recognize you’re in a rut and figure out how to get out of it. This step requires you to reflect on your thoughts, emotions and actions. Self-awareness brings individuals to the table.

    2. Relabel your reactions: Change the way you look at a situation by reframing it with the context of why the change is necessary. For example, the intent to do a better job helping clients, shifts the attention to the end goal and removes personal attachment.

    3. Reflect on your expectations and values: Dave Larson, recently retired executive president of Cargill said, “Leaders can either give energy to people or drain energy from people.” As a leader, by reinforcing goals and aspirations of the company every day you create a pattern for your employees to follow. Then when storms arise, you can maintain a steady ship by centering on those values. This is critical for the next step in the process.

    4. Refocus your behavior: Now that you have recognized the need for change, reframed its context, and established your expectations, it is time to bring your habits in line with your goal. Share how you feel, acknowledge how your employees must feel and then draw the conversation to solutions as you move forward.

    5. Respond with repetition: Accountability is key. Put the solutions determined in step four into practice and be sure to hold yourself and others accountable day-to-day. Each day is a new opportunity to start again. Don’t let one bad day ruin the progress of the week.

    6. Revalue your choices in real time: Encourage people to continue to evaluate their thoughts in the moment. By walking through this process, people’s automatic response changes and they begin to be able to weather a storm because the basis for decisions is company values instead of emotion.


    If you can create a culture of refocusing attention from the fear of change to shared values, your company will naturally propel itself forward in efficiency.

  • To be Professional you have to get Personal

    by Kelsey Stafford | Jan 05, 2017

    Personal Professionalism“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Will Durant

    A New Year is upon us and with it comes the permission to put the past year behind and an ambition to make something great in 2017. Just like many others, Centerline has reflected on our wins and our challenges to prepare for another year. We strive to be professional, but to do that, we recognize that it starts within. To make affective changes, we must get personal. Jeff Haden recently published an article on Inc.describing 10 things one can do to be successful and all of them start by getting personal and focusing on bettering oneself. Here are a few of our favorites:

    1. Be proactive: Don’t check your email first! In business we all strive to be proactive versus reactive however we commonly start our day with a very reactive activity - answering emails and notifications. Jocelyn K. Glei reminds us that we need to spend the best part of our day on our own priorities, which will better enable us to help others later.
    2. Make yourself accountable: Find a partner or mentor. Surround yourself with people who are just as passionate, hardworking and driven as you are. When you identify people in your life that you trust and respect hold onto those relationships and be intentional about building them by helping each other stay accountable each day.
    3. Write: Prime yourself for creativity. Morning Pages is a practice developed by Julia Cameron where you write three pages about anything and everything on your mind first thing in the morning. This activity starts your day exploring your thoughts, increases your creativity, and brings things into focus. There is no right or wrong way, just start writing.
  • Don’t Keep Putting out Fires, Stop Them before They Start

    by Kelsey Stafford | Dec 06, 2016

    Be proactive not reactive Each week, our leadership wakes up ready to face the challenges that week will hold. Questions ranging from the management of account relationships to fill rates on orders constantly plague the mind of company leaders. At Centerline, our leaders focus on acting proactive versus reactive on a weekly basis. Focusing on the prevention of foreseeable fires is well worth your time because it will make for a happier, safer work force and a more sought after brand.

    Recently, Elizabeth Doty, founder of Leadership Momentum, wrote an article for strategy+business referencing W. Edwards Deming’s 14 points for management. Deming’s approach takes the focus off of the short-term success in numbers and shifts the thinking to long-term sustained gains. Among the 14 points, a few that resonates with Centerline include:

    Create constancy of purpose. To move your employees’ mindset off of a pure tactical approach, you must have a company mission to rally behind and create a sense of purpose for your work. The staffing industry is ever changing and can be difficult, however it is also very rewarding to be able to say you connect people and work. It is important to foster commitment to your work and dedication to improvement.

    Institute Leadership. Deming stated, “The aim of supervision should be to help people and machines and gadgets to do a better job.” You must first make sure your employees know they are a part of a team and valued and then empower them to make decisions and put their ideas into action. Each employee should feel invested in the company and purpose.

    Drive out fear. “Where there is fear you do not get honest figures,” W. Edwards Deming. You will never be able to improve performance if you do not know the true picture.

  • Freedom isn't Free

    by Charlotte Freed | Nov 11, 2016
    centerline headerCenterline Family,

    November 11th is a day to reflect and honor those who have served and are currently serving our country to secure our freedom. I'm especially proud and humbled by our own veterans who have given so much to our country and are also an integral part of our Centerline team.

    Click here to view a tribute to our veterans.

    "This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave."
    - Elmer Davis

    Thank you for your service:

    Michelle Graves                                        
    United States Navy
    Boatswain mate BM3 
    James Pearson
    United States Army
    Supply SFC/Garrison 25th Infantry 
    Michael Turner
    United States Air Force
    Staff Sargent, E5

    Brad Beeuwsaert
    United States Marine Corp Reserve
    4th Marine Logistics Group
    Combat Logistics Battalion 451
    Luis Colon
    United States Marine Corp
    E-3 Lance Corporal
    2881 Cryptographic Technician


    Scott Anderson
    United States Coast Guard-Polar Sea
    Marine Science Technician

    Mike Bryant
    United States Army A Company
    1st Battalion - 22nd Division
    John Trahan
    Security Police
    United States Air Force
    31st SPS/9th Air Force
    Brett Thornton
    United States Air Force
    56th EMS/56th Combat AGE Team

    Zach Feinberg
    United States Marine Corp
    Flight Equipment Technician
    John King
    United States Army
    82nd Airborne
     

    *If we have missed anyone, please share with us - we want to honor you.


    A special thank you to Rod Crowell and John King for sharing the idea to recognize individually each of our Centerline Heroes!

    Jill
  • In an Election Year, Transportation Matters

    by Kelsey Stafford | Nov 01, 2016
    2016 Presidential Election

    During an election year, things often hang in the balance and transportation funding questions are not any different. Ensuring a permanent solution for highway trust fund revenue solutions has been a bi-partisan effort in recent years. Unfortunately the five year Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act signed into law in 2015 fell short of providing a permanent funding solution.

    The FAST Act (P.L. 114-94) that President Obama signed provides $43.1B for highways in fiscal 2016 from the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) up from $37.8B in fiscal 2015, and $9.3B out of the HTF for mass transit from $8.6B in 2015.

    No matter who is elected in November key transportation issues are at stake including:

    • Ensuring that the law passed in 2015 is realized in 2017. The Congressional Budget Office states that most of the federal taxes to support infrastructure improvements including allocated gas taxes collected will fall well short of the need.
    • Restoring a user-fee mechanism that originally built our interstate highway system to ensure the $15B per year revenue gap in the HTF is bridged.
    • Developing a long-term Federal investment for airports.
    • Keeping policy reforms to stream line environmental and approval processes for federally funded highway and transit projects.

    Both presidential candidates have campaigned that addressing transportation infrastructure shortfalls will be addressed during their first 100 days in office.

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