By Alaina Love on November 23rd, 2015 | Comment on this post

Through years of consulting to many organizations, I’ve been blessed to work with wonderful, accomplished leaders — individuals who are deeply in touch with themselves and are focused on bringing the best of their skills, talents and passions to leading others. They view leading as both a privilege and a responsibility, one that surpasses any other role they may have in their organization.

At the same time, these gifted leaders are strongly committed to the business of growing the business, as they should be. They recognize that being an effective leader while holding a position of excellence in the market are not mutually exclusive objectives.

Conversely, I’ve also met individuals with leadership titles who failed to embrace the most profound aspect of their role — courage to lead well in the face of adversity and ambiguity. I call them “faux leaders.” In nearly every case I’ve witnessed, the behaviors of these leaders had a profoundly negative impact on their teams and their organizations.…

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By on November 23rd, 2015 | Comment on this post

This is a very exciting time for the food and beverage industry; there is such a vibrancy overflowing for all things cooking, shopping and eating. Consumers have a newfound curiosity, a deeper interest and higher levels of engagement with food that we are truly witnessing a broader cultural shift. You might say we are living in a food culture renaissance.

Fundamental shifts in technology, travel and trade have placed food back at the center of everyday life and popular culture. Food is fun and important. Interest in food isn’t a mere millennial trait but a reflection of evolving food culture.

The Hartman Group’s Culture of Food 2015: New Appetites, New Routines new report is a deep dive into the world of food today. We uncovered how consumers are trading out traditional food routines for new ones that reflect the desires and challenges of expanded variety in a complex food landscape.…

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By Leslie Bleskachek on November 23rd, 2015 | Comment on this post

path to workforceAs part of SmartBrief Education’s coverage of Path to Workforce, we’ve teamed with the Association for Career and Technical Education to share CTE articles written by educators, for educators. In this blog post, guest blogger Leslie Bleskachek examines risk-taking and professional development.

I have had the great opportunity to participate in some wonderful professional development, particularly in the past few years. After talking with many students about their work aspirations, I am grateful for these chances to plan ahead for a career path of my own.

I find there are a couple of components that have really helped me focus my thoughts. The first is to choose a mentor, and maybe more than one. As I piece together the various experiences that have helped me succeed, I find that in many cases I had the guidance of a mentor. I usually sought people who had expertise in an area where I was not as strong.…

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By on November 20th, 2015 | Comment on this post

Top news stories this week included quickservice restaurant news involving two big players in the industry: In-N-Out and McDonald’s – as In-N-Out finds a customer loyalty in keeping its menu as it is, McDonald’s is changing things up with a new version of its value menu.

In the CPG world, ConAgra’s spinoff of its Lamb Weston frozen potato products division to form two separate, publicly-traded companies was a departure from the slew of mergers and acquisitions we’ve seen throughout the year and was well-read by SmartBrief subscribers. Other popular news included new and innovative Thanksgiving cooking trends, restaurant delivery expansion with Amazon Prime spreading to more cities, specifically Portland, Ore., and Los Angeles, and grocery delivery technology innovation with Wal-Mart possibly experimenting with drones to eliminate the need for humans — a prospect that has other grocery retailers including Peapod, ShopRite and Wegmans upping their game when it comes to online shopping, delivery and click-and-collect programs.…

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By on November 20th, 2015 | Comment on this post

Three construction-focused economists discussed the state of the US construction economy in a panel presentation/webinar presented by CMD iSqFt at Greenbuild on Thursday.

Where the construction economy is now compared with where it was

“The US economy is where it’s at,” Alex Carrick told me in an interview prior to the panel discussion. He noted that the monthly foreign trade deficit, on a seasonally adjusted annual rate, has dwindled from a range of minus $600 billion to minus $800 billion to a range between minus $400 billion to minus $600 billion, a very positive sign for the GDP.…

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