March 23rd, 2015

Encourage People to Ask For Help

Ask for help quote from cesar chavez

I always tell new employees to ask lots of questions.  I tell them that it is far better to ask, and get it right than to assume and get it wrong.  I tell them that they might feel stupid asking the same questions over and again … but the reality is, in our busy world we all need to hear the lessons multiple times before they stick.  It in no way means they are stupid!

I also try very hard to ensure people are not made to feel stupid when they ask questions … because that is one sure-fire way to stop the questions from coming!

“The strong individual is the one who asks for help when he needs it.”  Rona Barrett

Today I read an article from Harvard Business Review about a study showing that when facing a difficult task, a person you ask for advice will actually think MORE of you, rather than think you are stupid.  That “the very act of seeking help conveys a certain wisdom”.  Also they suggest that “people with knowledge to share think highly of anyone who goes to them for advice.”

“You may feel vulnerable asking for help, but wouldn’t the world be a better place if we all learned to depend on each other?”  Lori Deschene

This is important data that makes a lot of sense and my lesson from this study is to encourage ALL of my staff to ask more questions … not just new employees, or people new to their role.

Here are just three reasons why we should not try to do everything alone:

  1. Two heads are better than one … an old but relevant saying. With more than one person looking at the situation you will get more ideas than just one person looking at it.
  1. Avoid overconfidence. The person who thinks they know it all is delusional.  No matter how experienced you are you can benefit from input … even if it is to remind you of the point or two you forgot!
  1. Get buy-in. If the person you ask for advice is your boss, or another manager, then you are spreading the risk for your solution.  If something goes wrong it wasn’t just you who had input to the solution.  This is much more than a CYA (cover your butt), it is good governance.

The Harvard study is good supporting data, but leaders should intuitively know that encouraging staff to ask questions is just common sense!  When people guess, assume or just make it up the result not likely to be what we would want!

Do you encourage people to ask questions or do you make them feel that they should always know the answers?

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Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Want to know where Canada’s hot jobs are?   Visit the Eagle Job Centre!
Gain a competitive edge!  Join Eagle’s Executive Consulting Network!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) VirtualRecruiter service?
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March 19th, 2015

Some Hard Facts About Sales

Some sales statisticsYour job in sales is to generate business for your employer.

You do this by:

  • Representing your company well.
  • Understanding client needs and problems.
  • Solving those needs and problems with your company’s solutions/products.

“If people like you, they’ll listen to you, but if they trust you, they’ll do business with you.”  Zig Ziglar

There a LOT of pieces to that, including:

  • Recognising where there is a fit, and not forcing square pegs into round holes.
  • Recognising that to get the whole story from one client you may need to talk with a lot of people … and listen a lot.
  • Recognising that to uncover one client that actually needs your help will necessitate a lot of rejection from companies that don’t need it today.
  • Recognising that people like to deal with people they like.
  • Recognising that you need to earn trust.
  • Recognising that you need to build credibility.
  • Recognising that this is all hard work … and needs total focus.

“A good listener is not only popular everywhere, but after a while he knows something.”  Wilson Mizner

Look at the chart … this is real life!

You need to be able to answer these questions.

  • How many good leads do you need to get “enough” closes to meet your targets?
  • How many meetings do you need to have to get those “good leads”?
  • How many conversations do you need to have on the phone to get those meetings?
  • How many calls do you need to make to get those conversations?
  • How many of those people that you called never hear from you again?
  • How many people you talked with will never hear from you again?
  • Do you have a system and a process to keep in contact with those people … bringing them some kind of value?
  • Why do you think people will buy from you?

There is nowhere to hide … this is what it takes for you to be successful.

“Days are expensive. When you spend a day you have one less day to spend. So make sure you spend each one wisely.”  Jim Rohn

If you are waiting for the phone to ring you might be waiting a long time.

If you are relying on the same clients you relied on last year then you are in decline.

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Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Want to know where Canada’s hot jobs are?   Visit the Eagle Job Centre!
Gain a competitive edge!  Join Eagle’s Executive Consulting Network!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) VirtualRecruiter service?
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March 16th, 2015

Leadership Should Be Uncomfortable (and it is)!

Douglas McArthur quote about leadershipThere are many reasons why people are in leadership positions, and you would hope that they are for the right reasons.  People earn their positions because of their knowledge and experience, in many cases they earn the position by proving their worth and they are in the position because they truly want to be the boss.

“Leaders aren’t born, they are made. And they are made just like anything else, through hard work. And that’s the price we’ll have to pay to achieve that goal, or any goal.”  Vince Lombardi

The demands on leaders are relentless and there is nowhere to hide.  They must make the tough decisions.  They must deliver the tough messages.  They must walk the talk.  They must always remember that they are the leader.  Because of all of this, all leaders will find themselves beyond their comfort zone at times.

Even when they are prepared to make tough decisions, deliver tough messages and do the right thing … they will not always be right, and will invariably be second guessed!  It never gets easy.

“Don’t necessarily avoid sharp edges. Occasionally they are necessary to leadership.”  Donald Rumsfeld

Here are 12 things for leaders to remember:

  1. You need to be decisive! That does not mean be rash or impulsive … but you must make “the call”.
  2. You should be fair … as much as you can be. Life is not fair, so sometimes you need to make a choice but it should be made with a compassionate view.
  3. You will find yourself outside your comfort zone, that is just a fact! Do NOT “turtle”, take a deep breath and do what you have to do.
  4. Own your decisions. We all make mistakes, which is one way that we learn, so own your decisions both good and bad.
  5. You know when people need to hear tough messages, so deliver them. Be professional, it is business not personal.
  6. It is very hard to be friends with your direct reports … if you choose that route, make sure they know they will not be treated any differently than others.
  7. Always walk the talk … you cannot have a “do as I say, not as I do” policy and retain any credibility!
  8. When with your peers and bosses you need to use your out loud voice! Keeping your concerns and issues inside will help no-one, and makes you look like a weak leader.
  9. Look for ways to bring value to the organisation. It should not be all about you.
  10. Look for ways to help your people develop and grow, and to give them credit for their work. Never take credit for your people’s work.
  11. Hire the very best people you can find. You do NOT need to be the smartest person in the room!
  12. Look at the big picture … success comes over the long haul, and sometimes we get so wrapped up in the daily “battles” that we don’t notice we have won a few wars along the way!

“The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humor, but without folly.”  Jim Rohn
________________________________________________________________
Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Gain a competitive edge!  Join Eagle’s Executive Consulting Network!
Find Canada’s top hot jobs, updated in real-time!  Visit Eagle’s Job Centre!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) VirtualRecruiter service?
________________________________________________________________

March 9th, 2015

Make Change Stick

Jim Rohn quote about cIf you are like me then you will always be looking for ways to be better, in many areas of your life.  I work at my professional role, my home life, my relationships and my health.  If I want to improve anything it requires change, and as we all know change is tough!

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” Albert Einstein

It is no big surprise to anyone that wanting to make changes, and being successful at those changes are a world apart!  As anyone who has failed in their attempts to quit smoking, or lose weight can tell you.  I would go so far as to say that most of us will fail at implementing change most of the time, BUT if we truly want to get better we need to find a way!

Effecting change in your life, whether it is as simple as committing to more exercise or as complex as making a career change or starting a business, is hard!

I think that there are three principles to apply if you want to be successful at implementing change in your life.

  1. Consciously create new routines … the mere act of creating routines will work with your brain, not against it.
  2. Keep it simple … take the “eating an elephant” approach, one bite at a time.
  3. Have a plan … not just a goal, but a plan with action items to help you reach that goal.

As an example, let’s consider that you want to improve your fitness with a modified exercise routine.  You may feel part of the answer is to join a gym, so you need to have a plan.  If you joined a gym previously (maybe multiple times) and it didn’t work, then why is it going to work this time?  You need to do something differently! Maybe going with a workout buddy or a personal trainer will keep you motivated?  Maybe setting aside a specific time of day that will work better for you will work … first thing in the morning works best for me.  The important thing is to have a plan, learn from past mistakes and modify the plan to give yourself a better chance of success.

It is easier to make small changes and create new routines, than to make BIG changes in your life in one go.  If you can make multiple small changes over time that together add up to meeting your goal, then you will be far more likely to succeed.

Perhaps instead of joining that gym you could start by finding a time of day in which you can exercise.  There is a lot of exercise that can be done without a gym, and the most important thing is to start.  Once you have some success you might have a new plan that involves the gym!

Another typical situation where change is needed is the sales person who wants to improve their performance.  To achieve different results requires change, and here are 10 Steps a salesperson might take to effect that change!

  1. Write down a plan, incorporating all of these points.  Writing things down makes them more real!
  2. Change up your look … buy some new clothes, make yourself “feel good” about how you look. If you “feel” different that is a part of the change.
  3. Add a little time to your workday … another half hour or hour a day, focused on productive activity.  It could mean getting a little earlier or catching a slightly later bus home.
  4. Emulate the activities of the most productive salespeople in your company and industry.  What do they do that makes them successful?
  5. Network with successful people.  Positive role models will create a positive attitude.
  6. Get out more … more client calls, more networking, more meetings with people that can help you.
  7. Work on your time management skills … use a calendar religiously, use To Do lists, keep good notes, maximize your work time with work activities (less chit chat, more work).
  8. Set yourself mini-goals to achieve your greater goal. e..g.  Number of client calls a week, number of face to face meetings, number of self-development courses/webinars/books etc.
  9. Invest in your self-development. If you company offers materials take 100% advantage, if not (and even if they do) then spend a few dollars yourself to invest in YOUR career.  (Look into the CPSA … Canadian Professional Sales Association)
  10. Adopt the attitude that YOU are responsible for your own success.

The salesperson who really wants success will chip away at this plan until they achieve success, but many will find it too hard and revert back to their “comfort zone”.

“If you don’t try at anything, you can’t fail… it takes back bone to lead the life you want.”  Richard Yates

It is important that when we “fail” to achieve the change we want, we don’t just give up and go back.  The right answer is to adjust the plan and try again.

“Fall down seven times.  Stand up eight!”  Japanese proverb.

Change becomes easier when we see success from our efforts.  By having smaller goals, and making incremental changes you will see small successes and use them for motivation.
________________________________________________________________
Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Gain a competitive edge!  Join Eagle’s Executive Consulting Network!
Find Canada’s top hot jobs, updated in real-time!  Visit Eagle’s Job Centre!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) VirtualRecruiter service?
________________________________________________________________

 

 

March 6th, 2015

The Recruiter Value Proposition Continued

Famous People on the bus quote from Jim CollinsIn recent articles I talked about some of the reasons why hiring managers should invest in a relationship with their recruiters.   I talked about three key reasons:

  • Just in time staffing. Their reach in finding talent when you need it;
  • Upgrading.  Their ability to help you improve your team; and
  • Knowledge Transfer. Their ability to bring expertise that can share their knowledge with your existing team.

Here are just a couple more reasons why you might want to spend some regular time with your recruiter.

“The secret of my success is that we have gone to exceptional lengths to hire the best people in the world.”  Steve Jobs

Market Knowledge:

Recruiters have an excellent pulse on the market and know what skills are in demand, what are scarce, what rates are and what the trends are.

If you have an upcoming project that will require a particular skill set it would make sense for you to understand the availability of that skill set in your market and the associated potential cost.

Managers can a learn a lot about what their competition is doing from recruiters.  Are they hiring or laying off?   Is there a buzz about their culture … do people like working there?  There are often times where companies can benefit from hiring someone with experience at a competitor (obviously respecting non-competition clauses) and your recruiter can find those people.

I wish I had a dollar for every manager that wanted to understand their own value in the market!

“Often the best solution to a management problem is the right person.” Edwin Booz

Cost containment:

This can come in many flavors, and a recruiter with a partner attitude will try to bring value where they can.

Many companies have a tendency to hire friends … people they know and trust.  Clearly there are very good reasons for doing this, but it is never the most cost effective solution … because there is no competitive process to ensure that the contract rate, or salary is competitive.  We always recommend our clients compete the position, with the “friend” as one candidate.  This allows the hiring manager to see if there are potentially better candidates and ensure the cost is in line with the market.

There is a misconception that contract employees are more expensive that full time staff, and this can color a decision the wrong way.  A good recruiter can guide a hiring manager through an analysis that takes into account the “real cost” of an employee.  Sometimes the answer is NOT to go full time … especially when flexibility, training and management costs and the impact of pensions and company benefits are taken into account.

“The key for us, number one, has always been hiring very smart people.” Bill Gates

The traditional way that recruiters can help clients to get cost effective solutions is as relevant as it always has been.  Often clients think they need an expert to do the job, so having a few candidates to look at and understand the relative cost/experience/capability can result in a better fit!

I read a FastCompany article just this morning that suggests one of the biggest challenges that CEOs will face in 2015 is finding the right talent.  Having a relationship with a good recruiter is a great way for companies to be ahead of the game with that challenge.

“The marketplace is incredibly competitive in every industry around the globe.  The difference between success and failure is talent, period!”  Indra Nooyi, CEO Pepsico

So … go ahead hug your recruiter today!
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Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Want to know where Canada’s hot jobs are?   Visit the Eagle Job Centre!
Gain a competitive edge!  Join Eagle’s Executive Consulting Network!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) VirtualRecruiter service?
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March 4th, 2015

Technology Industry News for February 2015

technologyThis is my 30,000 foot look at events in the ICT industry for February 2015. What you see here is a précis of the monthly report I produce, which will be available in more detail at the News section of the Eagle website, where you will also find back issues.

A Little History of previous year’s Februarys …

Five years ago in February 2010 M&A activity was slow with no huge buys.  Google bought Aardvark; Oracle purchased a couple of smaller entities; IBM bought a small network software company that focuses on the telco vertical; and Sybase bought a company that has a strong foothold in the financial services HP logovertical.  There were lots of signs that the recovery was under way and Canada saw some job growth after a period of decline.  February 2011 was another quiet month for M&A with HP buying Vertica; Opentext bought Metastorm ($182 million); and Rackspace acquired Anso Labs.  World news was dominated by the popular uprisings in a growing number of countries and the reactions of those governments including the brutality of Gaddafi’s Libyan supporters.  Three years ago, February 2012 was not a blockbuster month for M&A, but there was some interesting activity.  The biggest deal of the month saw Oracle pay $1.9 billion for talent management company Taleo.  Siemens Canada paid $440 million for networking equipment company Rugged.com.  IBM bought BYOD company Worklight; Dell bought backup and recovery company AppAssure; Apple bought mobile search company Chomp; and LM Ericsson bought Ottawa based BelAir Networks.   Two years ago in February 2013 Dell dell logowent private in a $24.4 billion deal, that included a $2 billion investment by Microsoft.  Oracle paid $1.7 billion for networking company Acme Packet Inc.; Rackspace bought big data company ObjectRocket; Telus was busy with two acquisitions, electronic medical records division of the Canadian Medical Association and digital forensics company Digital Wyzdom; HP also sold the Palm operating system to LG for their smart TVs.  Last year in February 2014 it was busy in M&A. Facebook make a big move with the $16 billion acquisition of Whatsapp.  Comcast made a $45 billion play for Time Warner Cable and regulatory approval or otherwise is imminent; Oracle paid a reputed $400 million for data management platform company Bluekai; LinkedIn paid $120 million for online job search company Bright; and Klout was bought for about $100 million by Lithium Technologies.  Microsoft logoGoogle made a couple of acquisitions, online fraud company Spider.io and secure logon company Slicklogin.  IBM bought database as a service company Cloudant; and Monster bought a couple of companies, social profile company Talentbin and job aggregation and distribution technology company Gozaic. Finally, Microsoft announced Steve Balmer’s retirement and appointed a new CEO, Satya Nadella.

Which brings us back to the present …

StaplesFebruary 2015 saw some interesting activity.  The $6.3 billion merger of Staples and Office Depot and the $1.6 Billion purchase of Orbitz by Expedia are two examples of sectors experiencing massive consolidation.  There was a big buy in the communications and IT space with Harris paying $4,75 billion for Excelis to establish a 23,000 person company.  There was a big data center play with UK based Telecity Group paying $2.2 billion for Interxion Holdings.  Microsoft made a couple of acquisitions, paying $200 million for pen-tech maker N-Trig and $100 million for mobile calendar company Sunrise.  Samsung bought a mobile payment company (competing with Apple pay), LoopPay.  Also out buying was Twitter logoTwitter which picked up Niche, a network of social media creators.  There were a number of interesting deals in Asia, including Sapdeal buying luxury fashion estore Exclusively; Foodpanda made six acquisitions of online meal delivery services to establish itself as a powerhouse in that space.  Showing some forethought Australian job board OneShift has bought Adage, which is a job board serving people over 45 … maybe I should register!

The US economy continues its recovery with almost every indicator being extremely positive.  Confidence indicators, GDP, unemployment figures … all show an economy that is growing.  So much so that the number one concern of businesses is now the talent shortage!  Canada on the other hand is not so buoyant and continues to “go sideways” … clearly not helped by the price of a barrel of oil these days, and Obama playing politics by vetoing the Keystone Project.

BitcoinIn other news supporters of net neutrality had a victory this month when the US Federal Communications Commission voted in their favor.  Another Bitcoin exchange went bust, this time amidst rumors of some less than ethical practices.  Gartner tells us that worldwide IT spending will increase, Careerbuilder tell us more people want to (need to?) work after retirement and the growth of smartphone sales keeps on rolling.

That is it for my monthly look at what was happening in the technology space over the last month, compared to the same month in previous years.  I’ll be back at the end of March, until then … walk fast and smile!

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Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Want to know where Canada’s hot jobs are?   Visit the Eagle Job Centre!
Gain a competitive edge!  Join Eagle’s Executive Consulting Network!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) VirtualRecruiter service?
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February 26th, 2015

The Continuing Value of a Recruiter to The Client

invest in people There are many reasons why clients will go to a recruiter.  Some of those reasons are fairly common and others are not so common.  Typically clients look to a recruiter when they have an urgent need for talent … but an ongoing relationship with your recruiter will mean you can actually get proactive!

Today I will talk about the kind of situation many managers face, the need to bring new knowledge into the organization.  There are many reasons why this is needed.

  • You do not have a key skill amongst your employees;
  • A key resource leaves and the skill leaves with them; or
  • A new technology comes into the company and you have no-one with that skill.

Typically companies will approach these situations in a few different ways:

  • Hire someone new into the position who has that skill;
  • Hire a contractor into the position;
  • Muddle through; or
  • Outsource the responsibility to an external supplier.

There are however many times when you have good employees, who could do the work if they had the right experience.  They are also people you would want to reward with this kind of opportunity and if your could then it would strengthen their tie to your organization.

What can you do?

Your recruiter can help you to identify the right kind of contract resource, who can bring the experience and the skill.  Their task would NOT be to do the work themselves but to partner with the internal employee through the process of getting them up to speed, while ensuring the work is done well.  As a part of their mandate they could even train a few in house people in relevant skills to ensure adequate backup for your new in-house expert.  This approach is more attractive to in house resources who might resent the “sexy” projects being given to contract resources.

The short term cost might be a little higher than hiring a net new person, or even hiring a contractor for the duration.  Longer term you have the skills you need, happy employees and your costs are likely to be less.

“If you take care of your employees they will take care of your customers and your business will take care of itself.”  J W Marriott

It requires a little more planning and the right expectation setting with both the contractor and the employee.  It might require a willingness to put in a little extra effort on the part of the employee, but they will be getting new skills in return.

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”  Chinese Proverb

This is just one more reason why hiring managers should have an ongoing relationship with their recruiter.  A good recruiter will be able to understand the business issue, find exactly the right candidate and set the right expectations with an incoming contract resource.
________________________________________________________________
Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Gain a competitive edge!  Join Eagle’s Executive Consulting Network!
Find Canada’s top hot jobs, updated in real-time!  Visit Eagle’s Job Centre!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) VirtualRecruiter service?
________________________________________________________________

February 25th, 2015

The Value of a Recruiter to a Hiring Manager

Rob Crandall quote about upgrading your teamFor some people a recruiter is a “necessary evil” … someone that they call as a last resort, when they are desperate to fill a role.  The rest of the time they will avoid them.

The fact is that in addition to being a source of talent there are many reasons why a hiring manager should cultivate a relationship with their recruiting supplier, especially when there is no immediate and burning need.  The recruiter is a great resource that can elp with a number of management challenges … so I would counsel hiring managers to put their recruiters to work!

Today I will focus on how a good recruiter can help you improve your existing team.  This is especially important during a downturn in the market, which is the current state of the economy in Canada’s oil and gas sector.

“Surround yourself with the best people you can find, delegate authority, and don’t interfere as long as the policy you’ve decided upon is being carried out.”  Ronald Reagan

During a downturn, excellent talent comes on the market or at the very least is willing to have conversations about other opportunities.  It might be their company is struggling, a project lost funding or just the uncertainty of their particular situation … but it spells opportunity for the astute hiring manager.   Especially if they have a good recruiter finding these people for them!

In my management experience the number one source of pain has always been the underperforming employee with the attitude problem.  They might do just enough to “get by”, but they cause their manager heart burn, take more management time than the rest of your staff and they disrupt the team dynamics.

I would suggest that most managers that have a number of people on their project, or working for them will have their “problem child”.

Imagine how much better your days would be if that person were replaced by someone like one of your top performers!  Suddenly stress would be reduced, productivity would be increased and you would find time to spend on more enjoyable activities.  Your team would be happier and so would you.

If you have a relationship with your recruiter you can talk about these things.  You can have them keep an eye out for the “A’ player that might fit your team.  If you have a relationship they will know the soft skills that are needed, they will understand the hard skills that are mandatory and they will not waste your time by firing over resumes of people who might just be another problem child.

Companies always talk about the cost of recruiting and how expensive it is … well think about the real return on investment in this one move!  What dollar benefit would your company receive by replacing one poor performer with an “A Player”?

This is just ONE reason you need to have a relationship with your recruiter!

________________________________________________________________
Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Gain a competitive edge!  Join Eagle’s Executive Consulting Network!
Find Canada’s top hot jobs, updated in real-time!  Visit Eagle’s Job Centre!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) VirtualRecruiter service?
________________________________________________________________

February 24th, 2015

Practical Tips for Driving Your Day

Jim Rohn quote about time managementI often talk about the need to take control of your time.  Too often we come to the office and just “do stuff”, which means that your day is driving you.

“If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.” Yogi Berra

Sometimes when I talk about this subject I see heads nodding, the recognition that what I am saying makes sense … but all too often people don’t change how they operate.

“The only possible way to have it ALL is with structure and the discipline to keep to it, to make it a routine.” Margot Hattingh

Here are some ideas about exactly HOW you can drive your day using goals, routines and priorities.

  1. Set some goals … they can be your own or set by the company. g. If you are in sales you may have a goal that supports meeting your sales quota.  If you are a recruiter you might have a goal of interviewing 2 people a day.  Other examples might be learning goals (1 one hour seminar a month etc.) or numbers of people to talk with or meet with.
  2. Understand which tasks have the highest priority related to your job. If you are in sales they might be client meetings or calls; if you are a recruiter it might be conversations with candidates or interviews.  These tasks will be the ones that have the most impact.  These are “A” type priority items.
  3. Understand what the mandatory “other tasks” are in your job. These might be internal reporting, meetings with your boss etc.   These will be “B” type priority items.
  4. Create your Master To Do list. I always suggest having this separate from your notebook (or wherever you capture notes).  I like to capture what I have done in my notebook, and keep a separate list of things I need to do.  Identify which are high priority tasks, which are
  5. Create a standard “start of day” routine with reminders generated in your calendar. These could be “Start of Day routine” … review To Dos; identify what to do that day; book time in calendar for specific tasks (more later).   This should be done BEFORE opening email or listening to voicemail.  It should be revised if necessary after those tasks.
  6. Create a standard “end of day” routine (again with reminders) Review To Do’s; Identify calendar items for next day & any required preparation; celebrate completing tasks etc.
  7. Create a standard end of week routine; a standard end of month routine (that might include monthly report generation etc.)
  8. Measure yourself against your goals regularly … as it makes sense. If your goal is to have 10 client meetings a week, then you can measure that every day … meetings you have had plus those planned gives you a shortfall to correct.
  9. Always put the emphasis on high return (A type priorities).
  10. Build time into your day for the “B type” activities.
  11. Build time into your day for breaks.
  12. When NOT on a break focus on work!

If you can do that you will be driving your day.

“Goals are the fuel in the furnace of achievement.” Brian Tracy

What did I miss?  What else could you do?

________________________________________________________________

Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Gain a competitive edge!  Join Eagle’s Executive Consulting Network!
Find Canada’s top hot jobs, updated in real-time!  Visit Eagle’s Job Centre!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) VirtualRecruiter service?
________________________________________________________________

February 13th, 2015

A Mentor/Mentee Relationship is Attractive BUT Hard Work!

Quote from John Maxwell about mentorshipMentoring is very often cited as an excellent way for “up and comers” to learn, and it can also be very rewarding to the mentor as they help those early in their career.

“There are two ways to acquire wisdom; you can either buy it or borrow it.” Benjamin Franklin

I read an excellent article from Brian Tracy a number of years ago called The Value of Mentors which appeared on the CPSA website (Canadian Professional Sales Association).  The focus of the article was on the mentee, and gave a number steps that a mentee can do in order to take full advantage of mentors.

I have had mixed success as a mentor, and while some people will say I have helped them in their career, there have been a number of occasions where I felt I had provided very little value and in fact the experience had been a waste of my time and their time.

Given all of the above I certainly can’t profess to be a great mentor, but I can share some of the lessons I have learned, the hard way:

  1. Put the emphasis on the mentee.  They need to do the work of deciding where they need help.
  2. Have a formal agenda, ahead of time, for any meeting.
  3. Don’t wing it … know the topics for discussion ahead of time.
  4. It is OK to let the conversation wander, after the agenda is done.
  5. The concept of a mentor/mentee relationship is often very attractive, but there is a lot of work involved … don’t commit to the relationship if both parties are not willing to commit to the work!

Informal chats with people can bring value, but it can equally be a waste of time.  My advice to anyone considering being a mentor is to ensure the mentee is prepared well (Brian Tracy’s article is a good place for them to start.

“For every one of us that succeeds, it is because there’s somebody there to show you the way out.” Oprah Winfrey

I will reiterate that there is much to be gained from having a mentor and in being a mentor.  The effort is worth the result, but without the effort it is very likely to be another conversation with little value.

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Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
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