CEO Blog

Category Archives: Management

What IS The Comfort Zone … 10 Thoughts?

Einstein quote about mistakes and trying new thingsYou will see all kinds of articles, quotes and advice about “getting outside your comfort zone” and I have certainly written my fair share.  Certainly I see that a lot of people “get it” but there are also many who either don’t see the value, or don’t think they should bother.

So … I thought I would try to demystify these references to the comfort zone.

1.  The comfort zone is a comfortable place.  We are in familiar territory, we do the same kinds of things day in day out.  We deal with the same people, using basically the same processes and don’t try to do anything differently.

There are good reasons to be here.  It is lower stress.  It requires less “thinking”, and creates less errors … because we learn to do the same things over and over again so we get them right!

2.  Getting out of the comfort zone is not for everybody.  Some people would be very stressed out.  They would probably be paralysed by fear or uncertainty if they were forced to change the way they do things.

3.  Our world changes around us all the time.  The mobile phone was not around when I started my career … so the world forces change on us.  It is always better if we can be the ones driving change rather than having it happen to us!  That is what happened to dinosaurs and “buggy whip” manufacturers!

picture showing a circle representing "the comfort zone" with the larger area being "where all the good stuff happens"4.  For the right people change is exhilarating, or at least stimulating, which helps life to be more interesting.

5.  People that want to have successful careers need to be people willing to make changes … rather than have change happen to them.

6.  Change happens as much in our personal lives as it does at work, so a willingness to get outside the comfort zone can be very beneficial in all areas of our lives.  Getting out doing new things can result in new skills, meeting new people and open up new opportunities.

7.  Change, or a venture outside the comfort zone, does not have to be big.  It can start small.  As we get comfortable with small changes, then we can try a little more.  It is similar to learning to swim … start with short distances in the shallow end of the pool.  Ultimately you might swim across the lake, or at a minimum have fun jumping off the dock with your friends!

8.  We grow our muscles by working them hard.  We increase our knowledge by learning.  We grow our life skills by trying new things.

9.  A comfortable place is often a great place to be … but sometimes it is just boring.  Change brings some hassles, but the rewards can be many!

10.  I would sooner get to the end of my life and regret the things I did, rather than the things I never tried.

“Twenty years from now you will more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the things you did do.  So throw off the bowlines.  Sail away from the safe harbor.  Catch the trade winds in your sails.  Explore.  Dream.  Discover.”  Mark Twain

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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 Board!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) Virtual Recruiter service?
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The Value in Attending Good Conferences

FEI Canada logoLast week I spent a couple of days at the annual FEI (Financial Executives International) conference in Winnipeg.  While I do not have a financial background myself, Eagle does provide our clients with finance and accounting talent, so the participants were potential clients for Eagle.

Heading to the conference I had a number of goals,

1.  Learn.  In particular what was interesting to my potential client base, understand what challenges they were facing and soak up some of the content.  (I was not disappointed)

2.  Network.  That does not mean bending people’s ears about Eagle, but rather building relationships, bringing value where I could and investing time in new people.  People were friendly and fun so this was just great.

3.  Fun.  There were some fun events, a gala evening at the Museum of Human Rights which was a spectacular venue with the added bonus of Gail Asper providing insight into the journey to get the museum built!  Good food, good wine, good company and and excellent venue … mission accomplished!

I did not have a goal to come away with new clients, or new orders.  I know that when I am attending an event and I get targeted by salespeople it makes me uncomfortable, which is not a great way to start any relationship.  I don’t think it does any supplier much good to use conferences as a “target rich hunting ground”!

I feel pretty good that I met some interesting people, exchanged cards and swapped stories with many of them.  I had fun at the gala event, enjoyed the company of some new friends and found the conference content to be excellent.

Cenovus logoThe first keynote speaker was Brian Ferguson, CEO of Cenovus Energy and a very engaging speaker.  His background is Finance so I was interested to see a former CFO make the CEO role, which I think appears to be a growing trend.  He talked about the kinds of challenges he faces, including the recent drop in oil prices that caused a 50% reduction in revenues!  Brian talked about leveraging his financial background, about having a great team and about having a passion for what you do.  He also talked about the importance of giving back … something near and dear to me too.  It was an interesting insight into the work day of  guy running a multi billion dollar corporation … and he still has his feet on the ground.  I like that!

Suncor logoThere was an interesting panel of CFOs with Don Selman (Richardsons), Janice Fukakusa (Royal Bank) and Alistair Cowan (Suncor) moderated by Bruce Waterman (a retired CFO who sits on several high profile boards).  This panel talked  lot about the role of the CFO today.  There was discussion about the differences between private companies and publicly traded companies (Richardson being a private company).  While there are some obvious differences (whose money is being spent) the structure and governance is remarkably similar.  There was talks about accessing capital, risk appetite and the impact of technology.  There was also a discussion around communication, so I was a little disappointed to find out none of the panel are active on social media!  (Room for improvement?)

I attended an interesting presentation about multi generational workplaces, with an emphasis on the millennials.  I have seen much of the content previously, but it was still an interesting session and the speaker from Morneau Shepell was very good.

There was an interesting session on social media and it was interesting to see IBM’s CFO on the panel, (good job Xerxes Cooper) when the other panelists were more technical.  The bottom line was social media is a great communication tool, internally and externally … it can be used to manage your brand (or your brand will be managed for you) and is one way to get employee engagement.

Canadian council aboriginal businessThe surprise session of the conference for me was “Doing Business with the Aboriginal Community”.  I really did not know what to expect, but the session was both interesting and thought provoking.  Aboriginal businesses will make up a large part of Canada’s GDP in the coming years!  There is an under utilised workforce waiting to be engaged and an influx of education and some investment could produce a great return … especially when you consider all of the work that gets outsourced abroad today.  I will personally be following up with Joe Dion (CEO Frog Lake Energy Resources) and JP Gladu (CEO Council of Aboriginal Businesses) both very articulate, successful representatives of a great opportunity!

I attended the obligatory Economic Outlook with economists Dawn Desjardins (Royal Bank, despite having the same name as another bank) and Todd Hirsch (Alberta Treasury Branch).  They took out their crystal balls and talked about (a) energy prices, with a focus on Alberta, (b) house prices with a focus across the country, (c) politics with a focus on Alberta and (d) inflation.  They talked about growth sectors and sectors of concern all in relation to Canada’s economic outlook.  Generally they were cautiously optimistic … that’s the shortened version!

We wrapped up the conference with a high energy motivational speaker and author of the book Nine Minutes on Monday, James Robbins.  As a big Time Management guy I’m always up for new productivity ideas and was intrigued by Jim’s ideas and thoughts … so I left with a copy of the book!

This is a long review of the conference … but my intention is to demonstrate that the right conference can bring a lot of value for a reasonable cost.  I think I ticked all the boxes and received a ton of value from this conference.  I also made some new friends … which is always valuable, whether business flows or not!

I would certainly encourage any financial executive in Canada to sign up for the Montreal conference next year.  Hope to see you there!

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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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Knowledge is the New Job Security

learning quote from Brian HerbertHere are a few thoughts that just might resonate with you.

There are no “jobs for life” in the modern workforce. 

That means your job security is (a) what you know and (b) how you perform.  That is what will give you success in your current role, and what will win you your next role, whether in the same company or somewhere else.

The pace of change in our world is relentless … globalization, demographic pressure (retiring boomers) and technological advances are affecting us all daily (if not hourly).  

That means we need to stay current or we get left behind very quickly.

There are numerous statistics about how much information we retain when we take training.  The most positive one I found suggested that a month after our training we might retain 25% of the content, others suggest just 10%!

That spells an opportunity for us all, because we all have a ton of training materials from the many course we have taken over the years.

If you put all of those facts together, I think there is a compelling argument that each of us needs to take responsibility for our own learning … and it doesn’t need to be tough or expensive.

“Commit yourself to lifelong learning. The most valuable asset you’ll ever have is your mind and what you put into it.” Brian Tracy

Here are three EASY and INEXPENSIVE ideas for you to improve your knowledge:

  1. Revisit your old training material. Yes, some things are affected by change but others are constant.  You will have forgotten 75% (or 90%) of the material since you took the training, revisiting it will bring a greater percentage back to you … and the only cost is your time.
  2. Borrow training materials from your peers!
  3. Follow “thought leaders” who can share their knowledge with you … and read their blogs, articles in trade magazines etc.

“You should always be learning, if you are the smartest person in the room then you are in the wrong place.”  anonymous

Knowledge is the new job security so make a commitment to life-long learning!

“Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.” John Dewey
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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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Protect Your Personal Brand

personal branding quote by Tom PetersWhat is your personal brand?

“Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room” Jeff Bezos

Your reputation, your image, the “persona” you display to the world, your personality, your professional self … in fact all of the above, and perhaps more.

You build that brand over time, developing and refining that professional, and personal you that the world sees.

You will educate yourself, formally and informally.

You will adopt a “look” … that will likely change over time, but very often your style is distinctly you.

You will adapt your communication style, to suit you.

Whether it is done consciously or sub-consciously, the brand that is you will emerge.

If you are serious about your career you will want to shape that brand, and to develop a positive image.  You will certainly want to avoid a brand that is detrimental to the career that you desire.

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”  George Bernard Shaw

There is a great deal of press these days about the role that social media plays in your brand.

We read about professionals who are fired because they were caught on Youtube acting in an unacceptable manner.

We see job applicants who don’t get the job because their facebook profile is filled with images that a company might consider unprofessional … or more.

We see law enforcement officers caught over stepping their bounds … and more.

All caught on camera for the world to see.

Even if you are not serious about your career today, it IS possible that you might be serious in the future … and what goes online never goes away!  I’m not sure that my sixteen year old self would have been too worried about my personal brand as I started out my career in the Royal Navy, but it matters to me now.

So, in this age of social media, here is some advice for young professionals, and for anyone who just might aspire to a professional career.

  1. Always remember that everybody has cameras.
  2. Youtube videos go viral for the strangest reasons and you don’t want to be in one.
  3. Compromising pictures end careers, sometimes before they begin.
  4. Companies need to protect their brand, and your actions might make you the risk.
  5. There is no safe way to be an idiot, but the safest is in your own home with very close friends.
  6. Reputations are built over years … and destroyed in minutes.
  7. Your personal brand is who you are, don’t let yourself down.
  8. Alcohol impacts your decision-making, don’t let it go too far.
  9. Model your behavior after positive role models.
  10. If in doubt, ask yourself what your mother would say?

This is just a fact of life these days.  In some ways it gives a tiny taste of the paparazzi lifestyle of the rich and famous.  However for some of them, any press is good press … for most of us that just is not the case!
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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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Twelve Lessons on Building a Company Culture

Jack Welch quote on cultureThere is a significant amount of focus on company culture these days, and with good reason.  If you want a sustainable entity then a positive company culture is a good start, it is a great way to attract & retain talent plus it is a positive message to clients and shareholders.

Where I get a little concerned is when I see leaders establishing a “project” to “fix the culture”.  It might well be the right thing to do, in that there needs to be a plan to establish a strong corporate culture but it is not really a project, because working at culture never ends.

In our nineteen year journey from starting this company we have learned many lessons along the way, and have received recognition for some of the good things we have been able to do.

I thought I would share some of my thoughts on culture, based on our journey.

  1. Steven Covey played a big part in our company culture … and Habit #2 “Begin with the end in mind” was just one factor in our development.  In order to develop the right kind of culture we needed to define the kind of company that we wanted to be.
  2. One of my previous employers was consulting company Andersen Consulting, now known as Accenture. Their methodology at that time focused very much on alignment between People, Process, Technology and Strategy.  This was another critical influence for us.  It is important to have all parts of the company pulling in the same direction.
  3. In line with the above, we needed to develop a mission, vision and core values that inspired us, were meaningful to us and that we could live with … even when decisions were tough. This was an important process for us, and while they have been modified over the 19 years, they are fundamentally the same today as they were back then!
  4. We don’t live in a perfect world so we had to learn some patience. Rome was not built in a day.  There are always setbacks, poor hires, wrong turns along the way and tough economic times to traverse.
  5. A business needs to be profitable in order to pay its people, its suppliers and provide the right level of service to its clients. This means that you might want to provide more “goodies” for your employees, but it has to be done prudently.  I like to point at Nortel, which was a company that its employees loved because they had big salaries and amazing benefits … unfortunately that was not sustainable and most of those employees had trouble finding jobs that could offer anything similar.  As a private company we need to live within our means.
  6. For us, our vision meant focusing our efforts on clients, our own employees and on the candidates that work with. We have continually looked for ways to improve those relationships.  This focus allows us to ensure business decisions we make are in line with that vision.
  7. A positive culture within our company means that we have high expectations of our people, and that we provide them with training and the tools to e successful. We create an atmosphere focused on one of our core values, TEAM, and we are prepared to invest in growth.  We give monthly and annual recognition for employees that excel and that exemplify the behaviors we associate with our values.
  8. You can never please all of the people, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.
  9. If you have a clear culture then you will attract the people that fit your culture, and those who do not will self identify quickly.
  10. The number one reason why culture is successful, or not, is leadership. It needs 100% commitment from the whole leadership team.
  11. Sometimes you will need to make tough decisions to preserve the culture you want, or you risk getting the culture that just happens!
  12. It is a work in progress that can never be considered complete.

In addition to being a Platinum member of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies program our company was recognized as one of Canada’s 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures in 2102, and in 2015 we were named one of Canada’s Best Workplaces.

The awards indicate that we are on the right track and we are enjoying the journey … but it IS a journey!

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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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Humility is a Key Attribute for a Leader

Jim Rohn quote on leadershipI read a Fortune magazine article recently and it was talking about the importance of humility in CEOs.  My immediate reaction was that seemed so obvious, and I was also struck that ALL leaders need to demonstrate some humility.

It did not take much reflection to understand why the article was necessary.  There are countless stories of CEOs with big egos and the damage that can cause, ranging from sheer illegal activity to losing key employees who do not feel valued and at a minimum they have poor results.

All too often leaders, who probably have significant experience to bring to the table, think that they have all the answers.  Perhaps it is a pure ego thing, perhaps it is the result of significant previous success or perhaps they have surrounded themselves with “yes people”.

“Our ego hinders our ability to influence more than anything else under our control.”  Michael McKinney

It is not just company executives who suffer this way.  How many times has the expert consultant brought in to a company for their experience and arrived knowing what the answer is?  Despite knowing somewhere down deep that every situation is different!  Their previous successes feed their ego and it gets away from them.

How many times have we seen companies lose their way because the CEO took them down the wrong path, or refused to adapt to changing conditions, or worse yet, ignored input from others?  They were leaders who believed that they knew best, and nobody would convince them otherwise.

Experience is a hard earned asset, deserves respect and we can all benefit from the input of people with experience.  However no person is an island and the experience of the many is typically more valuable than the experience of one.

It is a poor leader who will think they have all the answers!  They will never attract or retain great talent, and they will not have the respect of their people.

A good leader will bring their experience to the table, but will take into account the input from those around them.

A great leader will find people who have even more experience and wisdom than they themselves have.  They will take that collective input, weigh up the data, and make decisions.  They will not come to the table with their mind made up, even though they might have strong opinions.

When we decide that we have all the answers we stop learning, and possibly that is the greatest mistake of all.  When we stop learning we can no longer be a leader.

“Humility is the only true wisdom by which we prepare our minds for all the possible changes of life.”  George Arliss

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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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10 Lessons From a Retirement Party on Living a Good Life

Make people feel good as your legacyRecently I attended a retirement party for a friend that I have known for more than 25 years.  It was a great time and I was able to catch up with a number of people I had not seen in some time, plus meet some new and interesting people.

There were a lot of people at that party and it was very evident how well my friend is regarded by people at all levels, from the very top executives down.

One of my friend’s quotes says “Looking back, I am concluding that one of life’s most rewarding moments is when you run into people on their knees and you are able to lean over and lift them up.”  

For me it was a great reminder of what is truly important in life, and my friend embodies so many of those values.

Here are 10 tips on living a good life, based on his experiences:

  1. Always make time for your friends and family.
  2. Choose a career that you will find fulfilling.
  3. Push yourself to live up to your potential.
  4. Do not be envious of other people’s lives.
  5. Have a plan for your life.
  6. Be nice to people.
  7. Don’t take yourself too seriously.
  8. Always be learning and growing.
  9. Make time for have some fun.
  10. Get involved and give back.

Retirement in 2015 is not what it was in decades past … people retire with lots of energy, many years of life left and the experience that they can put to use in a Career #2, IF they so choose.  For some it will just be the First Retirement!   If you live your life well you will always have new doors available to be opened.  I have no doubt that my friend will be entering his next phase with the same energy he demonstrated in phase 1!

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.”  Vivian Greene

Many years ago my mother sent me a birthday card with that famous James Dean quote, “Dream as if you’ll live forever.  Live as if you’ll die today.”  I still have that card posted on my wall … maybe I need to send one just like it to my friend.  Of course he could well have coined the phrase himself!

Steven Covey suggests that we Begin with the end in mind.”  Just maybe the ultimate way to do that is to begin your career thinking about what you would like your retirement party to look like!  It doesn’t really matter where you are in your career, you can always choose to change things up and live the life you deserve.

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