The Eagle Blog

Warning: Email Can Harm Your Relationships

Quote by Geroge Bernard Shaw on CommunicationIn many ways the heading of this article is similar to those warnings you see on bags of peanuts … Warning: This product may contain nut products.

We all KNOW that email is a lousy form of communication, but it is so easy.

We KNOW that it is very easy to inadvertently (or purposely) send a negative message.

We KNOW that we shouldn’t send them when we are angry.

We KNOW that we cannot convey subtle messages or body language.

We KNOW that the same message read by three different people will be interpreted three different ways.

We KNOW that a situation that is tense OR complex (even slightly complex) OR emotional OR controversial should never be addressed by an email.

SO …. TALK to people!

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Kevin Dee is the founder and Chairman 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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Life Long Learning

learning quote from Brian HerbertWhen did you last take some training?

When did you last invest in your own career?  (Forget about what your employer does.)

Do you have a personal training plan?

Do you have a career plan?

Do you understand how your industry is being affected by technology, by regulatory change and by global competition?

Can a call centre in Africa do a part of your job … for a fraction of the cost?

Can a robot replace you … or some part of what you do?

Is your company being overtaken by disruption?

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty.  Anyone who keeps learning stays young.”  Henry Ford

Take control of your own destiny, because life has a way of happening:

  • have a great attitude (its all in your head);
  • have  a good work ethic (anyone can do this, but many don’t!); and
  • have great skills.

Take advantage of every training opportunity possible AND invest in yourself!

“Those people who develop the ability to continuously acquire new and better forms of knowledge that they can apply to their work and to their lives will be the movers and shakers in our society for the indefinite future.”  Brian Tracy

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Kevin Dee is the founder and Chairman 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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What Do You Think Makes a Good Leader?

Leadership quote from DruckerThere are many books about leadership, and advice is plentiful.  I find it interesting to read the theories from people who have worked in large corporations versus those who have worked in smaller (more entrepreneurial?) companies.   There are the academics who provide their theories and the consultants who bring their ideas.  There are books from military leaders, business leaders, religious leaders and almost any walk of life.

The people that capture my attention the most are those who have significant business experience.  Those who have seen success but also experience failure.  The people who know that despite all the books in the world, there are no cookie cutters!

I have been around the block a few times, worked for large companies and small. I have worked in the lowliest of positions and been CEO of my own company for twenty years.  In reality, just like everyone else, all I have is opinion, based on that background.

I believe that many people are enamored with the prospect of leadership, but it is usually far tougher than they expect and their willingness to pay their dues is often questionable.  The type of traits that I would value in leaders might look like this:

1.  They make things happen … they make decisions, they find a way, they move towards a goal!

2.  They lead by example … they do not use the phrase, “Do as as I say, not as I do!”  They are authentic.

3.  They treat everyone equitably … they don’t play favorites, they build a team culture and they are humble.

4.  They strive for continuous improvement … they want to grow their organizations, to get better at what they do.

5.  They are empathetic … recognising that we all need an ear sometimes.

6.  They are tough … they make the tough decisions, they dole out “tough love”.

7.  They have a strong work ethic … they are productive, they don’t work less than they expect their staff to work.

8.  They are consistent … you always know where you stand with them.

9.  They listen … they are not afraid to hire strong people, and they listen to them.

10.  They are glass half full people … they motivate those around them!

If YOU want to be a leader then you should strive to be a good leader, and work on these attributes.  Good leaders are made NOT born!

“Leadership does not always wear the harness of compromise.”  Woodrow Wilson

Another reality is that nobody is perfect, so the drive to be the best leader you can be is an essential characteristic of any great leader.

What do you think?

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Kevin Dee is the founder and Chairman 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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August Tech News

Tech News HeaderThis is my 30,000 foot look at events in the Tech industry for August 2016. 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 August in previous years …

Five years ago in August 2011 Hurricane Irene hit the US coast, there was a mini-market crash and the world’s economies continued to struggle.  Google paid $12.5 billion for Motorola Mobility and IBM paid $387 million to add Algorithmics to its analytics portfolio, they also bought UK based analytics company i2.  Skype which was in the process of being merged into Microsoft, bought GroupMe, Bitly bought Twitterfeed and IBM logoCitrix bought Ringcube.  August 2012 was slow in the M&A space with IBM busiest, paying $1.3 billion for HR solutions and services company Kenexa, plus they bought flash memory developer, Texas Memory Systems.  The other “big name” deal was Google’s purchase of social media marketing company Wildfire Interactive, reputedly for $250 million.  Three years ago in August 2013 IBM paid $1 billion for Trusteer, a cybersecurity company specialized in the financial services sector;  Qualcomm sold its fleet management software unit for $800 million to private equity firm Vista Equity Partners; and the other big dollar buy was AOL paying $405 million for online video company Facebook logoAdap.tv.  Facebook bought speech recognition company Mobile Technology; Software AG bought analytics firm Jackbe; Opentext paid $33 million for cloud based software company Cordys; and SAP bought ecommerce company Hybris.  August 2014 saw no blockbuster deals, however a number of big name companies were out with their cheque books.  Intel paid $650 million for the LSI Axxia networking chip business; Vmware bought application delivery provider CloudVolumes; IBM bought Lighthouse Security Group to bolster its cloud based identity and access management capabilities; Google bought two startups, Emu to boost its messaging capabilities and Directr for its video advertising business; Facebook bought a security startup Privatecore, and the last BIG name saw Yahoo buying app company Zofari.  Last year in August 2015 there were two billion dollar deals.  Symantec sold Veritas (which it paid $13.5 Billion dollars for 10 years ago) to a group of investors for $8 Billion.  IBM also paid ”big bucks”, shelling out $1 billion for Merge Healthcare.  Smaller deals saw Calgary based Above Security bought by Hitachi; Transcomos bought 30% of Vietnamese daily deals site Hotdeal; Freshdesk bought live-chat company 1Click; and PLDT bought ecommerce startup Paywhere.

Which brings us back to the present …

August 2016 saw a fair bit of M&A activity although there were no billion dollar deals.   The largest deal saw global staffing company Randstad buy one of the larger job boards, Intel logoMonster for $429 million.  A similar sized deal saw Intel shell out $408 million for artificial intelligence company Nervana.  Hewlett Packard Enterprises paid $275 million for SGI (what was left of Silicon Graphics); Apple paid $200 million for artificial intelligence company, (there is a pattern here), Turi; Salesforce bought business analytics company Beyondcore for $100 million; and ScanSource paid $83.6 million for telecom cloud services company Intelisys Communications.

Microsoft logoOther acquisitions saw Microsoft snap up two companies, artificial intelligence scheduling software company Genee in addition to their XBox division buying interactive livestreaming company Beam.  Nutanix is buying two companies to bolster its Enterprise Cloud Platform, Calm.io, a DevOps automation company and PernixData, which offers data analytics and acceleration capabilities.   Other smaller deals saw Palantir, an analytics and consulting company buy data visualization startup, Silk; and Magnitude software is buying Vancouver based, data access and analytics company Simba.

Cisco was in the news for more layoffs, announcing 5,500 people, approximately 7% of their workforce, will lose their jobs as the company switches its focus from hardware to software.

Economic indicators around the globe were not too bad, with the US still talking growth, albeit slightly slower than previously expected.  Other markets generally saw positive numbers on employment, except perhaps Mexico and Canada (which lost 31,000 jobs in July).

A number of reports looking at emerging tech markets suggest that IoT, Cloud services and Video as a Service are all areas of growth … and thus possible areas for investment.

Eagle logoThat’s what caught my eye over the last month, the full edition will be available soon on the Eagle website.  Hope this was useful and I’ll be back with the September 2016 industry news in just about a month’s time.

Until then, Walk Fast and Smile!

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Kevin Dee is founder 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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“Why?” Is a Powerful Tool

wHY?There are certain words and phrases that really stand out in business … “Why?’ is certainly one of them.

Why, You might ask?

Right there is a perfect example of the power of this word.  When coupled with the ability AND discipline to actually listen, it will open up a treasure trove of information.

“Most of the successful people I’ve known are the ones who do more listening than talking.”   Bernard Baruch

Too many people are too busy talking to be actually learn anything!  Sad … but true.

How many salespeople have you met who just “dump” every reason why anybody ever bought their product or service … without even an attempt to understand WHY you might be interested!

“Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.”  Voltaire

How many interviewers ask a question and then take the answer at face value?  Here is the thing,  with every ask of the question “why?” you get another layer deep and that much closer to what you really need to know.

How many times have you just accepted a decision without asking why?  It is truly amazing how many decisions are made without the decision maker really thinking through the reason for the decision.  If they asked themselves “WHY?” then just maybe they would have come up with the right answer.

“A sense of curiosity is nature’s original school of education.”  Smiley Blanton

Steven Covey’s Habit #5 is Seek First to Understand … THEN to be understood.  He knew what he was talking about … how can you provide answers if you don’t really know the question?

If there is ONE thing that you can do to enhance your career it is to be more curious, to ask the question “Why?” … a lot!

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Kevin Dee is the founder and Chairman 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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Getting Started If You are Overwhelmed and Disorganised

Jim Rohn Start from wherever you areMany people find themselves in this situation … overwhelmed and unsure about how to dig out from under the pile!

I could talk all day about good time management practices but when you are in this position you just need some help.

“Time is what we want most, but what we spend worst.”  William Penn

  1. Make something happen.  Inertia is addictive, and the more you become paralyzed by your situation the worse it gets.  So pick something that is important and just get it done!  Focus entirely on getting that one thing done and ignore the other things on your plate.
  2. Once you have one thing off your plate … remind yourself that you did it!  You had a success.  Do NOT get overwhelmed again … pick another thing. and get that done.
  3. Choosing the things to get done can also be paralyzing … so don’t overthink it.  Remember you were getting nothing done before, so this is significant progress.
  4. Complex tasks can be tiring, and completing them one after the other can be draining.  Mix things up a bit by adding in smaller (still important tasks) in between the larger ones.

Completing work gives a sense of accomplishment, and provides a little relief to that “overwhelmed” feeling.  However, it is only by taking control of your day that you will feel in control, and relieve that stress.

“Procrastination is the foundation of all disasters.”  Pandora Poikilos

So … the long term solution is to get organised!

  1. Create  a To Do List (or several To Do lists … all the tasks you NEED to do.
  2. Prioritise your work … what is important and what is urgent!
  3. Organise your calendar so that you have time set aside for the work to be done.  Create meetings with yourself so you won’t be interrupted.
  4. Delegate what you can … if possible.
  5. Ignore what you can … not everything is important.
  6. Be very focused on getting stuff done … rather than worrying about how you will get it ALL done..
  7. Use the triage method of organising  your work, just like the hospital.  The most urgent (and important) items get done first.
  8. Get help!  Whether it could be advice and guidance from your management, ideas and tips from your colleagues, or training on time management from wherever you can get it!

Life is too short to be living under such stress.  If you apply your skills in an organised manner you may well surprise yourself at how much you can achieve AND how good you feel about those achievements.

“A good plan, violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan next week.”  George Patton

Good time management practices could probably reduce workplace stress significantly!

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Kevin Dee is the founder and Chairman 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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Hire People Who Pay Attention to Detail

Details quote by John WoodenThere are lots of ways that an employee can differentiate themselves from the pack when competing for a job.

  • They can dress to impress.
  • They can bring a great attitude.
  • They can demonstrate their concern and involvement for those less fortunate.
  • They can be well prepared, having studied before arriving for an interview.

All of these attributes can be cultivated and demonstrated by anybody.

One other readily learned skill, that is a clear differentiator, and perhaps not appreciated enough, is an attention to detail.

“A man’s accomplishments in life are the cumulative effect of his attention to detail.”  John Foster Dulles

It is fairly easy to test, by having a candidate complete some company forms that might be a little complex.

It could be tested by providing some instructions to be followed, that contain a few small “traps” for the individual who “skims”.

Consider the implications of hiring people that have NO attention to detail.

  • You need to compensate for them with others who catch their mistakes.
  • A small error or omission in a contract could cost your company a significant amount.
  • Failing to meet client expectations because the details were not understood could cost clients.
  • In extreme cases a plane might fall out of the sky or a car’s brakes might fail.

“Success in any endeavor requires single-minded attention to detail and total concentration.”  Willie Sutton

To the hiring manager I would suggest implementing some simple tests to ensure your candidates can demonstrate their attention to detail

To anyone … I would suggest cultivating a habit of paying attention to the details, it will serve you well.

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Kevin Dee is the founder and Chairman 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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Goals … Just Set Some!

Dream becomes goal quote by Bo BennettAre you a person that sets goals in your life?  If that is the case, then congratulations, because you are one of a very small minority!

I often encourage people to take charge of their lives, to LIVE life and not just let life happen to them.

Goals are a great tool to help you actually take charge of your life!

“A goal properly set is halfway reached.”  Zig Ziglar

Introducing goals into your routine is a change and like most change, the best way to get started is to start small and keep it manageable.

1. Set a couple of goals … just do it! Don’t wait for month end, start of a new week, the New Year or any other procrastination trick do it NOW.
2. Pick something you can do, make it very specific!  An example might be … I will lose 5lb in the next month … starting right now! (Of course the next step is to create the action plan that will meet the target).
3. Write down the goal … and tell someone about it! (Your partner, a friend, or a colleague). This makes it real and a true commitment!
4. Track your progress as often as makes sense … if it’s a weight goal maybe you want to weigh yourself weekly.
5. Reward yourself for meeting goals … do not reward yourself if you miss them. Eg. If I lose 5lb by the target date I will treat myself to some new clothes. If you don’t make it then put off the treat.
6. Once you start to get the hang of this, add some more goals and repeat!

“This one step – choosing a goal and sticking to it – changes everything.”  Scott Reed

People who are really successful at this will have goals for many different aspects of their lives … health and fitness; relationships; time management/organization; finances; career; training; hobbies. Etc.

Meeting your goals will improve your confidence redue stress and lay the foundation for even more success.

Give it a try … what have you got to lose?

“You cannot change your destination overnight, but you can change your direction overnight.”  Jim Rohn

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Kevin Dee is the founder and Chairman 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?
——————————————————————————————————————————

Time Management is THE Key

Jim Rohn quote about time managementThe ability to get the important stuff done, to manage a tough work load and be super productive … THAT is what sets apart the most successful people.

You could be the smartest person on the planet but if you are not getting the important stuff done then your success will be limited.

Are you driven by your day … or do you work your plan?

Do you let important stuff slip because you are too busy?

Do you delegate well?

Do you say NO often enough?

Do you prioritise your efforts?

Do you plan the important activities into your schedule and fit everything else around them?

Do you know the difference between important tasks and the other stuff?

Do you maximise your time by really thinking through how best to get things done?

There are tons of tools, tips and tricks … but at the heart of it all is the willingness to work at it!

If you want to be the best version of you, then make time management a part of your development plan.   You do have a development plan … right?

“Time = life; therefore, waste your time and waste your life, or master your time and master your life.” Alan Lakein

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Kevin Dee is the founder and Chairman 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?
——————————————————————————————————————————

10 Signs Your Sales Rep is Struggling

Coaching quote by Ara ParasheghianIn a perfect world a manager will know how well, or not, their salespeople are doing.  They can then help course correct, adjust strategy or provide training in time to ensure that they deliver as expected.

However we rarely operate in a perfect world and one thing salepeople seem to universally good at doing, is hiding their sins!

So … here are ten signs that just maybe your salesperson is not doing as well as they might have you believe.

  1. Lack of Results.  The obvious indicator, but sometimes we don’t get the numbers until too late.  In many cases the numbers are a result of effort done previously, so by the time we have the numbers, the problem has been around for a while!
  2. Lack of activity.  This is a classic.  Very often salespeople who are struggling will be spending more time in the office, more time “researching” prospects and less time selling.
  3. Lack of relationships.  Great salespeople have a wide network and are always adding to it.  Salespeople can be successful with a small network, but that also makes them vulnerable .. a key contact leaves and suddenly the results go South!  Don’t let your salespeople coast with a few key contacts!
  4. Lack of direction.  The successful salesperson will know exactly what they need to do to keep their success going, the struggling salesperson will seem a little lost, perhaps distracted and not sure where to spend their time.
  5. Lack of facts.  Struggling salespeople will talk in generalities.  “It was a GREAT meeting”, “the client is going to be spending”, or perhaps  “I’m sure things are picking up”.  A little digging, asking very specific questions about detail will uncover the  reality that the salesperson is operating on the “hope and a prayer” plan!
  6. Lack of effort.  Nothing saps energy out of salespeople like a slump.  Just when they they should be upping the ante, they are demotivated and not putting in the effort.
  7. Lack of focus.  A struggling salesperson will often go into panic mode, chasing everything rather than executing against a well thought out plan.
  8. Lack of energy.  Related to number 6, but a struggling salesperson might feel the weight of the world on their shoulders.  Their usual energy is not evident and they seem to be slower and less “vital” than usual.
  9. Lack of ideas.  Successful salespeople are creative, and always finding new ways to grow their business.  When a slump hits they might be out of ideas, struggling to find ways to change their situation.
  10. Lack of confidence.  All of the above are manifest in a general lack of confidence, and a need for help … although salespeople are not always good at recognising that they need help or at asking for it!

Early recognition that a salesperson is struggling makes the fix so much easier.  The longer the slump goes on, the harder it is to turn around.

Recognise the signs and work with your salesperson to come up with actions that will change their situation, because as we all know the definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” (Thank you Einstein).

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Kevin Dee is the founder and Chairman 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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