CEO Blog

Category Archives: Management

All blog posts by Kevin Dee, Chairman at Eagle — Canada’s premier staffing agency, related to management.

Earn Your Credibility

Credibility quote by Rebecca SolnitCredibility is a big word … and some people seem to have trouble understanding it.

Credibility is earned … not given.

When you have credibility THEN the world opens up for you.

Until you EARN that credibility, you really need to be very focused on just that!

Whether you are an entry level person, a manager, an executive OR even a company … it is the same thing.

You EARN credibility by delivering, by doing the job and by demonstrating your capabilities.

You do NOT earn credibility based on what you did at a previous job, what you did last year or because you talk a good game.

For most of us that means working just a little harder, maybe even a little longer and doing just a little more than everyone else … because you need to differentiate yourself and demonstrate your worth.

If you are really focused on success you will never stop doing a little more!  Until you have credibility you don’t have the luxury of making that choice!

“Results matter.  They matter to your credibility.”  Stephen Covey

EARN your credibility.

Kevin Dee is Chairman and 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?

The Power in WillPOWER

Willpower quote by GandhiWillpower is what gets you out of bed to exercise when you really want to roll over and nap for another hour.

Willpower is what gets the entrepreneur on a plane at 6:30am after getting back from a different location at 10pm last night.

Willpower is what a salesperson needs to keep calling prospects when the rejection rate is high.

Willpower is controlling your diet by eating healthy.

Willpower is what it takes to take some night school after a full days work, because you want to improve yourself.

Willpower is the difference between “doing what it takes” and “giving in to the easy path.”

Willpower is an old fashioned word … but is as topical as ever to those who exercise it.

We all have willpower … the question is whether we exercise it or not.

Are you exercising your willpower?

“The man who goes farthest is generally the one who is willing to do and dare. The sure-thing boat never gets far from shore.”  Dale Carnegie

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?

Mental Toughness

Discipline quote by Brutus HamiltonMental toughness can be related to discipline, attitude or willpower … and is a quality that is within all of us, IF we choose to work at it.

It is the difference between the dreamer and the entrepreneur; between the winner and the rest; between a full life and a life of “if only”!

We don’t need to be competitive athletes, but can you imagine the kind of mental toughness it takes to compete at that level?  To get there requires a dedication to train, to compete, to always strive to do your best through any adversity.  You are competing against the best so you need to be always “on” your game.  That kind of mental toughness applied in the workplace is a definite winner!

“Adversity has the same effect on a man that severe training has on the pugilist: it reduces him to his fighting weight.”  Josh Billings

What kind of mental toughness do top performing sales people have. To keep making those cold calls even after much rejection, and to keep calling on those clients even though they are tough on you. To know that every year is a restart, perhaps every quarter is a restart and in some industries, including the staffing industry, every month requires the same level of consistency!  The top salespeople stay focused on what they need to do and execute month in month out, year in and year out!.

What kind of mental toughness does it take to lose weight when you have let things slide for so long? To commit to changing the habits of a lifetime and starting again, or to stop smoking, quit drinking or just start an exercise program.

Do you really want to settle for second best, for overweight, for out of shape, for losing to the competition? How good would it feel to win, to lose that weight, to be able to run 10km without a heart attack or to blow away those sales numbers?

Many people hanker for ‘the easy life” yet it is through adversity that we grow, it is by stretching that we learn and it is through achievement and success that we feel that satisfaction of achievement.

“All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me….You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.”  Walt Disney

To be truly alive you need to stretch yourself, avoid the easy paths, apply the mental toughness needed to meet your goals. Are you up for it?

Kevin Dee is Chairman and founder of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
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?

You Only Find Oil if You Dig Wells

Jim Rohn quote about time managementThis saying might seem obvious, but I love its simplicity.  It suggests that typically you need to “do the work” in order to “reap the rewards”.  Yes it’s a basic concept, but it is hard to find fault with, other than it is so obvious … or is it?

If your goal is to hit oil, then presumably digging wells is a highly productive activity that might result in success.  Thinking about digging wells, talking about digging wells, procrastinating before digging wells or just plain doing stuff other than digging, will not get you results.

“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

Sometimes people don’t think about what they need to do in order to be successful, they just “do stuff”.  Yes they are busy, but the end result will not be success because they are busy with the wrong stuff!

So …

Step 1.  Identify the productive activities that will result in you “hitting oil”.

Step 2.  Make sure those are the activities that you spend the majority of your time doing.

Step 3.  Let all the other “stuff” fit in around the highly productive activities.

Step 4.  Using all of the above … Plan your work AND then Work your plan!

NOW you will hit oil!

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


Attitude quote from ChurchillThere have been numerous songs about Mondays, with the most controversial perhaps being the Boomtown Rat’s “I don’t like Mondays”.  It was about a young woman who went on a shooting spree with the excuse that she didn’t like Mondays!

For a lot of people Monday’s tend to be a challenge.  They view it as the end of something good (a weekend) and the start of something bad (work).

That outlook means those people will wish away 5/7ths of their lives.

It is ALL in the attitude, which means that there is another way to look at Mondays.

“Happiness is an attitude. We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong. The amount of work is the same.”  Francesca Reigler 

Monday is just another work day.

Every work day you have the chance to learn and grow.

You have the chance to move towards your goals and to celebrate some achievements.

You have the chance to set new goals and start a new chapter in your life.

You can look for ways to differentiate yourself from your colleagues and enhance your personal brand.

You can take the opportunity to make new friends and meet new acquaintances.

You can view Mondays, just like any other day, as the first day of the rest of your life.

You can work at improving your knowledge, your productivity and your attitude.  All of which will help your career.


You can just go through the motions.

Like most things in life. it is all in your attitude.

“The only disability in life is a bad attitude.”  Scott Hamilton 

Take charge of your own life … and as they say in those US army recruiting ads,  “Be all that you can be!”

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?

Manage Your Anger

Anger is sometimes confused with passion.  Passion is an emotion that successful people harness to drive their ambitions.  Anger is a different emotion (sometimes because people are passionate) and it can be a very negative emotion.

“Holding anger is a poison. It eats you from inside. We think that hating is a weapon that attacks the person who harmed us. But hatred is a curved blade. And the harm we do, we do to ourselves.”     Mitch Albom

I might not be the best role model for this discussion, but I can say that I have improved my self-control over the years, and learned that anger really doesn’t help anything.

That doesn’t mean I don’t get angry, it just means that I work hard at harnessing that anger and ensuring that any reaction is a reasoned one.

“Get mad, then get over it.”   Colin Powell

Here are a few thoughts on the subject:

  1. If something upsets you make sure you truly understand all of the facts before reacting.
  2. If someone upsets you then try to address that person alone, rather than have the discussion in public.
  3. If you are upset then do not write something that you may regret. A common trick is to write the response, then delete it before it goes anywhere.
  4. Time has a way of making us look at things a little differently … take some time to let the emotion reduce.
  5. If you need to respond to someone or something, then get a second/third opinion from a trusted advisor before proceeding.
  6. Given enough time, anger will often pass, and a response is not necessary.
  7. A measured, calm response will elicit a better result than “flying off the handle”.
  8. Too often the issue is miscommunication leading to a misunderstanding.
  9. Give people the benefit of the doubt.
  10. There is way too much real conflict in the world … we don’t need to look for more battles for no good reason.

There is a fairly common phrase … “Be slow to anger and quick to forgive”. Not bad advice to live by!

Of course, if after enough time and sufficient consideration, the anger is absolutely justified, then it is worth remembering the words from The Godfather, “Revenge is a dish best served cold.”

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?

Make Fact-Based Decisions

Drucker quote about decision makingManagement is not an exact science and all too often we are forced to make decisions without all of the facts.

That is just life and even though we have incomplete data it is always preferable to be decisive.  The worst that can happen is that the decision proves to be wrong and a “course correction” is required.  That is far preferable to never making a decision … because that way nothing ever happens!

It is however critical to be sure that the “facts” that we DO use to make our decisions are indeed truly facts.  It is very easy to be misled by errors, perceptions, prejudices, “false news” or other people’s agendas!

“Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.”  Aldous Huxley

It is a  problem when leaders make decisions that are unfairly influenced, in most cases by what I will call “non facts’.

Some examples might be:

  • Other people’s opinions or “agendas”;
  • wrong data;
  • unsubstantiated social media “facts”;
  • Our own prejudices;
  • Perceived facts such as “there were a lot of times …”; or he was “always doing …”; and
  • Misunderstood situations, where the whole facts were not discovered.

It is critical that leaders ensure they are using actual FACTS.

Is there supporting data?  Has the detail been documented?  Is the source trusted?  Is there cause for a different perspective?  Has everyone’s input been gathered?

Never forget there are two sides to every story; some people lie; some people embellish; and we all have our own prejudices.

“Using the power of decision gives you the capacity to get past any excuse to change any and every part of your life in an instant.”  Anthony Robbins

Stick to REAL facts when making decisions.

Kevin Dee is Chairman and 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?



Upgrade Your Team

Phil Jackson quote about teamsEvery company wants, and needs, to attract the best people that it can.

Good companies will invest in those people, empower them and hold them accountable for their performance.  As time goes by it becomes evident which of the people are top performers, which people are performing at an acceptable level and also the people who are not performing become identified.

“Hire people who are better than you are, then leave them to get on with it. Look for people who will aim for the remarkable, who will not settle for the routine.”   David Ogilvy

There are lots of reasons why people don’t perform, ranging from attitude problems to lack of training or skills, to the fact that they are just in the wrong job.

Managers will inevitably find themselves spending a significant amount of their time on people management, dealing with the non-performers and their various personnel issues.

Good companies will work with these people to try and fix the situation, and sometimes things turn around and sometimes they don’t.

It is important to both company and employee to resolve these situations quickly, so both can find the right solution moving forward.  If someone is in the wrong job, it is far better that they move on and find a place where they can succeed.  It is also a huge bonus for a manager, and consequently the company, to replace a “problem employee” with a top performer!

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

In today’s world of skills shortages it is tough to find those top performers, so when opportunity arises it is smart to take advantage.

Some thoughts:

  1. You need to act quickly to manage non-performers out, unless they are working hard to fix things, or you are doing no-one any favors.
  2. Don’t try to keep marginal performers who choose to leave … there is always a better option out there.
  3. Hiring and firing decisions are business decisions, not “popularity contests”, don’t hire or fire JUST because you like or dislike someone.
  4. Any time you upgrade your team (replace lower performer with higher performer) you are magnifying the positive impact on your business because it also increases management efficiency.
  5. A positive improvement to a team will also have a positive impact on the rest of the team. People know when others are not pulling their weight.

“Get the right people on the bus and the wrong people off the bus.” Jim Collins

So, take advantage of market conditions and other opportunities that allow you to improve your team.  Expect a short term impact, but as long as you are upgrading the benefits will be huge!

“If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.”  Red Adair

Final (slightly self-serving) thought … the price of professional help in finding those great people is a very small price to pay, so work with your friendly staffing company!

Kevin Dee is Chairman and 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?

Building Confidence – 10 Tips Beyond the Obvious

Colin Powell thoughts on successI can relate to Colin Powell’s quote and thought  I could share a few tips from some failures over my fairly long career to date!  Now all you have to do is (a) prepare and (b) put in the work!

We all have times when we are a little uncertain.  It could be because you are in a slump, it might be a tough negotiation coming up, you might be giving a talk in front of an audience or you might have a job interview.

“If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.”  Henry Ford

Whatever the situation, there are things that you can do to help settle the nerves, project an air of confidence and at a minimum put your best foot forward.

Of course the biggest and best thing you can do is to prepare, do your homework, know your material and think through how you will handle any tough questions.  Doing the work is not a guarantee of success, but not doing the work is pretty much guaranteed to be a disaster!

“The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential… these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.”  Confucius

Beyond the obvious, there are things that you can do to bolster your confidence:

  1. Be well rested. Partying hard the night before a tough event is not recommended.  (Party after for sure!)
  2. Give yourself lots of time to be where you need to be, without the stress of missing or almost missing your event.
  3. Wear clothes that make you feel good! Better yet treat yourself to something new for the event!
  4. Get a haircut, a manicure, a pedicure … whatever works for you.
  5. If it’s a speech practice a lot … in front of a mirror, in front of your partner etc.  If it’s a negotiation or meeting of some kind practice answering the tough questions that you might anticipate.
  6. Pump yourself up by remembering all of your similar successes.
  7. Do not focus on any other issues or problems immediately prior to this event.
  8. Try to avoid any negative people in your life immediately prior to this event.
  9. Talk to as many of the positive people you know leading up to the event.
  10. Smile! Think of good things that make you smile … we always feel better when we smile!

“Happiness is an attitude. We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong. The amount of work is the same.”  Francesca Reigler

Now … go get ‘em!

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?

Rescuing Salespeople from a Slump

Quote start to be great by ZiglarOne of the things that makes the sales profession tough is that you are only as good as your current performance, which is very measurable!  It becomes very obvious when a salesperson is not being successful and in addition to the obvious lack of numbers there is a tendency to spiral downwards.

The formerly motivated, energetic and productive salesperson descends into a funk!  They lose that energy, they seem “adrift”, unmotivated and not sure what to do next.

Where they had previously been very focused on their role, they are easily distracted focusing on activities that are “busy” tasks, rather than delivering business!

Their productivity is easily measured, but it will be not just the bottom line that suffers.  There will be less phone calls, less meetings and less orders coming in.

Essentially they will give up, and either start a job search or  just wait for the axe to fall when their employer loses patience.

These times can happen for many reasons … it might be a general turn down in the economy, an impact on that salesperson’s specific territory or they just become too comfortable and neglect the fundamentals!

In sales we reap what we sow, and if we sow a little less this week we will feel the negative effects next week … that is the start of a really slow spiral downwards!

Luckily … a good sales manager will recognize the pattern and understand that action is needed!  They need to find a way to get their salesperson back into the rhythm, to move from Ineffective to Effective!

“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.”  Vince Lombardi

The first step is for the salesperson to admit to themselves that they are in trouble, but also they need to be willing to do the work that will get them back on track.  The “lucky” salespeople will inevitably be those who put the work in!

“The harder I work, the more luck I have.” Thomas Jefferson

The salesperson needs to have a plan that has clear activities, timelines and goals.  The way to get to these actions is to ask a lot of questions.

  1. How many key contacts does the salesperson have?
  2. Have they all been contacted lately?
  3. Is there a method to bring those contacts value over and above the service they pay for?
  4. Where are the opportunities?
  5. What are the key messages that will resonate in today’s climate?
  6. How many meetings can the salesperson generate?
  7. Who else could get in front of clients to generate interest?
  8. What networking does the salesperson do? Is it enough and in the right places?
  9. How many ways does the salesperson keep in contact with their prospects? Email, phone, in person, hand written cards, social media?
  10. What can the salesperson do differently that will spark a different and motivating approach?  This could be a change in hours, work location, even a change in look (a new wardrobe can help with confidence).
  11. Is there training/coaching available that will keep the salesperson motivated?

A good manager asking these questions can help the salesperson to identify many ways in which they can get re-motivated.

Get some new crisp shirts and start wearing a tie … just to feel good about yourself.   A female rep might buy some new clothes, shoes, accessories … whatever makes them feel good!

“Today is always the most productive day of your week.” Mark Hunter

Change up your hours, come in a little earlier/stay a little later to get the momentum going!

Call clients at specific times and see which times work best for which clients.  Some people like to start early and others like to stay late.

Start a campaign of hand written cards with simple messages.  These should be hand written (no excuses about poor writing … slow down and write nicely!) and have a personal note.

“Stop selling.  Start helping.”  Zig Ziglar

Share valuable information with these people … industry articles and white papers, statistics and facts, book summaries and market data are just some ideas.

Establish a rhythm for meeting with people and track it in the company CRM.  Some clients should be contacted more often than others.  Some like mostly email, others prefer voice.  Establish a regular face to face routine.

Re-establish links with old contacts.  Former clients of the salesperson or the company.  Alumni from school or previous jobs, or even ex-employees of this company.

Find new contacts.  Get referrals, network more, cold call (yes I suggested the “cold call” … but in the 21st century that may be through outbound/inbound marketing techniques).

Establish a routine that ensures the work happens without interruption.  Do not take unrelated phone calls, or address unrelated emails … be very focused on this activity.

Set goals for numbers of calls, meetings and expected outcomes … new orders, and closed business!

“A goal properly set is halfway reached.” Abraham Lincoln

This level of activity should develop a tangible momentum, resulting in some successes.  This in turn will give a confidence boost, which will be seen in a return to the successful salesperson you knew they could be!

“Confidence and enthusiasm are the greatest sales producers in any economy.”  O B Smith

The trick once the momentum is going, is not to slack off!

Kevin Dee is Chairman and 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?