CEO Blog

Category Archives: Personal Development

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

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!

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?


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.

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?

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

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

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).

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?

Get The Best Return on Your Time

Zig Ziglar on time managementYou work hard.

You have a “To Do” list.

You chop away at that list every day!

You don’t seem to be getting ahead!

You could probably work 24 hours a day and still not clear your list.

“There is nothing less productive than to make more efficient what should not be done at all.”  Peter Drucker

Some questions to ask yourself:

  • Are you working on the right things?
  • Is your time spent on the right activities?
  • Are you getting the best return on your time?
  • Can you delegate?
  • Can you outsource?
  • Can you stop doing some of the things you do?

“I must govern the clock, not be governed by it.”  Golda Meir

Some thoughts about what it will take:

  • To get where you “need to be” requires FOCUSED effort on the activities that will get you “there”.
  • It will require a liberal use of the word NO.
  • It will require will power.
  • It will require discipline.

BUT … You CAN do it!

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?


What is Stopping You?

quote about opportunity Chris GrosserYou have dreams and ambitions.

You have talent.

You have energy.

You are no different than any other successful person.

So … why are they successful and you have not yet reached your dream?

The things that get in the way of us achieving our potential are:

  • Fear;
  • A willingness to put in the effort; and
  • Commitment.

You have overcome fear before … so just go ahead and jump in the deep end!

“Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgement that something is more important than fear; The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all.”  Meg Cabot

You know you are capable of doing the work … so just roll up your sleeves and get at it.

“Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work.”  Peter Drucker

Commitment is big, so make a promise to yourself.  I will give this one year (or six months or whatever feels right) of solid effort after which I will re-evaluate.

“There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when circumstance permit. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results.”  Art Turock

There you have it.

That is ALL you have to do to reach those dreams

So … what are you waiting for!

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?

Focused People Find Success

Zig Ziglar quote about using time effectivelyMost people want to enjoy some success in their life.

Some might define success as having a balanced life, enough money, a challenging job, good relationships and a manageable amount of stress.  OR they could define success any way they like.

NOTHING comes without a price.  You need to EARN that success.

It IS worth it!  However there will always be things that will distract you …

  • Your personal life when you are at work.
  • Your work life when you are at home.
  • Video games, pokemon Go, excess TV and other such distractions.
  • Facebook, Twitter and the 101 other social media sites.
  • Your smart phone, with warnings about emails AND texts AND news AND sports scores etc.
  • Your colleagues latest drama.
  • Anything that looks remotely interesting that might distract you from real, hard work.

What do you NEED to do?

Focus on what you should be focused on!

“Never confuse motion with action.”   Ben Franklin

  • When at work … work!
  • When with your family … focus on them.
  • When out playing … play!

It is NOT easy.  It should not BE easy.

It is VERY manageable if you are prepared to put in the work.

It is all in your hands.!

“Work is hard.  Distractions are plentiful.  And time is short.”  Adam Hochschild

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?


What Makes a Winner?

The will to prepare to win .. quote Bear BryantAt the very highest levels of competition the difference between winners and “the rest” can be miniscule!

Sprinters win their races by hundreds of a second!

Soccer matches are very often won by a moment of brilliance out of a ninety minute game.

The same holds true for most sports … the best of the best are distinguished from the rest by incredibly small margins.  Yet the “the rest” are typically able competitors!

AND YET … to the victor goes the spoils.

It is the winners who take the trophies, the glory and their place in history.

Winning is a state of mind that embraces everything you do.”  Bryce Courtenay

It is also true that the winners work hard to attain their position.  It can be argued that all of the competitors work hard … but it would be extremely doubtful that any winners did NOT work hard!

So we can take away one lesson … winners NEED to do the work!

In the more mundane world of business, and in particular in the sales profession, it may not be as dramatic, but there are often still small differences that will decide who wins and who loses.

“If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.” Jim Rohn

A second lesson we might learn from winners is that we need to find those “little things” that can differentiate us from our competition.

In order to find those differentiators you may need to answer questions like these …

  • Do you truly understand the prospect’s business concerns?
  • Do you know what their preferences are?
  • Do you understand their personal motivations?
  • Do you understand your competition?
  • Are you current with your industry’s evolution?   What is changing?  Is technology impacting you?  Are distruptors entering your field?  What is happening elsewhere?
  • Are you putting enough effort into your messages … or are they the same tired stories from 5 years ago?
  • Do you understand where pricing is in  your market, today … because today might be different than last week!

“Winning is not everything, but the effort to win is.”  Zig Ziglar

Winning take hard work AND part of that hard work is establishing the reason why a prospect will pick you before the competition.

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?

Drive Sales Activity

Change quote from jim Rohn RedProbably every salesperson I know has times when they seem to hit a bump in the road … their success starts to dry up, their numbers decline and they have trouble recovering.

For many the answer is to ride the slump down until inevitably they get fired.

For others they will see the writing on the wall and go looking for another job, which they will win based on their past performance.

The right answer is to accept that things need to change and to take charge of your own destiny.

There are some realities to contend with:

  • Key clients go through cycles and sometimes suppliers fall out of favor.
  • Competitors evolve and find ways to beat you.
  • Clients can fall into slumps and demand drops off.

There are many reasons why your sales performance may be impacted, even if (maybe even because) you are still doing the same things you always did!

“If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.”  Tony Robbins

As a salesperson you can never get too comfortable.  You need to be always looking for your next opportunities, while ensuring that your current opportunities are being well served.  It is a balance that most salespeople find difficult.

A common refrain will be, “How do I find time to prospect when my current clients are so busy?”

There is no comfort in the answer, but it is a classic time management issue … you need to MAKE the time, MAKE it a priority and ACT on it.

Each salesperson needs to find the balance that will work for them, in their specific situation.

A new salesperson with a relatively small base of clients may spend 80% of their time on generating new business and 20% of their time on servicing the existing clients.

An established, senior salesperson might find themselves spending 90% of their time servicing their existing client base and 10% of their time (1/2 a day per week) in prospecting.

Most will find themselves somewhere in the middle.

Sales is about momentum … if you have it, things are good; if you lose it, things are bad!

The obvious answer is to take charge of your own destiny and create momentum!

“Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour day.”  Zig Ziglar

What does that look like?

  1. Devote time to prospecting.
    1. Understand how much time you spend now.
    2. Increase it … if you are doing nothing, then spend ½ a day per week on pure new business development.
    3. Every month evaluate your current scenario, and increase your prospecting efforts accordingly. If new business is coming at an acceptable rate then OK, if not then spend a day a week and more if necessary.
    4. Recognise at certain times you will need to work even harder than usual … so a day a week might not be 20% of your time!
  2. Build your list of key contacts.
    1. You should always be bringing value to your contacts … over and above the services you sell!
    2. Have as many face to face meetings as you can manage. Use breakfasts, lunches, coffees, drinks after work, networking events … as tools.
    3. Use hand written cards to thank for business, congratulate on promotions, celebrate events etc.
    4. Get referrals.
    5. NEVER become dependent upon a few very key contacts.
    6. Try to generate “coaches” … clients who will go the extra mile to help you!
  3. Focus on high return activity.
    1. Your goal is to grow business … is your activity furthering that goal?
    2. Always build on relationships … make deposits into the emotional bank account!
    3. Find reasons to be in contact with your client … interesting articles, industry news, newsletters, in addition to your regular meetings.
    4. Always be professional with your client’s/prospect’s time … use agendas to make sure your time and your client’s time is well spent.

Sales is hard work … but it is also extremely rewarding.

You should NEVER have time to wonder what to do.

You should NEVER have time to waste.

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

You should become a Time Management Ninja!!!

If you are doing these things then you will create that momentum which will serve you well, and you will be serving your clients well too!

If this topic interests you then here are a couple of older blog entries that you might find useful …

Rescuing Salespeople from a Slump

Salespeople and the Comfort Zone

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?