Lessons From Duck Hunting

75bMost top performers work for really average companies.

Your job is to find the amazing people that work somewhere else and get them to work for you.

Don’t make a habit of recruiting and hiring unemployed people.  Find the go-getters that have jobs right now!

On the day Intrawest Ski Resorts were acquired by Fortress, I was on the phone to all the top people at the company telling them I wanted to hire everyone good because it was going to implode.

I eventually hired five of their key people over the next three months because I knew that these people had already been working for a high performance organization. I just went out and got them. It was as easy as that.

Getting the right people can be easy if you’re willing to make it happen.  I often see entrepreneurs struggle because they don’t know how to seek out exceptional people or they don’t work hard enough searching for the gems.

My grandfather, Cam Shortts, who recently died at 96, taught me how to hire great people. He owned a hunting and fishing resort in Northern Ontario called Lift-The-Latch Lodge, and he’d take me duck hunting as a teenager.

Grandpa always knew exactly what kinds of ducks he wanted before we set out to hunt: blue-winged teals, mallards, wood ducks and canvas backs. He also knew what kind he didn’t want: fish ducks. Before we set out on any hunting expedition, he made it clear what his goals were, and that our reward was only as worthwhile as the ducks we’d selected.

Recruiting the right people is just like duck hunting: you must have a crystal clear picture in your mind of exactly what you’re looking for, and good aim.

You also need to be sure that all new hires will truly impress every person they interact with, whether it’s customers, strategic partners, vendors, the media, or the public at large.

So know exactly who you want to hire, go find them, and shoot them out of the sky.

For information on this topic, check out: Leadership at 100MPH.

Slow To Hire, Quick to Fire

70bI once had a mentor who asked me, “Do you have any of the wrong people in your company?”  And I said, “Yeah I’ve got one guy.”

He said, “How long have you known he’s the wrong person?”

“I’ve known for about six months,” I said.

“Why haven’t you let him go?”  He asked.

“Because I like him, because he’s been really good for the last couple of years. Because I really like him and he really cares.”

“Well why do you want to let him go then?”

And I replied, “Well he’s an emotional roller coaster…”

I had all these reasons why we needed to let him go and my mentor looked at me and said, “I need you to tell me the date that you’re going to fire him.”

“OK, I’ll let him go by Friday.”  This was a Tuesday morning.  We were at Denny’s on Broadway.

He said, “So you’ll let him go by Friday?”

And I said, “Yeah, Friday.”

Then he said, “That’s not good enough.”

I said, “OK, I’ll let him go Wednesday.”  Then he just stared at me, and said, “Chicken!”

And I said, “OK, I’ll let him go today.”

“Good. What time?”

This was 7.30 in the morning on a Tuesday. I’ve moved the firing from Friday to the very same day and he wants to know what time?!  So I said, “I’ll do it by noon.”

My mentor said, “Good. Call me at 12.05pm and I’ll be there for you, but you make damn sure you’re there for him. You make sure when you’re getting this person off your bus that you respect him, and his integrity. You treat him like a person, you mentor him to help him grow in his next career. You have an obligation to him because six months ago is when you should have let him go and for the last six months you’ve been stealing from him.  You’ve taken six months of this kid’s life because he didn’t want to quit because of you.  He wanted to be there to be loyal to you, and because you were too chicken to let him go six months ago when you should have, you’ve taken six months of his life. So you make sure that you’re there for him.”

That was some of the hardest-hitting and best learning I’ve ever had in business.  Hard to hear, easier to execute.

We both cried when I had to let him go that day.

I actually drove back to the office that day and I walked into the office and put my briefcase down and said, “Can I grab you?”  I hadn’t even sat down, but my mind was finally committed to do the right thing for the company and for him. I received emails and Facebook messages from the guy I let go even five or six years after it happened, “Hope you’re well. How are the kids? How’s Australia?”

The moral of this story is that you simply must get the wrong people out of your organization in the right way in order to build a very powerful culture.  If you remove people from your organization in the wrong way, you’ll destroy your culture.

What Are Goal Setting and Review Meetings?

Do you have Goal Setting and Review meetings? If not, then you should. These are perhaps one of the most high impact meeting types there are, but only if you do them effectively. This blog is here to help with that!

Here you can find an outline of what a Goal Setting and Review meeting is and some tips on making them effective.

What is a Goal Setting and Review Meeting?

A Goal Setting and Review meeting is a one-on-one meeting that you have with the people that report directly to you. Then they have them with the people that report to them and so on down the line.

In this meeting, you set goals with your direct reports for the week coming up and ensure that their goals are aligned with the objectives of your team and the company as a whole.

“Team goals need to align with the aim of the company or organization. While these are going to mirror individual goals in many ways, team goals will be much larger and broader in scope. Some constraints need to be taken into account when setting team goals. These include the amount of time, the company budget, and the resources that the organization has available.” – Docket

What to Focus On

Goal Setting and Review meetings are meant to be a blend of direction, development, and support. They’re not an opportunity to task things or do project follow ups. It is only thirty to sixty minutes every week, so you need to keep focus.

The main purpose of this meeting is for you to coach your team members one-on-one, demonstrating to them how to be more effective in their roles. Keep the focus on that. It’s also a meeting where a lot of ‘situational leadership,’ an idea developed by Ket Blanchard and Paul Hersey, gets used.

“[Situational leadership] is when a leader adjusts their type of leadership to best suit a particular situation or task.” – Indeed

Why is it Important?

Done right, Goal Setting and Review meetings eliminate 80% of the emails between you and your direct reports during the week. How is this possible?

Instead of emailing each other with random questions and ideas, you add those to a list that will be discussed at the Goal Setting and Review meeting. This saves you both tons of time during the week. Needless to say, it also saves a lot of frustration caused by the miscommunication that occurs in email.

“Owners and managers are responsible for the goal-setting process as they are the leaders in the organization and tasked with maximizing the return of stakeholders vested in the company. The goal-setting process puts everyone on the same page and defines how to accomplish the goals.” – Bizfluent

If you’re not routinely meeting with your direct reports on a weekly basis for Goal Setting and Review meetings or something similar, then start today! You’re sure to see improvements very quickly.

If you have questions or would like more information, I’d be happy to help. Please send an email, and my team will get in touch with you!

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in August 2011 and has been edited for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Get the Right People on Your Cult Bus

Attracting the right people is crucial to becoming a cultural magnet. When you have great people who are over the top positive about your company, you’re on the fast track to creating a powerful culture and a successful business.


But you’ve got to get the right people on your bus and the wrong people off. This is especially true when it comes to cultivating the right culture in your workplace. One bad apple will actually spoil the whole bunch.

At times you may not have to get them off the bus so much as you may need to move them into a better seat.  Once you put them in the right position, if it’s the right person in the right seat, you’ll see the energy level increase, too.

Whenever I discuss culture and getting the right people, I almost always think of the time when I was president of Barter Business Exchange. At that point in time, I had a “Director of First Impressions,” which in typical business settings would be a receptionist or office manager. But since this wasn’t a typical business setting, and I didn’t want a receptionist–I wanted someone who would knock the socks off of any customers, suppliers or employees with positive energy as soon as they walked in the front door. Our Director of First Impressions, Tina Etchart, did just that.  She nailed the first impression every time with her smile, awesome tone and great energy.  What first impression are you setting right at the front door? As the saying goes, “you never get a second chance to create a first impression.” Remember that.

When Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak were starting Apple they knew exactly what they were looking for in their employees. They hired people who wanted to challenge the status quo. They hired people who wanted to empower the human race. They weren’t about making computers.  Steve Jobs wanted to put a dent in the universe.  And he hired people who could help them achieve that goal.

Hire people who are passionate about their work. Hire people that have deep passions outside of work. And how do you know you’re creating the right energy? Prospective employees will say things like, “I just want in,” and “You’re the ONLY company I want to work for.”

For information on this topic, check out: Leadership at 100MPH.

Stir the Kool-Aid

Years ago, my friend and brilliant speaker, Jack Daly, pushed me to ask myself, “What one thing did I do today to raise the energy level of my team?”

When I think about it, it makes sense.  The speed of the leader is the speed of the group.

One of your jobs as a leader, no matter where in the company you are, is to raise the energy level of your team. On the flip side, also ask yourself what you did to destroy the energy of the team?

I distinctly remember the times I’ve taken an entire team and destroyed their energy and passion for days by saying the wrong thing or by publicly coming down on them.  I’d even feel myself doing it and didn’t stop.  I had to learn how to listen to my conscience and let it guide me.  Trying to slow down before I’d say something would help, but it was hard for me.

In the must read book, The One Minute Manager, Ken Blanchard nailed it when he stated, “Two strokes for one poke.”  Others call it a “shit sandwich,” which basically means that if you give constructive criticism, try to sandwich it between things you are happy about and can praise the employee for doing.

By being a better communicator, you’ll produce employees that understand your goals and communicate well to others on the team.

As you walk into the office each day, think about the things you can do to raise the energy in your workplace.  Be yourself, but find ways to stir the Kool-Aid every day.

As my mentor said, if you want and awesome company culture “focus on building something slightly more than a business and slightly less than a religion.”  To really build that cult (culture) you have to always be looking to raise the energy of the group.  Find a way.

I’d love to hear what you do in your company to raise the energy level of your team.

For more information on this topic, check out: Building a World Class Culture.

Employees’ Personal Dreams

A few years ago, I read a book called The Dream Manager by Matthew Kelly, and it blew me away.

The general premise that I took away from this four hour business-changing read is that if you care more about your employees’ personal goals than the company work they are doing, they’ll go through brick walls for you to build your company.

Sounds odd, but focusing on employees’ dreams will change them forever, and they’ll associate that positive feeling with your company.

How to Use Dreams

One easy, fun and impactful system you can put in place is called the “101 Dream Goals.”  Give each employee thirty minutes and have them write as many things they can think of that:

· They’d like to buy

· They’d like to do

· They want to learn

· They want to try for the first time

· Personal goals they want to achieve

· Sights they want to see

· Places they want to go

I then coach and mentor CEO’s to start spending time every day or every week helping them to make their dreams happen, one by one.  Many of them won’t involve any time or money either. Employees will begin to feel a huge connection with you as you help them to achieve their personal goals with nothing expected in return.  When employees see the company really caring about them as people with dreams, some pretty awesome cultural stuff starts to happen. That’s why in my CEO coaching I talk about Employees personal dreams so often.

Three of my employees had student debt and they felt like they were being crushed by it.  They had no family support showing them how to get out of it and it never would have come up had they not written “get out of debt” on their list of goals.  I asked the three of them if they were OK with me getting them all together to help them out.  All expressed interest in meeting up.  We set up a dinner club – I was buying – and for a few months we met to review budgets that included debt repayment, investing and spending plans I’d put each of them on.  Within six months, all were either out of debt or substantially on their way to getting out of debt.  Two had started companies.  All three were investing, and two were actually using my stockbroker as an adviser.  All were thrilled.

Another one of my employees had on his list that he wanted to watch our national hockey league team, the Vancouver Canucks, have a pre-game practice and then sit behind the bench to watch the actual game.  For him it seemed like an unattainable goal. I made one call to Mike Johnson, the Assistant Coach from the Vancouver Canucks, who not only made it all happen, but a few of the players took Geoff out for drinks after the game.  And yeah, he’d go through brick walls for me now, too.

When you really care for your employees like the family you say that you are, that means caring for them personally and not just talking to them about what has to get done to build your company.

For information on this topic, check out: Leadership at 100MPH.

Force Your Staff to Rest!

One of my favorite lines at the office used to be
, great daytake the rest of it off.’  I used to tease people with that and say it at 6pm.  I’d also say it to people at 10:30 am and blow them away.

Tell people to go home and relax once in a while.

We all know that as entrepreneurs we duck out of the office for our little stress breaks.  Let your team take some once in a while, too.

And if you really like your employees as much as you say you do, let them take the same amount of vacations, as you’d want.  Most employees feel that five weeks’ paid vacation (including their sick days) in addition to the statutory government holidays is about right.

Let them take it.

They won’t quit.  They won’t come into work sick.  And we all know the most productive time at the office is the day before vacation.

So give people time off.

To be sure they take this time off, force them to or they lose it.  The idea is to recharge your batteries regularly and not stockpile the time and have a meltdown.  As a business coach and mentor, I advise CEO’s to give their employees five weeks’ time, however, make them take all five weeks of time during the calendar year.

For more information on this topic, check out: Building a World Class Culture and Leadership at 100MPH.

Make Your Company a People Magnet

Building a magnetic and infectious culture isn’t accidental; a company has to make a conscious decision to foster and grow it.  Once a company decides to actively cultivate culture, the process required to grow it is sort of like chasing the horizon: you never quite get there since it’s always moving, but the journey is wonderful.

In every industry, there are companies with fantastic cultures and others with terrible ones: Google gets it, Microsoft never has—but both are tech companies.  Both have about the same amount of money and both do roughly the same thing.  However, Google decided that they wanted their culture to differentiate them from the Microsofts out there, and they succeeded.


When you walk through Microsoft’s main campus, you can actually feel a cultural void.  Everyone at Microsoft sits in the dark in their private offices cranking out code without anyone around them to engage them in simple human interaction.  Google, on the other hand, has open space and whiteboards everywhere so people can put up ideas when the spirit moves them, and have unstructured discussion time.

As one of my first mentors, Greig Clark, the founder of College Pro Painters said, “Building a great company means creating something that is slightly more than a business and slightly less than a religion. What Greig was saying was that culture has to be more than a passing trend or some ideal to which you pay lip service—like any aspect of culture outside of the workplace, it has to be lived, experienced, and grown in order to be sustainable. It has to be a cult.  Cult-ure.

Your Vivid Vision (formerly Painted Picture) should include ALL aspects of the type of culture you want so that you attract people who fit your culture and repel those who don’t.

Pic: Tommy Panetta

For more information on this topic, check out: Building a World Class Culture and Leadership at 100MPH.

Loved Employees Are Given This Chair

131bI walked into my friend Kimbal’s company in Boulder, Colorado. He was an employee of mine 15 years ago and he’s been quite successful at building and selling companies since then.

Upon arriving at Kimbal’s office, I couldn’t help but notice the plethora of Herman Miller Aeron chairs—which used to go for about $800 USD. When I saw Kimbal, I remarked, “Wow, you’re really burning through cash on this new business of yours!”

Kimbal said, perplexed. “Why do you say that?”

“I saw your Herman Millar Aeron chairs everywhere!” I said. I was convinced he was already spending the millions he’d made in business.  I love Herman Miller chairs—I even have one—but I couldn’t imagine buying one for every employee.

So then Kimball asked, “You didn’t see the desks did you?”

I hesitated. “No, I didn’t see the desks.”

“Go take a look,” he said knowingly.  So I walked outside, took a look, and noticed he had all these white plastic fold-up tables pulled up to those fantastic $800 Herman Miller chairs. So I walked back to Kimball and said, “What’s with all of the fold-up tables?”

Kimbal paused for a moment. “Well, everyone wants to have an amazing chair.  You want to attract amazing people and keep them happy? Don’t give them a $200 chair.  Everybody out there buys $1,000-$2,000-$3,000 workstations or desks and they buy crumby $250 chairs.  So I buy $100 desks from Costco and Ikea, and $800 chairs.

My employees love me, never quit, and everybody walks in and sees we’re successful, but they don’t realize we spent $850 on each desk and chair while other companies spend $3,000 on their desk and chair – do the math!”

Expensive desks won’t support your back and make you more productive, expensive chairs will.

For more information on this topic, check out: Building a World Class Culture and Leadership at 100MPH.


Meetings Suck: Turning One Of The Most Loathed Elements Of Business Into One Of The Most Valuable

We all know that meetings suck, right?

You hear it all the time. It’s the one thing that almost everyone in business can agree on.

Except it’s not actually true… 

Meetings don’t suck.

We just suck at running meetings.   

When done right, meetings not only work, they make people and companies better.

In Meetings Suck, world renowned business expert and growth guru Cameron Herold teaches you how to use focused, time effective meetings to help you and your company soar.

This book shows you immediately actionable, step-by-step systems that ensure that you and everyone in your organization improves your meetings, right away.

In the process, you’ll turn meetings that suck into meetings that work. 

In life, we always hear about people who’ve made huge decisions from their gut – without data.Today, I want you to make a decision, not only from your gut, but also from some data.  A decision that is only $12 per employee but will be priceless for your business.

Right now, your gut is telling you something is wrong with your company’s meetings.  You KNOW everyone complains about meetings.

People HATE going to them, they HATE running them, and they really have NO idea which meetings are truly necessary but they hold meetings simply because they think that is what they SHOULD do.

Even some of the smartest CEOs in the world complain about meetings – Elon Musk publicly told employees at Tesla & SpaceX to walk out of meetings if they weren’t being run properly.

I sent Elon a message saying that wasn’t going to fix anything – the key is to fix the root of the problem – NOT continue to ignore why meetings suck.

A Meeting is – Any phone call, video call or occasion where 2 or more people meet to discuss or work-through office topics.

Most employees on average spend 1-2 hours per day in meetings.

And likely, none of those employees – front-line staff or leaders – have had any training on how to attend meetings or participate in them, LET ALONE How to RUN THEM.

Consider this…

If the Average employee spends just 1 Hour per day in meetings – that’s 1/8th of their time.

If the Average employee earns $50,000 per year.

And they’re spending 1/8th of their time in meetings, that means you’re paying $6,250 dollars per year for just ONE employee to attend meetings.

The reality is, employees spend 1/8th of their time – and 1/8th of your company’s payroll – doing something they have literally NO idea how to do.

The Reality is…

95% of employees are booking & leading meetings – and they have NEVER been trained on how to run them.

95% of employees have had NO training on how to show up and participate in the meetings they attend daily.

And 95% of employees and companies have no idea what meetings are even necessary to hold.

Meetings CAN be hugely effective – IF you know how to run them

Meetings don’t SUCK, we just SUCK at running meetings. 

Investing $15 per employee – to help ensure the $50,000 a year you spend on them is an obvious and easy choice.

This could be the most impactful $15 you’ll ever spend and will save the company’s money, time and resources instantly.

Buying a copy of Meetings Suck for 100% of your employees and having them read it this month will have a huge impact on your company’s success.


Free PR: How To Get Chased By The Press Without Hiring A PR Firm

Public relations has always been an essential part of doing business which is probably why you’re shelling out big money to an outside PR firm. But the truth is that you don’t need them. You already have all the necessary tools in-house to do as good a job as the so-called experts. 

Cameron Herold and Adrian Salamunovic have taught thousands of company execs how to exploit free media coverage and ditch these expensive, often ineffective outsiders. 

Cameron & Adrian have also built in-house PR teams, spent decades learning how to generate Free PR and how to leverage public relations to complement their sales and marketing strategy. 

In Free PR, you’ll learn how the media world operates while you gain invaluable insider knowledge and actionable advice on how to: 

  • Build your own in-house PR team
  • Provide effective interviews
  • Score great media coverage for free with just a few easy steps 

Landing public relations coverage for yourself and your company is a powerful tool to help elevate your personal brand. PR is easier to generate than marketing, PR is easier to leverage than marketing and PR is more cost effective than marketing. In other words, Public Relations is more critical than ever in growing your brand and your business. 

You’ve got more passion, commitment, a larger stake, and a deeper understanding of your business than any outside PR firm could ever have. So stop wasting money and take the reins yourself.  Learn the secrets to landing TONS of Free PR for your company.

What they’re saying:

“I think PR is the core for promoting any business. Public relations acquires customers! That’s what’s cool about this book.”

– Kevin O’Leary,  Shark on ABC’s Shark Tank

“The ultimate guidebook for those looking to get press, grow their brand, and get in front of the masses. Free PR is the roadmap you’ve been looking for.”

– Peter Shankman, Founder, Help a Reporter Out (HARO)

“Adrian and Cameron will show you the secrets of getting massive exposure for your business. This book is packed with actionable insights from two guys that actually know how to to do it.”

– Dan Martell,  Serial Entrepreneur & Investor (, Unbounce)

“I told Cameron to write the book on generating free PR. I’m excited to see that he’s finally sharing his secrets with the world. This is a must read for any entrepreneurial company and marketing team.”

– Verne Harnish, Founder of Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) and author of Scaling Up (Rockefeller Habits 2.0)


Vivid Vision: A Remarkable Tool For Aligning Your Business Around a Shared Vision of the Future

Many corporations have slick, flashy mission statements that ultimately do little to motivate employees and less to impress customers, investors, and partners. 

But there is a way to share your excitement for the future of your company in a clear, compelling, and powerful way and entrepreneur and business growth expert Cameron Herold can show you how. 

Vivid Vision is a revolutionary tool that will help owners, CEOs, and senior managers create inspirational, detailed, and actionable three-year mission statements for their companies. In this easy-to-follow guide, Herold walks organization leaders through the simple steps to creating their own Vivid Vision, from brainstorming to sharing the ideas to using the document to drive progress in the years to come. 

By focusing on mapping out how you see your company looking and feeling in every category of business, without getting bogged down by data and numbers or how it will happen, Vivid Vision creates a holistic road map to success that will get all of your teammates passionate about the big picture. 

Your company is your dream, one that you want to share with your staff, clients, and stakeholders. Vivid Vision is the tool you need to make that dream a reality.


The Miracle Morning for
Entrepreneurs: Elevate Your SELF to
Elevate Your BUSINESS


A step-by-step guide to enjoying the roller-coaster ride of growth — while getting the most out of life as an entrepreneur. A growth-focused approach: The book is divided into three sections, which cover planning for fast growth, building a company for fast growth, and leading for fast growth. Each topic the author covers — from creating a vision for the company’s future to learning how to generate free PR for a developing company — is squarely focused on the end goal: doubling the size of the entrepreneur’s company in three years or less. A down-to-earth action plan: Herold’s experienced-based advice never gets bogged down in generalities or theory. Instead, he offers a wealth of practical tips, including: How to design meetings for maximum efficiency; How to hire top-quality talent; How to grow in particularly tough markets; How to put together a board of advisors — even for a smaller company; How even the busy entrepreneur can achieve a work/life balance.


Hal Elrod’sThe Miracle Morning has helped redefine the mornings and the lives of millions of readers since 2012. Since then, careers have been launched, goals have been met, and dreams have been realized, all through the power of the Miracle Morning’s six Life S.A.V.E.R.S.


Now The Miracle Morning for Entrepreneurs brings you these principles in a whole new light—alongside the Entrepreneurial Elevation Principles and the Entrepreneur’s Elevation Skills. These are essential skills that you need to create a successful business and personal life. Cameron Herold— Bestselling Author and a widely-respected expert on entrepreneurial mindset—brings his wisdom and insight to you using Hal Elrod’s powerful Miracle Morning framework.


The principles and skills you’ll find in this book will help you to channel your passion and achieve balance in a remarkable new way. – Learn why mornings matter more than you think – Learn how to master your own self-leadership and accelerate your personal development – Learn how to manage your energy—physical, mental, and emotional – Learn how to implement Hal Elrod’s invaluable Life S.A.V.E.R.S. in your daily routine – And much more… You’re already an entrepreneur. Now discover how to take your success to the next level by first taking yourself to the next level. The Miracle Morning for Entrepreneurs is your roadmap to masterfully building an empire with a powerful vision, utilizing your areas of personal genius, with the right team at your side.

Start giving your business and your life the very best opportunities for success, right now.

A step-by-step guide to enjoying the roller-coaster ride of growth — while getting the most out of life as an entrepreneur. A growth-focused approach: The book is divided into three sections, which cover planning for fast growth, building a company for fast growth, and leading for fast growth. Each topic the author covers — from creating a vision for the company’s future to learning how to generate free PR for a developing company — is squarely focused on the end goal: doubling the size of the entrepreneur’s company in three years or less. A down-to-earth action plan: Herold’s experienced-based advice never gets bogged down in generalities or theory. Instead, he offers a wealth of practical tips, including: How to design meetings for maximum efficiency; How to hire top-quality talent; How to grow in particularly tough markets; How to put together a board of advisors — even for a smaller company; How even the busy entrepreneur can achieve a work/life balance.