December 17th, 2014

Drive Your Life! Set Some Goals For 2015.

Goals quote from Jim RohnThe holiday break is of course a great time to spend with family, to indulge a little and recharge the batteries.  It is also a good time to take a few minutes and think about how 2014 worked out for you, and what you might want to achieve in 2015.

If you set some goals in 2014 how did you do against those goals?   What could you do differently in 2015?

If you did not have goals then how do you feel about 2014?  Was it everything that you could have wanted?

I used to think that setting goals was too much hassle and to be honest when I did not meet a goal (which was often) then I would be hard on myself.  Why would I put myself through that guilt and hassle if I didn’t need to?

After a few years I realized that (a) I achieved more if I actually set out with goals; (b) I was able to reconcile myself that even if I missed a goal, it was better than not having had one in the first place!

“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.”  Zig Ziglar

If I look back at 2014 I missed some pretty big goals!  I also hit some smaller goals, which I feel pretty good about.  The missed goals I can learn from and in 2015 I will reframe those goals and achieve them!

I think it is important to have goals in multiple aspects of my life not just work goals, so I tend to have five broad categories in which I set goals for myself.

  • Health and Fitness
  • Vacation
  • Career
  • Family
  • Training/Education

“An average person with average talent, ambition and education, can outstrip the most brilliant genius in our society, if that person has clear, focused goals.” Brian Tracy

If you are new to goal setting then here is an easy way to get started:

  1. Pick a number of areas in your life to set goals.  If you like my list then feels free to copy.
  2. Set one goal in each category.
  3. If you have BIG goals … e.g. want to be CEO of IBM, then pick a goal along that path.  In this case you might want to sign up for an MBA program for instance.
  4. Keep the goal fairly simple to measure, and achievable.  E.g.  One of my failings has been a weight target.  Heading into 2015 I will adjust that up to a more achievable level.
  5. Write them down.  You could have a special GOALS journal, a piece of paper pinned to your desk, an electronic list on your PDA … whatever works for you.
  6. For each goal there should be a target and a date.  Enter the appropriate dates into your calendar so that you have a reminder.
  7. Set up weekly or monthly checkpoints … you might weigh yourself each week, or if you are learning a language you could check off the classes as you attend.
  8. When you achieve your goal you can (a) pick a different goal altogether; or (b) Improve on that goal you just achieved.  In my case when I hit my revised weight I will then target a lower weight, perhaps even my original goal … this might be the year!
  9. A goal is part of your motivation … but you need a plan to reach that goal.  What will it take to become CEO of IBM?  What will it take for me to lose weight?
  10. Reward yourself for meeting goals.  Don’t overdo it but it is good to celebrate success when you tick off the goals!

“Life can be pulled by goals just as surely as it can be pushed by drives.” Viktor Frankl

Goals, together with a plan to reach those goals can transform your life!  I don’t exaggerate here, because most people go through life on cruise control rather than driving their own destiny.  Once you realise how much you can influence your life by actually taking charge you will understand the power of goal setting!

________________________________________________________________
Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Gain a competitive edge!  Join Eagle’s Executive Consulting Network!
Find Canada’s top hot jobs, updated in real-time!  Visit Eagle’s Job Centre!
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________________________________________________________________

December 16th, 2014

Do You Have A Smartphone Addiction?

Quote about focus from John Di LemmeSome days it seems like the whole world is addicted to their smartphones!

You can’t walk one city block without encountering someone, and more often many people, trying to text and walk, usually badly.

Despite mass awareness, legislative change and police clamp downs you cannot commute home without passing people with their phones in their hand.  These people are willing to risk their lives, other people’s lives and at a minimum the property damage of a car accident rather than put the smartphone away.

“A texting driver will take an EXTRA 70 feet to stop at 70 mph.” Car and Driver Study

Go to any busy restaurant and you will see a number of people on their devices and even more people with their devices sitting just waiting to be picked up at the hint of an email, text or call!  Don’t these people want to talk to their fellow diners?

Go to the average work meeting and ask people to switch off their mobile phones and you will be met with awe and dismay.  Too often you will spot meeting “participants” on their device, responding to “important” emails or more likely texting another meeting “participant” instead of engaging in the meeting.

“Multitasking often leads to messing two things up simultaneously.”  Farhan Thawar

When did we all become so important that we cannot be “offline” for a couple of hours?

As an addiction, the smartphone is particularly dangerous because not only does it pander to our need to be in touch with our friends and family 24/7 but it also gives us access to the internet 24/7.  We need never again have to wait minutes to hear the news, or a sports score … our smartphone delivers it to us AND even tells us when it arrives!

None of this is rational.

If we made rational decisions then we would schedule time to check our email, as it fits in with our work.

We might keep in contact with friends and family, but periodically at lunch or maybe during an afternoon break.

We would not need to know about the news “as it happens” because we would be focused on the task at hand, which most days of the week is our job.

In meetings we would put the thing away, provide constructive input to the meeting and address anything else after the meeting.

We might employ hands free technology in our cars to talk while driving.  However our eyes would be on the road and our hands guiding the vehicle … not texting our friends.

“A drunk driver is 4 times more likely to have an accident.  A sober driver texting is 8 times more likely to have an accident.”  Insurance Company Statistics

A rational choice would be to drive our day, to be as productive as possible and to use the smartphone as a tool.

Instead … we let our smartphones interrupt our lives, impact our productivity, hurt our relationships and possibly kill us, and others.

Does this make sense to anyone?

________________________________________________________________
Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Gain a competitive edge!  Join Eagle’s Executive Consulting Network!
Find Canada’s top hot jobs, updated in real-time!  Visit Eagle’s Job Centre!
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________________________________________________________________

December 15th, 2014

5 Reasons Salespeople Should Finish Strong!

Finish StrongWhen I was much younger I used to be a sprinter, and my distance was the 220 yard sprint, although I also ran the 100 yard race.  These days of course, those races would be 200 and 100 metre races.

One of my lasting memories of this sport was my coach shouting, “Finish strong”, whether it was during training or while competing.

I have also been a soccer player for most of my life and it seems to have always been a popular phrase during training sessions.

The driving force for this sentiment is that races, and soccer games, are not over until everyone is done or the referee has blown the whistle.  It is therefore critical that participants compete “through” the finish, and not “anticipate” the finish by easing up as the end approaches.  A large number of races and games are won and lost right at that time!  How many times have you seen a runner “pipped” at the post, or a game decided by a final play?

“Are you going to Finish Strong?”  Nick Vujicic (of “No arms, no Legs no Worries” fame)

In the business world this same mentality applies to the sales profession, most particularly at this time of year.  There is a strong motivation to ease up on the activity levels, to perhaps “cruise” through the final two weeks.  We will tell ourselves that the clients are easing up, that they are not going to make spending decisions during late December or that they are more focused on things other than work.

We make excuses to focus on “busy work” or perhaps some personal activities.

We might socialize a little more with our more popular clients, which is not a bad thing as long as nothing is slipping as a result!

Just like those races and soccer games, it is very easy to lose because others are working hard when you are easing up!

I would suggest that this time of year, more than most, is a time for salespeople to work harder than ever.   Here are five reasons why you need to Finish Strong!

  • SOME of your clients might slow down, but that means you have a better chance of getting their attention.
  • Some of your clients will have year end budget that they need to use.
  • Some of your clients will be planning for next year, and you can understand their needs early.
  • Some of your clients will have extra time, and this you can get face time easier than at other times.
  • For many of your clients it will be business as usual, so don’t miss your opportunities.

 “It’s supposed to be hard!  If it wasn’t hard everyone would do it.  It is the hard that makes it great.”  Jimmy Dugan

 Don’t get caught out, push through to the very end … and then enjoy a little time off!

________________________________________________________________
Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Gain a competitive edge!  Join Eagle’s Executive Consulting Network!
Find Canada’s top hot jobs, updated in real-time!  Visit Eagle’s Job Centre!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) VirtualRecruiterservice?
________________________________________________________________

December 11th, 2014

10 Tips To Get Employee Input

Vince Lombardi quote about team versus individualIf you are of the opinion that nobody knows the answer better than you, then you might disagree with the premise of this article.

There are certainly people who think they are smarter than everyone else, and they will discount all opinions beyond their own.

There are people who will only accept input, advice or opinion from a certain group of people that they trust.  While that is better than thinking they have all the answers themselves, it is still an artificial limit on potentially valuable input.

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” Helen Keller

I believe that there are always multiple views on any given situation, and if you only look at it one way then you are missing an opportunity.

You do not need to agree with everyone who provides input … but you really should give it serious consideration.  Even if one small aspect of their argument gives you pause, then you have received value.

“Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.” Ryunosuke Satoro

One of the fairly standard approaches of new leaders (or leaders new to their position) is to gather input from as many people as possible.  It might be part of a 90 or 100 day plan, or something less formal.  It might involve talking to fellow executives and managers, or more valuable is to include conversation with the people actually “doing the job”.

Leaders, by nature will have egos, but ego should never factor into doing the right thing.

If you are a leader (new or old) make sure that you take advantage of the collective brainpower in your organization.  The breadth of thinking, the differences in opinion and the multiple views will provide valuable information from which you can make informed decisions.

10 ideas to gather valuable information from your team:

  1. Create both formal and informal means of getting input.
  2. Act on the information … it does not mean you need to implement every idea, but people need to know you listened.
  3. Try “Ideas boxes” … they can be physical or electronic, just a means for anonymous feedback (sometimes needed).
  4. Build time into your schedule for staff meetings … group lunches, individual chats, coffee with the boss.
  5. Ask good questions.
  6. Listen … and be seen to be listening!
  7. Give information back … people want to know what you are thinking, where the company (division) is going, what management thinks.
  8. Involve your fellow executive/managers … from all areas of the business.
  9. Give credit to people who have good ideas … never take credit yourself!
  10. Encourage people to talk to you … open door management.

“Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.” Henry Ford

If you think you have all the answers you will quickly find yourself alone … and that is not a good place to be!

________________________________________________________________
Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Gain a competitive edge!  Join Eagle’s Executive Consulting Network!
Find Canada’s top hot jobs, updated in real-time!  Visit Eagle’s Job Centre!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) VirtualRecruiterservice?
________________________________________________________________

December 9th, 2014

Making The Most of Your Sales Meeting Time

Zig Ziglar quote about using time effectivelyIf you work in any large city, or your sales territory is large, then you can find yourself spending a lot of time travelling to and from meetings. Obviously face to face time with clients is critically important but you also don’t want to kill your productivity for a day, or half a day because of that meeting.

What can you do to be productive when you have to accommodate a fair bit of travel into your schedule? Here are some tips:

“You win not by chance, but by preparation”. Roger Maris

  1. This may seem obvious but plan your schedule as effectively as possible… you don’t have to accept the first time that your client suggests.
  2. Think through what times work best for you… for example, on your way into work, or on your way home might be most effective.
  3. Try to avoid prime “calling time” when you can be on the phone with other clients and prospects.
  4. Can you use the travel time? I would not advocate tough business calls while driving, but with hands free technology and a little preplanning you could make some of your “catch up” calls while on the road.
  5. If you can use other transport, like public transport, then you can work on other things while you travel.
  6. Plan your time so that the activities you can do while out of the office, are saved for those occasions… catch up reading, short emails, writing cards etc.
  7. Schedule other client meetings in the area that you are visiting, maximizing the “travel time per meeting”. If you travel for 60 minutes to have one 60 minute meeting, it is not very efficient.
  8. Try to meet multiple people at the site you are visiting, there are typically multiple people who would be worth meeting. The accounting people who pay your bills, the EA who helps set up meetings, the purchasing person who handles contracts etc.
  9. Make the most of your meeting time! Have a clear agenda, so you get all of the information you need in one go! Take good notes so you don’t miss anything!
  10. Make sure that you use your calendar and everyone who needs to know your schedule does know it. That way they can slot in other meetings for you, even if you are out at meetings.

“Day by day, what you do is who you become.” Heraclitus

Some salespeople are lucky, and their clients are all close by, but even then there are many things we as salespeople can do to maximize our time. A little planning, some forethought and a focus on the fact that time is a precious resource will go a long way to increasing our productivity and success!

________________________________________________________________
Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Gain a competitive edge!  Join Eagle’s Executive Consulting Network!
Find Canada’s top hot jobs, updated in real-time!  Visit Eagle’s Job Centre!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) VirtualRecruiterservice?
________________________________________________________________

December 8th, 2014

This Blog Is For You, NOT About You.

Learning quote Wise men learn by other mens mistakesIn the almost nine years that I have been writing this blog I have occasionally heard from people when they thought that I was targeting them with one of my entries. Of the almost 1,800 blog entries that I have written I can think of only a couple that were targeted at someone specific … and they were very clearly written so that it was very obvious who I was writing about, good or bad!

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

Here are 10 Facts about this blog:

  1. This blog is written based on more than 40 years of work experience.
  2. This blog is written based on experience from an entry level blue collar role, through various jobs and eventually working my way to owning a business.
  3. This blog is most often written from the vantage point of a business owner.
  4. This blog IS intended to make people think.
  5. If people see themselves in a blog entry then please know that it is not you I am writing about
  6. People reading my blog should never take it personally, BUT they can try to learn from it.
  7. The reason to read this blog is to get someone else’s insight … and do with it as you wish.
  8. I think I have something to offer people based on my experiences … in the same way that I look for people to learn from.
  9. If you get a little insight or a good idea or some advice worth having then I have done my job.
  10. My best advice … read the entries and look for lessons, do NOT look for problems!

Learning is not compulsory neither is survival. W. Edwards Deming

Where do I get my inspiration for entries?

  • Current events will often spark a thought that leads to a blog entry.
  • I might read an article or book that gives me inspiration.
  • Some of my friends and/or colleagues will sometimes offer ideas.
  • I occasionally will go back and revisit topics discussed in years past.
  • I have some standard blog entries that I write monthly or quarterly.
  • Sometimes events within Eagle will happen and spark the germ of an idea that I will expand using experiences from my past. I never write these blog entries immediately after the Eagle event and I always bundle the experience with other previous events.
  • Sometimes the same will happen with events in other companies.

If I have something to address with someone I am not at all shy to have that conversation. The last place someone will receive feedback from me is through my blog.

Always walk through life as if you have something new to learn and you will.Vernon Howard

________________________________________________________________
Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Gain a competitive edge! Join Eagle’s Executive Consulting Network!
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?
________________________________________________________________

December 2nd, 2014

Technology Industry News for November 2014

Picture of a NewspaperThis is my 30,000 foot look at events in the ICT industry for November 2014. 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.

HP logoA Little History of previous year’s Novembers …

Five years ago in November 2009 there was still a “hangover” from the recession, but the general mood was more optimistic. There were still layoff announcements, Adobe (680), Microsoft (800), and Rogers (900) all announced layoffs and Right Management told us that as many as 80% of employees may look to change job as the economy recovers!  The big news in M&A saw HP buying 3-Com for $2.7 Billion and Nortel continued to sell off its assets, this time its Metro Ethernet Networks business to Cienna for $769 Million. Google also made a couple of acquisitions, including paying $750 million for AdMob. Four years ago in November Twenty-EMC logoTen perennial acquirer EMC paid $2.25 billion for Isilion; Attachmate bought Novell for $2.2 Billion; Oracle paid $1 Billion for Art Technology Group; NTT paid $1 Billion for Keane; Amazon paid $500 million for Quidsi; and Juniper Networks bought Trapeze Networks for $152 million. In November 2011 Mosaid was sold to Sterling partners for $590 million, ending a WiLan hostile takeover attempt. Japanese company Rakuten paid $315 million for e-book company Kobo; Huawei technologies bought Symantec out of a storage and security joint venture to the tune of $530 million; Yahoo paid $270 million for online advertising company Interclick; and Best Buy paid $167 million for internet technology company Mindshift. In November 2012 Cisco made two significant “buys”, cloud infrastructure company Meraki ($1.2B) and cloud datacentre and software company Cloupia ($125M); Dell bought software tools company Gale Technologies; NCR bought retail software company Retalix ($650M); Cray bought software company Appro ($25M); Nexj systemsSprint Nextel bought a chunk of US Cellular ($480M); and Toronto based NexJ (headed by another ex-Andersen Consulting alumni) bought Broadstreet for $8.2 million.   Last year in November 2013 Opentext paid $1.1 Billion for cloud based integration services company GXS Group and another Canadian deal saw Mitel buy Aastra for close to $400 million. Other deals this month included ebay’s $800 million purchase of global payments company Braintree; Apple’s $370 million purchase of 3D sensor company PrimeSense; and Akamai’s purchase of Velocius Networks.

Which brings us back to the present …

YahooNovember 2014 was an exceptionally quiet month on the M&A front, in fact I don’t remember a month this quiet in the fifteen years or so that I have been doing this! The biggest deal saw two semiconductor companies merge, Cypress Semiconductor and Spansion to form a $4 billion company; private equity company Carlyle Group paid $700 million for investment bank technology company Dealogic and Yahoo shelled out $640 million for video advertising company BrightRoll. In related news VC investment in Canada seems to be on a high according to CB Insights. And there are rumors that BT is trying to buy O2 mobile network, which could upset the telecomm applecart in the UK.

Canada added 43,000 jobs in October and the unemployment rate dropped to 6.5%, plus one study suggests that IT spending will increase by 3.3% to greater than $1 billion. Meanwhile the US economy seems to be on Robotfire, adding more that 200,000 jobs in October and almost every indicator being positive. That includes GDP numbers, future hiring prospects, special interest group indeces and various confidence indicators.

On another positive note, Ontario might benefit from investment by Chinese company Huawei Technologies to the tune of 325 jobs. Finally a study in the UK suggests that many (mostly low paying) jobs will be replaced by automation over the next 20 years … the robots are coming!

Other than multiple negative reports about my favorite ride company Uber that might mean I need to drop them (a little Google search should do the trick), that’s my view of the tech industry from November 2014. Until next month, stay positive, walk fast and smile!

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Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Want to know where Canada’s hot jobs are? Visit the Eagle Job Centre!
Gain a competitive edge! Join Eagle’s Executive Consulting Network!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) VirtualRecruiterservice?
—————————————————————————————————————————————–

December 1st, 2014

Thinking Ahead

Preparation quote from Ben FrankllinFor a short period of time, during my school years, I took chess lessons. While I enjoyed the game I did not keep it up, probably because I was more inclined to less cerebral activities like football (soccer). The aspect of chess that I found most interesting is the need to think multiple steps ahead, to think through the implications of your next move and your opponent’s likely response… and beyond!

I try to apply the same thinking in my professional life. If I can think ahead a few moves then it means I can be better prepared for whatever might come my way. Obviously there are no crystal balls, but too often the future is very obvious and yet there are people who somehow always seem surprised!

“A first-rate Organizer is never in a hurry. He is never late. He always keeps up his sleeve a margin for the unexpected.” Arnold Bennett

Can you see yourself in any of these situations:

  1. The salesperson has one key contact in a client who gives them a significant amount of business. That person leaves, or retires, or gets promoted, or moves role… and “Surprise” the business dries up!
  2. The company relies on its technology to be its differentiator… but at some point someone else innovates faster. Surprise! The market for their solution is no longer popular.
  3. You have monthly work commitments and you have an upcoming vacation that will impact your ability to deliver. Surprise… you suddenly have to get the work done, at the last minute, before going on vacation!
  4. I make a commitment to deliver a speech at an upcoming conference, but procrastinate in writing it until “Surprise” the conference is in two days!
  5. You want to lose some weight and get fitter before the warm weather arrives. You lay out a plan but there are so many “exception occasions” that “Surprise” your weight is not going down and your fitness not improving!

If you take time out to plan then you are far less likely to get surprised. Thinking ahead, or “planning” is critical for individuals and companies.

“A man who does not think and plan long ahead will find trouble right at his door.” Confucius

In sales you need “account plans” that will meet and exceed your quota targets with built-in allowance for anomalies. You need to ensure adequate account coverage, an understanding of the “players”, competition, opportunities and threats. Good account planning should result in few surprises.

As a company you need strategic plans that will map out your future, taking into account external and internal influences such as competition and regulatory change. You should collaborate with your management team, and consider using external advisors in the creation of these plans.

As an individual you need to plan your time, ensuring that you get to complete the things you both need, and want, to do. A good plan will allow for both work and personal goals, assuring the right kind of life balance that suits your situation.

If you let your days drive you, instead of you driving your days you are bound to get more surprises than necessary!

________________________________________________________________
Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Gain a competitive edge!  Join Eagle’s Executive Consulting Network!
Find Canada’s top hot jobs, updated in real-time!  Visit Eagle’s Job Centre!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) VirtualRecruiterservice?
________________________________________________________________

November 27th, 2014

10 Tips To Help Your People Be More Autonomous

Give a man a fish or teach him to fish proverbI have written many times about “Time Management” and “Personal Productivity”. I have extolled the virtues of “To Do Lists”, “Goals”, using calendars effectively and setting priorities.

I have talked about delegating and about focusing on high return activities.

“Until we can manage time, we can manage nothing else.” Peter F. Drucker

One area that I have not focused on, but is incredibly important if you are a manager, is in getting people to be respectful of your time. Your job is to manage, to mentor and to coach. You are expected to provide advice when it is needed and you certainly want people to feel like they can come to you when they need advice.

“The simple act of paying positive attention to people has a great deal to do with productivity.” Tom Peters

The down side is when they come to you so often that it impacts your ability to get things done. You find it hard to concentrate on your tasks for extended periods of time without someone on your team interrupting.

Here are some thoughts:

  1. It is usually better to start with people coming to you more than they need to, rather than for people to run off “doing things” incorrectly.
  2. You should set a goal to improve the autonomy of your people over time… it could be a reduction in calls per day/week; or in minutes spent talking.
  3. You should give regular feedback with clear direction about what should be discussed and what decisions they might make themselves. Over time this should create more autonomy.
  4. You should instruct them in the difference between Urgent and not Urgent; Important and Not Important. You should only be interrupted for Urgent/Important issues.
  5. Train your people to have a means of collecting issues… it could be electronic or paper, just a handy way for them to collect items for your next meeting. This will discourage them from phoning you every 15 minutes when something pops into their heads.
  6. Organise regular meetings with your reports. They should probably be more frequent at the start, and backing off over time. Both you and they should feel comfortable that they are often enough, but not too often.
  7. Have a structure to your meetings. An agenda to which both contribute is a good idea. It will help keep the timing efficient.
  8. Set goals for the meetings. What does each want to achieve? Every meeting does not have to be exactly the same. For example the meetings might be weekly with different agendas on alternating weeks, or a monthly meeting focused on proactive agenda items rather than reactive items.
  9. If you have multiple direct reports then don’t assume the same format works for each… be flexible in accommodating different styles, different needs and different speeds of learning.
  10. Build time into your calendar during which you are not to be disturbed! This is a classic time management technique, but one way of finding time to get things done without interruption.

“The essence of self-discipline is to do the important thing rather than the urgent thing.” Barry Werner

What ideas do you have about managing multiple direct reports (who may also be managers) and still getting “stuff” done?

“The men who succeed are the efficient few. They are the few who have the ambition and will power to develop themselves.” Robert Burton

________________________________________________________________
Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Gain a competitive edge!  Join Eagle’s Executive Consulting Network!
Find Canada’s top hot jobs, updated in real-time!  Visit Eagle’s Job Centre!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) VirtualRecruiterservice?
________________________________________________________________

November 25th, 2014

Do You Really Need Another Holiday Card or Company Swag?

Quote about generositySeveral years ago my company made the decision to take the budget we had been spending on holiday cards, postage and small client gifts and instead donating that to charity. We felt that this was one more way that we could demonstrate our commitment to the community, with the help of our clients.

The overwhelming response from almost everyone that we talked with has been extremely positive.

“Who needs another card anyway, it’s nice to know others are benefiting.”

“What a great idea. I wish our company did that!”

“It just makes a ton of sense.”

These were the kind of responses that I and my team received from our clients at the time, and every year since, when we announce how much we are donating to charity. I think that most people recognise this as a great way to support those in need.

“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” Winston Churchill

There are plenty of people who need a little help, particularly at this time of year. People fall on hard times through no fault of their own, whether it is unemployment, illness or just some bad luck they find themselves without resources and inevitably it is the children who suffer most.

Donations and volunteer efforts make a big difference to these people. Whether it is gifts for the children, a hot meal or some clothes to help them through a Canadian Winter it all adds up to helping those who are less fortunate than ourselves.

“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.” Muhammad Ali

I’m certainly not trying to put the card companies out of business. We have cards that we send all year round to thank people for their business, to congratulate people on their achievements or just to keep in touch. I just don’t believe businesses need to drown their clients in cards once a year.

I’m not advocating that company swag should not exist either, over the years we have given more than our fair share of mugs and pens etc. to the market. Swag all year round = cool, extra swag this time of year = non needed!

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’” Martin Luther King Jr.

What I am advocating is that at this time of year, when the frenzy of buying is all around us, take a few minutes to think of those who don’t have the means or ability to indulge themselves and their loved ones. Find a way to divert some money to make life a little better for those who need a hand. If you can couple that with some time donated to help out then you can make a HUGE difference.

Give rather than take. It will make you a better person, and your community a better place to live!

“What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.” Albert Pike

________________________________________________________________
Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Gain a competitive edge!  Join Eagle’s Executive Consulting Network!
Find Canada’s top hot jobs, updated in real-time!  Visit Eagle’s Job Centre!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) VirtualRecruiterservice?
________________________________________________________________

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