August 27th, 2014

Eagle’s Series of ALS Ice Bucket Challenges

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has taken the world by storm over the past couple weeks and, like many other companies, Eagle participated at offices across the country. In addition to making some fun videos, the Eagle Team also made donations to ALS and we’re proud to say that in total, we contributed over $2,000!

How did this initiative make its way through Eagle? It started with Dan Glenn, a Recruitment Specialist from our Calgary office:


Kevin Dee was first to answer the call…


…while Terry Power, Eagle’s President, responded to a challenge he received from within the staffing industry.


Eagle’s Calgary branch participated as a team and challenged their counterparts to follow suit.


Ottawa was quick to respond…


…followed by Toronto…


…and Montreal, who took it to a whole new level.


Finally the team from Edmonton stepped up to the plate!


We hope you enjoy watching these videos (we had fun making them), but more importantly, please take a minute to visit the ALS website and make your donation if you haven’t already.

August 19th, 2014

Annual Budgeting Using The Hope and a Prayer Strategy

Drukker quote about planningEvery year all companies face the same challenge of developing the budget for the upcoming year… something that we are currently finalising. The extent of that planning will vary among companies, but generally companies need to have targets for the next year which are focused on revenues and expenses, resulting in what everyone hopes will be a healthy bottom line and reasonable growth.

Great companies are very good at this planning process, understand what it takes to meet their targets and their forecasts will be fairly accurate, not withstanding the obvious impacts of recessions and other unforeseen calamities.

Many companies however employ a less than strategic approach to their planning, and very often managers are allowed to feel like they don’t actually “own” the plan. In these circumstances the numbers achieved are more a result of chance, than of planning and execution against a plan!

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

This is what I call the Hope and a Prayer Strategy.

Step 1. Pick a number

Step 2. Share that number (maybe)

Step 3. Hope you hit that number

It is not a very satisfying way to manage, because every month when the numbers roll in those managers cross their fingers and hope. Invariably fate is not kind and the result is a habit of failure, and excuses for that failure.

“Planning is a process of choosing among those many options. If we do not choose to plan, then we choose to have others plan for us.” Richard I. Winwood

Managers MUST truly OWN their plans. They need to own the targets, the responsibility for the tactics that will ensure their success, and for adjusting those tactics along the way when things don’t go as planned!

This is a more strategic approach to the annual budgeting exercise, and has a far higher chance of success!

Step 1. Develop a budget with input from executive, management and delivery teams. It should be realistic but with adequate growth, and built based upon known opportunities and reasonable expectations.

Step 2. Communicate the plan to all concerned, together with the tactics that will be employed to meet the plan. Adjust tactics at this point to ensure success and ensure that everyone buys into the targets. EVERYONE needs to accept accountability at this point.

Step 3. Start to execute against the plan.

Step 4. Measure on a regular basis, at least monthly to ensure that assumptions are reality, that activity is tracking as expected and that results are in line with expectations.

Step 5. Adjust tactics as needed to ensure the next results meet expectations, and will compensate for any shortfall year to date.

Step 6. Go back to Step 3 and repeat every month (or chosen cycle) through the fiscal year.

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Benjamin Franklin

The big word here is ACCOUNTABILITY. Everyone needs to be accountable so that the culture is one of pursuing success, not one of developing excuses for failures.

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?

August 18th, 2014

The Value of Self-Discipline

Disciple quote by Bruce HamiltonSelf-discipline seems to have become an “old fashioned” concept, and you don’t find too many people talking about self-discipline these days.

If you want to be a top athlete then you need to spend years training, building up your skills and getting stronger and better all the time. It takes self-discipline to keep pushing yourself, to get out of bed early in the mornings, to go to the gym when you feel tired and to work through pain.

If you want to be an entrepreneur you will need self-discipline to keep a positive attitude when those around you are losing faith, to keep working for peanuts when the bills are mounting, to put in long hours doing every job that needs doing instead of taking a nice pay cheque to work for someone else

If you want to be a good salesperson it takes self-discipline to pound out those calls, to get out and meet potential clients, to accept the rejection, to build new relationships and to build your “book of business”.

If you want to be good at any career it takes self-discipline to establish good work habits, to push yourself to continually learn, to get outside your comfort zone and to not be distracted from your goal.

The problem with self-discipline is that it is hard … by its very nature it means making choices that are focused on an end goal, rather than the “easy choices”. Almost anything that you can do to better yourself or to improve your life requires some self-discipline.

“Circumstances are beyond human control, but our conduct is in our own power.” Benjamin Disraeli

Here are 10 things you could choose to do … but will require self-discipline.

  1. Give up a bad habit … like smoking. This requires HUGE self-discipline, but people do it all the time.
  2. Lose weight. Another classic that so many people want to achieve but fail because they do not stick to their guns.
  3. Learn a new skill. Could be playing guitar, juggling or learning a new language. It requires a commitment that takes self-discipline.
  4. Save up for something special for yourself, a new car, a new computer, a holiday etc. This requires self-discipline to put money away over a period of time to be able to afford that special thing.
  5. Changing career might require losing an income or taking a drop in income while you learn and work your way back up the ladder.
  6. Finding a way to pay for something for someone else … could be your children, another family member or a friend. You need to do without in order to afford their gift, and that takes self-discipline.
  7. Emigrating to start a new life. This requires self-discipline because inevitably you are walking away from what you know, and likely out of your comfort zone.
  8. It takes self-discipline to teach self-discipline to your children. You WANT to give them everything, but you know they will be better people for not being spoilt.
  9. It takes self-discipline to treat everyone with respect, even when your instinct might be to lash out at rude, selfish or inconsiderate people.
  10. It takes self-discipline to plan your life … to set goals and action plans that you can use as a roadmap to success.

“For a man to conquer himself is the first and noblest of all victories.” Plato

It may be old fashioned, it may be tough but I believe that someone who has self-discipline is a long way down the road to success … because they can achieve anything!
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?

August 15th, 2014

Making Tough Business Decisions

Jim Rohn quote on leadershipTo operate a successful business, or even division within a business, there needs to be a pragmatic approach to solving problems. It should be a dispassionate look at problem situations with the desired outcome being the correct “business decision” for the company.

“It doesn’t matter which side of the fence you get off on sometimes. What matters most is getting off. You cannot make progress without making decisions.” Jim Rohn

As a leader making these decisions you will invariably be faced with tough calls to make, ambiguous circumstances that can muddy the waters and the need to make unpopular decisions. In those cases you need to do the best that you can, understanding that you can’t please everyone.

“I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.” Bill Cosby.

As a business owner who has faced many of these decisions over the years I think I can provide some guidance based on experience. Here are some thoughts:

  1. The worst thing that you can do is to avoid making the decision!
  2. It is OK to consciously choose not to change things, after considering the facts.
  3. You will not always be right.
  4. Business decisions must always be fact based, not emotional decisions. Don’t get caught up in the emotions.
  5. Be decisive in your actions… don’t let the problems hang around.
  6. Communicate as much as possible with people, but at the end of the day most people are smart enough to know “that decision” was coming, even if they don’t like it.
  7. It is normal to feel bad about decisions that affect people, but if your decisions are based on facts, and in the best interests of the company then you have done your job.
  8. It is difficult to remove emotion from situations when you are emotionally involved. There are good reasons why leaders should not have close personal friendships with people that work for them.
  9. I find that it helps to have partners who I can talk to before during and after the tough decisions. For some leaders there are no peers within the company, so finding an outlet is important. Peer groups like YPO can help.
  10. At the end of the day we are at work to work, and the focus needs to be the success of the business or everyone suffers. Leaders are expected to make reasoned, timely business decisions. They are not in their role to win a popularity contest.

“One rarely has 100% of the information needed for a good decision no matter how much one spends or how long one waits.” Robert K. Greenleaf

The most difficult decisions will always affect people, their livelihood, their career, their success within the company or not. When business decisions do affect people negatively then leaders should accept some responsibility, act with compassion and treat people as fairly as possible. If you are unfair, unreasonable or insensitive in your decision making there is likely to be a ripple effect which should be avoided where possible.

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?

August 14th, 2014

Keep An Open Mind. 10 Tips About Embracing Change.

Les Brown quote about not limititing yourselfJust what does that phrase “Keep an open mind” mean anyway?

Your boss says it; your parents might say it; anyone attempting to convince you to try something new might say it.

Of course you are keeping an open mind… BUT!

If that BUT is there in your head, then you are NOT keeping an open mind.

We all have preconceived notion of life, of how things are and how they should be. For many people it is difficult to get past those preconceived notions, hence the BUT.

“Once you stop learning you start dying.” Albert Einstein

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at 80 or 20.” Henry Ford

Here are some things to think about:

  1. None of us knows everything. When you think you have all the answers then you stop listening, which means you stop learning.
  2. Trying new things takes us out of our comfort zone… but that is how we grow and get better.
  3. Glass half empty people will look for all the reasons why “the new thing” won’t work.
  4. Glass half full people will look for the ways to make it work.
  5. If “the new way” never worked then our society would never have evolved… and certainly Amazon would not be testing drone deliveries, and companies would not be testing driverless cars!
  6. There is something exciting about making something new work.
  7. The big rewards come to those who innovate and change, not to those who keep doing the same old same old.
  8. Change will happen with or without you.
  9. The energy that it takes to fight change is far better spent embracing change.
  10. If you can adapt to change once, you can do it again and again. THAT is where the real fun is!

“Progress is impossible without change and those who cannot change their mind cannot change anything.” George Bernard Shaw.

Life does not stand still in any profession, in any industry or in any of our lives. Events happen, innovation happens, human interactions happen and therefore change happens. Some of that change will be BIG… but much of the change will be small, and often. You MUST be able to cope with change, to embrace change and to be part of the solution… otherwise, as the saying goes, you become a part of the problem!

“Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won’t come in.” Isaac Asimov

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?

August 12th, 2014

Support Your Industry Association

I have blogged before about the need for every company to “do its bit’ for the particular industry with which it is involved!  Your association works on your behalf, and just one of the areas it gets involved with is regulatory issues, which obviously affects us all.

Eagle is a member of two very active industry associations in Canada related to the Staffing Industry.  ACSESS is the larger organisation representing all areas of the recruitment and staffing industry across the country.  The map below shows just the latest files that ACSESS is working on behalf of its members (and of course all the non-members who get the benefit of that work too).


ACSESS on the map


My message to you … associations rely on volunteers and on membership dues!

Are YOU doing your bit?

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?

August 11th, 2014

Love What You Do Is More Realistic Than Do What You Love!

Happiness is a choice sayingWe are often told to do what you love, that you should choose a career that will inspire you and will fulfill you.

Here is the thing … it is not always that easy.

There are a relatively small percentage of people who achieve that goal.  For most people the answer is somewhat different.  We human beings are complex creatures and while we might love a certain “calling”, there are other considerations that might make it the wrong choice.  It might not pay enough for us to have the standard of living we want or it might be somewhere we don’t want to work … or any other factor that might impact our career choice.

I will tell you that it is possible to love what you do, even if it was not your first choice in career.

“I have decided to be happy because it is good for my health.” Voltaire

Here are some facts about Loving What You DO:

If you can love what you do:

  1. Your stress levels go down immeasurably.
  2. You will be happier.
  3. You will be more successful.
  4. All parts of your life will benefit.

 “The biggest mistake that you can make is to believe that you are working for somebody else…The driving force of a career must come from the individual. Remember: Jobs are owned by the company, you own your career!” Earl Nightingale

How do you learn to love what you do?

  1. Look for all of the positive aspects in your work.
  2. Come to work and be as effective as you can … no matter what your role.
  3. Have the attitude of a business owner.
  4. Recognise that you have to work anyway, so you might as well enjoy it, and be as good as possible at it.
  5. Always be open to learning.
  6. Associate with the positive people.
  7. Avoid the negative people.
  8. Find ways to help those around you.
  9. Try to do more than is asked.
  10. Be proud of your role, and recognize your own achievements.

“The secret of joy in work is contained in one word – excellence. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it.” Pearl S. Buck

Happiness is always within your own control and more about how you react to situations than about the situations themselves.  Job satisfaction is no different.

“Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” Abraham Lincoln

Take control of your own job happiness!

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?

August 8th, 2014

Your Personal Vision Statement

quote about visionariesCompanies create vision statements, with the intent of picturing how the company might look at some point in the future.

It is just one way of bringing order to how a company is run.

If you get the vision right, it becomes “the goal” and every business decision needs to move you towards that goal.  It makes it easier to ensure everyone is heading in the same direction, it brings clarity to business decisions that might otherwise be murky.  If you are making a decision that would result in a negative impact on your suppliers, and part of your vision was to build long term partnering arrangements with your suppliers, you might want to rethink that decision.

We can use this exact same methodology personally!

If you can determine what your “personal vision” should be, then it can guide you in decisions along life’s path.

For instance, if you see yourself as a successful business owner at some point in your future then you can make career decisions along the way that will be valuable when you reach that “goal”.

If you see yourself in a different career, geography, industry or whatever future you can imagine … you have something to aim for.

Take some time to think about what you want to do with your life.

Imagine yourself in the future and try to decide what you want at future to look like.

Then, start to find ways to move in the direction of your “vision”!

Some thoughts …

1.  Aim big.

2.  Understand what is important to you, and weave that into your vision, or make it the focus of your vision.

3.  Talk to people, read a lot, explore the internet and understand possibilities.

4.  Be positive, believe in yourself, read about people that have “done it”.

5.  Motivate yourself to always be moving towards that vision, and reward yourself as you reach the little milestones along the way.

You only live once … make it count!

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?

August 7th, 2014

5 Life Lessons From A Professional Tennis Game

Colin Powell thoughts on successLast night I was lucky enough to be invited to watch the Rogers Cup currently being played in Toronto.  This annual event is always well attended and one of the premiere sporting events in the city’s calendar.

I had the opportunity to watch Canada’s last hope for this year’s tournament Milos Raonic ranked at number 5, playing Jack Sock, an American ranked at number 50.

It was my first time at a professional tennis match and like most live sports events, it is the atmosphere that makes it special.

Raonic won the match, but it was a tougher win than one might have expected given their respective rankings. In reflecting on the event, I thought it was worth sharing some of the night’s lessons, and how they can be applied by all of us in striving for success in our own lives.

  1.  Raonic headed into the game ranked much higher than his opponent, which could have bred a little complacency.  Whether he was complacent or not, he struggled to get the win … which reminds us all that no matter the situation we need to be well prepared and never complacent.
  2. Raonic struggled throughout the match, in fact he made more “unforced errors” than his opponent.  He overcame that adversity by using his best asset, which is his very powerful serve.  So … we should develop our best assets and use them to full advantage in our quest for success.
  3. Raonic’s struggles could have affected his desire to win, and many people would have been discouraged by the way the game went.  However he stayed focused, played through adversity and won.  We need to display that same resilience when we are “in tough” … the difference between winners and losers can be miniscule, so stay positive.
  4. Raonic’s opponent was not intimidated by the big difference in ranking.  Sometimes being the underdog can work to your advantage.  Remember that when you are competing against the “big guns” … believe in yourself and go for it!
  5. Nobody gets to the level of these athletes with out the hard work and dedication it takes to learn their craft.  We all need to invest in our own development continually, if we want to get any kind of success.

The crowd was entertained, the players gave their best and all in all it was a very pleasant evening.  As a business owner looking at world class athletes it is interesting to ponder (a) the athleticism required to play at that intensity for 3 hours; (b) the years of training required to reach the level that qualifies them for this kind of event; and (c) the mental toughness needed to compete with fellow professionals on this kind of circuit.  There are often analogies between sports and business, but these kinds of experiences help to really bring them home for me.

Do you have what it takes to be a winner?

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) VirtualRecruiter service?

August 6th, 2014

Is The Grass REALLY Green Enough To Change?

Look after your own grass before coveting the other grass Change is a constant in our lives, and I am a big advocate of being the agent of change before the change happens to you!  Having said that, I also believe that it is important to have a plan for the change you implement.

This kind of rationalization can apply to almost any aspect of your life, whether it is your job, your relationships, your health & fitness and/or your mental & spiritual well-being.

Changing jobs can be one of the more common changes that people undertake, and it can be a good career move, or if done without the right due diligence, it can be a disaster.  A number of years ago I made one of those “disastrous” choices and ended up staying at the new company for just three months.  I was at a vulnerable point in my current role due to a change in circumstances, and I was approached about an “exciting” opportunity.  The new job came with a great title, good “potential” income and the company looked good, on paper. As you can probably guess, things did not go so well and I chose to leave three months later. The bottom line was that their corporate culture was not a good fit and I was never going to be happy there. I had some good sales success in a short period of time and could likely have done well financially … but I was miserable.

Mistakes are easy to make as we pursue our careers but with a little care they can be avoided, but you may need the benefit of advice from someone who has been there.  Here are a few things to consider before choosing to move companies.

  1. If you have been in your current job for a while and are doing well, then you have some status with your current company. People take that for granted sometimes, and only miss it when it is no longer there.
  2. When you start at the new company, as the new kid on the block you will need to rebuild credibility.  This is not a bad thing as long as you recognize and understand this in the context of what you gain from the move.
  3. You likely understand the culture and inner workings of your current company … and along with that, all the things “bother your”.  Be cognizant of the fact that all companies will have their “foibles”; you just don’t know what they are in the new company.
  4. Most people don’t fully explore the opportunities in their current organization before they leap … remember what happens when you “ass-u-me”!

Some things to do that can help you with a job move:

  1. Develop a career      plan (it doesn’t have to be fancy, and you can add over time).  It should be a guide along your chosen      path (or paths) as far as you can envisage (it might just mean visualizing      your ideal next situation).
  2. Give everything      you can to your current job … the experience will be yours forever, the      reference will be invaluable and that is what you are paid to do.
  3. Be very clinical      in weighing up your options. The new company is on its best behavior, the “foibles”      will come later so make sure you understand what they are likely to be.  In the same way that they will check you      out, I suggest that you reference check the company!
  4. Develop a list      of criteria for your new job that will tell you if it is “good enough” to      make a move. Things to consider might include:

(a) Is the income real … or are there lots of promises? Compare it with your real income today (T4) not what you “perceive” is your income.
(b) Does the new role give you the advancement in your career you need?
(c) Does it have room for growth?
(d) Is the location going to work? An awkward commute wears thin with time!
(e) Do you like the people?
(f) Have you met enough of the people? Arrange to talk with peers.
(g) What is the culture like? Does it come through in their actions … or is it just words?
(h) Are you going to be able to be successful in this role?
(i) Have you checked references?
(j) If you had the same interview with your current company what would be different? Is it enough?
(k) Is there enough time off? Is the new employer going to be accommodating to your needs?
(l) Are the hours going to work … with your commute, your family, and your other needs?

A new job can be one of life’s most exciting times, but it can also be a disaster. Do your due diligence before going to a new job and don’t give up on the old one too early! Done the right way, you can find some greener grass … but it is definitely not always the case!

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) VirtualRecruiter service?

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