CEO Blog

Category Archives: Change

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

Personal Accountability

You are Responsible for youWe are all responsible for our own destiny.

Yes … some people have a lot more hurdles to overcome than others.  Those hurdles might include medical, environmental, mental or any other kind of challenge.

“Decide carefully, exactly what you want in life.  Then work like mad to make sure you get it.”  Hector Crawford

BUT …

We all have some innate talents.

We all have the ability to improve our talents.

We can all work hard.

We can all choose to adopt a positive attitude.

We can all work through adversity and get stronger.

We can all bring our “A” game every day.

We can all make choices that will improve our lives.

We can all decide that there are no excuses … we WILL achieve our goals.

We can all “suck it up”, accept some pain and discomfort to reach a worthwhile target.

We can all set some goals and put a plan in place to get there.

“Whether you think you can or think you can’t you are right!”  Henry Ford

We just have to choose to do it … and apply the self discipline to follow through.

Choose to be a better you.  I don’t know anyone who couldn’t improve something in their lives.

“Start from wherever you are and with whatever you’ve got.”  Jim Rohn

It doesn’t matter how old you are.

It doesn’t matter how much money you have or don’t have.

It doesn’t matter how much success you have enjoyed to date … or not.

Everyone can be a better version of themselves … all it takes is a choice, and then the will to make that choice real!

“its not about how badly you want it!  Its about how hard you are going to work to get it!”

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Kevin Dee is Chairman and founder of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Want to know where Canada’s hot jobs are?   Visit the Eagle Job Board!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) Virtual Recruiter service?
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Underestimate Change at Your Peril

Andy Grove quote about complacencyThe longer you are in business the easier it is to become complacent … and complacency is the beginning of the end.

It is easy to underestimate the new competitor on the block, yet the big box stores put the local corner stores out of business, Amazon is taking a bite out of all kinds of businesses and we have a new word in our lexicon, namely Uberization!

It is easy to underestimate the speed of change, yet 88% of the Fortune 500 companies 60 years ago don’t exist now.  The top five publicly traded companies by market cap in 2016 were all tech companies, yet five years ago only one of them was a tech company.

It is easy to underestimate the small startup that has a new way of doing things.

It is easy to underestimate the new technology that will change how your competitors operate.

It is easy to underestimate the impact of big competitors coming into your space.

The reason it is so easy to underestimate all of this stuff is that change is hard, change requires effort, change requires a new way of thinking about old problems … and many people just don’t want to work that hard.

The truth is that our world is changing at an every increasing speed and we can embrace the excitement and opportunity of that … or we can wait and see what happens to us.

Stay current, keep learning, have an open mind … do NOT be so focused within your business that you miss what is happening to your business.

“Time changes everything except something within us that is always surprised by change.”  Thomas Hardy

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Kevin Dee is the founder and Chairman of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Want to know where Canada’s hot jobs are?   Visit the Eagle Job Board!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) Virtual Recruiter service?
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Know What You Don’t Know!

Knowing what you don't know quoteThat, very obvious, statement is actually an insight that two types of people tend to miss.

  1.  Those people that allow the unknown to stop them from moving ahead; and
  2. Those people who don’t recognise they could do with some help.

“It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”  Mark Twain

For many people, perhaps even the majority, this is just a fact of life, but for those who struggle with this statement here are some thoughts for you:

  1.  Whatever it is that you don’t know, someone else does.
  2. Lots of people have overcome this very “unknown” and gone on to be very successful … so you should too.
  3. Experience is a wonderful tool … if you can take advantage of someone else’s experience that is a very smart thing to do.
  4. Be wary of advice from people who have not been there, done that … there are many people who just love to give advice, whether it is good or not.
  5. Be wary of advice from people who have been there, done that and clearly still not learned “the answer”.  If you pay attention you will understand.
  6. Seek out those with experience.
  7. You don’t need to accept the word of any one person … in fact if you can get more heads onto the subject, all the better.
  8. Asking for help is actually a sign of strength … not weakness.  Not asking can be a sign of ego, stupidity, misplaced pride or just naivety.
  9. Recognising and accepting that you don’t know something is not always easy.
  10. If life was easy then everyone would do it … so if your problem was easy then likely you wouldn’t be in this position.

Self awareness is always a good trait to work on.

“I think self awareness is probably the most important thing towards being a champion.”  Billy Jean King

Everything said can be applied to your career, your business, your social life or just about any part of your life.

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Kevin Dee is the founder and Chairman of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Want to know where Canada’s hot jobs are?   Visit the Eagle Job Board!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) Virtual Recruiter service?
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2017 Resolutions Made Easy

Goals quote by NightingaleIt took me a while to understand the power of goals and the need to have them in my life.  I expect that the reasons I resisted were similar the reasons most people resist:

  • Goal setting seems like an academic exercise:
  • I wasn’t sure how to start:
  • I wasn’t sure how to set realistic goals;
  • It all feel like work, maybe I would do it tomorrow!

I’m sure you have heard all of the good reasons why you should have goals …

  • If you don’t know where you are going, how will you know when you get there;
  • Goals help to focus your efforts;
  • Goals are like a road map for life, they guide you in your decisions.

Well hopefully I can help you to get started, and to commit to giving it a try.

This is a great time of year for goal setting. Those people who set goals last year can develop a score card, and understand what they achieved and where they fell short. This will feed into their goals for 2017.

All good stuff … but goals are for other people, right?

  • Wrong … if you really want to take charge of your life then goals are for you! Why should you do it now, when you have procrastinated every year until now? Because I am going to make it easy for you … and if you try it you will see results!The following are the steps I took to get started …Step 1. I developed categories that worked for me …
  • Health and Fitness
  • Vacation
  • Career
  • Family
  • Training/Education

Step 2. I set at least one goal for each category, several goals in some categories. Here are some examples …

Under health and fitness you might want to lose 5lb by March 2017; you might want to add weights into your workout routine at least twice a week; you might plan to reduce coffee consumption to 2 per day. Etc.

Under Vacation you should really give some thought about where you would like to go this year. It could be to enjoy the cottage at least 12 weekends, or plan a weekend getaway without the kids; or take a 2 week vacation somewhere exotic etc.

Under Career you might set a goal of mastering certain aspects of your current role by the Fall; having a career planning meeting with your boss or HR; or developing a training plan to advance your career.

The goals that you pick need to be achievable and within your control. This way you will see progress and as you do progress you can always add more goals or increase the “intensity”.

Step 3. Plan into your calendar a monthly review. At that review you will check your progress against each goal and will create action items to address them … which will go onto your “to do” list (of course you have a “to do” list!).

This is a very basic, easily managed approach to goal setting. You can obviously get much more complicated and sophisticated but this works and the most important thing is to start somewhere.

Try it … this time next year you can be sitting and reviewing how you did in all of those categories and planning for 2018! Good luck!

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Kevin Dee is the founder and Chairman of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Want to know where Canada’s hot jobs are?   Visit the Eagle Job Board!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) Virtual Recruiter service?
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Life Long Learning

learning quote from Brian HerbertWhen did you last take some training?

When did you last invest in your own career?  (Forget about what your employer does.)

Do you have a personal training plan?

Do you have a career plan?

Do you understand how your industry is being affected by technology, by regulatory change and by global competition?

Can a call centre in Africa do a part of your job … for a fraction of the cost?

Can a robot replace you … or some part of what you do?

Is your company being overtaken by disruption?

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

Take control of your own destiny, because life has a way of happening:

  • have a great attitude (its all in your head);
  • have  a good work ethic (anyone can do this, but many don’t!); and
  • have great skills.

Take advantage of every training opportunity possible AND invest in yourself!

“Those people who develop the ability to continuously acquire new and better forms of knowledge that they can apply to their work and to their lives will be the movers and shakers in our society for the indefinite future.”  Brian Tracy

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Kevin Dee is the founder and Chairman of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Want to know where Canada’s hot jobs are?   Visit the Eagle Job Board!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) Virtual Recruiter service?
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Supercharge Your Days

Zig Ziglar quote about using time effectivelyHow good are you at time management?

I have always cited time management as one of my strengths.  I am not afraid of hard work and i have always studied ways to improve my productivity … yet I also believe it is a never ending quest!

Some things I have learned along the way:

    • We can always be more productive.
    • What worked in the past is not necessarily going to work today.
    • With every change in role/job/position comes a need to revisit what works.
    • We forget some things that we used to do.
    • We get a little lazy about some things that used to work for us.

“A year from now you may wish you had started today.”  Karen Lamb

So, here are some questions you might want to use, in order to do a “check up” on your productivity.

      1. Are you 100% clear about which activities are the highest priority?
      2. Are you spending the majority of your time on those high priority items?
      3. Are you very focused on a few tasks … or are you spread thinly across a lot of tasks?
      4. Do you have goals?  Annual, quarterly, monthly, weekly and even daily?
      5. Do you hold yourself accountable for those goals?
      6. Do you change things up when you are not meeting your goals?  (Definition of insanity etc)
      7. Do you use a “To Do” list (as distinct from your notebook (in which of course you capture lots of notes).
      8. Are you passionate about using your calendar?  Keep it up to date?  Schedule everything in it?  Set aside time for yourself in there?
      9. Do you make the most of your travel time? Multiple meetings, reading pile, social media, hand written cards
      10. Do you use checklists?  Great way to remember everything you need to do regularly (we always get distracted, slip our minds, stuff happens)
      11. Do you read some time management  books/articles every now and then … for new ideas.
      12. Do you embrace the technology available to you?  Smartphones/apps/synch with CRM tools and email/calendars etc.

“Don’t count the days, make the days count.”  Muhammed Ali

When we put a big focus on productivity then we find ways to get things done rather than find excuses or procrastinate.

“Days are expensive. When you spend a day you have one less day to spend. So make sure you spend each one wisely.”   Jim Rohn

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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 Board!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) Virtual Recruiter service?
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International Day of Pink

Day of PinkEagle will be Pink on April 13th!
Our company is encouraging all of our staff to wear pink this Wednesday April 13th in support of the International Day of Pink. We will be wearing T-shirts, ties, socks, hairbands — whatever pink items that we have!
The International Day of Pink
The International Day of Pink was started in Nova Scotia when two straight high school students saw a gay student being bullied for wearing a pink shirt. The two students intervened, but wanted to do more to prevent homophobic and transphobic bullying. They decided to purchase pink shirts, and a few days later got everyone at school to arrive wearing pink, standing in solidarity. The result was that an entire school took a stand and began working together to prevent homophobic and transphobic bullying.
Anyone can bully, anyone can be victimized by bullying, but together we can stop it.
Will you participate?
Discrimination comes in many forms, including racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, and ageism. These social diseases create barriers, bullying, harassment, hate and violence. No one should have to experience the negativity created by discrimination.
The Day of Pink is more than just a symbol of a shared belief in celebrating diversity and inclusion – it’s also a commitment to being open minded, accepting differences and learning to respect each other.
So come on, join the Eagle community and wear PINK on Wednesday April 13, 2016
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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 Board!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) Virtual Recruiter service?
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How Busy People Get Stuff Done

Stephen Covey quote on timeDo you ever wonder how some people can accomplish so much with their time?

They establish and run huge companies, are seemingly involved in charitable ventures, political lobbying and oh by the way they have a home life too!

There is a reason why Benjamin Franklin said, “If you want something done, ask a busy person.”

Yet the truth is that we all have the same number of hours in our day!

“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.”  H Jackson Brown Jr.

Time is a resource that we never get back.

What lessons can we learn from those ultra busy people that could help us be more productive?  I am no Richard Branson, but I have enjoyed some success in my life.  Here are some of the lessons I would share.

Understand what is important to you!

  • If you don’t have a clear idea about what you REALLY want, then it will be difficult to assign the right level of priority to your time.
  • If you want to be great at your chosen profession you need to understand what that looks like and put a plan in place to get there.
  • If you want to be super involved in your kids lives, then equally you need to have a plan that allows you to achieve that.
  • You need to be realistic because very often competing priorities will result in failure in both goals!  Choices are hard, they involve compromise and delivering tough messages … but you need to do it.

Focus your energies on “high return” activities.

  • Once you understand your priorities then your choice of where to focus your energy becomes easier … I did NOT say easy.  You have multiple competing demands on your time and not all of it is within your control, so you need to manage that!  (Remember … you are responsible for you … not your parents, your friends, your boss or even the government!)

Outsource/delegate whatever you can.

  • Almost everyone struggles with this.  Why should I pay someone else to do something I could do myself?  You don’t need to … unless you want that time for something more important.
  • If having someone else clean your house meant more time with your kids is it worth it?
  • If having someone clear your driveway, do the yard work, paint the house etc. meant more time to study for promotion, work at a hobby, invest in your relationships etc then what is that worth?
  • For many years I have used a concierge service in Ottawa (Balance in Style) that have handled many, many tasks small and large that would otherwise have taken my time.  Most times they do it better than I could, and it allowed me to focus my time on what I viewed as “higher return” items!

Be a Time Management Guru

  • An up to date “To Do” LIst;
  • Religious use of your calendar;
  • Prioritise your tasks;
  • Set goals.

Think bigger … that is not the same as think BIG (work your way up to that)

  • Change yourself
  • Invest in yourself
  • Believe in yourself
  • Stretch yourself

Get involved.

  • When something is important to us we make time for it.
  • Just by “jumping in the deep end” we force ourselves to figure out how to fit this new commitment into our life.

“Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.”  William Penn

What tips do you have for people wanting to get more out of their lives?

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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 Board!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) Virtual Recruiter service?
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Make Time to Think

Change direction quote by Jimmy DeanWhen did you last take some time to JUST think?

Typically when we have a few minutes we will turn on the TV, pick up our smart phone, get on Facebook, email, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn or some online tool.

Many of us will have grown up multi-tasking … we watch TV and do our email, we eat our meals watch the news on TV and have a conversation with our kids all at the same time!

We lead incredibly busy lives, expected to work hard in a demanding job, commute a long way because that is where we can afford to live and when we get home there are a ton of commitments.

Who has time to think?

“Even if you are on the right track, you’ll still get run over if you just sit there.”  Will Rogers

There is just too much to … DO!

THAT, right there, is the problem.

We build a life for ourselves, but rarely step back to see if it is really working for us.

We run our lives this way … being driven by the busyness of our days.

We run our companies this way … “DOING” from the minute we start to the minute we finish.

Good companies will force us to get out of the “day to day” routine every now and then, forcing us to look at the business strategically.  THAT is where the big decisions happen, where the change in course happens.

Who is forcing you out of the day to day routine for your home life?  (Hint … YOU are responsible for YOU)

Who is forcing you to take time away from DOING your job to actually THINKING about it?  (Same answer)

“I can change the story. I am the story.”  Jeanette Winterson

It doesn’t need to be commitment of days at a time … although the return might just be worth it.

It does need to be a regular thing … because we build “ruts” for ourselves very quickly.

Do yourself a favor, lose ALL of the distractions (even your favorite music) and take time to THINK!

“I’ve come to believe that all my past failure and frustration were actually laying the foundation for the understandings that have created the new level of living I now enjoy.”  Anthony Robbins

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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 Board!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) Virtual Recruiter service?
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Will YOU Reach Your 2016 Goals?

2016 GoalsThere are two things that you can do to increase your chances of reaching your 2016 goals.

1.  Consciously work on your willpower, and I wrote about that not too long ago in my blog entry called The Power in Willpower.

2.  The second thing, and arguably the most important, is to have a plan.  When I say a plan I mean something more than a vague notion of how you are going to reach your goal, it needs to be a set of concrete steps that get you where you are going.

Given that I already talked about willpower just a couple of months ago and you can read that entry here, let’s talk about The Plan.

“A goal properly set is halfway reached.”  Zig Ziglar 

Here are 3 examples ranging from “the hope and a prayer method”, through the “loosey goosey” method to the actual plan method of reaching your goals.
Let’s suggest that you have a goal of losing 15lbs in the next two months (which is remarkably similar to one of my goals.

The “Hope and a Prayer” crowd will say I am going to lose 15ibs in the next couple of months.  The expectation being that because it has been said then magically they will amend their behaviors such that it will happen.

The “Loosey Goosey” crowd will say, I am going to lose 15lbs in the next 2 months.  I’m going to do it by reducing my intake, and exercising more.   There will be a vague notion of cutting out sweets, and maybe renewing the gym membership that lapsed last February.  While the intention is good, and the 60,000 foot plan is not all bad … it is too easy to “slip” with this plan.

“You cannot change your destination overnight, but you can change your direction overnight.” Jim Rohn 

A real plan will have some detail that means you need to actually think through what will work for you.  I already work out 5 or 6 times a week, so this routine will work for me.  YOU would need to have something appropriate for your current level of fitness.  If it has been a while then check in with your doctor first and consider getting a personal trainer … they will keep you motivated!   My plan might look like this:

1.  I am going to lose 15lb in the next two months, which is a goal of almost 2lb a week … which will take a big effort.  So, I KNOW I need to change a bunch of things.

2.  I am going to reach the goal by reducing my calorific intake, eating better foods and increasing exercise.

3.  Alcohol.  I will not have any alcohol until I reach my goal.  For many people that would be either a strong motivator, or the kiss of death to the weight loss program!  (Better to be honest with yourself).

4.  Food strategy.  If this is TOO radical it becomes a big barrier to success.  It should also be something that is somewhat sustainable.

  • No sweets.
  • I will reduce starches, and increase vegetables.
  • I will only have healthy snacks, fruit etc.
  • I will track my calories in MyFitnessPal.
  • I won’t have seconds, finish off my partner’s meals or fill up the plate just because there is food there.

5.  Exercise strategy.  Again, this needs to be reasonable or it just won’t be sustainable long enough to reach the goal, never mind as a lifestyle change to maintain the weight loss.

  • I already do cardio most mornings, so I will increase the intensity of those workouts (increase incline and resistance on the elliptical).  I will also add another 10 minutes to the morning workouts.
  • I will add an evening workout 3 or 4 times a week.  This will include a weight circuit at least twice a week.  I will do 4 or 5 exercises for 15 reps each, and do 3 sets.  It should take no more than 20 minutes.
  • Once a week I will supplement my morning cardio with a high intensity workout.   Maybe 20 minutes cardio and 20 minutes high intensity workout. This could be a boxing workout involving the heavy bag and speed bag; it could be doing stairs or the skipping rope, or it could be mini circuits.

The level of detail in the plan means that it is hard for me to hide from myself.

“Intention without action is an insult to those who expect the best from you.”  Andy Andrews

Tracking progress on a daily basis using an app like MyFitnessPal is another good way to keep you focused.

Having a third party hold you accountable for staying on track can be very effective too.  It could involve having a personal trainer; a work out buddy; a diet buddy; a personal challenge with a friend; or a simple as asking others to keep you honest!

While the focus of this article has been on one specific goal, a weight loss goal, this same thinking applies to any goal … personal or professional.  Set a goal, create a plan … and don’t subscribe to the “Hope and a Prayer” or the “Loosey Goosey” methodologies!

“Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.”  Pablo Picasso

Good luck with your 2016 goals!

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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 Board!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) Virtual Recruiter service?
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