CEO Blog

Category Archives: Change

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

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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Change

 

change quote from SocratesWhy are you doing things the way that you do them?

You still call on the same clients.

You still have the same selling messages.

Your offerings are the same.

Your pitch is the same.

Your value proposition is the same.

Yet … the world is changing.

Don’t change for change sake … but do make sure that what you are doing is still relevant!

A little girl was watching her mother prepare a fish for dinner. Her mother cut the head and tail off the fish and then placed it into a baking pan. The little girl asked her mother why she cut the head and tail off the fish. Her mother thought for a while and then said, “I’ve always done it that way – that’s how Grandma did it.”

Not satisfied with the answer, the little girl went to visit her Grandma to find out why she cut the head and tail off the fish before baking it.

Grandma thought for a while and replied, “I don’t know. My mother always did it that way.”

So the little girl and the Grandma went to visit Great Grandma to find ask if she knew the answer.

Her Great Grandma thought for a while and said, Because, in my day, we had only a small kitchen, and my baking pan was too small to fit in the whole fish.

In 2015 we live in a fast changing environment … what worked a couple of years ago just might not be working too well any more.

Worse  yet, what we were doing a couple of years ago might not have been working too well then!

We all need to constantly change in order to to remain relevant.

“The price of doing the same old thing is far higher than the price of change.”  Bill Clinton

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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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10 Tips to Improve Your Life

Look for the good in others quoteI think the “pursuit of happiness” is a goal for almost everyone.

People think “if only … ” and list things or situations as being the answer to their happiness.  If only I had more money, that person would marry me, I had a house in that neighbourhood; I owned a Porsche; and on and on.

At the same time that we are wishing for changes in our lives that will “fix things”, we are focused on all that is missing in our lives and THAT gets in the way of happiness.

The single biggest cause of unhappiness is focusing on what we don’t have!

Similarly we often focus on what other people in our lives don’t have … and THAT adds to our angst!  My partner is messy, my kids don’t listen, my parents don’t understand me!

So … 10 tips for those who truly want to be happy.

  1. Focus on what you have … not what you don’t have.
  2. Do not be envious of other people.
  3. Make plans and set goals … and improve the things that are meaningful to you.
  4. Celebrate your wins.
  5. Look for the good in the people around you.
  6. Look for the good in your circumstances.
  7. Focus on the things that you can control.
  8. Push yourself … and understand what you are truly capable of achieving.
  9. Don’t look for the easy way.
  10. Give more than you get!

“For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.”  Audrey Hepburn

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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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Habit as a Tool for Success

Motivation and Habit quote by Jim RonWe all develop habits over our lifetime, some good and some not so good!

Habits can be a great tool to use in building success in any career if we consciously develop them.  We can develop a habit of lifelong learning that will give us the tools for success in our chosen profession. We can develop great time management habits that form the foundation of our productivity.  We can develop great sales habits that can help us achieve success in sales.  We can develop great leadership habits that will stand us in good stead as we progress in our career.

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.”  Aristotle

Equally important is to recognize poor habits that we develop and take action to correct them.  We might slip in how we manage our time, perhaps taking oo much time away from our most productive tasks.  We might get away from some of our disciplined sales habits that result in a drop in sales efficiency.  We might forget to keep some of those leadership habits as we move through the ranks, and that can hurt our effectiveness.  Habits slip, and need to be revisited periodically to make sure that they are a positive force.

“We first make our habits, and then our habits make us.” John Dryden

Here are just a few examples of good work habits that can really help a career:

  1. Have a “To Do” list that is updated daily.
  2. Have a plan for your work … and work that plan!
  3. Take time to think.
  4. Prepare for meetings and participate.
  5. Read regularly … news, industry news, job related literature.
  6. Put effort into your communication … write effectively, think about your message.
  7. Work at networking … within the company and externally.
  8. Invest in yourself … training, personal improvement, grooming etc.
  9. Listen to your people, uncovering underlying problems early and identifying opportunities that could otherwise be missed.
  10. Consciously smile and be a positive force.

“Good habits are worth being fanatical about.”  John Irving

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Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
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?
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