CEO Blog

Category Archives: Health and Fitness

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

Spring Resolutions!

Change quote by Jim RohnMany people make New Year Resolutions and most of those people fail to meet their goals.  If you want an indicator of that just visit any gym early in the New Year and again a couple of months later!

Spring is a great time to re-commit to some small changes in your life … call it your Spring Resolutions!

It is a much better time of year to make resolutions because everything feels better in the Spring!  The flowers start to appear, the Winter coats go into storage, you get to go outside without a coat, the sun feel good and there is a general uplift in people’s mood.

Here are some ideas for making resolutions stick!

  1. They need to be meaningful, or they will not be important enough for you to effect change.
  2. They need to be achievable, or you will lose interest or discipline or patience.
  3. They need to be top of mind … so you must find a way to build them into your routine.  Whether through reminders, or personal coaches or just sticky notes on your monitor.
  4. They should be reachable in a reasonable amount of time.  If it is going to take a year to reach your goal then you will likely give up.  Just make it into smaller goals achievable in shorter times.

Here are some examples that could change your life.

If You change nothing, nothing will change!1.  Career Goal.  You want a promotion at some point, or a career change, or even a first job.

  • I will take course “Z” in the Fall and complete it by the New Year.
  • I will send 2 targeted letters (emails) a day, customized to the specific company.
  • I will improve my personal brand by upgrading my work wardrobe, networking monthly with senior people and will work an extra 15 minutes a day to get noticed.

2.  Health Goals.  You want to get back into “college shape”, but you put on 50 pounds since then!

  • I will write down everything I eat in a log, and reduce the amount by 10%.
  • I will walk more every day … get off the bus/subway 2 stops early; walk up stairs rather than take elevator; walk for 30 minutes at lunch etc.
  • When I am ready I will set my next goals … but no later than 60 days from now.

3.  Hobbies Goal.  You might want a new hobby or have a desire to do more with an existing one.

  • I will join a group of like-minded people … a book club, a model train club, a biking club etc.
  • I will read one book a month on this subject for the next 3 months.
  • I will find one friend who will come with me … to dance lessons, choir practice etc.

All of these goals are small steps towards enriching your life … OR you could just keep doing what you do!  Like most things in life, it is a choice we all have to make … I believe it is far better to make a conscious choice and not just let life happen to you!

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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 Centre!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) VirtualRecruiter service?
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Lessons From The Boxing Ring

Boxing trophy from white collar event 20112Three years ago I climbed in a boxing ring in front of several hundred people in a charity boxing event.

It took some thought before I agreed to make that commitment, but the experience was a positive one.

Would you be willing to do the same?  To give blood for charity in a boxing ring, rather than the conventional way?

Why did I do it?

I was approaching my 56th birthday and my dad had been 56 when he died of a heart attack.  My dad was a “scrapper’ and I thought of him when I agreed to do this.

Like most people, cancer has touched many people that I know.  I thought of those people when I agreed to do it.

I have always been a keen supporter of our community and saw this as an opportunity to show leadership.  That too was on my mind.

So I agreed to get in that ring, and having been there, I thought I would share some thoughts on my experience:

1.  It is a scary proposition.  If you can conquer that fear, then it gives you a tremendous sense of satisfaction.

2.  It is a big commitment of time … and yet these are incredibly busy people.  To do this, they get even better at time management.

Kevin boxing at Fight for the Cure 20113.  The training period for me was about 5 months.  My only knowledge of boxing came from watching it on television!  I had 5 months of personalized training in a new skill.

4.  Boxing is a physically demanding as any sport, and to be able to compete you need to be in great shape.  The 5 months of training supplemented by my own regular exercise regimen meant that I was in pretty good shape.

5.  Any new endeavor means meeting a new group of people and I met some very dedicated and amazing people through the experience.

6.  To put on an event like this is a huge endeavor and requires a leader willing to “make it happen”.  Just being around people like that is inspirational … we boxers made a big commitment, the organisers are at an even greater level of commitment.

7.  When you support any charity you get a better understanding of its impact, and meet people who have been affected.  That is a humbling and rewarding experience.

8.  I did not have it on my bucket list, but I am proud to be able to say, “I did it!”

9.  The friends you make through an event like this are for life … because this is a relatively small number of like-minded people willing to make this kind of sacrifice, and that is a strong bond.

10.  If you are a leader then it is your responsibility to give back, to lead by example and to help make our society a better place.  This is a very public way of doing just that.

If you get the opportunity to do this, give it some serious consideration … it is a very challenging, yet rewarding, way to really give back!

PS.  I lost my bout, but won in every other way!

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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) VirtualRecruiter service?
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Your Life Planning Book – An Idea

Kevin's Idea BookSome years ago I received a rather nice notebook as a Christmas present.  It was a hardback book and inserted amongst the note pages are photographs of my family.  It was a nice gift that I didn’t want to waste, so I pondered about how I might use it.

I decided to use the book as an “Ideas Book” … a book that is for me personally, and captures ideas for my life.

I have numerous sections in the book …

There is a section on health and fitness, that has some goals (which I can modify with time).  This section contains some ideas about health and fitness related activities and goals that I might be interested in over time.

I have a section for travel … I add places of interest over time and it helps me to understand where are places that truly interest me that should be on my bucket list, and where are other places that might be of interest.

I have section about work … what I enjoy, what intrigues me, what strengths I think I have and what I am not so good at!  This helps me to think about the future and what I might enjoy doing with my time after Eagle.  It also helps me to understand where I might need help in my current role.

I have section devoted to writing.  This is something I enjoy so perhaps I might write a book or two.  This section contains some book ideas, along with some details that I add from time to time … plots for novels etc.

I have a section for hobbies … things I do now, and things I might do in the future.

One section is devoted to things that make me smile.  I will add to this section evry few months, but every time I read it it lifts my spirits.  It is a great tool for anyone to use when having a bad day, or going through a rough patch.

The whole idea of the book was to capture ideas as they came to me and to have one resource that might help me to plan my life.  It has been an interesting exercise, and one that I highly recommend.  It is like capturing your goals in one place, adding some prospective goals over time and having all of the relevant data to determine what is important to YOU … in one place.

Of course it doesn’t need to be on paper, it can be digital … but I enjoy the book, leafing through it, pondering the entries and flipping back and forth.  I find it helps my creative thinking.  I also like the fact that I can pick it up any time, and do some thinking about the various topics in it.

Over the years the book has become much more than an “ideas book” … it became a blueprint for my life.  It helped me to focus on what was truly important to me, and helped me get clarity of my life.

Try it … it might just work for you too!

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.”  Flannery O’Connor

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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 Centre!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) VirtualRecruiter service?
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Some Lessons From a Vacation Break

Kevin with Rental motorbikeA few years ago I wrote a blog entry about Recharging Your Batteries on vacation.  The premise being that you should take the kind of vacation that works for you and your specific circumstance.

Well, fresh back from a week’s vacation I thought I would share just a few thoughts based on this vacation …

1.  I live in a cold climate, and getting some sun and warmth is important for my body AND soul!  For other people a ski vacation is what meets their needs.  Know what works for you when picking a vacation!

2.  Almost in contradiction to #1, often my vacations are “scripted” … meaning that I know exactly where I will be and all the arrangements are made before I go.  This time things were more fluid, and while at times that was a little uncomfortable I found that I really liked it!  Try new things, you might surprise yourself.

3.  I set myself goals each year and this year one of them was to take 4 motorcycle breaks … that could be weekends or longer.  Last week I rode 600 miles around Southern Florida … and I loved it!  Set yourself goals in your private life too!

4.  One of the ways that I clear my mind is by riding a motorcycle … you can’t be focused on anything else if you want to be safe!  Another way that I clear my mind is by getting away from my daily routine.  By doing both I was able to spend time thinking about some of my challenges and bring some clarity to my thinking.  Maximise the recuperative effects of your vacation by marrying different things that work for you!

5.  I used this vacation to reconnect with a couple of entrepreneurs I met at a conference in the Fall.  Adding a personal dimension to a potential business relationship will always enhance that relationship.  Continue to build your network of friends, even when you are on vacation … friends are friends, whether you meet them through business or otherwise!

Life is short, live it to the max!

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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) VirtualRecruiter service?
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Push Your Limits

Don't pray for an easy life quote Bruce LeeEvery year I have a four week  alcohol free period (at least one) … I call it  “Kevuary”.  I typically do this every January to (a) assure myself that alcohol is not TOO important in my life; (b) to assist in losing those extra pounds gained over the holiday season; and (c) as an exercise in willpower!

So … why should you push yourself?  Why not “go with the flow” and not rock the boat.

1.  Almost any gain in life comes at a cost.

2.  Change is constant in our lives … why wait for the world to change and then play catch-up, take the initiative and make your own changes!

3.  If you are not able to push your own limits then your chances of being able to respond to life’s challenges diminishes.

4.  Goals are a great way to get ahead.  To achieve your goals you need to (a) set a goal; (b) have a plan to meet your goal; (c) typically set a timeframe; and (d) execute on that plan.  If you practice on easy things, like Kevuary, then you build confidence in your abilities.

5.  By pushing yourself you are taking your life into your own hands, rather than waiting for life to happen to you.

You don’t need to give up alcohol … but you should push yourself on a regular basis and build up your tolerance to change, your ability to cope with change and your chances of success when it really counts!

YOU are responsible for your own success.  Not your employer; Not your parents; Not your friends; only YOU!

 

Poster about emracing your fears

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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 Centre!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) VirtualRecruiter service?
—————————————————————————————————————————————–


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Making Changes that Last!

What will you do differently in 2014It is a New Year, and along with that comes a fairly common theme of making New Year’s resolutions.  Most of those resolutions, despite our best intentions, will quickly become history and we will continue with our lives the same way that we did last year.

Effecting change in your life, whether it is as simple as committing to more exercise or as complex as making a career change or starting a business, is hard!

Here is a video from John Izzo for whom I have great respect.  If you ever get the chance to hear John talk then take it, he always has an interesting and compelling message with regards to human behavior in the workplace.  In this video he explains the science behind the issue of making changes (our New Year’s resolutions) stick.

You can use the information from John to greatly improve your chances of success with your 2014 New Year’s Resolutions.

Here are some ideas …

Large man thinking about new year resolutions while slouching in a chair1.  Consciously create new routines … the mere act of creating routines will work with your brain, not against it.

2.  Keep it simple … take the “eating an elephant” approach, one bite at a time.

3.  Have a plan … not just a goal, but a plan with action items to help you reach that goal.

If your goal is to improve your exercise routine and you think the answer is to join a gym, then you need to have a plan that you can keep up on a regular basis.  If you joined the gym previously (maybe multiple times) and it didn’t work, then why is it going to work this time?  Maybe going with a workout buddy or a personal trainer will keep you motivated?  Maybe setting aside a specific time of day that will work better for you will work … first thing in the morning works best for me.  Maybe you should save that club membership fee until you find the time that works for you … get out of bed early and go for a brisk walk, do sit-ups and pushups just to get used to the new routine.

It is easier to make small changes and create new routines, than to make BIG changes in your life in one go.  If you can make multiple small changes over time that together add up to meeting your goal, then you will be far more likely to succeed.   One example might be for the sales person who wants to improve their performance … here are some very easy things you can do that together will result in positive change:

a.  Change up your look … buy some new clothes, make yourself “feel good” about how you look.

b.  Add a little time to your workday … another half hour or hour a day, focused on productive activity.

c.  Emulate the activities of the most productive salespeople in your company and industry.

d.  Network with successful people.

e.  Get out more … more client calls, more networking, more meetings with people that can help you.

f.  Work on your time management skills … use a calendar religiously, use To Do lists, keep good notes, maximize your work time with work activities (less chit chat, more work).

g.  Set yourself mini-goals to achieve your greater goal.  e.g.  Number of client calls a week, number of face to face meetings, number of self-development courses/webinars/books etc.

h.  Invest in your self-development.  If you company offers materials take 100% advantage, if not (and even if they do) then spend a few dollars yourself to invest in YOUR career.  (Look into the CPSA … Canadian Professional Sales Association)

i.  Adopt the attitude that YOU are responsible for your own success.

You don’t need to do all of this in one go … but if this is your blueprint to success in sales, then be serious about it and start to make those changes.

The BIG thing about change is that when you see results quickly it is a great motivator, whether those results come in lost pounds, increased sales productivity or just feeling better that you are headed in the right direction you are more motivated to create the new routines in your life.  As John Izzo says we are hardwired for routine, but excited by change … work with that and make 2014 your best year ever!

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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) VirtualRecruiter service?
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Your Mission (should you accept it) is to Get People Smiling!

smile quote by Phyllis DillerDecember is a tough month!

It is cold outside!

We are all expected to get our work done even though we have less work days to do it!

Many of us are preparing for the holidays, which can get a little stressful.

So … make it your mission to get as many smiles as possible this December.

Smiles are contagious … so the best place to start is by smiling yourself.

Be nice to people.

Give a few dollars to the people who need it.

Hold the door open for strangers.

Be thoughtful and find ways to get people smiling.

If you can do it then YOU will be the biggest beneficiary, because it will make you feel good!

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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?
________________________________________________________________


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Vacation

a suitcase with travel stickers ... UK , Paris etcIt’s that time of year when lots of people are taking advantage of the nice weather, school holidays and planned time away from the office.

1.  Some thoughts for those taking time off …

i.  There are definite health benefits to recharging the batteries … take full advantage of your break.

ii.  There are also mental health benefits to taking vacation.  This study focused on women but I can only assume it applies to men too.

iii.  We are all different, take the right type of vacation for you … if lying on the beach is your thing then do it, if you like active vacations then do that!

iv.  If staying in touch with the office brings you peace of mind (like me) then do it, in a controlled manner.  If you need the total break then do that … just make sure you set everybody’s expectation accordingly.

v.  Be in the moment … too often we start to think about the “impending end of the vacation” when we are only half way into it!  Enjoy every minute!

For those staying behind.

i.  Your turn will come  … so cover for your colleagues the way you will want them to cover for you.

ii.  If you are in sales do not fall into that standard trap, believing that no business is done during the summer!

iii.  Plan your days and work the plan!

iv.  Keep your eye on the ball!

The sunny days are great mood boosters, more vitamin D, patio meals, smiling faces and that intangible “high” that comes at this time of year … take advantage of the energy and join all those SMILERS!

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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 Centre!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) VirtualRecruiter service?
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A Simpler Life?

I was buying something at a local farmer’s market last weekend.  The guy operating the stall owns the business which is an organic farm.

There was a very small lineup waiting to be served and the first person in the queue was obviously someone the owner knew well.  They had a good conversation about their kids, what they were doing these days and in between put together a small order of vegetables.

So what?

Well, I work in downtown Toronto where a micro-second of delay at a red light leads to a cacophony of car horns.  Where standing in line at a Tim Hortons is excruciating, such that everyone is busily answering emails rather than waste a few minutes.  Where to wait on an escalator because someone is blocking the walking side sends the blood pressure up.  Its a high paced, low tolerance way of life that just seems to be the big city way.

So … standing at this stall I had a range of emotions.

It was a Saturday afternoon and I could afford to be a little patient, but I was subconsciously getting angry at having to wait.

Intellectually I thought it was kind of nice that this farmer, who clearly works very hard for his living can take time out to be social … and I am talking about “real” social, not Facebook.

I intentionally forced myself to not look at my iPhone.

I concentrated on relaxing and just being in the moment … rather than thinking three steps ahead and wondering how fast I could get to the next step.

I smiled.

I decided that I should learn to find some time in my life that is not time pressured, where I could just relax, do nothing and not worry about the time.

I was also very proud of myself for staying calm while these people wasted my time 🙂

Life used to be like that for previous generations.  We did not always live in an “instant on”, “instant gratification”, “instant communication” world.  All of that technological innovation makes us much more efficient just sometimes its nice to switch it all off.

I’m not sure if I can actually slow down enough to enjoy “a slower pace” … but I will be on vacation next week, just maybe I’ll treat myself to a technology free afternoon.  🙂

Of course that might become a technology free hour or two!

We all have to start somewhere!

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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) VirtualRecruiter service?

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Life is Full of Choices

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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) VirtualRecruiter service?

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