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.

Every Day Should be a Valentines Day of Sorts!

Today is Valentines day and around the world people are sending messages and buying gifts for the special people in their lives.

There is no truth to the urban myth that Valentine’s Day was created by Hallmark (or any other card manufacturer) … but there is a good deal of common sense in that explanation.

So YES, do something special for the special people in your life … buy a card, buy a gift, have a romantic dinner or go on a special date.

However … remember that this is just one day in the year and it would be a good thing for your various relationships to show appreciation throughout the year.

Thoughts for the day:

1.  Create monthly reminders in your calendar right now … so that on the 14th of every month you are reminded to “do something for that special someone”.

2.  Create a list of the important people in your life … not just your spouse/partner and find a way to let them know they are important to you … you could set up a schedule for them too!

3.  Sign up for one of those online card companies … JibJab is a hilarious one … and start sending cards that make people laugh.

4.  Every month give an amount (small or large depending on your capability) to a charity, on behalf of one of your special people.

5.  Remember that everyone around you has “stuff to deal with in their lives” … and go a little easier on them in recognition of that fact!

The more you give the more you get … particularly with relationships!

Here are some ideas that don’t cost too much:

Send a handwritten card.

Send a letter … maybe include a photo!  (Who gets letters anymore … its now an event!)

Buy someone a coffee and take it to them.

Send a joke.

Send a picture by email … maybe an old one of you both together?

Remember their birthday, anniversary, special day of any kind.

Cook them dinner … or take them for a meal.  It could be a “chip wagon lunch” … your treat!

Find a special picture and have it printed on canvas … CanvasPop are a great Canadian company.

Buy them a book … a real one with paper pages and everything!  Write a note in the front!

Do anything YOU would appreciate if someone else was doing it for you!

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?

Stop and Smell the Roses!

I wrote a blog entry recently about the need to be grateful for the good things in our life.  I thought I would try to make it more “real” … by showing how anyone can focus on the good in our everyday lives!

It might seem a little hokey to focus on “being thankful” … but until you actually do it you will probably not understand how positively that can affect your life.  Focusing on positive things can make everything seem better!

In an attempt to make this more real I thought I would list just a few of the things I am grateful for this week … make your own list!

In no particular order …

1.  The people in my life … friends, family, business partners, colleagues.  I had many positive discussions and meetings, dinner with friends, coffee meetings with clients and just “hanging time” with family!  Not all the conversations were easy or fun, but the challenges were met and dealt with and there were smiles and much laughter along the way.

2.  My health.  I finished my alcohol free month (Kevuary) with a bang!   Good wine and scotch on the day after Kevuary wasn’t good for my liver, but it was good for my soul!  I had a few good workouts this week but special mention goes to my weekly boxing workout on the heavy bag … utilising tips from my ex-boxing coach these are intense workouts that make me work hard!

3.  My job.  I’m lucky to run my own business … but I would be lucky to be a salesperson as I was in the past, or a mid level manager, I was even grateful to be a Junior Naval Aircraft Mechanic 2nd Class, as opposed to being unemployed in early 70’s Liverpool.  Life gives us opportunities and when we take them we should be grateful.  I like my job, I like the people I work with and I like the challenges that keep me learning and growing … even though I am no spring chicken!

4.  My environment.  I love that I can live in a world class city like Toronto, with all it has to offer, and be able to walk to work!  (I might have trouble being thankful for a Toronto commute … but I would use it to advantage if that was the case).  I have a nice home in the city, I have a nice place outside the city and I get to enjoy them both.  The weather was mixed this week but the warm days gave us a break from the cold, and the Winter wonderland at the lake is magical today.

5.  A story.  Walking our dog has allowed us to meet a number of other dog owners, and exchange pleasantries in the evenings.  This week one of the dogs wandered onto the road and was hit by a car.  This group of people who are really just acquaintances pulled together and  all pitched in.  It was amazing to see virtual strangers pulling together like that.  Even the car driver stopped the traffic with his vehicle and leaped from his car to stop oncoming traffic and protect the injured pet.  If you ever feel that there are no good people in the world then please know that there are good people all around us!  PS  The dog is home and fine!

It is amazing how fast time flies by, the years are gone before you know it … it it is important to take a little time to appreciate what we have.  This was a week in the life of Kevin Dee, and just some of the things I am grateful for.  Even if there had been a really bad event this week all of these positive influences would help me to keep a positive attitude.  Go ahead … make YOUR list for the week!


“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If  you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”   Oprah  Winfrey

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?

Last Day of Kevuary

A light hearted post because it is the middle of Winter, the economy continues to limp along and there is enough “serious stuff” going on in the world.

Each year I give up alcohol for four weeks, in fact two years ago I gave it up for longer, as preparation for a charity boxing match I volunteered for … The Fight for the Cure!  However the “norm” is four weeks without alcohol, and it usually starts around the beginning of the year, lasting four weeks … that I have called Kevuary for the last five years (my own ficticious month).

There are a few reasons why I do this:

  • It is a good way to make sure alcohol is a “nice to have” rather than a “must have”.
  • It helps with my annual post holiday season weight loss.
  • It is a demonstration that I still have some willpower!

Today is the last day of Kevuary!  Tomorrow I can enjoy a glass of wine, maybe even a scotch!
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?

That “Get in Shape” New Year Resolution

Here we are still in the ‘honeymoon period” of the New Year resolutions.  The gyms are filled with eager new recruits that have bought a membership and vowed to get themselves into shape.

History has shown that by the first week in February most (or maybe almost all) of those resolutions will be a memory.

The Problem:  It is hard.

The Reality:  Most people are not going to make a massive change in their lives overnight.

The Solution:  Be realistic!

Set SMALL goals … don’t hurt yourself, see some gains and build on it.  You don’t need to spend an hour at the gym (plus travel, plus shower, plus a few pints after the workout …oops).  The goal is to workout your body more than you have been doing.


1.  Walk more in the normal course of your day … and step up the pace when you are walking.  It doesn’t need to be a jog, just walk faster and further than you did before.

2.  Do “mini workouts” … there are a ton of these online.  They range from less than 5 minutes in duration to maybe 30 minutes.

  • They are higher intensity and bring the same kind of benefits that a regular hour at the gym might bring.
  • They don’t necessarily need equipment.
  • Because they are short you can fit them in to your schedule … before your shower, before bed, lunch time (although you will need to shower), before dinner, instead of watching TV, while your kid is doing hockey practice etc.

3.  Spend less time sitting.  You burn more calories if you are standing up, or better yet, walking around.  Use a wireless headset on those conference calls … and pace.   Watch TV from a spin bike or recumbent bike.   Go for a walk at night with your partner, friend, spouse instead of watching “one more show”.

4.  Add some weights/resistance training.  You could use small weights in your office, use the elastic bands for resistance training, do squats in the office etc.

5.  Make some concession to your diet … don’t try to change everything.  Take a month off alcohol, eat fruit for dessert, make healthier substitutions (more veggies, less fries etc) and maybe reduce your portion sizes by 10%.

6.  After you have made small steps, seen some wins and changed a few bad habits you can “up your game” and join a gym, get a personal trainer etc.

If you can make changes in a small way you are far more likely to achieve your goals, rather than trying to change many years (or even one year) of bad habits in a quick fix!

Good luck with your 2018 resolutions … may they be the foundation of your 2019 resolutions!  Remember … it is tough to be efficient mentally when your body can’t keep up!

Kevin Dee is founder and Chairman 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) VirtualRecruiterservice?


This is a great time of year to be thankful for all the good things in our life.  It doesn’t matter what religion you are, if you live here in Canada most people tend to get a little more time off, 2012 is coming to an end and we live in one of the best countries in the world.

Gratitude has a way of bringing us back down to earth, and that in itself is a good exercise.  It doesn’t matter who you are, the good things in your life are not there just because of you.  So be grateful!

I started my business 16 years ago and it has by all measures been a pretty successful run.  I must be amazing!   Whoaaaaa!!!!!   Actually I was in the right place at the right time, I have partners that have been on this ride with me for 16 years, I have had great people working here over those 16 years; I live in a country that allows entrepreneurship to thrive; we could not be successful without the clients, suppliers and professionals that we work with.   So … yes I am grateful, for the opportunity, for the support, for the people, for this country!

I am 57 years old and still in good shape.  I have had an interesting and varied life … different careers, living in different countries, with many and varied experiences.  I could not have enjoyed any of this without my health, without the opportunities afforded to those living in the “first world” cultures.  So … yes I am grateful, for all of those things!

I could go on about the million and one things in my life for which I am grateful … the ability to be able to play soccer for more than 50 years, the fast toys in my life, the friends, the family, the places I have lived!   I AM grateful for all of it.

What is my message?

1.  Find the things in your life to be thankful for.

2.  Don’t EVER think YOU did it alone … it doesn’t matter if you are Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, The Queen of England or Wayne Rooney!   We are all a product of many inputs, our place of birth, our families, our heritage, the accidents that did not happen to us, the disease that did not affect us … so ALWAYS be thankful!

3.  When you have that list of things to be thankful for, keep it handy.  The next time you feel sorry for yourself or just a little blue, pull it out and remind yourself of just how lucky you are!

4.  None of this takes away from one of my favorite sayings … The harder I work, the luckier I am!

5.  Go build on your luck … and be thankful that you can!

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?

When the Stress is High … Slow Things Down!

We all go through periods of time when the stress levels are a little more than normal … sometimes things are so tense that they really test your limits!  If you live life to the full then you are continually making commitments in both your personal and your professional lives (which are invariably intertwined) and every now and then you find yourself stretched beyond your comfort zone.

When you find yourself in that position you really need;

a.  A stress management plan; and

b.  Good time management skills!

It is your time management skills that will help you to take control … identifying everything that needs done, prioritising the work, delegating wherever possible, assigning deadlines and creating a series of tasks to accomplish all of those projects.  Once you have that plan in place and start to knock off the tasks you will invariably feel better.

Before you get to that point it is likely that your brain will go into overdrive, you will feel out of control, you will lose sleep and be short tempered … and that is when you need to manage that stress.

We are all a little different, but there are some basic principles that you can apply;

1.  Breathe!  You need to pay attention to your body, and if you do you will notice your heart rate is up, you are having trouble focusing on any one thing and your breathing is quite shallow.  Its the same kind of feeling (maybe a little less intense) that you get when you step into a boxing ring for your first fight in front of an audience.  You have to physically slow things down, breathe deeply, take charge of your mind and focus on the task at hand … if you are in a boxing ring its pretty clear what that is!

2.  Look after yourself.  It is important that you don’t succumb to the natural tendencies of eating and drinking to excess, cutting back on sleep and not exercising!  All of that is the exact opposite to what will help you!  Take time to work out and get those endorphins flowing through your body.  Eat a healthy diet, don’t overdo the alcohol and get your full night’s sleep!  Looking after the body will always help the mind!

3.  Don’t take it out on those around you!  Your temper will be shorter than normal and as long as you recognise that then you can control your reactions appropriately … remember the old adage, “engage brain before opening mouth”!  You will need to be just a beat slower in what you say, to avoid the inevitable “foot in mouth” syndrome.

If you can manage to do all of the above, without it being obvious to people that you are under extreme stress, then you will be mastering techniques used by great leaders everywhere.  Not a bad skill set to cultivate!

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?

5 Tips That Will Change Your Life!

This is YOUR five step blueprint to totally change your life!

Follow this for one year and I guarantee you will be able to look back and say, “Yes … I changed my life”!

1.  Your health.

Starting today … make one change to your diet that will have a positive impact.  eg.  Reduce your portion size by 10%; Replace the french fries with a more healthy alternative; change from coke to diet coke etc.

One month from today add another change, and every month after that for one year.

2.  Your fitness.

If you don’t exercise today then start small.  This month get off the bus a stop early and walk the rest of the way to work … walk the same amount going home;  or go for a 20 minute walk before bed; or walk upstairs instead of using the elevator; or walk everywhere that you can instead of driving.  Add  a little more each month, another 5 minutes to the walk, some other exercise, maybe a long bike ride on weekends.

If you do exercise today then add some intensity.  If you jog then add some hills, add some sprints, mix in some weights … get a personal trainer!

Add a little bit more each month for a year!

3.  Your relationships.  Decide who is most important to you and find time for them.  Make a monthly date with your partner, make time for your friends, your family etc.   Spend a little less time in front of the TV and more time interacting with these people … talking, sharing a hobby/activity, maybe exercise (meeting two goals at once!)

4.  Your brain.  Do you read the newspaper?  Do you read books?  Do you do crosswords?  Do you do brain puzzles?  Exercise your brain … when you are sitting at the rink, on the bus to work, in the evening instead of watching TV every evening … find time!  Take one evening a month away from TV and spend it on brain activities … not related to your work!

5.  Your humanity.  Do something for other people.  Get involve in a charity.  Volunteer in the community.  Give money and time to those who need it.  “Giving back” is one of the most rewarding things we can do in our lives.

Small changes add up.  Remember the old question, “How do you eat an elephant?” … “One bite at a time”!

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?

Labour Day Weekend

It is Friday and we are heading into a long weekend here in Canada.  Labour Day weekend is traditionally a sign that Summer is about done and we are heading into cooler nights, with the prospect of an approaching Winter.  This is not necessarily a bad thing because Winter in Canada brings different activities and pastimes that are enjoyable to many of us … the hockey season approaches and Winter sports are anticipated.

This weekend is a great time to prepare for change.  Parents are readying their children for the new school year, many are setting up their young adults in university and college dorms for the first time.  People are thinking about their cottages and boats, taking full advantage of what at least in Ontario promises to be another glorious weekend … but with a view that the season is almost done.

It is also a great time for us to relax, enjoy some time away from the pressures of the job and recharge the batteries ready to pick up the pace again for the Fall.  Typically projects gain momentum and clients are very focused on making things happen in the September through to Christmas period … it is a period to grow business, work on relationships and take advantage of that final quarter in the year.

Next week will be a great time to revisit your goals for the year and adjust your plans to make sure you end the year on a high note.

So … enjoy the break, recharge those batteries, enjoy some quality time with your friends and family so that you are energised to start September with a bang!  Happy Labour Day weekend Canada!!!

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?


Can you think back to when you were a child and the kind of enthusiasm you might have for certain activities or events?  Maybe it was a sport that you played in, it could have been trips with your parents or maybe just that time after school when you played with your friends.

As an adult when you see that same enthusiasm in kids it bring a smile to your face.  You see their pure enjoyment and its a “feel good” thing!

As adults it is possible to have that joy of living, that unabridged enthusiasm for “something” … and when you do have that “passion” you feel alive, you enjoy your time, your spirit is lifted and it helps you forget the other things in your life that maybe are not so joyful.

What are you doing that brings that kind of joy into your life?

What are you so enthusiastic about that it makes you forget about the economy, unemployment, the rigors of running a business or the daily grind of a job you might not love?

Life becomes much more enriched when you have something like that in your life.  It could be your involvement in your kid’s lives, it could be a hobby, it could be the challenge of meeting goals or it might be as simple as the love of a good book to read.

Oh by the way, it makes you a much more interesting person to be with too!

Give yourself something to rediscover that child like enthusiasm … you won’t regret it!

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?

Making the Most of Your Time Off!

Today is my first day back from vacation … so its a little hectic!  I have blogged previously about some of the things I do to make sure I am organised and as productive as possible when I have been away for a little while.  I called it my Post Vacation Restart!

Clearly, most of my blog entries are focused on success at work but it is equally (if not more) important to WORK at success away from work … in your relationships, your physical & mental health as well as those non-work activities that make you feel good!

A “successful vacation” is a personal thing, but here are some indicators why I believe my vacation was a success:

1.   My mom and sister visited from the UK … so we got to spend quality time with them!

2.  My kids and their partners spent a good amount of time visiting with us … more relationship fun!

3.  We did things as a group … visiting places, boating, puzzles, watching movies.

4.  We did things separately … reading, “puttering jobs”, walking etc.

5.  I exercised most days … good workouts, without the usual time pressures of getting ready for work.   In addition there was lots of general walking and other activities.

6.  I worked on things out of the ordinary … for instance I revived my interest in genealogy with my sister, I learned how to use my new camera and I practiced my new-found boating skills (mostly successfully).

7.  I read books, magazines and articles … not business books, just interesting and sometimes “mindless stuff”!

8.  I slept well.

9.  I kept up to date with my email … without spending a ton of time, or even getting involved.  As a business owner this allows me the peace of mind to relax.

10.  I ate and drank a little more exuberantly than the norm … but not to the point of excess!

I arrived back at work feeling relaxed and ready to go again … so I feel my time off was a good use of my time.

I often talk about the importance of not “drifting” through your work days, they should be planned and you should “work your plan”. 

I don’t believe you need to be so regimented about your vacation … but I do think it is equally important you have some kind of plan for your vacation.  Even if that plan is to “do nothing”!   Consciously “doing nothing” can feel great … but “doing nothing” when you feel you should be “doing something” can be unsatisfying!

Will you feel good about your vacation time?

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!