CEO Blog

Category Archives: Personal Development

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

Apologies

How to apologiseWe all make mistakes.

We don’t always own our mistakes.

Whether it is pride or hubris, embarrassment or just avoidance … we will avoid owning up to our mistakes.

It is a pity really, because along with mistakes comes a great opportunity to strengthen a relationship.

This applies equally at work or at home!

Some of the best client relationships come from tough situations handled well.

You will often hear that couples will tolerate arguments because the “making up” can be so good!

So if you erred … apologise, own it AND find a way to make it right!

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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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Nobody Has ALL the Answers!

Mark Twain on Lifelong learningWe have all met them.

“Leaders” who have all the answers.

They have the “experience” … maybe they have “credentials” … perhaps they “read a lot”.

For whatever reason, they believe that they already know the answers.

They MIGHT ask your opinion … but we know they don’t really want to hear it.

More often than not they don’t even ask your opinion.

“A man who asks is a fool for five minutes. A man who never asks is a fool for life.” Chinese proverb

Here is the deal.

The BEST leaders listen to any good ideas.

They KNOW that they always have more to learn and they WANT to learn.

They take all and any input so that they can come up with informed decisions.

They hire people that are better than them!

They are willing to share their knowledge readily, but in a constructive way.

They want their people to learn … but they also want to learn from their people.

“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.”      Alvin Toffler

Some thoughts …

What was relevant yesterday soon becomes obsolete.

What worked yesterday may not work today

Other people also have experiences.

You are very likely NOT the smartest person in the room.

“There is no end to education. It is not that you read a book, pass an examination, and finish with education. The whole of life, from the moment you are born to the moment you die, is a process of learning.”   Jiddu Krishnamurti

I don’t care how smart you are, how experienced you are, or how much education you have  …  you can always learn more!

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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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Make People Smile!

Be the reason someone smiles todayWouldn’t it be nice if someone did something to make you feel good?

It wouldn’t need to be big … they might go and get you a coffee, bring you a cup cake, tell you a joke, give you a sincere compliment … there are many ways that someone could bring a smile to your face.

Well what if YOU were that someone bringing a smile to other people?

“It costs nothing to be nice.”

What if those kind actions were contagious?

I think that we could create a “NICE Movement” … maybe a National Day of Nice Actions?

“A few nice words can help a person a lot more than you think.”

There is an awful lot of hate and negative BS in the world … let’s try to make life just a little NICER.  Be consciously NICE to strangers, co-workers, family and friends … and see how that works!

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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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Grit

quote Public glories or private sacrifices for successIn amongst some old movies that I watched over the holiday period was a remake of an old John Wayne movie, True Grit.

It got me thinking about the importance of grit, albeit in a slightly different way than in the “Old West”, in today’s business world.

I don’t know an entrepreneur who doesn’t have grit.

I don’t know a successful leader who doesn’t have grit.

I don’t know a successful salesperson or any professional, who doesn’t have grit.

You need grit to deal with failure, challenges, set backs, uncomfortable situations, tough negotiations, tough bosses, tough clients … and all of the realities of life .

I have often said that life is not meant to be easy … no matter how much we wish it were, the reality is “It is tough out there!”, and you need grit to survive, let along thrive.  As a consequence, it is battling through the tough situations that provides us with opportunities for growth.

“A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.”  Colin Powell

In the movie, Rooster Cogburn was willing to take on all-comers and overcome whatever hardships necessary, in order to catch his quarry.

In real life we need to overcome many hurdles and challenges to achieve any measure of success.  Typically the bigger the goal, the bigger the challenges.  it will most certainly not always be plain sailing.

Yet it is within all of us to reach our goals, IF we are willing “do what it takes”, and battle through those challenges and tough times before we reach that goal.

GRIT is not a trendy thing to talk about, yet every society needs these people.

“Working hard becomes a habit, a serious kind of fun.  You get self-satisfaction from pushing yourself to the limit, knowing that all the effort is going to pay off.”  Mary Lou Retton

We live in an ultra competitive global market, and it is the people willing to sacrifice, do what it takes, overcome adversity and beat out competition who build businesses, create jobs and drive the economy forward.

Every successful organisation needs grit from its employees in order to reach ambitious goals.  This can mean government organisations and non-profit organisations as well as companies.

So … even if GRIT is not trendy,  if you want to achieve any level of success in your life then you should work on developing yours!

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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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Avoid Unintended Consequences

Drucker quote about decision makingHow many times do we see a negative impact from seemingly harmless or well-intentioned actions?

We see it from governments who implement well-intentioned legislation only to cause negative affects in the “real world”.    As just one small example, attempts to help the “underdog” will often increase costs to business owners, and for small business owners the impact will be felt in lost jobs.

We see it from companies who will have a knee-jerk reaction to a “one off” situation and bring in rules that have negative consequences.  If you implement restrictive policies because of one bad experience then you create a less welcoming environment and that will be felt when trying to compete for talent with companies that are not so restrictive.

We all do it at a personal level.  We do or say things that inadvertently cause ripples.  It might be social niceties such as inviting some people to the party and inadvertently upsetting others, or by complimenting one friend and another takes offense.

If you want to avoid unintended consequences, then you need to think “bigger picture”, and you need to be sensitive to your actions.

Some things you might consider:

  1.  Don’t make knee jerk decisions.  Take the emotion out of your decisions and let some time pass before you “act”.
  2. Get input.  Consider other people’s perspectives.
  3. Think ahead.  Try to anticipate what else you should consider;  who else you should consider and how else your decision might have impact.
  4. Have a plan that includes (a) the objective you want to achieve, (b) a plan to get to that objective and (c) any possible outcomes from your plan.

It is possible that the decision is more important than any repercussions, but in that case the consequences are not unintended … they are just consequences!

“If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.”  Yogi Berra

Obviously we can’t anticipate everything, but TOO often we don’t even try … make an effort, thoughtfulness is always appreciated!

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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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Do You Have a “Happy List”?

Happiness quote by CarnegieA “Happy List” is just a list of things that make you happy, cause you to smile or for which you are thankful.

10 thoughts on what to have on the list …

  1.  If you were born in a first world country with access to all of the amenities of a modern civilization, then really think about how many things you take for granted, for which you should be TRULY thankful!
  2. Do you have friends, family and/or nice acquaintances?
  3. Do you have good health.
  4. Do you have a good education?
  5. Do you have a job?
  6. I LOVE riding my motorbike … what do you love?
  7. I get a kick out of sunsets, nice scenery, nature etc.
  8. I love to read a good book or watch a good movie.
  9. I have access to technology and all that the internet has to offer.
  10.  I live in a free society.

“Most of us are just about as happy as we make up our minds to be.” William Adams

There are SO many things to put on that list and each of the above items could create 10 others.  Let your imagination run free.

3 Reasons to create your “Happy List”

  1.  Just creating it will lift your spirits.
  2. Revisiting it when you need a boost will lift your soul when you most need it.
  3. Reading it, and adding to it, on a regular basis will make you a more positive person.

“If you start to think the problem is ‘out there,’ stop yourself. That thought is the problem.” Stephen Covey

It is an easy way to have a positive impact on your own life … just do it!

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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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Hard Work and Success … the Link!

Hard work quote by edisonWe know that successful people work hard.

We also know that lots of people work hard and are not particularly successful.

It is probably fair to say that lots of people think they work hard and struggle to understand why they are not successful.

It is probably also fair to say that a very few people don’t work very hard at all, but they are successful.

So … what is going on?

Here are just a few truths …

  1.  Life is not fair … get over it.
  2. There are things you can control and things you can’t control … you CAN control your work ethic.
  3. If you are working hard and not getting where you want to go, then something has to change … but it should not be your work ethic, unless you just THINK you are working hard!
  4. Most successful people also work smart!
  5. There are very few free lunches!

What could you think about?

  1.  Perhaps you are working hard, but on the wrong things?
  2.  Perhaps you are not working as hard as you could be?
  3.  Perhaps you are in the wrong job?
  4.  Can you emulate someone who is successful in your profession?
  5.  Maybe it is just a matter of time?

Work quote maya angelouSome thoughts on work ethic …

  1.  How many productive hours are you working?
  2.  How much time do you waste in a day?  Personal stuff, non-productive tasks or distractions.
  3.  Do you consider being available through email/smartphone as working hard?
  4.  Productivity should be your goal … whatever that takes.
  5.  You should work hard for yourself, not for anyone else.
  6.  Don’t kid yourself about your work ethic.

Don’t expect success if you are not willing to do the work.

Doing the work does not guarantee success.

Not doing the work all but guarantees you won’t be successful.

Not everyone is focused on career success.  Many people just want to earn a living and in that case, all that is required is to do is a fair day’s work to earn an income.  Of course it is still called work, and if you have to do it then why not do it well?

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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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Appreciate What You Have!

Thankfulness quote from OprahIt is easy to take things for granted!

Four examples ….

  1.  On a grand scale we take our situation for granted with our “first world” problems.

We live in an instant-everything kind of world.  Instant information, music, sports, food, entertainment, friends … you name it, you can get access to it instantaneously.

Yet more than half the world’s population, more than 3 billion people, live on less than $2.50 a day.

2.  Even living in the “first world” environment, there are “haves” and “have nots”.

We take our situation for granted working in modern companies.  We work in jobs that provide us with an ever growing list of benefits … guaranteed income levels, flexible working conditions, additional health benefits, extra time off, social events, special recognition of work achievements and on and on.

At the same time many, many people work multiple jobs to make ends meet, earn minimum wage or live hand to mouth.  Homelessness and poverty are abundant even in our rich society.

3.  At a personal level we take the people in our lives for granted.

It is often the people closest to us that we take for granted.  Our immediate family, for whom we would “walk on hot rocks”, yet we also mistreat them for trivial arguments.  We often forget to tell people how we feel about them, generating regret when the relationship sours or worse, they are no longer here!

4.  Also at a personal level we take our health for granted.

We don’t get regular check ups, we don’t work out enough, we eat poorly, and adopt poor lifestyle habits.  At some point it all catches up and again we are left with regrets.

  1.  DON”T take your life for granted, appreciate what you have!
  2.  Be PROACTIVE in driving your life to be a life with few regrets.
  3. LIVE life, enjoy life and be kind to others.

“No matter how good or bad you have it, wake up each day thankful for your life.  Someone somewhere else is desperately fighting for theirs.”  Marc and Angel

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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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Warning: Email Can Harm Your Relationships

Quote by Geroge Bernard Shaw on CommunicationIn many ways the heading of this article is similar to those warnings you see on bags of peanuts … Warning: This product may contain nut products.

We all KNOW that email is a lousy form of communication, but it is so easy.

We KNOW that it is very easy to inadvertently (or purposely) send a negative message.

We KNOW that we shouldn’t send them when we are angry.

We KNOW that we cannot convey subtle messages or body language.

We KNOW that the same message read by three different people will be interpreted three different ways.

We KNOW that a situation that is tense OR complex (even slightly complex) OR emotional OR controversial should never be addressed by an email.

SO …. TALK to people!

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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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