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Uncategorized blog posts by Kevin Dee, Chairman at Eagle — Canada’s premier staffing agency.

We Can ALL Benefit From Some Help Sometimes

“Many hands make light work.”

“Two heads are better than one.”

There are many sayings that relate to the same issue … that there can be power in a group.

A good friend of mine ran a strategic planning session recently, which included many strong personalities, with a diverse and sometimes opposite set of opinions.

He wanted to demonstrate up front that by working together the group would be able to achieve much more than each operating separately. He chose to start the session with a little team building exercise.

1. He told them all to have a pen and some paper … and gave them 2 minutes to come up with as many uses as possible of a styrofoam cup.
2. He had asked people to tell how many uses they came up with and identified the average and high numbers.
3. Then he asked them to pair off with the person next to them and to develop a list together … and of course they were able to come up with many more answers.

This was not rocket science, but it made people think a little when even such a simple example can produce such a result.

Maybe the thought for the day should be … are you taking advantage of the brains around you?

Or are you trying to do too much on your own?

Ten things to Ponder

I have written lots of blog entries about attitude; and goals; and rules for success etc.

Here are ten thoughts that you could ponder … maybe one or two will strike a chord:

  • Be kinder than necessary … you don’t know what that other person is “dealing with”.
  • Smile … it will make you feel better and will have a positive affect on those around you.
  • Do everything you do … with purpose!
  • Dreams are good … it is action that will get you there.
  • It is often easy to fool people for a while … but are you really deceiving yourself?
  • You only have one go at this life … why not “go for it”?
  • It is NEVER too late to start …
  • Giving is a great way to grow … it almost always finds its way back in some fashion.
  • Work when you should be working … play when you should be playing.
  • Look after yourself … there is no warranty.

What Keeps You Sane?

We all have our own ways to “get through” the daily craziness of life.

I thought I would share one of the recent additions to our stress relief program.

Daily walks with our dog!

Here she can be seen checking for squirrels … but dogs have long been identified as a great stress reliever.

They are also a good way to force you to walk a little more, which is extra healthy.

Looking after yourself is important! Find ways to relieve your stress and to get more exercise.

Dog walking helps.

February 15th Celebrations

February 15th Celebrations

Family Day (Canada and others)

Family Day is celebrated in the provinces of Alberta, Ontario and Saskatchewan. This holiday falls on the third Monday in February and celebrates the importance of families and family life. It is meant as a day where the whole family can take part in activities together.

In the provinces of Alberta, Ontario and Saskatchewan most people have the day off work and schools are generally closed. Most businesses and organizations are also closed

Family Day was first held in Alberta in 1990. It was supposed to reflect the values of family and home that were important to the pioneers who founded Alberta. It gave the workers an opportunity to spend more time with their families. Family Day was introduced in Saskatchewan in 2007 and Ontario in 2008. One of the main reasons for introducing Family Day was that there was a long period when there were no holidays from New Year’s Day until Good Friday.

Around the World:

Family Day is not just celebrated in Canada … for example in Australia the first Tuesday of November is known as Family and Community Day and in South Africa, the day after Easter Sunday is Family Day.

Louis Riel Day (Canada)

Louis Riel was a Canadian politician, a founder of the province of Manitoba and a leader of the Métis people of the Canadian prairies. He led two resistance movements against the Canadian government. He sought to preserve the rights, culture and heritage of the Métis. In the province of Manitoba, Louis Riel Day celebrates Riel’s life and achievements and is observed on the third Monday of February.

On September 26, 2007 Manitoba passed a bill establishing the third Monday in February as a statutory holiday; Louis Riel Day. In other areas of Canada, specifically Toronto, Louis Riel Day is observed in November as this was the anniversary month of the execution of Louis Riel in 1885.

Heritage Day (Canada)

Heritage Day is an opportunity to celebrate the architectural heritage and historic places of Canada. The Heritage Canada Foundation promotes the third Monday in February each year as Heritage Day and has long advocated adopting this date as a national holiday.

For Heritage Day 2010, Canada’s Olympic year, HCF is celebrating the Heritage of Sport and Recreation.

President’s Day (US)

Today is President’s Day in the US, also sometimes known as Washington’s Birthday. It’s a federal holiday, established to honor the February birthdays of the nation’s first president, George Washington, who helped found the country, and the nation’s 16th president, Abraham Lincoln, who helped keep the country together.


I guess all of the celebrations over the last couple of days just go to show that we will do anything for a holiday!!

Another Dollar to Charity?

Robert Ingersoll quote about givingJust some of the benefits of giving to charity are that it makes you feels good, sets a great example for others and helps build strong communities.

Canadians generally are a very generous people, with many contributing regularly to charity through regular payroll deduction, through involvement in personal causes, through fund raising events and many other ways.

Some time ago a friend of mine was talking to his team (a large team of Federal Government employees) about the need to support our local community, and to give a few dollars back to help others. Afterwards a young employee came to see him.

“Is it really true that one dollar donated every pay can make a difference?”, she asked.

“Think about it” said my friend, “There are 30 million Canadians, if everyone gave a dollar from each pay cheque that could make a tremendous difference!”

She went away and signed up … and this young person, starting out in her career, with not a big income gives $5 twice a month from her pay cheque to help those who are less fortunate than her! That’s $120 a year … imagine if 30 million Canadians gave $120 a year. We could solve the social issues of homelessness, provide support and help to all battered women and children and make a huge difference in this society we call home.

Could you afford $5 twice a month?

Are you giving the same amount you gave a couple of years ago? Maybe you could ADD $5 twice a month.

Give generously, we all benefit from an improved community and we will reap personal benefits from the act of giving.

“If you haven’t got any charity in your heart, you have the worst kind of heart trouble.”  Bob Hope

Kevin Dee is the founder and Chairman of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
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Toughing it Out

Almost every business conversation I have these days, whether with peers in the industry, with our clients, with Eagle’s own staff or with suppliers, comes back to how tough things are.

For many people they have seen their friends laid off, they are asked to work harder, there is less business coming in and they are tired, they are discouraged, they are afraid and they are frustrated.

Often these are business leaders … executives and managers who not only need to keep themselves positive, but they also need to motivate their people.

Some thoughts …

1. It WILL get better … it always does, and there are plenty of signs that is starting to happen.
2. Not EVERYTHING is negative … so look for the positives in life and try to give that more focus than the negatives.
3. Make plans and set goals … even if they are very short term and even if they are relatively easy to reach. Achieving goals just FEELS good.
4. Remember to be good to yourself … give yourself the little treats.
5. Put in a little more effort than you would under normal circumstances … and make sure it is productive time. At the end of each day you should feel you really earned your keep … as opposed to just putting in time!
6. Smile.
7. Be nice to everyone around you … just take a few minutes EVERY day to be nice to a few people, and spread it around. Buy the coffee, tell a joke, ask how they are doing etc.
8. Plan for the recovery … be ready to take advantage when it does come back.
9. Communicate a lot … not all emails either!
10. Only allow yourself to think positive thoughts!

Walk fast and smile!

Things Could be MUCH Worse!

The recession continues … economists waver about when we will see recovery. Will it be the Fall or will it be 2010? Will it be a strong recovery or a long slow recovery? What will happen with inflation? What will happen to employment? What about pensions?

We have a developed a culture that requires “things” to make us feel successful … bigger houses, bigger TVs, more powerful cars etc. When our income drops those things suffer and we worry … will we have a job, will we be able to pay all the bills, will we ever get to retire in the style we had planned?

Sometimes we have to re-set … we need a different yardstick by which to measure things.

This weekend. like most weekends, I chatted with Eugene in the market here in Ottawa. Eugene was having a bad day … and, politically correct or not, I was reminded about just how lucky I am to have full mobility and the ability to earn a living. Eugene fell off a roof a number of years ago and is a quadriplegic. He is having pain and trouble sleeping, which is getting him down. His rent is going up and his “income” is not … this is a guy who cannot even feed himself.

Can you imagine?

Over the last week or so we have seen images from Iran of the election, the rioting aftermath and some of the atrocities committed. A quick visit to Youtube will provide gruesome images … from a society where the people are demanding “more”.

Can you imagine?

I was out at meetings around the city today and walked past numerous homeless people sitting begging for money on a hot, humid sunny Ottawa afternoon with temperatures in the 30 Centigrade range.

Can you imagine?

Tonight I will put in a long day at the office, probably leave around 6:30pm and go have a glass of wine on a patio. The economy is tough, the clients are demanding, the competition is fierce and there is not a lot to go around … but we are doing OK.

What is more important … I have my health, I have family and friends and i have my independence. I live in a free society where we can choose our political parties, enjoy freedom of speech and where we are all equal.

NOW I can imagine … and its pretty good stuff!

Tough times!

Life is full of challenges, it is never easy and if it is then you are probably not pushing hard enough. Sometimes you need to tough it out through trying times and if you have any money in the stock markets now is a time to be strong!

It hurts … but we’ll probably survive! If not, then it will be lots of motivation to work for another 25 years!

“Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.” … Winston Churchill.

NOW is a Great Time to Set Goals!

Any regular reader of this blog knows that I am a big advocate of good time management techniques … also acknowledging that we are not really “managing” time, just trying to maximize our use of it.

My overriding theory is that if we are very productive in the time that we allot to the various areas of our life then we will get to spend more time doing what we want to be doing … rather than what we have to be doing! One particular relevant blog entry was called Finding Your Life Balance.

I have also talked about using Goal setting as one tool to help in being more productive. For many people setting goals is just too structured, or too hard, or not a high enough priority. I also find that there are times when people are more susceptible to trying something new … and maybe you are ready to try goal setting right now?

If you have any of the following signs in your life then I believe goal setting could help you:

1. You are a little unhappy in your current job.
2. You are bored with your lifestyle.
3. You are in a rut.
4. You are overweight and want to do something about it.
5. You are unfit and want to do something about it.
6. You really want to do something … but don’t know how to start.
7. You feel you could be better … at anything (work, dancing, soccer, darts, pool etc)

Goal setting sounds so formal … but all you are doing is developing a plan to get to where you want to go (the goal) and once you have a plan then you automatically increase your chance of getting there. Conversely if you just keep doing the same things you have been doing … then nothing will change! (See Bob’s rules Insanity is doing the same thing you’ve always done and expecting different results.)

So … here is a link to my entry about Goal Setting for 2008, which in turn will link you to a number of entries on the subject. Print them out and give it a try.

The only limiting factor to what you can achieve is you! All you have to do is commit.

Good Sales Advice!

I am just back to the office after a month on vacation … wow, the first time I have taken so much time in probably 30 years! It was good to take a break and recharge the batteries and I am easing my way back into work.

As I catch up with the huge backlog of email I will share some of the goodies I come across. This one is from my friend Ron Jette at AdamsJette Marketing and Communications, who has done great work for Eagle in the past. His newsletter often has some great ideas and thoughts … this little story was entitled … Everything I Know About Sales I Learned as a Boy Scout!

Nate Scholz is a 23-year-old student at Washington State University. He is also a student of sales. In March 2007, Nate beat 87 other students from 44 universities across America in the national collegiate sales competition. His secret is one that he could easily have picked up as a Boy Scout: Be prepared. For anything.

Knowing he would be judged on everything from approach, presentation and needs-identification to overcoming objections, closing and enthusiasm, Nate said he was thoroughly prepared because like any sales call, you may get only one chance.

According to the judges, Nate excelled in one area in particular: overcoming objections. He used a simple, three-step process that not only addresses objections head-on, but can often open the door to a closing opportunity.

Here is the process:

Reiterate the objection. “So, you are concerned about…”
Overcome the objection. “To give you some comfort in that regard, it’s important for you to know that…”
Confirm that the objection has been answered. “Does that answer your concerns?”

Nate says that success also comes from being mentally tough. He says he would begin by recording his presentations and answers to objections on video. Then, he would critique his performance, tune up his approach and record it all over again. And again. And again.

And never forget that “sales” is about much more than financial transactions. Even if we are simply trying to convince someone to support our idea, program or vision, or join our project team, all of us are selling-every day.