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donnaMPD

Donna Messer, a businesswoman, powerful speaker, accomplished writer and a very dear friend.   As my mentor Donna taught me so much, especially the power and importance of motivation and inspiration. She will forever be in my heart and thoughts and her spirit will continue to guide me.

Donna inspired and helped thousands of people. As evident from the hundreds of comments pouring in on Donna’s Facebook.  She is loved and respected by many.

Her creative mind never stopped – we spent countless hours in her office and on the phone brainstorming and working on a variety of ventures.  I was honoured Donna valued my insight and opinion.   I am blessed to have known and learned from such an exceptional women and I know in my heart she will continue to inspire me along with thousands of others.  Her legacy lives on!

Please allow me to share this message from Donna’s family.

Donna Messer April 3, 1942- April 3, 2015

It is with great sadness that we announce the loss of Donna Messer at 7:15 this morning.

She fought a valiant and dignified battle with cancer, which cannot come as a surprise to anyone who knew her. Donna was always strong willed, focused and dignified. She passed away peacefully with family by her side, support and love all around.

We thank the nursing staff of the Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital for their wonderful care. You all truly made a very difficult time more bearable.

There are certain points in time when the stars mysteriously align. Today was one of those days. On Friday, April 3rd, Donna was born, and also passed. Both dates were a Good Friday, and fell within Passover. Both dates also mark the headnote and footnote in the story of an amazing soul.

Those of us who were touched by, and had the opportunity to talk to Donna are truly fortunate. We rejoice her presence on earth and remember our time with her well. It is presumed that she is currently in charge of networking in heaven.

Donna was a mother, grandmother, businesswoman, public speaker, accomplished writer, friend and mentor. She was a positive and welcomed impact on her community and a highly sought after source of knowledge and support.

Our mom influenced a great many people’s lives and has not only been a supporter but also a champion for countless causes, charities, small businesses and individuals. It her spirit, there is a Legacy Foundation in the works. It will be established as soon as possible in her name.

For those of you in Donna’s network, we will be in touch with details regarding an upcoming celebration of her life.

With our deepest love,

Richard, Debbie, Lauren. Madison, Keegan and family

I just read this article by Jessica Leber via the Fast Company website.  I found it to be extremely interesting and quite factual.   There are so many companies out there spanning multiple industries whose business depends on excellent customer service from its employees.   In most situations the low-wage employee is the first contact a customer encounters.   This employee is a representative of the company and in most cases responsible for creating the “first impression”.

It is a fact that people are a company’s most valued asset so this “Hot New Business Strategy” Jessica writes about definitely deserves some merit – Enjoy!

http://bit.ly/1O2Uw0n

Lee Koren is certified as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and Master Trainer in Behavioural Interviewing.  Her expertise are recruitment, selection and career transition.

This story was shared with me today by Raymond Soroka of the Soroka Group. It uses an analogy between wealth and time to hit home a very important fact. Enjoy!

THE AUTHOR IS NOT KNOWN. IT WAS FOUND IN THE BILLFOLD OF COACH PAUL BEAR BRYANT, ALABAMA, AFTER HE DIED IN 1982

The Magic Bank Account

Imagine that you had won the following *PRIZE* in a contest: Each morning your bank would deposit $86,400 in your private account for your use. However, this prize has rules.
The set of rules:
1. Everything that you didn’t spend during each day would be taken away from you.
2. You may not simply transfer money into some other account.
3. You may only spend it.
4. Each morning upon awakening, the bank opens your account with another $86,400 for that day.
5. The bank can end the game without warning; at any time it can say,”Game Over!”. It can close the account and you will not receive a new one.
What would you personally do?
You would buy anything and everything you wanted right? Not only for yourself, but for all the people you love and care for. Even for people you don’t know, because you couldn’t possibly spend it all on yourself, right?

You would try to spend every penny, and use it all, because you knew it would be replenished in the morning, right?

ACTUALLY, This GAME is REAL …
Shocked ??? YES!
Each of us is already a winner of this *PRIZE*. We just can’t seem to see it.
The PRIZE is TIME

1. Each morning we awaken to receive 86,400 seconds
as a gift of life.
2. And when we go to sleep at night, any remaining time is Not credited to us.
3. What we haven’t used up that day is forever lost.
4. Yesterday is forever gone.
5. Each morning the account is refilled, but the bank can dissolve your account at any time WITHOUT WARNING…
SO, what will YOU do with your 86,400 seconds?
Those seconds are worth so much more than the same amount in dollars. Think about it and remember to enjoy every second of your life, because time races by so much quicker than you think.
So take care of yourself, be happy, love deeply and enjoy life!
Here’s wishing you a wonderful and beautiful day. Start “spending”….

“DON’T COMPLAIN ABOUT GROWING OLD…!”
SOME PEOPLE DON’T GET THE PRIVILEGE!

Lee Koren is certified as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR). Her expertise are recruitment, selection and career transition.

I wrote the article below in 2012 and it is just as true today as it was then. It never ceases to amaze me when I read articles about interviewers who think it is cool to ask “junior shrink” questions. I wonder if anyone at their company is tracking results of these types of questions and subsequent hires. We all know how expense just one bad hire can be to a company. In fact, the higher the position the more expense the cost which is why a structured performance based interview is a far better strategy. Enjoy

Are you a Junior Shrink Interviewer? By Lee Koren, PHR

Today I was helping a young lady with her job search. We discussed the typical things – Resume, Job Search and Interview Strategies. She told me about an interview she recently attended wherein the interviewer asked “If you could be a fruit, what type of fruit would you be”. Hmm, I’m surprised these questions are still being asked in interviews. I immediately asked her if the interviewer disclosed herself as a doctor (psychologist or psychiatrist) – she said no – but could not confirm that the interviewer did not hold this distinguished designation. Then I asked her if the interview was with Apple – I mean maybe the interviewer was looking for “apple” as a good faith answer – a little interview humour? However, the company was not Apple.

Ok so here I go – up on my soap box. What in the world does “fruit” have to do with getting a job as a customer service rep? I’d like to see that job description – really how do you incorporate “fruit” into the job requirements? Let’s see – “Must love all fruits” or “Only fruit lovers will be considered” Or “Must be able to deal with all kinds of fruits” – I mean really!!!!

Unless the interviewer is a bona fide psychologist or psychiatrist and knows how to decipher the answer then he/she has no business asking this type of question. These questions, asked by inexperienced interviewers. almost always lead to subjective and bias decisions without any measureable evidence to back up the decision. Think about it – my response might be “peach” – when I’m asked “why a peach” I say” because I like peaches” – little do I know that the interviewer dislikes peaches – or maybe he/she is allergic to peaches – there’s one subjective strike against me.

If you are asking junior shrink questions in the interview try replacing it with a behavioural interview question? It is much better to identify the skills and competencies required to perform the job and develop behavioural/performance based questions to help you evaluate each candidate consistently – so much more objective.

Remember, poor hiring decisions are very costly; and questions about what type of fruit, colour or dog a person prefers will end up costing your company in more ways than one.

Lee Koren is a Human Resource Professional with extensive international experience. She is certified as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) by the Society for Human Resource Management and a Master Trainer in Behavioural Interviewing. Lee possesses over 25 years of experience in selection and recruitment. She has recruited and hired thousands of resources for large global corporations.

Over the past several years there has been a lot of buzz going around about “Meaningful Work”. Companies are incorporating the phrase into their recruitment and performance management strategies stating “We offer a meaningful work environment”. However, most of the time it is exactly as it seems a catch phrase to help recruit or retain talent. Most companies do not have a clue what it takes to establish a meaningful work environment.

In my opinion, this type of work environment would see each and every employee bring a sense of passion, creativity and meaning to the workplace every day because they feel and see on a personal level that it makes a difference. How? Because management is continuously recognizing, rewarding and celebrating the successes of its employees no matter how large or small.

A couple of years ago I was introduced to a company which stated it offered a meaningful work environment. Senior management was running around giving “lip service” to providing meaningful work” and the majority of the employees were scratching their heads wondering what is so meaningful about this work? Actually, the company did have a good foundation – the problem was too many antiquated managers ingrained in an “old style” of management. Hence if a company is committed in creating a cohesive meaningful work environment it must start with its management to insure each and every one is a leader capable of inspiring employees to bring their best to work every day.

The organization is responsible for creating a meaningful workplace where each and every employee is a part of and contributes to its success. You got it, a cohesive culture continually fostered by the organization. Hmm sounds a little like human resource management – what a concept!

The only way a company can honestly say they offer a meaningful work environment is if each and every employee buys in and understands the concept. Herein is the challenge – each and every employee not just the “superstars” or those deemed to “have potential” but all employees even those who are struggling. All too often struggling employees are mislabelled as underperforming or “poor performers”. It just might be that the employee is under-challenged, and finds the work boring subsequently showing up for work every day becomes a chore. On the other hand maybe the employee finds the work too complicated and does not feel he/she is getting adequate training. In a true meaningful work environment struggling employees become the priority and it is up to management to help inspire the desire to bring their best to work every day.

Let me know what you think – does your company do a good job of offering all its employees meaningful work?

Lee Koren is certified as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR). She is an expert in career transition management, recruitment and selection.

Well another year has come to a close; and yep it’s time to settle into more of a regular routine. For those employed it means back to work, for those in career transition it means back to the search for a new opportunity. Here are ten tips to help jumpstart the job search:

1. Start with a clean slate – if you have your sights set on certain companies who were not responsive last year try again this year. Requirements change and for a number of companies it is a new budget year. Don’t be shy.
2. Network, Network, Network. It is the most effective way to jumpstart a job search. Reach out to old co-worker, managers or supervisors. If you belong to groups or associations let the members know who you are and what you are all about. If you do not belong to a group or association consider joining one. Networking is the best way to become and stay visible.
3. Another way to become and stay visible is to volunteer. Think of activities you enjoy and volunteer. What better way to help motivate others and yourself?
4. If you have a profile on Linkedin be sure it depicts your key competencies and strengths. Recruiters use Linkedin on a daily basis as a search engine to find qualified candidates. Make sure they can find you by using the appropriate business and technical key words in your profile.
5. If you are in career transition and do not have a profile on Linkedin consider setting one up immediately for the reasons outlined above.
6. Review your resume with fresh eyes. Does it contain a Profile/Summary, list of business competencies and technical skills at eye level? Does the Profile/Summary do a good job of introducing who you are, your successes and strengths? Does it do a good job of capturing the reader’s interest? Is there just enough to entice the reader for more?
7. Remember a Profile/Summary is never written in first person i.e. “I am an experienced Human Resources Professional”. “I possess 10 years of IT experience within the telecommunication industry”. It is your resume so “I” is implied.
8. They say it takes about a month of consist effort to develop a new behaviour. So for that month don’t take “No” for an answer. Stays focused and remember to take one day at a time.
9. Practice the P.U.S.H. philosophy “Push Until Something Happens”. Remember most rejections are not personal so remain determined. After all, Colonel Sanders was 65 years old when he decided to sell his chicken recipe. He was confident restaurants would be lining up for his special recipe. However, Colonel Sanders was turned down 1,009 times before getting his first “yes” – it took determination and the ability to push until he made something happen.
10. Most of all – build fun activities and laughter into each day. Take time to exhale – control the search don’t let it control you.

OK I know what you’re saying – there is nothing new here Lee – same stuff just a different year and of course you’d be right – the ten tips are more of a refresher. However the key is how to incorporate these tips into a successful job search strategy. Because searching for a job takes time, commitment, focus and perseverance. There are no shortcuts; and unfortunately 95% of companies continue to use the same old sourcing and selection processes – posting jobs, internet searches, reviewing resumes and conducting interviews.

Lee Koren is certified as a Professional in Human Resources and Master Trainer in behavioural interviewing. She is an expert in Selection, Recruitment and Career Transition Management.

Just read this artice on Linkedin and I absolutely agree with Dr. Travis Bradberry. So much so that I am sharing on my blog. It is definielty worth a read.

https://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140922000612-50578967-why-successful-people-never-bring-smartphones-into-meetings

Lee Koren is certifed as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and Master Trainer in Behavioural Interviews.

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