‘It’s a critical situation:’ Dragon’s Den star Arlene Dickinson on struggle of small business to survive the second lockdown


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A “mind-blowing” third of Ontario businesses are not expected to survive this second lockdown.

Dragon’s Den star and Venture Communications founder Arlene Dickinson talks with Financial Post’s Larysa Harapyn about what small businesses, their communities and the government need to do improve those odds.

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The US Has Become Too Big, Too Diverse, and Too Corrupt to Survive



We’re getting close to the end now. Can you feel it?  I do.  It’s in the news, on the streets, and in your face every day. You can’t tune it out anymore, even if you wanted to.

Where once there was civil debate in the court of public opinion, we now have censorship, monopoly, screaming, insults, demonization, and, finally, the use of force to silence the opposition. There is no turning back now. The political extremes are going to war, and you will be dragged into it even if you consider yourself apolitical.

There are great pivot points in history, and we’ve arrived at one. The United States, ruptured by a thousand grievance groups, torn by shadowy agencies drunk on a gross excess of power, robbed blind by oligarchs and their treasonous henchmen and decimated by frivolous wars of choice, has finally come to a point where the end begins in earnest.

The center isn’t holding… indeed, finding a center is no longer even conceivable. We are the schizophrenic nation, bound by no societal norms, constrained by no religion, with no shared sense of history, myth, language, art, philosophy, music, or culture, rushing toward an uncertain future fueled by nothing more than easy money, hubris, and sheer momentum.

There comes a time when hard choices must be made…when it is no longer possible to remain aloof or amused, because the barbarians have arrived at the gate. Indeed, they are here now, and they often look a whole lot like deracinated, conflicted, yet bellicose fellow Americans, certain of only one thing, and that is that they possess “rights”, even though they could scarcely form an intelligible sentence explaining exactly what those rights secure or how they came into being.

But that isn’t necessary, from their point of view, you see. All they need is a “voice” and membership in an approved victim class to enrich themselves at someone else’s expense. If you are thinking to yourself right now that this does not describe you, then guess what? The joke’s on you, and you are going to be expected to pay the bill…that “someone else” is you.

In reality, though, who can blame the minions, when the elites have their hand in the till as well? In fact, they are even more hostile to reasoned discourse than Black Lives Matter, Occupy Wall Street, or Antifa. Witness the complete meltdown of the privileged classes when President Trump mildly suggested that perhaps our “intelligence community” isn’t to be trusted, which is after all a fairly sober assessment when one considers the track record of the CIA, FBI, NSA, BATF, and the other assorted Stasi agencies.

Burning cop cars or bum-rushing the odd Trump supporter seems kind of tame in comparison to the weeping and gnashing of teeth when that hoary old MIC “intelligence” vampire was dragged screaming into the light. Yet Trump did not drive a stake into its heart, nor at this point likely can anyone…and that is exactly the point. We are now Thelma and Louise writ large.

We are on cruise control, happily speeding towards the cliff, and few seem to notice that our not so distant future involves bankruptcy, totalitarianism, and/or nuclear annihilation. Even though most of us couldn’t identify the band, we nonetheless surely live the lyrics of the Grass Roots: “Live for today, and don’t worry about tomorrow.”

The “Defense” Department, “Homeland” Security, big pharma, big oil, big education, civil rights groups, blacks, Indians, Jews, the Deep State, government workers, labor unions, Neocons, Populists, fundamentalist Christians, atheists, pro life and pro death advocates, environmentalists, lawyers, homosexuals, women, Millenials, Baby Boomers, blue collar/white collar, illegal aliens…the list goes on and on, but the point is that the conflicting agendas of these disparate groups have been irreconcilable for some time.

The difference today is that we are de facto at war with each other, and whether it is a war of words or of actual combat doesn’t matter at the moment. What matters is that we no longer communicate, and when that happens it is easy to demonize the other side. Violence is never far behind ignorance.

I am writing this from the bar at the Intercontinental Hotel in Vienna, Austria. I have seen with my own eyes the inundation of Europe with an influx of hostile aliens bent on the destruction of Old Christendom, yet I have some hope for the eastern European countries because they have finally recognized the threat and are working to neutralize it.

Foreign malcontents can never be successfully integrated into a civilized society because they don’t even intend to try; they intend to conquer their host instead. Yet even though our own discontents are domestic for the most part, we have a much harder row to hoe than Old Europe because our own “invaders” are well entrenched and have been for decades, all the way up to the highest levels of government.

That there are signs Austria is finally waking up is a good thing, but it serves to illustrate the folly of expecting the hostile cultures within our own country to get along with each other without rupturing the republic. Indeed, that republic died long ago, and it has been replaced by a metastasizing mass of amorphous humanity called the American Empire, and it is at war with itself and consuming itself from within.

Long ago, we once knew that as American citizens each of us had a great responsibility. We were expected to work hard, play fair, do unto others as we would have them do unto us, and serve our country when called upon to do so. Today, we don’t speak of duty, except in so much as a slogan to promote war, but we certainly do speak of benefits for ourselves and our “group” of entitled peeps. We will fail because of our greed and avarice.

The United States of Empire has become quite simply too big, too diverse, and too “exceptional” to survive.

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4 Life-Saving Traits to Leading Teams That Can Survive Anything



6 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


At times that can never be predicted, leaders are required to lead those they serve through challenges and crises. If there is one thing Covid-19 has taught us, it is that we are not in control of everything and the greatest of leaders are those who can provide hope, direction and a push forward.

The future is unclear and unpredictable, but our present is tumultuous, chaotic and even life-threatening. How do leaders lead in such times?

Sir Ernest Shackleton provides a great example. From 1914 to 1916, Shackleton led an expedition in an attempt to become the first to walk across Antarctica alive. Before then, he had been part of two expeditions, which both failed. This attempt, however, turned out to be both Shackleton’s greatest failure and his greatest achievement. Before even getting to the coast, Shackleton’s boat was frozen at sea for 10 months. To make matters worse, the boat was then crushed by the ocean, forcing the men to camp on the ice for four freezing, dark months. Shackleton, however, kept them alive, led them to land, and with five other men, sailed eight hundred miles to find the help they so desperately needed. Despite his failure to cross the Antarctic, Shackleton ensured the safety of all 27 men back home over the span of their two-year antarctic quarantine. 

We have all heard the term “crisis management.” Shackleton displayed not only exceptional traits and skills to manage people and their emotions during a crisis, but he also led his team in hope, toward growth, unity and, ultimately, life.

About a century later, leaders in businesses and organizations can learn from this ship captain. Here are four timeless and life-saving character traits Shackleton shared with many great other leaders in times of crisis. 

Contagious optimism

As one reads through stories like Shackleton’s Way by Margot Morrell and Stephanie Capparell, which describe Shackleton’s effects on the people around him, it is plain Shackleton was a charismatic and optimistic man. Despite the pictures you find on Google images, Shackleton appears to have been a down-to-earth, fun-loving and winsome character. 

One of his crewmembers, who provided many laughs and music to the crew, was told afterward that he was hired because Shackleton thought he looked funny. Although we should never hire or recruit someone solely based on their physical appearances, we get an insight into Shackleton’s priorities. We see that chemistry, rather than just competence, plays a significant factor in a great team. 

As much as leaders should focus on developing skills such as vision-casting and crucial-conversations, it might not be a bad idea to learn how to sing with others even when you can’t and to provide not only hope but optimism. 

Related: How Michael J. Fox Stays Optimistic Even When Times Are Tough

Calm composure

Being optimistic, however, doesn’t lead to change, transformation or results. Shackleton did not have a naive optimism. He knew very well the realities of their situation but maintained a calm composure through. In times of crisis, leaders must maintain reason and rationale, even when it’s tempting to give in to their anxieties and fears. No matter the direness of a situation, great leaders are a source of strength and stability to their team.

Morrell and Capparell quote crewmate Michael H. Dale, who said Shackleton “never gave the slightest sign, no matter how bad things got, that he wasn’t going to survive.”

Related: 11 Tips to Build Emotional Resilience

Egalitarian organization

When I was in my early 20s, I worked as a busboy for a fancy restaurant. One of the things that I always remembered from that place was how you had to first work a shift in all the other roles if you worked as a server.

On Shackleton’s boat, everyone was equal. Whether you were a simple crewman or a doctor, you were expected, when needed, to scrub the floors or drive the boat. Shackleton abided by these rules himself: When dividing the crew into smaller teams, Shackleton always put the most difficult people in his. He even chose to bunk and sleep in the same cabin as others.

In certain situations (e.g., sports), it may be wise to stack a team. If the goal is for everyone to work together and survive, it may be wiser to organize and distribute evenly.

Related: How to Commit and Turn ‘Diversity’ into ‘Inclusion’

Humble compassion

Although Shackleton was called “the Boss,” he is described as taking his time when listening to others. When passing a crew member along an aisle, he would stop them and ask them about their lives and any details that he remembered.

During one frigid evening, Shackleton noticed that one of his men seemed to be suffering more than the others. Instead of emasculating the man in front of everyone, Shackleton instead chose to request more hot apple cider for himself and everyone. While many of the men ended up drinking more hot apple cider than they needed, Shackleton displayed compassion toward his fellow mate.

In Shackleton’s Way, Shackleton is quoted as saying, “[Meals] were bright beacons in those cold and stormy days … The glow of warmth and comfort produced by the food and drink made optimists of us all.”

Related: 7 Inspiring Traits of Compassionate Leadership

Timeless leadership

As we all lead our lives and our respective teams through unparalleled uncertain times, we can all look to Ernest Shackleton as an example of four important traits for crisis leadership:

  • Put goals and metrics aside for a moment and share a laugh or maybe even a song.
  • Be present to your people, providing a cool, calm and collected presence.
  • Sacrifice your pride and preferences.
  • Look to the needs and pain of others.

Couldn’t all the people in our lives use a bit more optimism? United companionship? An extra cup of hot apple cider?

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Will Trump survive his last few days in office? – Channel 4 News



10 Jan 2021

Today, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is expected to move towards impeaching Donald Trump claiming he incited an insurrection on the Capitol last week.


Last Wednesday, a violent mob of Trump supporters rampaged through the most hallowed institution of American democracy, the US Capitol, storming into the debating chamber and sending politicians into hiding and ransacking offices. Just minutes before, Congress was formally confirming President-elect Joe Biden’s win. Today, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is expected to move towards impeaching Donald Trump claiming he incited an insurrection on the Capitol last week.

Clips: ITV News, MSNBC

 

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How Australian SMEs in tech can survive the war on talent


Australia’s tech industry has been able to weather the storm of COVID-19 better than other industries. As an early adopter of remote working long before COVID, tech has been a driving force for enabling new ways of working in response to the pandemic. As a result, job seekers view the sector as resilient to economic challenges and fertile ground for new opportunities.

Yet our research has shown that, whilst attractive, the tech sector in Australia is battling a war for talent. In March 2020, we surveyed 1014 male and female decision-makers in the tech sector to reveal the challenges they face when it comes to sourcing talent. We matched this survey to our 2020 Randstad Employer Brand Research that looks at the needs of Australian tech workers.

The top challenges for candidates and employers in tech

Over half (56 per cent) of the respondents making hiring decisions frequently interviewed candidates who didn’t possess the correct skills for the role they were recruiting for. COVID-19 has accelerated the importance of technology and digital transformation which highlights the increasing significance of education and upskilling.

Our survey results clearly show that tech leaders feel there are gaps in how the sector attracts talent. They believe that by focusing on what tech workers want and collaborating with government and education providers, organisations can win the war on talent today and build a pipeline for the future.

What’s more, for job seekers looking to get into the tech sector the onus seems to be on them to do the leg work. More than half (52 per cent) of tech leaders acknowledged that they expect good talent to come to the industry rather than actively seeking out skilled candidates. 

Long and short term solutions

Leaders in the sector report they are keen to focus on both short and long-term solutions that ensure the sector remains and increases its appeal. In the longer term, a combination of undertaking diversity & inclusion initiatives, further investment in education, have all been shown through our research as key drivers to attracting and retaining high calibre talent. Combined, these strategies take a more holistic view to build Australia’s tech skills, which will be fundamental in supporting the long term success of small businesses.  

Tech leaders believe that diversity also plays a role in attracting candidates within the tech industry, with 63 per cent believing a stronger gender balance would make the sector more appealing, and 58 per cent feeling the tech industry is dominated by men. And 60 per cent also noted that diversity in general would benefit Australia’s tech sector and is an area small businesses are uniquely positioned to embrace. 

Many feel not enough is being done to promote the tech industry, with 67 per cent of tech leaders believing the government has a role to play but is instead prioritising other sectors and not doing enough for the tech industry (61 per cent) 

Of those surveyed, 56 per cent feel that educational offerings in Australia aren’t right for the skills they recruit for, while 59 per cent noted that too much emphasis is put on traditional vocational routes over tech. 

The sector itself identified five key areas that employees most value when choosing a company to work for:

  1. Using the latest tech available.
  2. Being financially healthy.
  3. Providing attractive salaries.
  4. Maintaining a good reputation.
  5. Offering interesting work. 

To attract talent in the short term, SMEs in the tech sector should address and promote a company culture that embodies these values.

Alex Jones, National Director of Technologies, Randstad Australia



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Four people survive rollover down 5m embankment



FOUR people are lucky to be alive after their car rolled several times down an embankment north of remote town Elliott.

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People told to act immediately to survive as two bushfires put homes at risk in Geraldton and Perth’s east


The blaze, which started near the intersection of Mogumber Road and Brand Highway in Red Gully, has been burning since Saturday across the greater Shire of Gingin.

Warning areas:

An emergency warning is in place for people in the area bounded by Flores Road, Sixth Street, Place Road, and North West Coastal Highway in Wonthella.

If you live between North West Coast Highway and Central Road it is safe to leave in a direction away from the fire. If you live between Central Road and Flores Road, it is not safe to leave.

The fire, which was first reported just before 5pm on Tuesday, is out of control and moving in a westerly direction to North West Coastal Highway.

A bushfire emergency warning has been issued in Geraldton for people in an area bounded by Flores Road, Eighth Street, Place Road and North West Coastal Highway in Wonthella.Credit:Facebook

An emergency warning is also in place for people on Doconing Road, Old Northam Road, Government Road and Great Eastern Highway in Beechina.

The bushfire started near the intersection of Great Eastern Highway and Doconing Road just after 4pm and is moving fast in a westerly and north-westerly direction. Burning embers are being blown around homes, with spot fires starting up to 200 metres ahead of the fire.

Residents escaping the fire should travel north, south or west, but not east.

Those who cannot leave for a safer place should shelter in their homes away from the fire front and make sure they can easily escape the flames if needed. They should close all doors and windows and turn off evaporative air conditioners, but keep water running through the system if possible.

“If your home catches on fire and the conditions inside become unbearable, you need to get out and go to an area that has already been burnt,” the Department of Fire and Emergency said.

“Protect yourself by wearing long sleeves and trousers, made from cotton or wool, and strong leather boots.”

If you are self-isolating or quarantining due to COVID-19:

  • You should leave and find alternative accommodation with family or friends who live away from the area.
  • If you are unable to return to your quarantine location within one hour, telephone WA Police on 131 444 to advise them you have had to leave due to an emergency.
  • Regardless of your location, continue to follow COVID-19 precautions and maintain appropriate physical distancing.

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People told to act immediately to survive as bushfire puts homes at risk in Geraldton


Residents in Geraldton’s north have been told to act immediately to survive as an unpredictable bushfire inches closes to lives and homes in Wonthella.

It is the second bushfire to put homes under threat in WA on Tuesday, with more than 200 firefighters battling an out of control blaze near Lancelin that’s been burning since Saturday.

An emergency warning is in place for people in the area bounded by Flores Road, Sixth Street, Place Road, and North West Coastal Highway.

If you live between North West Coast Highway and Central Road it is safe to leave in a direction away from the fire. If you live between Central Road and Flores Road, it is not safe to leave.

The fire, which was first reported just before 5pm on Tuesday, is out of control and moving in a westerly direction to North West Coastal Highway.

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Government offers firms new grants to survive lockdown



Businesses in retail, hospitality and leisure will receive new grants to help them keep afloat.

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Foxes fly, City survive in Rnd 17



Premier League: Leicester City continue their hot form and Manchester City beat Chelsea despite a rough COVID week.

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