Saturday, 30 April 2011

Is Mr. Layton sexist? Miss. Logic thinks so.

Please, do tell where I go wrong! Please use logic so I can follow!

Straight from


1. attitudes or behavior based on traditional stereotypes of sexual roles.
2. discrimination or devaluation based on a person's sex, as in restricted job opportunities; especially, such discrimination directed against women.


1. pertaining to, involving, or fostering sexism: a sexist remark; sexist advertising.

Mr. Layton plans to further increase spending by, "...restoring cuts to women’s programs and organizations."  This is sexist towards woman.

Here's the logic:
1. sexism is discrimination or devaluation against a person based on their sex and attitudes/behaviors based on traditional stereotypes of sexual roles
2. Traditional stereotypes sadly in our society:
       a) women are weaker then men and cannot 'do things on their own' they need help.
       b) women are not as resourceful as men and therefore need the help of others to further their cause
       c) women are not as smart as men and cannot logically convince others of their position.
3.  These above negative and untrue stereotypes are being unintentionally reinforced by Mr. Layton telling women's group's: "you need our (NDP led government) investment in your programs"
4. this devalues women because it robs women within woman's groups the opportunity act out the opposite of the negative stereotypes.  Here is how Jack Layton is devaluing woman and reinforcing terrible stereotypes in our society:
       aa) saying women are too week to get their own funding from the free will and generous Canadian people, they are not strong enough and therefore need government help.
        bb) women are not as resourceful as men therefore they are not able to articulate their cause, mobilize talent and spread a message to acquire their required donations.  So because Mr. Layton sees this, he believe it's his job to fund women's groups: if he did not believe it, then why would he insult women by telling them their cause is in shortfall unless he (a leader who is a man) offers resources with funding.  (how sexist Mr. Layton!!) 
        cc) If women were as smart as men, (Mr. Layton obviously thinks) then they would not need funding because they would be able to construct logical arguments that are well presented to appeal to a generous Canadian public and receive their funds (just like thousands of other organizations). 
I do not approve of reinforcing sexist stereotypes by telling woman's groups they need gov. funding.  I am for elimination of sexism and sexist attitudes. Once again we see the logical peril of manufacturing fairness. 
Mr. Layton, stop the sexist attitudes towards women.  Let's end sexism in our society and stop reinforcing traditional behaviors that 'women need funding by others to be a success'.  This is sexist and Mr. Layton should be ashamed of himself. 

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

So Thankful... Part II

In the year 2000, my lifelong dream of playing in the NHL blew up and I did not turn pro.  I was decimated.  I did not struggle with my there was none to struggle with.  I knew nothing of myself.  I felt my 'purpose' was gone.  I felt alone and like a complete failure.  I remember crying for days on end; knowing the 1 thing I was groomed to do turned into nothing.

I got a Job at Wellington Construction working as a general laborer.  My dear friend Bert Stevens hired me.  The amount of humility required to step into the construction field when I felt I was destined for pro was overwhelming.  Each day working there reminded me I blew what I was purposed to do. Adding to this devastation was attending a church that told me "God has good purposes for you".   I wrongly interpreted and consequently lived out that I was colossal failure... after all, I blew my purpose so now I must be displeasing God.

Being fit, smart and perceived by others as someone who is going to “accomplish something” put a lot of pressure on me and further highlighted the 'gap' between what I thought I was to accomplish and what I was doing.

I could well imagine my family could see how upset I was and one evening my dad shared something with me that quite possibly could remain the most powerful word ever spoken and I am honored to share it with you.  He said, "Ryan you were robbed (from your hockey dream).  Robbed blind and it was a gross injustice that you are not where you should be.  I am horrified inside as a father that this was allowed to happen to you and I wish in all the world you could have been recognized for what was so painfully obvious." By then I was sobbing for he knew my pain.  But then he continued "Ryan, but let me tell you something else…the newborn who was born healthy with no defects, and due to hospital error, is now mentally and physically handicapped: that is an injustice Ryan…that is wrong and that pains me and hurts me to the core to see that injustice against this poor boy.  And Ryan, I share your deep pain and weep with you at the injustice against you,  I am hurt at your destroyed dream. However Ryan, you need to know that you still have a brain to think.  You still have hands to worship God with.  You still have a body that does exactly what you want it to do.  That boy has a damaged brain and body."

At the time, I felt loved that my father cares for my dreams destroyed, yet at the same time taught me to realize that others too have deep injustices.  Dad did not alleviate my pain or elevate the other boy's. He simply showed compassion to both.

In 2001 Brad, Dad and I started a company B&R Custom Machining (now entering our 11th year).  During these years I continued to struggle with identity.

In about 2006 I was corresponding with my pastor and he made a little one-liner comment to me that played a powerful role in my development. He wrote: NHL:  New Hope Lives.  This was an opposite contrast to my personal theology at the time.  I felt, "due to no NHL, all hope has died."  Fascinating!  My source of being helpless (no NHL) was the acronym Pastor used to speak hope into me.  Each day I would either dream or think of my past with hockey: it was like an inner prison.  There would be so many trigger points that tied back to my past.

Shortly after my Pastor’s words, I decided I want to establish our company values for B&R Custom.  I had absolutely no idea what the purpose of profit was.  Was it to line my pockets? Shareholder profits? Serve employees? Reinvest for new equipment?  Advance suppliers?  What is the purpose of profit? 

I remember it was a Saturday and I was pacing our shop floor and I said, "God, I am not leaving here until you tell me what the purpose of profit is."  I was incredibly frustrated with my despair and lack of purpose.  I was “the boss” and the owner of a company, yet internally did not know what the purpose of profit was.  So I paced and paced asking God at least 1000 times.  As clear as a bell, I recall God saying to me, "Ryan it has to be accessible to everyone who touches your company".  I blurted out, "Perfect God… good start… so, what's the 'it'? What has to be perfectly accessible? What?"  For another 3 hours I paced the floor asking "what is the purpose of profit?  I know whatever it is will be accessible to everyone who touches the company."  Then suddenly, in a still moment of silence I heard from God ever so softly, "Ryan, you choose."  A world of emotions immediately rose up inside as I declared from my inner most being, "the purpose of profit is to establish justice and the justice is the offering of a remedy". 

I felt honored, respected and valued.  I felt prized and sought after.  I later realized how my father’s and pastor’s short, but powerful words of life set the stage for something so magnificent: out of the disaster of my hockey.  Somehow, redemption was in the works.  The very foundation that I had built in my first 6 years, and the 4 years since were focused entirely on 'establishing the basics of success' so that others who touch the company have access to remedies: justice.  Justice is a big word often thrown out there, yet what justice has looked like for us is too much for this blog, but suffice it to say, it encompasses learning and recognizing the order to how business ought to be run.  The value of a strong foundation.  Learning how to make a profit while valuing customers, shareholders and employees.  This has been an incredible 10 year journey that has taught me so much, and opened the door for so much more I am able to learn.

I am overjoyed to report that New Hope does indeed Live.  My hope was found first in a God who loves me and did not give up on me. Through this, I can find hope in my father, who's passionate love for me was clearly expressed at my most vulnerable moment.  My hope was found in men like Bert Stevens and Jamie Kubassek who sought me out in the halls at church and asked me how I was doing, taking an interest in my world.  My hope has been stirred by Earl Pitts who has seen potential and possibility in me. Where for years he observed I saw none in myself. When I was a mouthy rebellious 15 year old boy he began investing in me and loving on me. My hope is in my wife who smiles when I come home and says, "I am glad you are here". 

New Hope does indeed Live.  And this hope has recently helped me to realize that my prize was not and is not in playing in the NHL… but in my 2 darling precious girls.  I stand proud that I am able to model these shared principles to them.  Others loving me is the reason I have lasted 10 years as the front man of B&R: plain and simple.

Sadie is incredible. I love her so much.

Alexis means the world to me.

I have hope that B&R will continue to invest in people, increasing their skills.  I want employees to increase their wage and profit from their contributions within our firm: let's invest in excellence and results together.  I remain honored that something so horrible that caused so much regret and dejection could be used as a opportunity for me to participate in something quite the opposite: serving others and partnering with people to offer remedies to real problems. Establishing justice.

This is why I believe in the free market. It gives the freedom to look reality square in the face, and along with other people: truly come out on top.  A free market often acts like a mirror that reflects your projection back on you.  Surrounding ourselves with loved ones is the way we should be picking ourselves up, dusting ourselves off and getting back in the game.

We are looking at a real possibility of a socialist government (NDP) partnering with the Liberals.  I encourage you today to live out the lifestyle of a small 'c' conservative.
The free market was very harsh to me. Rejection was almost my middle name.  I felt defeated and dejected oh so many times. Hopeless and worthless.  Yet, it is not for the NDP to manufacture fairness by programs and laws.  It is not their job to 'right this wrong'.  For by giving place to socialist principles we lose the opportunity to truly see ourselves as we are and make the required changes for our benefit and advancement. {This principle is not also used to dam the helpless…clearly any sensible Canadian wants to uphold the helpless}  Socialism does not give open place for justice or compassion.

In my opinion Mr. Layton, manufacturing fairness with laws and programs is a form of bondage. It gives a 'quick fix' to a real problem.  Friends, I encourage you to rise up in good judgment and realize the power behind words of life. See the value of looking at somebody square in the eyes and telling them they are worth it and you are here to help.  Friends, as I write to you today, those were indeed powerful agents of hope restored in my world.  I know from employee testimony, words of life were powerful agents in them. Advancing them through problems being solved.  Words of life are powerful agents in approaching customers with conviction that indeed you care about their situation and will work hard to make things right.

Do not be fooled by Mr. Layton’s charm and 'message of fairness'.  I want the same 'end' as he does….Canadians being valued.  What I shared with you today hopefully explains how we can operate within a free market and come out on top.  If you are in a state of hopelessness, I encourage you today: find just one person who loves you and receive words of life from them.  If you are hope filled, find a person who may be struggling with something and speak life into their situation.  We have power with our 'vote' but also with our lifestyle of compassion.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Monday, 25 April 2011

So Thankful...

It was a rainy dark morning in January of 2009; I will never forget.  I pulled into B&R hearing on the radio, "and the US payrolls decreased by 650 000" (number later revised further; not good).  My heart sank as I knew we were in the middle of a deep recession.  Shaken, I walked into work with my tail between my legs thinking, "And we are not fairing much better". 

Knowing I am responsible for leading our shop in its current plight. I became overwhelmed fairly quickly.  I was not sure what to do.  We had damaged sales, slow payables and I was watching a manufacturing industry fall apart all around me.  I became upset and 'blamed the recession'.  I blamed AIG, GM and big US banks that (Bear Sterns, Lehman Brothers, JP, Goldman). I felt the SEC (Securities Exchange Commission) failed to do their job. 

After venting frustration on everything around me, I realized that my situation was the same.  My blaming others did not increase our sales/profitability or get us out of the situation we were in.

Being in despair was an understatement.  There were a series of precautions I took to ensure we survived the recession and our 9 year investment in people and our business did not turn into a layoff statistic.

My leading role and responsibilities were bigger than me at that time.  I did what I knew best: turned to loved ones.

My inspiration came first from my father, a shareholder who said, "Ryan, this recession is going to be hard but we will get out of it. What B&R is doing is real and you will be a success…fight through this and you have my support".  And before I could blink, his support was made known.  The man had more confidence in my leadership then I had in myself.  This inspired me to pray; "Lord, thank you for people.  Thank you that you have given us an opportunity to fight through this recession.  I ask for an opportunity to work".  Within 1 week, we won some major jobs that allowed me to run parts 'production style' on our CNC machines.  I worked 2 shifts for quite some time.  I got out of the office, and on to the floor.  I learned to be a CNC programmer/operator and ran the lathe.  I 'pushed go' on other machines becoming a 1 man production crew.  Several days I would simply work around the clock: 35hour shifts.

My wife Abby would remember the mornings I curled up to her at 3:00 am only to wake up and start my day again for 7:00 am.  This lasted for about 4 months.  I did not realize I had it in me to work so much.  But we got the jobs done.  We survived the recession.  This was a team effort, and I was honored to do my part.  I was incredibly thankful to Abby for her support and kindness to me during this trying time.
My beautiful wife! Thank you so much Abby, you are my hero.

Brad (another owner), was nothing short of heroic working hard, smart and he too jumped on the machines and produced. 

We made a critical choice to keep our talent and carry a higher overhead with lower sales on the premise that we need to keep our rare Aerospace designations: a decision I look at today as brilliant. In 2010 we won a "Gold Supplier Award" with a major Aerospace firm who is equally if not more passionate about excellence.  This is a success story about the free market, valuing people, taking responsibility and pursuing our dreams.   I am honored to share this story with you along with some key lessons.
Keeping our talent was a good decision. 

Today we employ 35 people, over tripling in size from the dark days of the recession.  It is a beautiful honor to have survived and I remain thankful in some key areas:

  1. That ownership was in unity and we all equally stood behind each other
  2. That employees worked hard and did not give up
  3. That work came to us; enough to survive
  4. That the dark days brought several lessons that did not crush us, but made us stronger
  5. That my relationships grew and increased
  6. That we are better positioned for opportunity now, then ever before (with a strong foundation)

The top lessons I learned from this time period that I encourage you with:
1.  My words created my reality.  When people asked, 'how are you doing?’ I talked about how the recession is hurting us.  How we are impacted by the crazy world around us.  When my father/brother loved on me, and spoke life into me, I realized that our situation was not the recessions 'fault'.  I realized that we choose to buy machines with payments, we choose our business with risk and reward, and we choose not to better prepare for a dark time.  Really, our situation was a culmination of our choices.  The recession simply was a bold punctuation mark behind our choices.  I changed my language to that of taking responsibility for my choices, not blaming everything on the recession.  I am proud to tell you that our situation began to change with the change in language.  I encourage you today to find people who love you and speak words of life into your situation; however dark or desperate.  Life and death are in the power of our tongue.
2.  The recession did a great job pointing out 'holes in my game'.  I realized we were doing lots of things well, but I found several opportunities for improvement.  Don't wait until disaster strikes to learn your lessons.  By connecting with people, being open and transparent we position ourselves to hear from others, things we cannot see ourselves.  Don't be threatened by this…find a way to embrace it.  Advancement comes by embracing responsibility, not running from it.
3.  My political passion is tied to how real my values are in work, family and faith.  I do not have 'one set of views' for faith that are different then work and another for family.  Living from our values I find to be incredibly challenging and requires me connecting with other people: constantly.  My passionate dislike of socialism is not simply a clash in ideology.  The clash in ideology is a mere disagreement of one way of doing something to another way of doing the same thing.  My passion comes from seeing what socialism does to people.  How socialism devalues people, limits opportunity, creates 'brainwaves' that says, 'deflect and blame'.  Just listen to the NDP…its Harpers fault your family is hurting.  It's the banks fault you are paying too much interest on your visa.  It's those large corporations fault we do not have enough taxes to pay for our long list of programs.  Doing life with people and taking responsibility is tough indeed; especially within a free market.    I often complained, "we work hard, value people and re-invest our profits…it's not fair we are getting hurt by this recession".  I sounded like a socialist!  In Jack Layton's world, everything is about 'fairness'…in the real world it is about taking responsibility and loving/growing with people.  I am thankful I learned how to change my thinking by changing my words. I am passionate to help others discover the joy of connecting with people, taking responsibility and embracing their destiny.
Connecting point: Words have power.  Jack Layton's words, "Its big business, it's the evil profit by hungry banks, it's not you… it's them! Let the NDP fight for you!"  Those words have power if we accept them!  If we accept it's 'their' fault and get the government to fight our fights, we are defeating ourselves by entering into a mindset of accepting a thought process which deflects blame to government.  This creates a cycle of dependence and you might as well hand the keys to the car over to the NDP to drive. Don't accept such evil and untrue words! You are far too valuable and precious!  You need loved ones and words of life, not socialism and deflecting blame!  God bless you as you process this data.

The connection between investing in people, learning and growing while developing alignment in home, work and faith is a powerful argument that I believe our world is desperate to see, not hear.

Be encouraged as you reflect on this note and increase your capacity in business!

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