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Cory Blair

People Are Awesome.

People Are Awesome.

Written by Cory Blair - Chief People Officer

I haven’t written a blog in a long time.  For whatever reason, I just haven’t had an idea that has just jumped out of my head onto paper.  Until this weekend.  This blog has one simple message.  True leaders are people that do great things for others. 

So, this is the story of my 8-year-old son Ryder and his passion for farming.  Yes, farming.  Those that know me, know I am the furthest thing from a handyman or have any idea about farming.  I am more of the sports nut and my oldest son Peyton fits that mould too.   Ryder must get this from my wife Jessica’s side for sure.  I can remember when he was 2 years old playing at the Hewalo farm in Montmartre Saskatchewan.  He loved the idea of being a worker.  Getting his hands dirty, helping fix stuff with his great Grandpa Murray in the shop.  He loves going with his papa Duane Kaczmar in the semi, hauling grain to the elevator.  He now is old enough to change oil in the semi and grease the 5th wheel.   It is his deal.  His thing to do.  His love.

Well he absolutely loves New Holland farm machinery too.   There are family ties to New Holland.  Grandpa Hewalo owned a dealership in Montmartre, uncle Kim currently works at Markusson New Holland in White City.  Ryder’s teacher Mrs. Markusson husband works there too….  So much New Holland around him.  He loves it.

Last year closer to December, Ryder’s class got to write a letter to anyone in the world. Each student could pick who they want to write too.  A letter asking whomever a series of questions.  Most kids wrote Sidney Crosby or Darian Durant.  Maybe a famous actress or movie star.  Ryder chose to write to Delage Farms, a family farm right here in Saskatchewan.

Delage farms is a large family owned grain farm just north of Indian Head, Saskatchewan.  They farm over 20,000 acres.  That’s a lot of farm land!!!! Most to all their equipment is New Holland.  We always pass by their farm yard on the way to our family cottage at Katepwa Lake.  There are bins that seem to go on for a mile and especially around August there are New Holland combines ready to go to work.  Not just one or two either.  They have more than seven combines (Ryder knows the exact amount)!  Ryder asks us to drive by the farm yard and we do, looking at the cool machinery.  Lucky for us we have watched them harvest a couple of fields just off the highway.  Ryder of course gets right into it explaining to us what type of header is on the combine etc…stuff way over my head!!!

Ryder wrote a letter to them. He introduced himself and asked a bunch of questions.  He put it in the mail and then he waited.  Before you knew it, there was some mail for Ryder.  It was a letter from Marc Delage.  He runs the farm with his family.  He answered all of Ryder’s questions.  The letter was on their company letterhead so of course Ryder knew it was legit!!  Marc also sent Ryder a couple tee shirts and pictures of their farm.  He was smiling from ear to ear.  Marc also said in the letter that during seeding this year, Ryder could come out and ride in the tractor.  He could do this at harvest time too if he wanted!!! Ryder circled that on his calendar.  We messaged Marc a couple weeks ago and this past weekend Ryder went out and hung out with Marc and his brother in-law Jordan.

Ryder got to work on the farm.  He helped burn some stubble, he seeded canola (even his own 30 acres) and he got to go in the semi with Jordan filling up fertilizer for the seeder.  He got served a field lunch too!  His dream came true.  It may not seem like a big deal as lots of kids grow up on a farm but for Ryder it was a huge deal!! 

We are just so proud of him.  He did it on his own.  He knows what he loves already.  That makes us so happy. His smile is so infectious.  It is just AWESOME!! A couple of times I just was so elated for him a got a little choked up.  This is special to him and it takes special people to help out a kid live out his dream.

What I learned through this is that people are awesome.  True leadership happens when someone does something great for someone else, not to boost their own ego, not to fill their own bucket but to fill someone else’s.  Marc and Jordan did that for Ryder.  They could have said they were too busy.  They could have said kids cannot come in the tractor or semi, especially a kid they did not really know.  They were all in from the beginning.

They practiced servant leadership.  They are leaders.  They did something so positive for him. They practiced stewardship, empathy, foresight and growth.  They did this by just being themselves, good-hearted people that get it.  I learned that a lot of us, especially people that live here in our province and Canada, do have those attributes of leadership.  We need to explore stories like this and companies need to celebrate it more often.  It is in our DNA.  

Ryder will remember that day for ever and now has built a friendship that could last a long time.  Marc called me and said Ryder is welcome back at any time.  They will be spraying the crops so he can jump in with one of the guys.   I told him we appreciate the effort they put forward to make Ryder happy.  Marc said “hey no problem!!  Anytime I can share my passion with someone I am happy.”


Thanks Marc and Jordan from Delage Farms.  You guys are true leaders and just awesome people.  You made a little boy a farmer for life.

Sincerely thanks guys,

Cory and Jessica Blair


#peoplepeople #servantleadership #delagefarms #farmerforlife



Live Like a Kid!

Live Like a Kid!

Written by Cory Blair- Chief People Officer, Affective Consulting 

The world right now is a little messed up.  All the violence, terrorism, political catastrophes and hate…. It is not cool at all.  It is what we see everyday on the news and especially social media.  In fact, it is 95% of what we see.  WHY do we focus on all this bad stuff???  It is like the analogy of driving by a car crash just to see it… Nobody needs to see that… The more attention we give to this stuff the more we succumb to it.   We need to take a time out.  We need to be people people…. We need to stop and focus on doing great things for others…. we need to learn from our kids!!

It is currently the middle of summer vacation.  It is a time to recharge the batteries and spend time outside at the lake, camp, go on a trek in the old minivan – whatever it takes to get away.  Kids are on vacation from school and just going bonkers, loving the sun and being free.  I am lucky to have 4 awesome kids and also nieces and nephews as well as be close to our neighbor kids.  This summer I have focused on watching them have fun.  How they play and interact.

 Guess what? Our world and many organizations can learn a thing or two from kids.  99.9999 % percent of their purpose is simple. To have fun.  Be themselves. Learn. Share.  Laugh.  Run through the sprinklers... It is a really simple concept.  Just do really good things.  Good things lead to other good things and before you know it a culture of fun is born.  A culture of awesome is born.  Yes, there are some cries.  Yes, there are some scrapes and bruises but those are quickly forgotten because kids don’t sit there and dwell on the bad.  Kids get back up and go.  Our messages as parents or people to our children is to focus on the good ALWAYS!!!  So why the heck are we focusing so much on the bad in the news, within our organizations or even our adult relationships….

Just for a day live and think simplistically like a kid.  Your day will be awesome.  Good things will happen and yes the sprinklers will be really cold!

A Beautiful Mind

A Beautiful Mind

Written by Cory Blair, Chief People Officer, Affective Consulting 

That is conation and it is beautiful. Instincts are that gut feel on how to do something and making those million decisions a day that have an impact on you and others. Instincts or conative abilities are the how to your life.

Through my training I learned that the human mind actually has 3 parts.  It is some Freudian stuff but when you lay it out, it is simple to understand.  We even used one of the terms as our business name to signify the importance of feeling good about yourself.   Where thoughts, instincts and feelings live.  Let me explain…

When I conduct team building sessions I always tell a story about in my 33 years I have learned so much about people, life situations and my self.  People say well you are pretty young what the hell do you know?   Well I know I am not a messiah by any means but I do know people stuff and football stats!! Even in my last 6 years I have learned a lot about how business works, how relationships are formed and destroyed and most importantly how I fit into the puzzle.  I have a long way to go, gaining more and more experience but I will now forever be indebted to the 3 parts of the mind and use it in everything I do.

In 2010 almost 6 years to the day, I flew to Phoenix Arizona and took training in Kolbe™.  Kolbe is an assessment tool that we use here at Affective Consulting that is strength based focusing on instincts and natural creativity and decision making.  It opened my eyes to a world of stories and examples that make sense on how I currently function as an individual, husband, father and coach and how I did as a kid.   At the time I did not realize my authentic self but now 6 years later I am helping others realize how awesome and unique they are and that it is perfectly fine to be yourself. 

The biggest piece for me is my learning of the 3 parts of the mind.  Thinking, feeling and doing.  Essentially up to 2010 I only knew about the thinking and feeling part.  Those also go by cognitive and affective.  Cognitive is how smart you are, your experience what you have for education.  Affective is your personality, likes dislikes, attitude and motivation.  Most to all organizations hire for those two.  What degree and job experience do you have and are you introverted or extroverted.  What are you passionate about?  What do you love?   These are needed and important.  But one thing I learned was missing was how do you take action? How do you walk the walk?  In a decision making crisis how are you going to solve the problem?

That’s the doing piece.  That is conation and it is beautiful.   Instincts are that gut feel on how to do something and making those million decisions a day that have an impact on you and others.  Instincts or conative abilities are the how to your life.

The best part of this is that all 3 play off each other.  You need motivation to get started and you need to have reason to take action.  The best example was my university career.  I did not know a thing about conative abilities at the time but I wish I did!!  I struggled in class and larger classes.  I had horrible study habits.  I did not take notes and waited for the last minute to finish anything.  I failed... Bigtime!!!

 Again without knowing anything about conation I was motivated to finish my degree and from experience I knew I had to find a solution to finish it out.  So being naturally innovative and more of an essential info guy I registered in smaller classes where the professors were more one on one, took classes where I could use my creativity in writing papers not exams and shifted my class schedule to late mornings so I could sleep in.  Those are just 4 ways of getting my degree.  There was more (but this is a blog not a novel).  Looking back, it was adapting to my strengths on how I do it and being me that resurrected my university career.  Thinking, feeling and doing simply my way, got me out of the rut I was in.

Check out for more info on why we do what we do and I look forward to my next blog in the coming weeks!!



Self Love

Self Love

Written by Cory Blair, Founding Partner - Affective Consulting

Humans!! Strange bunch we are.  We are all people that breathe the air, splash in the water and feel the wind of a big snow globe called Earth.  More importantly is each person that lives on this earth is unique and has talents that allow them to contribute to their respective cultures.  Whether that culture is a tribe in the African jungle still practicing holistic medicine or a fortune 500 company making the newest technological gadget, all sorts of different people make up different cultures in our world.  This is what makes the world such a great place.   

The problem with our world today is what we see, hear and feel each and every day rarely reflects why the world is a great place.  We see violence and crime on the 6’oclock news, front pages of newspapers and more and more of the same on social media.    We see and hear about great stories of people doing awesome things but are always out talked, tweeted or messaged by something negative. Why is it that we need to hear about bad things all the time?  Why is it that we cannot support the good in people before pointing out the bad? 

I have a theory.  Self-Love.

No I am not some hippie living in a Volkswagen van loving everything that Mother Nature created, although that does sound pretty awesome.

From my experiences and education I believe that in order to truly love others you need to love yourself first.  Yes, people come from different parts of the world with different ideologies which can cause differences and negative action but I try to boil it down to individuals and simplify, to self-love.

Self –love is essentially looking in the mirror and smiling.  It is being at peace with what you bring to the world each and every day.  It is the belief in yourself.  I believe that if people truly loved themselves they could understand others better. 

Prime examples are bullies.  Bullies pick on others to make themselves feel superior and powerful.  Why?  Because they have no self-love.  They take out their own personal insecurity on others and that makes them feel better about themselves. 

The selfie revolution is another great example of the lack of self-love.  A selfie?  The selfie is the best self-love tool ever invented!!!

 I don’t think so.  It is a depiction of narcissism.  It becomes an addiction of egotistical arrogance.     People with low self-esteem and self-worth need to act out, cry out for attention because they do not have the confidence in their own abilities and talents.   Hence that is why you get those people constantly on Facebook posting a selfie.  Look at me, I am awesome, love me because I sure don’t love me.   Kim Kardashian did not invent the selfie.  Nope, Hitler did!  He was so obsessed with him-self he used to get people to snap pictures of him and he would go thru them to find the ones he thought captioned his perfection.  Guess what? Hitler probably didn’t like what he saw in the mirror hence all the bad he brought to the world.

Without self-love people treat others poorly, talk behind each other’s backs and diminish good things in others just to feel better about themselves.  I see it all the time in the work place, in my kid’s school and on social media.  What we need to start doing is teaching our kids at a young age that they have talents and abilities to be celebrated.  But how?

Well first and foremost I believe in conation.  The innate talent each person is born with.  How we take action, solve problems and attack creativity.  It is something we never heard of in schools because each child is taught a cookie cutter approach to learning.  It is something our bosses despise because a job needs to be done a certain way and heaven forbid we do it differently.  

When you allow people to do it their way, the freedom of their own strengths wonderful things happen.  Self-love happens.  People become more confident, motivated and feel better about themselves.  People want to learn more and take on new experiences.  They begin to think, feel and act the way were they were meant to.  They self-actualize or self-love.

When this happens something else happens.  People realize that others are different and have other strengths and methods to get things done.  People see that others compliment them at work and in their relationships.  People begin to see the value in others.  People do good things for others and see the diversity that makes our world great.  Self-love turns to love.

It all starts with you.  Do you know your strengths?  How do you take action?  What do you bring to the table?  What do you like or not like?  What is your motivation? What inspires you?  Why do you get up in the morning?  If each person started their self-love assessment like this, it would lead to a whole bunch of just plain old love in the crazy world we live in.