December 29, 2014

TED 2014 – Year in Review

Invest 8 minutes and watch this.

Kneale Mann | People + Priority = Profit


December 26, 2014

2014 – Year in Reflection

Ideas shared. Friends reunited. Challenges beaten. Dreams sought. Jobs lost.
Opportunities found. Laughs enjoyed. Money earned. Chances missed.

Surprises given. Love lost. Adventures embarked. Doors opened. Balance restored.
Joy experienced. Collaboration realized. Freedom relished. Fulfillment renewed.

Sadness endured. Families respected. Success appreciated. Faith challenged.
Passion treasured. Love reunited. Memories generated. Pain suffered.

Setbacks sustained. Many remembered. History created. Lessons engaged.
Hope rejuvenated. Trust earned. Friends united. Life lived. You advanced.

Here’s to more in 2015!
Kneale Mann | People + Priority = Profit


December 25, 2014

Happy Christmas

Kneale Mann

Pogues | Kirsty MacColl

December 22, 2014

Leadership Humanized

I've done a rather unscientific study with colleagues, friends, and clients, and it’s clear many are taking a good look at their lives from all aspects – work, family, finances, love, spirituality, health, exercise, dreams – and making a plan to improve what is needed and move away from what is not helping them.

We need to take full responsibility for our behavior in all aspects of our lives and with whom we share. And the old adage you can’t bring your life to work is hopefully taking its last few gasps of life. Bring all of you to all you do or don’t bother.

Eyes Forward

While you reflect on this ending year and the start of a new one, take a few steps back and give thought to the people on your team and in your company; the people in your life who are enriching it and those who may be holding you back.

I have a friend who says she hasn't dreamed or created in a while. I would challenge that she may not have given herself the belief to act. Perhaps that’s what we all need right now? If we want a successful 2015, we need to stop the busy and start paying closer attention to the humans around us and most importantly ourselves.

The results may blow us away.
Kneale Mann | People + Priority = Profit


December 18, 2014

Let's Keep Searching...

Since 2001, Google has put together the highlights of the year in the spirit of our time or Zeitgeist. This year, they did something very different.

Watch this then share it.

2013 to 2001

Kneale Mann | People + Priority = Profit


December 15, 2014

Resolutions and Reflection

The calendar year is drawing to a close so it’s only natural we think back on what went well, not so well, and the lessons we learned, while preparing for that magical turn of the year for new ideas, triumphs, relationships, opportunities, challenges, and more.

For me and many I know, it has been both a challenging and enlightening year. Perhaps only my perception, but it seems many are sifting through their lives for what makes sense, what needs attention, and most importantly, what can be improved to reach personal goals. Happiness and fulfillment seem to be a common theme more than material wealth or professional advancement.

What is your next want?

We get distracted by the ominous and often unclear goal of finding our passion and achieving our dreams. If you’re a regular visitor here, you know I think relationships are the key to all we do and where our most profound lessons and experiences reside.

There are people who have touched your life who would love to hear from you. You've been thinking about giving them a call while excuses and busy have kept you from doing so as time continues to pass. So this year while you are reflecting and looking forward, find a moment and give them a call. Some may be happy to hear from you and wish you well while others may surprise you.

What happens next may be just what you need right now.
Kneale Mann | People + Priority = Profit


December 11, 2014

Relationships Are Not Easy

We are twisted complicated creatures. There is pressure to do well, meet deadlines, attain results, and all the while run to find some unattainable goal of success. We are trying to navigate relationships with each other and most importantly with ourselves.

Trust is key – that’s the deal breaker. Without trust, we have nothing. But in business, it’s not always easy to maintain. There is pressure to make a buck, increase market share, and win the customer. And in life, it’s difficult to keep that openness because of competing priorities and baggage from the past.

Easier Said Than Done

It might be unintentional but we measure those around us against those who used to be around us. We have layers to peel through and old habits to challenge in order to build stronger relationships in life and in business. But trust doesn't happen if we’re not trustworthy. This is work for each of us, not just the other person.

We all mess up. We stumble and make mistakes. So we must try our level best not to hold others to a higher standard than we are prepared to hold ourselves. And we should also realize there is no such thing as the moral high ground.

We can improve our relationships with open communication and fairness. I’d rather have a small handful of people in my life I can trust verses a roomful of people I can’t but is that really possible in our busy over competitive time?

That's up to us.
Kneale Mann | People + Priority = Profit


December 9, 2014

Enjoy the Ride

One of my go-to songs is from a band called Morcheeba entitled Enjoy the Ride. There was a situation recently that made me crank it a few times. We spend far too much of our time looking back and looking forward and not enough time enjoying now.

Now is not always fun and the ride is certainly not always smooth – in fact, it’s often quite bumpy. But if we pay more attention, we may stop chasing shadows in our work, our companies, our relationships, and our lives and enjoy this ride.

Kneale Mann | People + Priority = Profit

Morcheeba | mickym77

December 5, 2014

Making More Mistakes

There is ample theory that we don’t try many of the ideas we want to try because we fear failure or success. Economist Tim Harford explains why we need to make better mistakes and not assume we know the answers.

Kneale Mann | People + Priority = Profit

TED | Tim Hartford

December 2, 2014

The Season of People

Whether you celebrate it or not, it’s impossible to miss the annual onslaught that is the Christmas season. The stores are filled with brightly colored signs and packages, the websites are littered with Holiday specials, and seasonal music is everywhere.

This is the season of parties and get-togethers and – to some – the dreaded company gathering. The mood can be a bit lighter. You may be getting together with clients and customers for a celebratory lunch or beverage. And things may slow down just a bit.

Take a Moment

While you are lifting that cup of cheer, remember one important element which is the people you work and collaborate with because without them, none of this would be possible. That’s not just an overused cliché, it’s the truth.

For many I know, this has been a roller coaster year. Perhaps for you too. Take a moment, take that well-deserved breath and thank the people in your life, on your team, at your workplace, and yourself for a job well done. And let's remember this in a few months when busy gets in the way of the important stuff.

And please celebrate responsibly!
Kneale Mann | People + Priority = Profit

yoann jezequel

November 29, 2014

Seven Ideas for Great Company Culture

As much as it’s funky to have exposed brick, a foosball table in the lunch room, and lattes at 3pm, those won’t ensure your company has engaged employees who will do passionate work. Culture is much deeper. It’s a feeling and an instinct that can’t be forced or faked. And it takes work to upkeep. Every day. From everyone.

Here are seven areas to consider to make your company a great place to work.

No matter the survey, compensation always makes it into one of the top reasons people stay or leave a company. But if money is the number one concern of employees, you have a serious issue. Pay people properly.

What makes people want to bring their best every day and feel appreciated? If you can’t explain it in a sentence or two, dig deeper.

What does your company stand for and what won’t it do? Two significant questions that seem easy enough to answer yet most struggle with them. We want to be a part of something that aligns with our values.

Not all decisions can be made by committee, in fact most people want leadership to guide the way, but keep communication open enough for people to feel you genuinely want their input and ideas.

Departments are created for a reason. Sales focuses on revenue while product design improves the offering. But don’t box people in so they can’t offer input to areas where they might not be subject matter experts. Some of the best ideas may come from the most unexpected places.

From small companies with a handful of employees to the Fortune 50, the relationship people have with their direct report and the people closest to them in their day-to-day work experience, will be the single biggest reason they stay or leave. Model the behavior you want from others.

Teamwork and collaboration are a core elements to great culture. We want to belong and contribute so afford everyone the chance to do both.

Like trust, respect is earned not mandated by an org chart. So if you want great company culture, create an atmosphere of respect and trust and watch what happens.

Or you could order the latte machine and hope for the best. 
Kneale Mann | People + Priority = Profit


November 27, 2014

How Do You Measure Success?

Many say leadership is about results and the ability to measure those results. If you run a company, you are compensated by the success of the bottom line. But are you sure you know of all the ways you can influence the profits of your work?

It may be somewhat simple to proclaim if we sell more stuff to more customers we will be more successful. But let’s look at the items we can’t necessarily measure which dramatically affect the way we view success.

More More More

Certainly in Western culture, it appears we can never get enough. We are chasing the dream, the goal, the customer, the money, and all the while not spending even a second realizing where we are and what we have right now.

This goes well beyond monetary measurement to include experiences, relationships, belonging, esteem, and fulfillment. We aren’t here long yet we spend our time chasing something we so rarely can even define.

A few years ago, facing an historic downturn in the hospitality industry, Chip Conley decided to discover how he could improve his company, his employee experience, and the relationship with customers.

Watch this.

Kneale Mann | People + Priority = Profit

TED | Chip Conley

November 24, 2014

Listen to Your Gut

We admire fearless people who take chances. But without knowing their story, it’s difficult to make that claim. Much has been written and said about taking chances, failure, and ultimate success. If you were to ask any person who has attained any modicum of advancement, they would probably tell you about the many times it took to make it. The setbacks, roadblocks, and challenges were plentiful.

Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.
Jonathan Swift

You know that feeling you have right now in the pit of your stomach? That’s the voice you may not be listening to but you should, I should, we all should. Then act on it. Our fear stops us from moving. Our worry that it won’t work out makes us freeze.

Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.
They somehow already know what you truly want to become.
Steve Jobs

Now think of a time you listened to your intuition and you started to move. Suddenly the doubts dissipated and things began to work out. Once you made the decision, it was clear what you needed to do. There were hiccups and twists, but you kept going.

Vision with action can change the world.
Nelson Mandela

We need to remember that one step today toward our goals will take us one step away from our fears. The longer we wait, the more difficult it will be to move and the more our doubts will grow. Few among us are immune.

Your gut knows what to do. Get quiet enough not to ignore it.
Kneale Mann | People + Priority = Profit


November 23, 2014

Coffee Wisdom

Years ago, I purchased a coffee mug. It was strong. The perfect weight. The perfect size. I have been using it almost every day since. I was on a call this morning and read the words on the side probably for the first time since the day I bought it. The author is Mary Ann Radmacher. I’ll be reading my coffee mug daily from now on.

Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. 
Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. 
Choose with no regrets. Continue to learn.
Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. 
Live as if this is all there is.

Drink up.
Kneale Mann | People + Priority = Profit

Mary Ann Radmacher | Kneale Mann

November 20, 2014

It’s Time to Sit Still

The mere concept of doing absolutely nothing is foreign to many (most) of us. Meditation has been around since we began walking the earth but despite ourselves, we continue to cram more into our lives than is possible and necessary.

A worse affliction than hurried lifestyles, busy work spaces, and smartphones glued to our hands, is our minds. To that end, this is definitely a book I’ll be picking up.

The Art of Stillness by Pico Iyer reveals; “How stillness can act as a creative catalyst, and advocates for a way of living that counters the frenetic design of our modern lives.”

Perhaps it's time we got a lot less busy.

Kneale Mann | People + Priority = Profit

Pico Iyer | TED

November 18, 2014

How Much is Enough?

The annual strategic meetings are on. The big boss says profit margins need to widen. The new product line has to help increase market share. The southwest division has to pick it up on sales results. The list goes on.

The desire for infinite monetary growth permeates the room. No one is allowed to say this year will probably be a flat year because of market shifts and customer demands. No one would suggest business comes with ebbs and flows. And so does life.

We Need More Stuff!

In the developing world, it appears the need for prosperity and material possessions is a core belief and desire. But as we emerged from the worse economic downturn in eight decades there could be a slight shift in some perspective.

Do we really need the four bedroom house on half an acre? Can we wait another year before we buy that new car? Are 34 dress shirts enough? Does anyone need that many pairs of shoes?

When will we have enough? When will it be enough?

We know buying stuff keeps the economy going and all of us employed. We need to ensure we can sustain our lives now and into retirement but the desire for something that we can’t even define is creating widespread unhappiness and uncertainty.

Perhaps the bigger decision is to figure out who we want to spend our time with and what experiences we want.  

Or we could keep hoping we find enough.
Kneale Mann | People + Priority = Profit


November 14, 2014

Our Most Precious Resource

Technology is exploding at a rate our minds can’t fathom. Life is whizzing by us while we try and hang on to the tailpipe. There is no time to even take a breath, never mind figure out what we want to do with the rest of our lives. Or perhaps we don’t make time to breathe and think.

Five hundred years ago, there were no phones. People in the 1700’s didn't have cars. Several centuries ago, there was no way to schedule your next haircut through your personal computer. But we have made room for those and thousands of other gadgets, inventions, and advancements.

Tick Tock

We humans make room for new stuff and since we have a finite amount of time, we toss aside other stuff to make room for the new stuff. It's been said for generations that time is our most precious resource but there is something else we might be sacrificing.

Look around the room at your next meeting - after you check your phone for new messages, of course. Email is fast. Short texts are easy. Relationships take time and care. In our quest to do more with our time, let's not forget one critical element.

Each other.
Kneale Mann | People + Priority = Profit


November 12, 2014


Someday I’ll act on that idea. Someday we'll have enough money. Someday I’ll stand up for myself. Someday we’ll figure this out. Someday the product will be ready.

Someday I’ll learn my lesson. Someday I’ll fix it. Someday it’ll get better. Someday we'll change. Someday we'll act. Someday may be too late. Someday we’ll turn it around. Someday it’s going to work out. Someday I'll go for it.

Someday we’ll take that trip. Someday I’ll clean out that closet. Someday you’ll check out that new gig. Someday we’ll try that restaurant. Someday I'll move. Someday will be a great day. Someday one day.

Someday is today.
Kneale Mann | People + Priority = Profit


November 9, 2014

The Power of Imagination

If we ask our parents what we were like as kids, they may tell us about a person we may no longer even know. My mom tells me about the hours I’d spend as a kid reading by myself, or playing with my toys while creating worlds and scenarios. I've always had the ability to live in my own head, spend a lot of time on my own, and entertain myself with books or websites or music.

That's not always a good thing because those ideas can often get stuck in my head without action. Ideas are critical but without movement, they are theory.

Provide the Solution

We are encouraged to use our imagination to solve business problems, develop collaborative cultures, provide clear leadership, create new products and ideas, and navigate the complexities of life.

In its purest sense, what happens to our innate ability to widen the scope beyond reality to include all possibilities and be that kid again who can create ideas void of budgets or constraints, politics or ridicule?

If we could do that, we may literally change the world.
Kneale Mann | People + Priority = Profit


November 6, 2014

34 and Counting...

We love lists. Here’s another one. Many of the items here I don’t practice enough. It’s not always easy. We let busy get in our way. We let doubt creep in. We get lost in work. We get lost in life. We give up too easily. Perhaps you can relate.

Let’s keep at it!

Trust yourself. Learn every day. Keep moving. Be bold. Learn from yesterday focus on today. Try something new. Ignore naysayers. Eat the cookie. Keep something just for you. Do not give up. Listen to your heart. Imagine then do.

Take control of your life. Say thank-you. Fill your life with music. Get back up. Be open. Turn your phone off. Have the pie. Walk away from hurtful people.

Take more chances. Spend an entire day with your favorite person, often. Love yourself. Enjoy life. Take one more step every day. Be kind to you. Lose the fear. Believe. Learn the lesson. Sleep in. Take the shot. Keep at it. Love unconditionally.

Enjoy the moment.
Kneale Mann | People + Priority = Profit


November 3, 2014

The Human Supply Chain

It’s been said for generations – leadership is an action, not a title. It comes from inside us, not on a company organizational chart. But when the busy work of business crushes our day, when do we have time to recognize and nurture that in each other?

There are deadlines and customers, meetings and emails, far too many things on the to-do list to make time for the people stuff. But the very reason your business exists is because of people. The supply chain which drives your company and keeps it running is fueled by the people on your team, in your division, in your plant, in your building, in your customers' and suppliers' businesses. It's the six degrees of all of us.

Let's mean it this time

Every human we connect with has goals, dreams, and a life. The collaboration in our human supply chain is not a chart; it’s not a simple infographic to display on the wall, it’s the living breathing essence of our lives and business.

It's easy to say people are a top priority. It's equally cynical to remark that's just a tightly crafted message for marketing collateral. The day-to-day actions we take one-on-one with each other is what counts.

Make people your priority and your results will become clearer.
Kneale Mann | People + Priority = Profit


October 30, 2014

Learning Trust

We see the claims everywhere. On billboards, websites, annual reports, company material, political campaigns, and marketing collateral. Other words for it include; reliance, faith, belief, hope, confidence, or evidence that you are trustworthy.

Onora Sylvia O'Neill – Baroness O'Neill of Bengarve – is a philosopher and a crossbench member of the British House of Lords who outlines our three most common ideas about trust and how they may be misdirected.

Kneale Mann | People + Priority = Profit

TED | Onora O’Neill

October 27, 2014


We know the red element on the stove means it’s hot. We know to avoid that undefined object in the road for fear it will puncture a tire. We’re aware that dark alleys at 2am are not the wisest route.

But how important is it to look back and sift through the evidence, examine the results, and take to the present the lessons we learned so we can improve?

Warning Signs

Reflecting on what worked in the past and what may be possible now and in the future are gifts we can embrace in business, life, work, and relationships. Learning from the past is key. Celebrating what worked is important.

Learning from what may not have worked is equally critical. If we reach for the element on the stove not expecting to get burned, we haven't learn that lesson yet.

But life is usually not that simple.
Kneale Mann | People + Priority = Profit


October 23, 2014

Detached From the Outcome

You really want the job. You are qualified, the phone screen call went well, you nailed the first interview, and waiting for the results of the second. You can hardly sleep. You know it’s yours. And then the call comes in – they made another choice, they picked someone else, you didn't get the gig.

Sure you’re upset, but is your desire for the position any different now because you didn't get it? On the surface, you may begin to poke holes in the company, how dare they be so stupid, they made the wrong choice, and actually you didn't want that job anyway, you’re way better off without it.

Attached to the outcome

The reasons you applied in the first place suddenly shift because of their decision. But if you look harder and ask yourself one deep honest question, you may understand something important. Are the reasons you went for it still valid?

This is hard work. We want what we want when we want it, but as you and I know, sometimes it doesn't go our way. The job, the relationship, the car loan, the fill in the blank. We go for it yet don’t get it. Do we keep going for it elsewhere or give up?

I have been writing on this site since 2008 with no need to know who reads the content. It's not for any other reason than to share my thoughts and write. I'm detached from the outcome. It has created some incredible personal and professional relationships along the way but it's still not the reason I'm here.

Keep making goals and dreams

If we are authentic and honest about what we want, the outcome may still go our way. In fact, most of the time it will. But it's hard not to try and force the result.

It’s much tougher with people we care about but no one can be told how to feel or what to do without their permission. So being secure in how we feel is detached from their response. It’s clearly easier said than done.

Something to think about the next time we wonder if the results are tied to our goals.
Kneale Mann | People + Priority = Profit


October 20, 2014

Never a Good Time

There’s never a good time to spill your dinner on your nice shirt. There’s never a good time to start that business. There’s never a good time to have another child. There’s never a good time to move. There's never a good time to act on that idea. There’s never a good time to make any decision in our lives.

We can use that as an excuse, a reason not to move forward, or face things head on. I can’t speak for you, but there are countless times in my life I haven’t had the bravery to make the call. And whatever happened was what I safely accepted as what was supposed to happen.

I was reviewing a post I wrote here on January 1st of this year. It was a simple list. It was a brave list. It was easy to write it because it was just a list. Ten months in, I wonder if the list meant anything.

• Complain less. Do more.
• Worry less. Inspire more.
• Look back less. Self-trust more.
• Compare less. Share more.
• Doubt less. Create more.
• Stop less. Listen more.
• Discuss going for it less.
• Actually go for it more.

There's never a good time to stop participating in our own lives.
Kneale Mann | People + Priority = Profit


October 15, 2014

Finding the Quiet

Here are some interesting facts about how we spend our lives from Distractify.

Twenty five years is for sleeping. We’ll work about 10-12 years in real time. This is discouraging, only 48 days having sex – keep in mind, it’s an average. We’ll watch about 9 years of television. Close to 3 years cooking, another year cleaning, and just over 4 years driving our cars.

We’ll drink 12,000 cups of coffee, 48 pounds of tea, and a measly 14 days kissing. Tack on another year of our lives deciding what to wear, 8 years shopping, 5 years sitting at a desk, and we’ll swear about 2 million times.

Life Gets in the Way

Interesting stats but if the average person in North America lives just over 78 years, it doesn’t leave us much time for reflection. But we’re far too busy for that. We have stuff to do, places to go.

When was the last time you gave your team a few minutes off, during the day, at work, to just clear their heads? Yes, quiet time at work. Life is an instant yet we take so little time for ourselves. You just spent about a minute reading this post.

Give yourself the next one for some quiet.
Kneale Mann | People + Priority = Profit


October 12, 2014

What is Authentic?

The simple definition is something that is genuine; of undisputed origin. But we human types aren't simple. Or perhaps we make it complicated.

At an early age, we are told to set goals and focus on results as if life is simply a recurrent process of projects and tasks. It makes sense in the business world, I suppose, because we want a return on investment to show those who watch the outcome. And without revenue, business grinds to a halt.

In our fast-paced never satisfied reach for the next thing even if we haven't defined it world, is there room for authenticity? 

There are two sides to every connection; dad to son, co-worker to manager, supplier to customer. It takes both to create that authentic relationship. It's a heavy load to expect we can always find that in the interactions we have with each other.

Maybe there's far too much work to do, deadlines to meet, things to build, and products to ship, to find true authenticity. Perhaps we have to discover if we have the desire to find out if it’s possible.

I think it’s always worth the effort.
Kneale Mann | People + Priority = Profit


October 8, 2014

The Memes of Risk

Manage risk, financial risk, reputation risk, market share risk, relationship risk, shareholder risk, the risks of risks, the risk of focusing on risks, the discussion of risks, the endless what if's that stall our journey.

Perhaps we perceive it will be difficult or worse, not successful. We often fear our own abilities and guts to take that ride. One of the worst emotions I think we can possess is regret. The idea we didn't act on can often be the one that stops the flow. The safety of inaction becomes our comfort zone.

Risk often focuses on what will, would, or could go wrong. It's a preemptive strike, a proactive measure, to protect the outcome. The biggest risk is when we use it to endorse inaction. I know of what I write only too well. Maybe you can relate.

The biggest risk is the bet we fail to make on ourselves.
Kneale Mann | People + Priority = Profit


October 4, 2014


It may win an election. It looks good on a coffee mug. It gives us hope for better results. But what does change really mean to you and me? Some say we don’t mind change but we don’t want to be changed. It’s perhaps easier to point to large events in our lives as change but we are constantly changing.

Change is inevitable, the only constant is change, we’ve heard it our whole lives. But how often do we let external forces create the change rather than knowing we have more control than we allow?

Despite the effort of our conscious minds – thinking, hoping, fretting, and trying – our subconscious only measures our actions and pulls us back into our (often not so comfortable) comfort zone.

Some other thoughts on the topic.

It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory.
W. Edwards Deming

You can do anything you choose to do.
Maya Angelou

When we are no longer able to change a situation,
we are challenged to change ourselves.
Victor Frankl

When in doubt, choose change.
Lily Leung

You must welcome change as the rule but not as your ruler.
Denis Waitley

You must do the thing you think you cannot do.
Eleanor Roosevelt

We all have big changes in our lives that are more or less a second chance.
Harrison Ford

How can you know what you're capable of if you don't embrace the unknown?
Esmeralda Santiago

When you are through changing, you are through.
Bruce Barton

The bamboo that bends is stronger than the oak that resists.
Japanese Proverb

You have to speak your dream out loud.
Kelly Corrigan

Our only security is our ability to change.
John Lilly

The only way to make sense of change is to plunge into it,
move with it, and join the dance.
Alan Watts

No heart has suffered when it goes in search of its dream.
Paulo Coelho

Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.
Jim Rohn

If you are taking a risk, what you are really saying is,
I believe in tomorrow and I will be a part of it.
Linda Ellerbee

If you live the questions, life will move you into the answers.
Deepak Chopra

People underestimate their capacity for change.
There is never a right time to do a difficult thing.
John Porter

To exist is to change, to change is to mature,
To mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.
Henri Bergson

When you're trying to motivate yourself, appreciate the fact you're even thinking about making a change. And as you move forward, allow yourself to be good enough.
Alice Domar

I still don't know what I was waiting for and my time was running wild.
David Bowie

Kneale Mann | People + Priority = Profit

david bowie | istock

September 30, 2014

Our Big Brain

It’s often said that we use a small percentage of the potential of our brain. There are things we can overcome, do, create, and accomplish, if we access additional information and abilities within it and ourselves. Teamwork, trust, and collaboration are becoming even more important in the workplace. Competencies are important, abilities are critical, but where companies find success is when the connections between us strengthen.

Tom Wujec is an information designer who explains in his TEDTalk three areas of our brain that help us understand words, images, feelings, and connections and how to better help us understand bigger ideas and possibilities.

Kneale Mann | People + Priority = Profit

Tom Wujec | TED

September 27, 2014

We Can...

We can learn. We can teach. We can hear. We can stop. We can know.
We can act. We can drive. We can grow. We can cry. We can do.

We can switch. We can help. We can call. We can bend. We can try.
We can play. We can like. We can think. We can stretch. We can live.

We can gift. We can swerve. We can go. We can dream. We can touch.

We can move. We can thank. We can shape. We can win. We can fall.
We can lend. We can run. We can draw. We can reach. We can love.

The key may not be whether we can but whether we will.
Kneale Mann | People + Priority = Profit


September 24, 2014

The Past Has Passed

The phase seems easy enough to grasp. No matter how much effort we exert, money we possess, or expertise we apply, there is nothing we can change that has already happened. Yet many of us get stuck on events or behavior from the past.

What should have been? What could I have done?

It’s all irrelevant now, but for some reason we spend far too much of our consciousness on what happened and what may happen.

Individual Teamwork

You see this in organizations as well. It’s the way we do things around here, we can’t do that at this company, and all the while, we create memes that drive us or worse, stall us. We put up walls because of things in the past, false barriers to stop us from moving forward and progressing.

If you look at an organization, there is a chart mapping all departments and functions. Within those subsections, subject matter experts focus on their areas of proficiency. The sales department create new client relationships, the design team perfect the new line of products, the management team ensure the strategic plan is adhered, etc.

Learn and Move

But how much of our time is spent creating today through our beliefs from yesterday? How often do we break out of the comfort zone – which often doesn't feel very comfortable – and take a leap?

The past can teach us not make the same mistakes twice. But often if we focus on those mistakes, the very behavior we are trying to avoid repeats itself.

I'm often reminded by friends and colleagues that the past simply doesn't matter. The only thing that counts is what we do right now, this minute. Our next one is not guaranteed and our last one is gone.

If we lose the past we can begin to grow.
Kneale Mann | People + Priority = Profit

david macdonald

September 18, 2014


At an early age, we’re told to be brave. Don’t whine or I’ll give you something to cry about. We are not born with fear, but it rears its ugly head early on, sometimes through innocuous events. A bit here, a smidge there, and suddenly we are thrust into the world where others are told to be brave and not cry and not show their insecurities.

We climb the ladder, finish the project, attend the meeting, rush to the event, answer that email, respond to that request, get on that conference call, make that flight, make eye contact, smile brightly, and we keep running.

Splash in the face

We get caught in our own race and suddenly run into an old friend and find out what’s going with them. An event, a loss, a choice, and suddenly our challenges don’t seem so unique. Multiple that by the employees of an entire company and suddenly you can see how creating a collaborative culture can be elusive.

Some say we live this life alone – I disagree. We live this life together. It doesn’t mean we can carry each other’s burden but we can certainly lighten each other’s load when we can. A mentor once said we must remember our team members are not cogs in some wheel, they are people with feelings and challenges and dreams and goals.

The human element

We must remember that in order to create a collaborative culture, we can’t forget the element which is far more important than any product or service, and that is each other.

I recently reached out to some colleagues for perspective on a project and the response was absolutely astounding. I had no idea how many people wanted to help.

You may want to try it yourself and gain new perspective.
Kneale Mann | People + Priority = Profit


September 15, 2014

The Best Place to Start

I was sifting through old notes and saw two quotes that were well timed. Karen Lamb said a year from now you will wish you had started today while Jim Rohn said if you really want to do something, you'll find a way, if you don't, you'll find an excuse.

We all have ideas we don’t act on. We may be waiting for the best time, more money, or permission. We may be out of excuses and left with one option.

The best time is right now.
Kneale Mann | People + Priority = Profit


September 12, 2014

A Connected World Less Connected

Anytime you walk into a business, it can be an interesting look into human behavior. There are people in meetings, typing on laptops, discussing a new project in the hall, drinking coffee, and maybe even having a laugh or two. It’s a peek into a subsection of society we call work. They say we spent a third of our lives in this space. It appears it's rapidly becoming more. We may not be "at work" but we seem to be spending a larger amount of time working, thinking about work, worrying about work, discussing work.

Our workspace is expanding physically as technology spreads it into homes and airports and has created an almost 24/7 culture where we are checking messages on smartphones at all hours to ensure we don’t miss anything. Instant responses are commonplace and our ability to always stay connected has become the topic of debate.

Need it Now

One hundred years ago, there weren't all these ways to stay in touch yet business was built, careers thrived, and relationships flourished. Media penetration has created the ability for us to connect with someone on the other side of the planet we may not have previously known. The explosion of social tools and electronic collaborative spaces have shrunk the earth to allow us to find like-minded people with the push of a thumb.

168 hours

As we create the appearance of a more connected world, we may be slowly losing the connection to ourselves and soon to each other. Snippets of half conversations, misspelled texts between meetings, skimmed over details of an upcoming project, all in the quest to do more and more and more.

More for less, more meetings, more email, more information, more activity. More everything. The week is the same length it was 200 years ago yet we are inundated with data constantly. This doesn’t mean it’s useful or valuable but it’s more to sift through. And while we try and do more, we may be losing our human connections.

In our quest to collaborate, we may be losing the plot.
Kneale Mann | People + Priority = Profit


September 4, 2014

Let's Get Clear

I went through an exercise recently with a colleague and friend. We have worked together and been friends for years. We were talking about a bunch of things; life, work, family, goals, dreams, strengths, what we want to do with the rest of our lives. It was a great conversation.

Then he asked; “Are you clear what you want?” I thought he was asking a career question but it was deeper than that. He has two small children and his priorities have shifted. He no longer wants to spend the wee hours of the night behind his desk. He wants to spend time with his kids while his desire to do meaningful work is stronger than ever. But meaningful doesn't mean grinding in the trenches to climb a factious ladder.

False evidence appearing real

Last week, I had a similar conversation with someone I’ve known for years and we ended up talking about the same thing but in the context of our own lives and those around us. He said people are scared. They are scared to make mistakes, take chances, be bold, and truly be innovative.

We admire those who seem crystal clear on their calling, their goals, and their passions. Most of us perhaps just think we are clear. But it can be tough when mortgages and car payments and our myriad responsibilities can crush our day. Corporations often compensate people for being agreeable and not making a fuss.

Does it have to be that way?

To get clear, I think we need to stop thinking the answer is one crisp well crafted sentence. We can get clear by deciding what we don't want to do, who we may want to avoid, who could be a good fit, and how we want to spend the rest of our lives.

So reach out to two people tomorrow who will help you and tell you the truth and have that open conversation. Share that big idea you have, get some feedback, and ask them for one idea that may push it forward. Saying no is easy, finding out how is where the work resides.

Let’s get clear. Let’s ask for help. Let’s be open for answers.
Kneale Mann | People + Priority = Profit


August 27, 2014

Questions for All Leaders

• Do you spend dedicated time helping your team?
• Do you provide the same care to your team as you do to your customers?
• Do you have a strong sense of your people?
• Is each member of your team working the majority of their time on strengths?
• Do you truly care about your team and their personal development?
• Is there encouragement for people to grow and try new things?

How many are on your priority list?
Kneale Mann | People + Priority = Profit


August 21, 2014

Ready Set Go!

I've gone through some significant changes in my life this year and I was talking about them with a colleague recently which got us going deep on what stops us from moving where we want to go. For some reason, we often become our biggest hurdle. It also appears most people I know find it difficult to ask for help.

It reminded me of Manuel de los Santos.

Kneale Mann | People + Priority = Profit

Manuel de los Santos

August 16, 2014

Stream of Subconsciousness

What will they think? Think then do. Do what you love. Love what you do. Do not listen to negative people. People are more important than services or products. Products don't make the person. Personal growth is a daily event. Eventually you will find your passion. Passion is no ordinary word.

Words can heal and hurt, it's our choice. Choices can be the difference. Differences are necessary for a successful team. Teamwork is at the core of successful business. Business is about people. People should give more than receive. Receiving help is a sign of strength. Strengthen your focus. Focus on who's important in your life. Life is about now. Now is the time for us to move.

Moving will make us grow.
Kneale Mann | Leadership and management consultant helping leaders, teams, and companies get clear on their goals and results.


August 12, 2014

Is Money the Object?

A large portion of the planet measures profits over people. To some, what you make, what kind of car you drive, how much money you have in your investment portfolio has become more important than embracing relationships and experiences.

I was recalling a situation with a client a few weeks back with regards to compensation. She is doing very well in her current role and from all evidence it appears she’s being groomed for a big promotion. She is a sharp, talented, authentic leader, but she’s stuck on the number on the bottom of the page.

It’s Not the Paycheck

We talked about her new role and she kept coming back to her salary. She was excited about getting a big raise so she and her husband can get a bigger house. That’s great, we celebrated her hard work. But the deeper issue is her motivation.

She realized that the reason she wanted the new role and responsibilities was because it’s going to give her more time to coach and lead an expanded team and it’s not really about the money. We celebrated even more. That was it! She wasn’t ruled by money or stature or position, her passion was being a great leader and continuing to improve.

Living by Numbers

I told my client about a time in my career when I was offered an exciting new opportunity. It was the culmination of a decade of hard work and I was about to be rewarded for my efforts. But I had it in my mind that I wanted to make a certain amount as a signal of my success.

Two months into the new role, I thought to myself, the extra money didn’t make me feel any different. In fact, I was more focused on the expanded responsibility. The number was some self-fabricated yardstick which eventually meant nothing.

The Real Bottom Line

If we focus on money, it will become our only measure of achievement. Business needs to see black ink but there are three motivating factors at play – to make a name, to make a living, and to make a difference. Making a name for ourselves doesn’t seem quite as important as making a living while making a difference in others’ lives.

If the focal point of all we do is profits, we may lose the opportunity to spend time with some remarkable people.
Kneale Mann | Leadership and management consultant helping leaders, teams, and companies get clear on their goals and results.


August 6, 2014

Calling All Humans

The human experience is a buffet. We love, we lose, we overcome, and we try and figure out this unexplained occurrence called life. Ze Frank wants to know the answer to a simple question.

Are you human?

Kneale Mann | Leadership and management consultant helping leaders, teams, and companies get clear on their goals and results.

Ze Frank | TED

August 4, 2014

Why Meetings?

Let’s book a meeting. Let’s talk about it on the conference call. Let’s reconvene at next week’s meeting. Let’s discuss the next time we have a team call. Here’s a thought, let’s figure out why we have so many meetings and calls in the first place.

I have a colleague who attends an all-day full team status meeting once a week. Once a week?! Full day!?! I am a huge supporter of collaboration and teamwork. It’s critical that your company is strong inside before it can be strong outside, but an entire day in a meeting? I challenge there could be a better way.

Do you know why you are attending your meetings today?

Has the reason for each been clearly articulated? Is there an obvious summary of desired outcomes? Will a decision be made on who does what by when? Will the call start and end on time? Do you know why you’re in the meeting at all?

I work with a guy who never has a phone call last more than 10 minutes. We get a ton accomplished in that time and move on. If we realize we've missed something or an item needs more clarification, we get back on the phone. Each of us has our agenda ready, action items listed, and we get to work.

Try this for a week

Cut the time allotted for each meeting and conference call by 50%. Then in a few weeks, cut them in half again. So the one-hour session you have this afternoon would become 15 minutes. You may claim that’s impossible. Have you tried it?

More meetings do not mean more efficiency or alignment. In a matter of a few short weeks, you will realize you are giving everyone more time to think and create rather than prepare and attend meetings and calls. You will see more collaboration, more impromptu discussions, and more ideas being shared.

Or you could stop reading and get to you next meeting.
Kneale Mann | Leadership and management consultant helping leaders, teams, and companies get clear on their goals and results.


July 31, 2014

Pick up the Phone

We live in a fast-paced world. We've heard that enough. We're busy. Blah Blah Blah.

We're wearing busy like a badge of honor. We're in meetings and doing stuff and running around like idiots trying to do more faster often. It's time to get off the wheel and breathe. It's time for us to connect with each other again.

They say that infants who get a lot of love and affection, grow up to be happier people. We need connection, we need to belong, but a roomful of people staring at their mobile device screens is not collaboration. Nothing, in my opinion, beats face-to-face, in person conversations, but that's not always possible. But we can do better than simply sending another email to each other.

While you’re wondering how to better communicate with those around you and be a better leader, here are a few things to consider;

If you've exchanged three emails with someone, pick up the phone and make the call. When you meet someone online and want to know more about them pick up the phone and call them. As a follow-up, instead of sending an email, pick up the phone.

If the discussion gets heated, pick up the phone and avoid any more misunderstanding. After weeks of not calling mom, pick up the phone, she’ll be glad to hear from you. If you need some help, pick up the phone, they want to help. When discussing something personal with a team member, family member, or friend, pick up the phone. If we can’t discuss it in person, let’s not hide behind passive technology, and pick up the phone.

As leaders, our teams need to know we are connected to their goals, their challenges, and most importantly, to what's important to them. Sending a team email or giving direction through electronic means, is not leadership. Remember that device in your hand also has a phone.

You'll be amazed when you use that app more often.
Kneale Mann | Leadership and management consultant helping leaders, teams, and companies get clear on their goals and results.

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