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.


July 29, 2014

Ideas and Action

I was sifting through some older pieces this week as I prepare drafts for my first book and saw this post that reminded me of a lot of things going on in my life – perhaps in yours too.

Money and time have been the hurdles to pushing through that big idea you've had for far too long. Imagine for a moment both evaporate and you are free to act.

Every time you want to say "not", imagine for a moment you change it to "why not". Imagine for a moment the story you've been telling yourself for years was simply because it was easier than trying. And you take the first step. Imagine for a moment you take one item on your wish list and get it done.

If we stop ourselves, we steal our own energy. If we allow others to stop us, we surrender our energy. Get quiet, think deep, and get to the core of what you want. Then get to it. The past has passed, we have far too much to get done.

Let's get back to work.
Kneale Mann | Leadership and management consultant helping leaders, teams, and companies get clear on their goals and results.


July 22, 2014

Are You Grateful?

The last six months of my life has been quite a trip. In my experience, if you are currently faced with something you think you can’t accomplish, you can if you are willing to get clear on what you want, what drives you, and what makes you happy. And this is a critical ingredient; open your heart to those around you who want to help.

The word selfish was always a tough one for me. It conjured up images of self-centered people who would take for themselves at the expense of others. These were loud arrogant people who would think nothing of walking over someone for their own gain. But the word selfish also means being self-aware and self-seeking.

Seek and Find

To seek more of one’s self is to get to the core and underlying meaning of your existence. And while we get clearer on who we are and what we want, the challenge is not in saying yes but rather in saying no to things that weaken our purpose. We need to understand there are people on our side and when help arrives, we need to be grateful because we help others without hesitation.

I've discovered it can be helpful to find a quiet place to focus on what is important. Allowing gratitude for those who help can require practice. Understanding we can go after what we want if we disallow distractions and self-doubt to derail us is a key element of the journey. And if we remain grateful for what we have now, then we can build from there.

Look around. There are people in your life right now who want to help. It’s up to you to let them and be grateful they did.
Kneale Mann | Leadership and management consultant helping leaders, teams, and companies get clear on their goals and results.


July 19, 2014

The Truth About Facts

Einstein said; “If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts. Maya Angelou added; "Don't let the facts get in the way of the truth". Mark Twain pondered; "How empty is theory in the presence of fact?”. And Felix Cohen opined; “The theories we believe we call facts. The facts we disbelieve we call theories.”

It’s been said few will argue with their own data. But how do we separate fact from theory? Tom Asacker ponders that very question in his recent TEDTalk.

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

TED | Tom Asacker

July 14, 2014

No Instruction Manual

We live in a plug-in-play world. The gadget comes with an instructional manual but few (none) of us take the time to read it. Our collective impatience is too strong. We want to open the box and start using it. If there’s a problem, we’ll call someone or research the answer online.

What do we do when we can’t figure out how people work? There is no owner’s manual with human interaction and relationships. Decades of experience can only give us a guide but each person is wired and motivated differently. Yet often the business world tries to do just that.

One Size Does Not Fit All

Leadership is complex. If you have kids, you may have taught them how to ride a bike. At first, you put on training wheels, and then over time you raised them off the ground so your child could slowly learn how to balance.

Then the day came when the training wheels were removed. You may have stood nervously as they started to pedal off without your help or the help of two extra wheels. That’s trust in them, the system, and yourself.

Letting Go

You gave them the tools but eventually had to let them find their way. Survey Says You hear claims such as; “millennials behave this way” or “women don't like that” which are a dangerous generalizations.

Marketing companies try and predict habits and companies attempt to guide behavior but it won't help with your day-to-day personal and professional relationships. Data won't provide a short cut to human behavior.

Making time for each other may be a good place to start.
Kneale Mann | Leadership and management consultant helping leaders, teams, and companies get clear on their goals and results.


July 9, 2014

Leading in the Nowist

We human types are the only beings on earth who worry about the future and think about the past. A dog will learn over time that certain things should be avoided. Being a prey animal, a horse is on the lookout for danger.

A horse or a dog doesn't worry about how they ran three weeks ago or how their day will go next week. But we spend our perfectly good now splintering it into recanting missteps from yesterday while stressing about tomorrow.

Joi Ito reminds us to lead and innovate in the now.

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

TED | Joi Ito

July 2, 2014

This Time of Year

Summer has arrived in North America where I live and the tone of client conversations is changing. People seem a bit more relaxed and happy. Void of data, I can assume after a long hard winter, most are looking forward to some vacation time, time to unplug, time for family and friends, time without deadlines and email.

I know I live a privileged life. Like you, I have plenty of challenges and setbacks, but if perspective is kept in clear view, it’s a pretty good ride. But if we don’t take time away from work, our work will suffer. If we don’t unplug and step away, we will burn out. And if we never take time for life, well, you know the result.

Turn it Off

What would happen if you didn't check email for a day or attend a meeting tomorrow or not return that call until next week? The sun will come up, life will go on, and in fact, you may even be more rested and sharper to deal with deadlines after some time away.

Now add in the feelings you get when you are about to take some vacation time or when you’re away enjoying that thing called life. That’s the imperative ingredient to bring back with your new suntan.

Now go enjoy some time off, you've earned it!
Kneale Mann | Leadership Strategist, consultant, writer, speaker, executive coach facilitating performance growth with leaders, management, and teams.

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