January 28, 2014

Do Not Leave it at The Door

We're familiar with the phrase “leave it at the door” which is a warning that when you’re at work, you should focus on work. But we're human and we work with humans and we have lives and issues and sadness and joy and events and those aren’t easily shut off.

Leadership is not daycare but we are not machines. To tell people to ignore their world isn’t realistic. Sure, we have to be mindful that deadlines need to be met, but the human condition can help our professional pursuits. Many claim a life/work balance is important but fewer act on it.

Life Meets Life

Allowing your team to bring life to work can open up possibilities. It can unlock their minds to include situations outside of their work environment. It can create free discussion and brainstorming that may help solve issues that are too close to the team because they’re trying to apply work related tactics. It can create a more malleable atmosphere which will be more enjoyable and efficient.

Something I like to do is to check with people on their highlight of the week. It can be work related, family related, or life related. Give it a try and you'll notice a measurable shift in your company.

What happens in life will help what happens at work.
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Kneale Mann | Leadership Strategist, consultant, writer, speaker, executive coach facilitating performance growth with leaders, management, and teams.

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January 24, 2014

Lead with Their Gut

Have you ever thought of an idea then talked yourself out of it? Gladwell wrote a book about it. The thesis behind Blink was the power of thinking without thinking. We sense it’s the right call, and then we spend an inordinate amount of time trying to convince ourselves we could perhaps possibly be maybe wrong I don’t know what do you think am I over thinking it perhaps maybe?

We ask for opinions to endorse our idea and when we meet resistance, we often fold. Yeah, it was a dumb idea. It wouldn't have worked, Joe said so.

Your Gut is not Alone

I was speaking with a colleague recently and he proclaimed that his staff often comes to him with what they think are good ideas but they’re not usually that good. I think that’s short-sighted. Sure, having a clear vision of your company and understand how your experience has arrived at that decision is key but if you make time to ask someone to elaborate and expand their ideas, you might be surprised.

If you’re not familiar, Google used to allow employees to spend 20% of their time working on ideas that may or may not have anything to do with their day job. Many products have come from employee ideas. Some of them may not have been that great to start, but there is an environment to flush them out and see if their gut is on to something. Some (me) think they should bring back the policy.

What Do You Think?

There are plenty of data to clearly show how disengaged employees will be the most destructive element of any business. And it’s not always easy to measure. A late meeting here, sloppy work there, missed deadline here, and suddenly the quality of work suffers. There’s a malaise that just seems to hover over everyone’s desk. The days of all for one have been replaced by everyone for themselves.

Leadership is not easy. But it’s nearly impossible if you think your gut has to make all the decisions. If you’re in a leadership position, write down a list of the times you have asked for others’ opinion – and meant it – in the last month. Now take the next month and triple that number.

No One Bats 1.000

Some of their ideas may not initially be great, but have a close look at your batting average before you act too fast. And this is not to suggest you have to create a suggestion box where everyone's ideas are immediately accepted. Just adopt an open mind policy and see what happens.

If you rely solely on your gut to create ideas for your business, you will run the risk of creating a culture of employees carrying out what they’re told.

Their real efforts will be seeking employment elsewhere.
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Kneale Mann | Leadership Strategist, consultant, writer, speaker, executive coach facilitating performance growth with leaders, management, and teams.

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January 21, 2014

You Might be Doing it Wrong

It’s a good day when you learn something new. But how about learning something new about something you have been doing for almost your entire life? Terry Moore outlined it at TED 2005. Almost nine years later, I stumbled upon this which means I had to suffer for almost an additional decade.

Let's hope you won't need to endure the affliction one more day. If you haven’t seen this, it does come with a warning: It could change your life.


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Kneale Mann | Leadership Strategist, consultant, writer, speaker, executive coach facilitating performance growth with leaders, management, and teams.

TED | Terry Moore

January 14, 2014

Curiosity Cured the Cynic

The minutiae of daily commitments and poor internal customer service can crush a company faster than a nimble competitor. We watch with amazement while companies like Apple, Facebook, and Zappos seem to thrive within a hyper creative environment. This is not to suggest these companies don't make mistakes - in fact, many make them in front of the world in spectacular fashion.

It is not also to suggest it is all rosy and fun every moment because real work is being done. But what is the difference between the companies that many read, write and talk about compared to the businesses we pass by every day?

Perhaps successful business owners and managers keep these ideas fresh in the minds.

Stay curious for learning. Be curious about improving.
Be curious like a child. Stay curious through searching.
Stay curious about now.

Be curious, not judgemental. 
Walt Whitman

Be curious in life. Stay curious about your mistakes.
Stay curious for questions. Be curious in discovery.

Be curious through listening. Stay curious in business.
Stay curious for you.

Be less curious about people and more curious about ideas.
Marie Curie

Stay curious about others. Be curious with think time. Stay curious for next.
Be curious of leadership. Stay curious toward answers.

Curious people are interesting people, I wonder why that is?
Bill Maher

Be curious about possibilities. Stay curious about your strengths.
Stay curious and motivate others. Be curious for what drives people.
Be curious always.

Celebrate and embrace curiosity with everyone in your company and watch what happens next.
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Kneale Mann | Leadership Strategist, consultant, writer, speaker, executive coach facilitating performance growth with leaders, management, and teams.

wikipedia

January 10, 2014

No White Flags

Steve Gleason has been immortalized with a statue entitled "Rebirth" outside the New Orleans Superdome. The reason for the monument is a blocked punt he made as a member of the Saints in their first game back to the stadium 21 months after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. The play symbolized the city's rebirth.

In 83 NFL games, as a Safety and on special teams, Gleason collected 59 sacks. He has had many more challenges since his playing days ended. He retired before the Saints won Super Bowl XLIV but the team awarded him a Super Bowl ring and a key to the city. And there continues to be pressure for the team to retire Gleason's #37 jersey.

Unthinkable News

In 2011, Steve announced he was battling ALS at the tender age of 34. With strength few of us can fathom, he has turned this horrific news into inspiration and symbolized it with the the phrase "No White Flags" or never give up.

He has created Team Gleason and has involved many NFL players to raise awareness and money to finally find a cure for this cruel disease. Steve Gleason received a death sentence but instead of waiting to die, he decided to live.

Watch these then let's do something about it.



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Kneale Mann | Leadership Strategist, consultant, writer, speaker, executive coach facilitating performance growth with leaders, management, and teams.

Steve Gleason | Team Gleason | ABC News

January 7, 2014

Five Questions for Your Business

As we settle into a new year and much of those grand plans from late last year are now on the docket, one simple exercise you may want to try is a quick five question survey. It may be good to do it on your own and then do it with your team.

What do we stand for?

How do we help?

Where do we impact?

Why do we do what we do?

What will we not do?
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Kneale Mann | Leadership Strategist, consultant, writer, speaker, executive coach facilitating performance growth with leaders, management, and teams.

roadsigns

January 4, 2014

Bonding and Business

NFL playoff season is upon us and millions of us will be coaching from our armchairs or favorite establishment as we cheer on our favorite uniform and life’s focus turns to pigskin, but a lot more than football is going on.

Philip Zimbardo, a psychologist and professor at Stanford University, shares data and a humorous look at guys and how we communicate and interact. His insight sheds light onto more serious topics such as; culture, leadership, and collaboration.

Go Packers!


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Kneale Mann | Leadership Strategist, consultant, writer, speaker, executive coach facilitating performance growth with leaders, management, and teams.

TED | Philip Zimbardo

January 1, 2014

14 Ideas for 2014 : More or Less

Today is just another day on the calendar, right? But its placement gives it prominence and symbolism. It is the beginning of the month that we often say we’re going to get to that revised plan, the new idea, and those undone items.

Welcome to the magical month we lob all things procrastinated from last year to be mysteriously swept up by the get it all done goblins all neat and tidy in a pretty bow. Of course I'm kidding, but we often push things until the New Year. Well, here we are.

Here are some suggestions for 2014, more or less;

• 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.

Let’s make 2014 a great one!
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Kneale Mann | Leadership Strategist, consultant, writer, speaker, executive coach facilitating performance growth with leaders, management, and teams.

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