March 31, 2015

Infinite Growth

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

March 27, 2015

More Streams of Subconsciousness

Take from the past what you want and leave the rest. Rest assured you can do what you set your mind on accomplishing. Accomplishments are not just monetary.

Money and relationships are not related. Relating to those around you can help you better understand yourself. Selfishness does not have to come at the expense of others. Other points of view can often help clear your path.

Pathways to success are rarely straight. Straightening your focus is a daily exercise. Exercise your right to your own success. Succeeding is measured by your standards and those who matter won't mind.

Mindfulness can calm the storm. Storm in and take control of your life.

Life is finite, let's live it.
Kneale Mann | People + Priority = Profit

March 24, 2015

Passion and People

If you are in business, managing a department, or leading an organization, you are judged and measured by your financial performance. The bottom line is one of the essential pieces of the matrix. Some say if you focus on revenue, the rest will take care of itself. If it was true, every company would enjoy infinite growth year after year.

The key to any organizational growth begins with the relationships within your company. Great culture brings profit. Ensuring your people are well trained and enjoy coming to work every day must be your top priority.

With that in mind, some words of wisdom.

It's hard to lead a cavalry charge if you think you look funny on a horse.
Adlai E. Stevenson II

Power isn't control at all. Power is strength, and giving that strength to others.
Beth Revis

Be gentle and you can be bold; be frugal and you can be liberal;
Avoid putting yourself before others and you can become a leader.
Lao Tzu

You get in life what you have the courage to ask for.
Nancy D. Solomon

Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.
Peter Drucker

Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.
Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.
Mother Teresa

If you're not passionate enough from the start, you'll never stick it out.
Steve Jobs

The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains.
The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.
William Arthur Ward
Kneale Mann | People + Priority = Profit

March 20, 2015

Leading Innovation and Creativity

We see it everywhere. Many of us say it often. But how do we ensure innovation and creativity are given the time, space, and freedom to flourish?

Innovation is a necessary element of our existence. It’s not a new concept but we seem to be taking a closer look at it. Linda Hill from the Harvard Business School unearthed some fascinating elements of collective genius, teamwork, and the iterative nature of leadership and innovation.

__________________________________________________________________ Kneale Mann | People + Priority = Profit

March 15, 2015


It’s right there every day. You may recognize it but do you heed it often enough? A former mentor, a friend’s cousin, and a colleague’s daughter are all in my heart today. It may not be a tragic event, but do we pay close enough attention to the lessons that touch our lives?

One definition of perspective is a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view. You and I could look at the same situation with a different interpretation. Your experience may be a factor. My attitude may alter my standpoint. But the important question is, do we do anything about it.

Clear the Lens

We know life can be fragile but perhaps we go through our day without thinking too deeply about its meaning. Of course, we can’t spend every moment over thinking it all and overwhelm ourselves.

But how do we strike that balance to ensure we aren’t flippant about the essential elements in our lives, work, and relationships?

Write it Down

One way is to take a few moments each week to make a physical list of things we’re thankful for and balance that against the stress and busy of our everyday lives. The daily duties, deadlines, and stress seem to take up more of our consciousness than the important elements that shape our experience.

We might spend too much time complaining and wishing things were better rather than embracing the aspects that really are going well.

Perhaps some perspective when we focus too much on the unimportant while forgetting the essential.
Kneale Mann | People + Priority = Profit

March 7, 2015

The Essence of Equality

I get upset when I see the inequality in our workplace. There is no reason for it. We have been on this planet for a couple of hundred thousand years yet we are still making the distinction between men and women and work.

Anne-Marie Slaughter contends that attitude is shifting and the question is not about gender or work but about life and love and family and balance.

Kneale Mann | People + Priority = Profit

TED | Anne-Marie Slaughter

March 5, 2015

Experience and Letters

I was recently chatting with a colleague who is a highly experienced human resources director about education, training, and degrees. He was lamenting that his company has kept raising the bar for new applicants. Twenty years ago, experience was more important than degrees. Today, if you don’t have an MBA, you can’t apply for most of the openings in his organization.

This is not to say an MBA isn’t impressive – it is – but it’s just one metric. If you have a person who has shown their ability and discipline to finish six years of university, you should acknowledge that. But my friend’s point was that they were discarding those who didn't have the letters behind their names even though clearly they had the ability and experience to be considered.

One Size Never Fits All

In my work as a leadership consultant and business coach, I've worked with a man who has built three multimillion dollar companies on a high school diploma and an extremely bright MBA graduate who struggled with the human aspects of his business. There are always exceptions but the question I had for my HR friend, can we assume the education someone has attained is a fail safe way to determine business acumen?

It’s been said that education is a lifelong pursuit but keep in mind when you are looking at new people to join your team, there are various metrics to consider. Formal education is important but experience shouldn't be ruled out. And once they do join your team, what types of continuing education and training do you offer to help them continue to grow?

That Will Do

The chat with my HR colleague ended on an interesting note when he reminded me his MBA was earned in mathematics which has very little to do with his work today. His HR training was necessary to get the gig but without an MBA, he would have never even been considered.

On the Forbes 400 Billionaire list; 35 have their law degree, 29 have a masters in science, 21 have their PhD, and 63 (or 15%) of the richest humans on the planet only have a high school diploma.

Education is critical but if we only measure it from the perspective of formal settings, are we closing our minds to possibilities?

Something to think about if you only look at letters.
Kneale Mann | People + Priority = Profit

March 2, 2015

It’s a Dirty Job and We All Have to Do It

It was a plain beige room with uncomfortable chairs. My grade school guidance counselor sat behind his desk looking through piles of paper to find my file. He looked up, cleared his throat, and launched into a diatribe I remember to this day.

His point was that I was not to close any doors or hold myself back. I was 13! All I wanted to do was play hockey. I had no clue what I wanted to do for a career and this guy was laying all this heavy stuff on me. I didn’t get it then, but got it many times over the decades after that chat.

Follow Your Passion?

I’ve done a lot of reflecting lately – about work, passion, relationships, careers, and life. The conversations with friends and colleagues have been rich with these topics and my guidance counselor was right – we shouldn’t limit ourselves or close doors.

But there’s one critical element missing. And that is to understand what limits mean. I have spent decades on this planet thinking they mean reach, stretch, and go for more. Mike Rowe – host of Dirty Jobs – lends a wider perspective that we need to heed in his TEDTalk from a few years ago.

The first part may be tough to watch but keep watching. Mike makes some outstanding points about work, life, following our passion, and most of all, respecting each other.

Kneale Mann | People + Priority = Profit

TED | Mike Rowe
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