June 29, 2015

Simplifying Complexity

Business is difficult. People are more difficult. Leadership is even more difficult and we have said for generations it requires hard skills and soft skills. Yves Morieux has consulted hundreds of companies around the world and suggests both are obsolete.

He outlines six rules to simplify work and business.

Kneale Mann | People + Priority = Profit

June 26, 2015

I'm Feeling Reflective

My life has changed dramatically in the last 18 months. There is conventional wisdom that states we endure a few events in our lives that cause major upheaval and stress. They can change us, inspire us, hurt us, depress us, or any combination. Those include; a death close to us, a significant illness, the end of a long relationship, substantial career shift, selling a house, and moving to a new city.

I don’t put too much significance on dates but last January a long relationship ended and a year ago today I secured my first major move to a new city. Since then, I have moved cities again. My career has shifted. My relationships are stronger. I’m in a different space than I was this time last year. Some have remarked, I’m a different guy.

Life gets busy. Life goes fast.

We rarely make the time to slow it down for just a few moments to reflect on what is going well and what we have accomplished. Then carefully make a list of what we want next and down the road. I’m feeling especially reflective today because of the date.

The last year and a half has been a whirlwind and it was time to stop and take stock. Some of the events that have happened in your last year may have gone right by without you even noticing.

I stumbled onto an interesting site this week that outlines what happens in our world every second...

• 4 babies are born and 2 people die
• 100 lightning strikes have struck the ground
• 16 million tons of water has evaporated from the Earth’s surface
• 2.8 million emails are sent
• More than 100,000 Google searches are performed

So 4,730,400 seconds ago, my life began a very different and interesting path. There's no telling what the next 31 million will bring but it was worth stopping for a few moments to remember the overcome challenges and well-earned victories. And most of all, the people who stuck around for the ride.

Something you may want to do some time.
Kneale Mann | People + Priority = Profit

June 22, 2015

Introverts and Opportunity Makers

We have somehow created a world where the bold and loud seem to get more than the thoughtful and quiet. There is theory that introverts have to work a hundred times harder than extroverts who seem able to navigate our confusing busy world.

I'm both so I can see both sides. The key is how we work together to create magic. Great teams need differing opinions and perspectives.

Kare Anderson shares her story as someone who suffered from chronic shyness and how she found the capacity to make change through her challenges to become an opportunity maker and how we can do the same.

Kneale Mann | People + Priority = Profit

June 19, 2015

Asking for Help

I had a great chat last week with a good friend. She said I wasn’t being open enough here on my website and I wasn’t putting enough skin in the game for you to understand my point of view and share more of me. She made some great points.

Then this week, I had one of those life conversations with my best friend. We’ve known each other since high school. It’s a rich relationship. No topic is off-limits. We talk about careers and relationships, music and cars, dreams and wishes, and we have been there for each other through the ups and downs over 35 years.

We’re often asked how we became friends because we are so different. He is analytical and I am emotional. He is a math guy and I’m a creative guy. But we find common ground and enjoy the differences each bring to the friendship.

Upon Reflection

Both conversations were actually about me and I didn’t realize it until a few days later. I am in the process of reviewing my entire career, my life, my relationships, and my work. I have been through the most transformative year of my life. Both know me well and in their own way outlined that I wasn’t believing in myself as much as others do or as much as I believe in others!

Then I had a call yesterday with a colleague in Seattle I met on the social web. We don’t know each other that well but it was a fantastic conversation about where each of us is and where we want to be in our lives. We became fast friends a couple of years ago and though we don’t talk often, it’s one of those relationships that you can go months without talking then pick it up like it was yesterday.

Two-Way Street

The real takeaway from all three conversations was that I enjoy helping others but have a terrible time asking for help. She asked how she could help me write stronger posts. My best friend offered to introduce me to two new clients and told me he will help anyway he can. And my Seattle friend ended the call with a genuine; “Let me know what you need from me”.

I finally slowed down for five seconds and realized three people who were offering to help me. We are told that a stiff upper lip, smile on our face, and shoulders back is the way to go. We aren’t allowed to be unsure or ask a friend for advice or guidance. And frankly, that’s a bunch of crap! Offer help and ask for help.

Your relationships and your life will be richer for it!
Kneale Mann | People + Priority = Profit

June 16, 2015

Feeding the Good Wolf

One evening a man told his grandson about a struggle that goes on inside people. He wanted to illustrate the internal conflict each of us has and the choices we make to navigate that battle. The story can help us in life, in business, and in ourselves.

He said; “The battle is between two wolves inside us all. One is evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other is good. It is joy, peace, love, serenity, humility, hope, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, compassion and faith.”

The grandson then asked; “Which wolf wins?”
The man replied; “The one you feed.”

It can be money, careers, business, friendships, every aspect of our lives; you and I have both had challenges. Some we took on and won while others felt like they were going to defeat us.

When I've felt sorry for myself and done nothing about it, the results aren't too positive. When I've asked for help - as I did with some colleagues recently - it works out better. There are times when it's not easy to feed the good wolf.

But let's keep trying!
Kneale Mann | People + Priority = Profit

June 12, 2015

The First Follower

I was in a client meeting this week and we were stuck. There was some tension and stress. I was trying to explain some ideas, someone else disagreed, someone else shut down, and the big boss stood up and said; “Can we just make a decision!”

I told them about the first follower. The big boss had created a culture where he made everyone feel he could veto any ideas at any time because, well, he was the boss!

The Power of We

We need to allow others into the discussion and make it okay before they will step up. For our ideas to become realities, we need to open our minds and allow others to share their ideas. Great ideas require a lot of ideas - from everyone involved.

If you haven’t seen this, watch as Derek Sivers explains how a movement can be created in less than three minutes but it requires many important steps.

Kneale Mann | People + Priority = Profit

June 7, 2015

Let's Have Some Toast

I’m preparing for a big meeting this week and thought I’d step back and refresh a bit. I wanted to ensure I completely opened my mind for the discussion. The company has a critical and exciting project to complete. They are meeting with me because of my experience and abilities and I want to be a part of it.

I love building stuff with great people. It's a rush to see teamwork kick ass on a new project. It’s fun to bring everyone’s ideas into the discussion, but this was about preparing the inner me for this meeting.

After some searching, I found Tom Wujec and his explanation of how we explain the complex concept of making toast. I'll leave the toasters and sticky notes at home for this meeting, but this is a great reminder about the power of collaboration.

Kneale Mann | People + Priority = Profit

June 2, 2015

Please and Thank You

If your internal customer service (employees to employees) is not strong, the expectation your external customer service (customers, suppliers, partners) will be strong is flawed logic. If we don't treat each other with respect, how can we possibly expect it to magically shift when we are talking to a customer?

It was a quick call with a friend that said everything. She was upset because her co-workers were just barking orders at her. It’s not that she can’t take the heat or the busy work environment, it was the attitude. Please and thank-you goes a long way.


One of my long standing clients always begins an email with my name. Hello, Hey, Hi and I always reply back in the same manner. We could exchange 12 emails in a day and every one begins with a salutation and a nice ending.

It takes seconds to completely change the culture of your relationships.

Attitude Shift

Something to think about when you wonder why the mood is off in the building or people seem grumpy. Begin the shift by looking them in the eye and saying; good morning. And when they do something right; say thank you. And mean it!

The little things are the big things when it comes to leadership. If you want to create a collaborative atmosphere at work, start today. A few small changes will make the necessary shift to make all the difference.

Thank you!
Kneale Mann | People + Priority = Profit
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