December 29, 2015

Resolutions Begone

The year is ending, the reflections continuing, and the resolutions compiling. I wonder why we don't pick the middle of April or the second week of September to do this, but this when we seem to build a big list of will stop, start doing, do less, do more, etc.

There are ample data to show we don't really intend to keep most - if any - of our new year's resolutions. We mean well, but we're completely full of crap. If we wanted to cut down on beer, we can do that on May 17th or decide October 19th is a good time to start going to the gym.

Here's a thought...

Take a few minutes and dream; let yourself go. What do you really want to do in 2016 you have always wanted to try but never had the balls do to it? It doesn't have to cost a bunch of money or take a lot of time, but something completely for you.

Forget judgement or anyone's opinion. One thing that you honestly want to do and will commit to doing it. It can have absolutely nothing to do with your work or family or friends or anyone else. Or we could all make a bunch of empty promises we won't keep in a champagne haze at midnight like we do every year.

That seems to work never.
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As a passionate leader, Kneale Mann has extensive experience as a business advisor and project manager in numerous industries and organizations including; human resources, corporate training, financial services, media, real estate, healthcare and more. He is always open to meeting leaders who want to improve their bottom line through strong culture and leadership. knealemann@gmail.com

December 26, 2015

Reflecting

I hope this year has brought you challenges you overcame. It's my wish that new people arrived in your life to help and love you. Thank you for taking a moment to visit. I am continually blown away by how people many visit from all over the world.

It has always been my goal to simply share ideas here and fascinating relationships have happened that wouldn't have grown in a hundred lifetimes otherwise.

Moving Forward

We live busy lives leaving virtually no time to think of what we want, how we want to live, or create a more enjoyable journey. This year I worked more on me than my work. I was clearing the rubble. The dust has cleared and it's time to get back to work. Excuses begone, the past has passed.

My career goals continue to be helping people enjoy their work and for teams and companies to do more business through strong leadership and culture. In common terms, the biggest issue with most companies is it sucks at work. The boss is an ass or that department isn't cooperating or a myriad other solvable issues that will improve the bottom line and help employees like their jobs again. That's what I enjoy helping.

Life Meets Life

As I look toward 2016, I am thrilled to be able to speak at a TEDx event, work with a local Chamber of Commerce on a cost of leadership workshop, continue working on my first book, reach out and create new friendships and client relationships, and cherish that you came by to visit.

I'm an email away and always happy to meet new people. So let's chat. Here's to a fantastic, adventurous, challenge overcoming, personal growth 2016 for you and me.

Cheers!
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As a passionate leader, Kneale Mann has extensive experience as a business advisor and project manager in numerous industries and organizations including; human resources, corporate training, financial services, media, real estate, healthcare and more. He is always open to meeting leaders who want to improve their bottom line through strong culture and leadership. knealemann@gmail.com

December 25, 2015

Happy Christmas

Feliz Navidad. Selamat Hari Natal. Joyeux Noël. Gleðileg jól. Nollaig Shona.
Wesołych Świąt. Fröhliche Weihnachten. Merry Christmas. Vrolijk Kerstfeest.
Hyvää Joulua. Buon Natale. Feliz Natal. Boldog Karácsonyt. Namaste.





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Credits: Walt Disney, Tim Burton, Danny Elfman, Marilyn Manson, Sting, Brian Sezter, Dropkick Murphys

December 22, 2015

Dear HR Pros and Job Searchers

I was on a prospect call this week with a colleague who has been running her own human resources firm for 25 years. We commiserated about the fact far too often HR professionals are caught in the middle of an organization. Employees think they're in the know while senior management doesn't always consult them for strategic ideas.

As someone who is self-employed, I look for work almost every day. Whether it's corporate opportunities, consulting contracts, or new relationships, it's part of the gig. It's not always easy. It can be a grind and it takes a lot of time and effort. But how different is it for anyone in the world of full-time employment working at a company where they do a job for a paycheck every two weeks? We are all earning our compensation daily. And it seems job security isn't as secure in many places any more.

Letters and Keywords

The HR role can be a tricky one. You have an opening. The job description is created. The websites and channels are populated. And the flood of applicants come in. I've been on both sides of this cycle and it's not fun. One trend that is almost universal is twofold; the long list of experience required and a minimum educational level. It seems more and more openings require a BA or MBA and the ability to work in a face-paced environment handing tight deadlines without sweating whilst smiling brightly. It appears the world is in search of a lot of jugglers.

I've written about this in the past, an MBA should be commended. You worked hard, you earned the degree, well done! I don't have an MBA but I have consulted clients who require one to work full-time at their company. I'm not suggesting you lower any bar but keep in mind if you're a hiring agent that most of us aren't great at writing resumes and matching your keywords. Software helps sift through the hundreds, sometimes thousands of applications. I get it.

But is it time for a new idea?

I have had HR executives tell me my experience would help them but they can't hire my services because I don't have an MBA. What a bunch of crap. Their hands are tied. Three decades of corporate and consulting experience in numerous industries yet because I didn't get my masters, I'm off the list. Maybe you've experienced this in consulting or your job search.

Perhaps if you're in HR, you've seen a candidate that would be perfect - if their resume even gets to you - yet they have to be eliminated. It's a shame. Perhaps you're looking for work, have plenty of experience, hired a resume writing expert, and are still having trouble knocking down the keyword software interface. My two cents, we are all missing out on some remarkable opportunities.

Let's find a way to do this better.
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As a passionate leader, Kneale Mann has extensive experience as a business advisor and project manager in numerous industries and organizations including; human resources, corporate training, financial services, media, real estate, healthcare and more. He is always open to meeting leaders who want to improve their bottom line through strong culture and leadership. knealemann@gmail.com

December 19, 2015

2015: Spirit and Time

Since 2001, Google has published our collective online behavior entitled Zeitgeist which means the spirit of our time. We end 2015 with a lot of pain in the world but through some tough times, let's remember the beauty we all bring.

Here's the 2015 installment.



2014 to 2001











20092008200720062005
2004200320022001
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As a passionate leader, Kneale Mann has extensive experience as a business advisor and project manager in numerous industries and organizations including; human resources, corporate training, financial services, media, real estate, healthcare and more. He is always open to meeting leaders who want to improve their bottom line through strong culture and leadership. knealemann@gmail.com

December 16, 2015

The Guest House

A friend sent me this a few days ago. It was written by poet and theologian Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī six hundred years ago and the message is as valid today.

We all have struggles and stress; issues and challenges, and it's tough to see clearly at times but that is where we grow. It's been a challenging year for many I know, me included, on various fronts. The words of Rumi are worth reviewing.
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This being human is a guest house
Every morning a new arrival

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor

Welcome and entertain them all!

Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably,
he may be clearing you out for some new delight

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.
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As a passionate leader, Kneale Mann has extensive experience as a business advisor and project manager in numerous industries and organizations including; human resources, corporate training, financial services, media, real estate, healthcare and more. He is always open to meeting leaders who want to improve their bottom line through strong culture and leadership. knealemann@gmail.com

December 11, 2015

Clearing the Rubble

I was on the phone with one of my best friends this week who is having some struggles. He feels lost and asked me straight out; "Dude, what should I do next?"

My suggestion to him; "You need clear the rubble, like I'm doing."

Two years ago, I got out of a terrible relationship where I was lost over the course of many years. I was working but not fully functioning. Since then, moved twice, began reconnecting with some wonderful people, strengthened my close relationships, worked on me harder than I have in my entire life, and began exploring some really cool new avenues for my work. One is happening tonight; it's my hope they'll let me write about it but I'm awaiting approval.

The point is, I'm taking chances. It's scary and fantastic. Clearing the rubble requires a mask and a lot of shoveling. I got a text this week from a dear friend that said it all; "You're alive and participating."

Old Out. New In.

Then I talked to my friend on the call about the loft apartment I had in Toronto years ago. I bought it in the spring of 1999 and moved into it in the fall of 2000. It was 17 months, countless delays, then an additional year of visits from the renovation company fixing deficiencies. It was three years from puchase to a finished condo.

The building was over a million square feet; they had to clear thousands of truck loads of rubble from the office building it once was, before they could even begin to build each loft unit. The entire project took them over eight years. Luckily I was in phase two and only had to wait just under a year and a half. If you are in construction, interior design, or had any of it done for you, you know that a retrofit takes three times longer than a new build. A buddy has designed and built new two homes from scratch and collectively they took less time than my loft did to finish.

Not So Comfy

So when we’re looking at our lives, far too often we stumble on our way to the solution because we have absolutely no idea where we’re going or what solution will feel right. For some strange reason, we use the term “comfort zone” for many things that don’t feel all that comfortable. It’s akin to the devil you know verses the unknown.

I’ve had relationships that died long before they ended; clients that didn’t want the help I was trying to provide but we kept at it; and career paths I wanted to pursue but was too afraid to take my first step. Being more authentic with my writing, sharing this with you, and stepping into my truth has represented years of struggle.

Write a New Story

Your life is a collection of your experiences; it’s also a story you’re telling yourself about who you are now and what you might be in the future. It doesn’t have to be either. It can be a chance to clear the rubble and rebuild while understanding the bones of your life are solid; it’s just the accouterments that need to change.

Clearing the rubble is necessary before we can design the path we want to travel. That could mean a new job, ending a bad relationship, being courageous to start a new one, not seeing that friend who is selfish, and letting go of the things we think define us in order to make room for beauty to emerge.

Life's too short to settle for a crappy one.
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As a passionate leader, Kneale Mann has extensive experience as a business coach and project manager in numerous industries and organizations including; human resources, corporate training, financial services, media, real estate, healthcare and more. He is always open to meeting leaders who want to improve their bottom line through strong culture and leadership. knealemann@gmail.com

December 8, 2015

Alan Watts – The Mind

We live busy lives; or do we make them busy? We have much to think about; or do we avoid not thinking about anything? The brilliant Alan Watts shared much wisdom during his time here. He passed away 42 years ago yet his insight still rings true; perhaps even more today. In this lecture, he discussed the complexity of our minds.


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As a passionate leader, Kneale Mann has extensive experience as a business coach and project manager in numerous industries and organizations including; human resources, corporate training, financial services, media, real estate, healthcare and more. He is always open to meeting leaders who want to improve their bottom line through strong culture and leadership. knealemann@gmail.com

December 4, 2015

Scott Weiland – Remembering a Beautiful Soul


Trippin' on a Hole in a Paper Heart

The first 20 years of my career were spent in radio; programming, music, marketing, promotions, building teams, overseeing events, building new stations, and I had the unique privilege of meeting and interviewing over a thousand alternative rock artists and bands. Most were fantastic, some were terrible,  many were fun, and a couple of them were haunting.

One of them was Scott Weiland

The news of his death has been met with mixed reactions. Grief, of course; but much of the feelings being shared are sprinkled with comments about the lack of surprise. He battled drug addition his entire adult life, so many aren't surprised he died young. We often call them demons, as if they aren't to be given the same care and respect we give a physical injury or chronic illness and that's wrong!

I first heard Scott’s band Stone Temple Pilots in 1993. It was thick and melodic; the lyrics haunting and later telling of a tortured soul searching for peace. It was a time when grunge had slid into a rebirth of bombastic arena rock drenched in glam and escape. It was a release from the angst of Nirvana and Alice in Chains while borrowing some of their tones and feeling.

Big Empty

Scott was the showman, the clown, the sad man, a riveting force on stage with his lizard dance. He was an artistic man who couldn’t quench his never ending thirst for harmony in the pit of his soul and much of it was right out there for the world to watch. I saw him perform five times. He was mesmerizing.

I met Scott in 1999 when I was at The Edge in Toronto. The band came into our street-level studio for an interview and to perform acoustically. The original plan was three songs. Between the fourth and fifth, Scott came over to me and said; “Sorry for hoggin' your studio, man.” I said; “You guys are welcome to play all night.”

The studio was about 600 square feet. We were crammed in there; it was as if the biggest band on the planet was performing in our living room.

Interstate Love Song

Meeting him afterward, he was exactly what you’d expect; arrogant and dismissive, he could hardly make eye contact yet screaming for attention. He was the star of the show shrouded in a cloak of debilitating self-doubt. As we were gathering for dinner, he turned and looked right at me and said; “Do you like the new album?” I said; “Yes I do”.

He paused like the kid waiting for mom to approve his latest finger painting. Not to be over dramatic, but I felt like I saw a glimmer of Scott rather than the lead singer of a band. A second later, the rock star reappeared and he said; “Cool, thanks dude” and he got into the van. At dinner, he was the life of the party. I suspect sitting quietly wasn't his strong suit.

Plush

A while later, STP band mates Eric Kretz and Robert & Dean DeLeo were in town with their side project Talk Show. Scott was serving time in prison. The pain his brothers felt for him was palpable. After dinner, we talked for hours. It was a human moment, not a radio programmer hanging with rock stars’ moment.

During that period, it was funny that I seem to run into Dean and Robert in the oddest places; at a video shoot in LA, a festival in Atlanta, and a show in NYC. They are lovely people certainly missing their family member.

Vasoline

During and after STP, Scott had Velvet Revolver, Camp Freddy, The Magnificent Bastards, The Wondergirls, and Art of Anarchy. He was found just before his band The Wildabouts were to hit the stage at a show in Bloomington, Minnesota; still on the road, still chasing and running, while the adoring fans cheered on.

We know Scott Weilland because he was famous but his struggle was far too common.

Like millions, I loved his music; still do. We didn’t know how to have the right conversation of the struggle he and far too many others are facing. This is not a story of yet another drug induced rock star found on a tour bus. This is a lesson that what we see in front of us is often not what is there at all.

Scott Richard Weiland – Rest in peace.
Oct 27, 1967 – Dec 3, 2015


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December 3, 2015

Speaking at TEDx

I spend a lot of time talking and writing about leadership and culture, teamwork and collaboration, and I spend very little time doing either about me. A friend has often said I need to put more skin in the game and I’ve begun doing that more lately. It’s an interesting remark since I say it to others all the time.

The last few weeks have been a lot of setting up for the New Year, some client work, some prospecting for new clients, working on my new book, and confirming some speaking engagements.

This one blows me away!

If you visit this site often, you know I post TEDtalks often; I’ve been a fan for probably 15 years. The events are first class, the website is crammed with fascinating talks and information. There is a daily discovery.

It is an absolute honor that I’ve been selected to be a speaker at TEDxGuelphU associated with the University of Guelph in Ontario Canada. The event is January 23. The theme of the day is “Theory to Reality”. I have a bit of a biographical journey to share that I was reminded of lately which is about taking chances even when we can’t see the whole road.

I’ll have more details when I get them.

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As a passionate leader, Kneale Mann has extensive experience as a business coach and project manager in numerous industries and organizations including; human resources, corporate training, financial services, media, real estate, healthcare and more. He is always open to meeting leaders who want to improve their bottom line through strong culture and leadership. knealemann@gmail.com
 
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