January 29, 2016

Just Say No

Just say no to accepting the past will repeat.
Just say no when you hear that negative self-talk.

Just say no to naysayers. Just say no to those who reject you.

Just say no to giving up. Just say no when you think you can't.
Just say no to letting go of your dream.

Just say no to letting setbacks stop you. Just say no to distractions.
Just say no to sharing your ideas with negative people.

Just say no to fear. Just say no to doubt. Just say no to stopping.

Just say no to being hard on yourself.
Just say no to disbelieving your ideas matter.

Just say no to avoiding asking others for help.
Just say no to average. Just say no to excuses.

Just say no to thinking it won't get better.
Just say no to people who hold you back.
Just so not to procrastinating.

Just say no to accepting you can't do it.
Just say no to emotional vampires.

Just say no to thinking mistakes define you.
Just say no to comparing yourself to others.
Just say no to not shipping your art.
Just say no to letting yourself stop following your dream

Let's just say yes we can and will.

January 25, 2016

Authenticity with You

It looks great in a book or tweet; set against an inspiring backdrop framed on your wall; or on a coffee cup, but being authentic isn’t easy. We often don't make time to be completely ourselves. Busy at work, busy at home, busy being busy.

We work on relationships all day long but rarely take a moment to figure out who we are in our lives. Synonyms include; reliable, trustworthy, accurate, and genuine. That seems simple enough until we let the harmful self-talk or influence of others get in our way. What could be so difficult in being reliable or dependable or genuine?

Something to Ponder

Intelligent labor is writing a book; manual labor is building a fence; emotional labor is something most of us spend very little time on. I've had it backwards my whole life that if we stand up for ourselves or say we're good at something, we're not being arrogant.

Confidence is okay and it doesn't mean we're bragging. Taking some for you is allowed. So celebrate what you do well and perhaps you'll find a way to dig deeper to figure out what you want, need, and stand for in all this chaos we call life.

Make time for you to get to know you.

January 21, 2016

Life Can Teach us Fear

Most of us aren't born with fear but instances in our lives can be debilitating. I've felt it many times where you don't think you can move or you aren't sure what to do next. I'm going through a transition in my life right now and fear is very real.

Of course there are times when fear is warranted; a close call on the highway, a job loss, an illness, that's real fear. But the fear of doubt and the story we tell ourselves in emotional situations is just as real.

Raghava KK is an artist who has gone through a lot in his life but has retained his childlike spirit. He explains in his TEDTalk that we need to shake up our ideas.


January 18, 2016

Relationship Changes

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.

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 can make the necessary shift to make all the difference.

And since you dropped by here, thank you!

January 15, 2016

Four Words That Could Save Your Life

Perhaps it's just my experience, but I'm having a lot of conversations lately about life purpose. Those include family issues, ending relationships, money, careers, marriage, fear, and it seems many I know (me included) are asking a lot of deep and difficult questions about the choices they make in their life.

Next week, I'm speaking at TEDxGuelphU and the process has turned into much more than I ever imagined. I was working on my talk and mentioned it on Twitter. Suddenly the flood gates opened. Someone I had never met reached out and offered to help. His name is Jordan Axani and you can see his talk down below.

Dig Deeper

We had a three hour call last week and in short, he tore me to shreds. He reminded me that doing a TEDTalk wasn't like any of the workshops I had done or speaking gigs or radio work years ago. This was different. If you're not familiar, TED stands for technology, education, and design. And the reasons I visit it several times a week is to learn about people's stories and experiences.

As I worked on my talk, it was as if I was telling my story in the third person. A close friend has been kicking my butt for a long while now and between the two of them I feel like I'm in a boxing match that is my life!

Four Words

I've eluded to it a few times here on this site, but the past few years have been a roller coaster and I had thought they were affecting my life now. Was I wrong! It's been a lifetime of habits and actions that have affected now and if you dig deep enough you'll discover the same for you.

More practice, more digging, I'll let you know how it goes next week, but I've discovered four words that could save your life. I've been using them a lot lately and the reactions have been amazing.

Can you help me?


January 11, 2016

David Robert Jones RIP

When I was a kid, I loved three things – hockey, reading, and music. I was 10 when I first heard “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars” and I thought it was weird. When I was 21, I played my first Bowie song on the radio. He was captivating and creative, versatile and never boring.

Born David Robert Jones 69 years ago, Bowie, as we knew him, passed away last night after a courageous 18-month battle with cancer. David was courageous his entire life. He never followed rules and was certainly never tempted by a cookie cutter brand to be replicated for his 28 albums and thousands of concerts over four decades.

I worked at the legendary radio station CFNY (102.1 the Edge) for fifteen years and Bowie was in the foundation of our building. Literally. Death is inevitable; goodbye isn’t any easier. Bono said to me in an interview in 2000, “Music is the art all aspire to.” David Bowie aspired to be himself and will inspire for generations to come.

We can beat them, forever and ever. Oh we can be heroes, just for one day.


January 9, 2016

Alan Watts – The Real You

Alan Watts was a writer, speaker, philosopher, environmentalist, interpreter, and philosopher of Eastern culture who passed away 43 years ago. His talks are still - or perhaps even more - relevant today. He would have rocked at TED!

Many of his lectures have been put to video and I've shared a few on this site in the past. One of my favorite Watts' quotes sums up a lot about life; "The only way to make sense of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance." Here's another snippet that might inspire you.

Let's dance!


January 6, 2016

Read. Burn. Favor. Ask.

Last summer a friend gave me a book on Buddhism which is not a religion but rather a way of looking at yourself and the world. It's about energy and the universe which surrounds us. Last month I listened to a recording from the late Dr. Wayne Dyer explaining the 81 verses of the Tao Te Ching.

All religion is theory; that's why it's called faith. We don't actually know for certain what will happen when we die but we do know how we would like to live. The question is, are we willing to do what it takes to have the life we want? The brilliant writer Mark Manson examines this closely in a recent piece entitled Shut Up and Be Patient.

Now What?

I spent the better part of the last six months examining every aspect of my life, and if you've ever done this, you know it'll be an ongoing process for the rest of your life. I looked at work, friends, loved ones, colleagues, all relationships in my life; most importantly the one I have with myself.

Then a woman named Lindsay Knight, I mentioned in an earlier post, did my life path. It was scary and fascinating, eye opening and unnerving. It made me look at me; the unvarnished core of who I am and what I want and where. This stuff is captivating.

Honor and Release

Lindsay made me take out my journal and a pen and write down every person who has left my life. Try and do that! The list will get quite long – past employers, teammates, clients, lovers, friends, school chums, neighbors, co-workers, everyone.

My list was approaching 400 names and she instructed me to read them each aloud to myself, pause at each name and honor the relationship. Then let it go. You may think that Bob in sales back in '97 or your college girlfriend isn't affecting your life now but try the exercise, it’ll blow your mind.

It's All About the Ask

As we begin the new year, I am transforming every aspect of my life from who I spend time with, strengthening my close relationships, creating healthy boundaries, and looking closely at my career.

We rarely take a breath to say – what do I want to do with the rest of my life?

It's a scary notion because our only reference points are our past and right now. Can I ask her for a commitment? Yes. Will I repeat my mistakes? No. Can I take that chance? Yes. Am I crazy for asking? No. Am I qualified to go for that? Yes! Could I possibly reach out and ask for help? Yes!!

Can You Help?

In nine years, I've had hundreds of prospects, over forty clients, and I've asked for work almost every day for close to a decade. There have been rough times and great experiences; self-doubt moments and sweet victories.

But this time is different. I'm looking for contracts, full-time positions, team leadership, in an organization where I can make a difference. I miss being on a team.

 How Can I Help?

I am asking for introductions and references. It's easier than you think. People want to help. You and I want to help others. We just have to get over ourselves and ask. Park the fear and ask. The fear will only intensify if we do nothing.

If you enjoy what I write here, tell someone. If you know of a company that could use my help, let me know. Feel free to check out my LinkedIn profile and About page on this site, and most of all, if I can help you, shoot me an email and we can compare notes.

Let’s chat!

January 4, 2016

What Makes Us Happy?

If we want to invest in "the good life", where should we put our time and energy? Robert Waldinger outlines riveting data from a 75-year-long Harvard study of adult life that continues today. It seems clear; a happy life is not measured by a larger paycheck, more stuff, higher investments, or financial net worth.

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.

January 1, 2016

Thank You

The new year has begun. The resolutions, reflections, promises, and future, have all been examined. We are all more reflective this time of year and despite the onslaught of meals and gifts and visiting you may have done, not everyone has that experience; many are alone this time of year. If you know someone who is, give them a call, they'll appreciate it.

This is also the time of year we often look at our lives and wonder if we are living it the way they want. I know a lot of people who lost their gig in 2015 and my heart breaks for them. I have been consulting for nine years and it's not always easy. We all have challenges and rough patches. Last year was a transition one for me on almost all levels as I ready myself for the next push up the hill.

Rethink. Redo. Restart.

In the past six months, I have completely revamped my life. I have emerged from a few tough years and many have stepped up to help. It's a bit overwhelming. Friends show up when you need them. I'm sure you're like me; you help without a thought, but asking or receiving help isn't as easy. Friends encouraged me to speak at TEDx this month and continue working on my book.

As we embark on this new year, my words of advice are; offer help and ask for help. We aren't in this thing called life alone. Let's spend less time clicking and posting at each other and more time helping, growing, and learning from each other.

Happy New Year!
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.
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