January 31, 2017

More Than Base Salary

We work because there are things we need and want to buy. We work because we want to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. We work for many reason past the paycheck, but the paycheck is a key element.

I have seen countless employee surveys and compensation is always on the list along with the ability to advance and have purpose. But if money is the top concern, you have a serious problem.

There are data that shows close to a trillion dollars is lost each year in North America due to disengaged employees and it all comes from the relationships we have and build within our organizations. So the next time you are hiring someone, ensure the discussion goes well past what you're going to pay them.

Yes, pay them properly, but the cost of great people isn't measured simply by competitive compensation and a good benefits package.

Engage with each other daily and watch what happens.

January 28, 2017

Year of the Rooster

Today is the Chinese New Year and the beginning of the Year of the Rooster - more specifically the Fire Rooster. It is also known as the Spring Festival in China. It is said that 2017 is going to bring fresh challenges requiring quick wit and practical solutions.

If you were born in 1945 or 2005, you are a Wood Rooster which means you're engergetic and tender. Fire Roosters born in 1957 and 2017 are (will be) trustworthy with a strong sense of timekeeping.

Earth Roosters born in 1909 and 1969 are generous and trustworthy. Gold Roosters who were born in 1921 and 1981 are determined and brave. And Water Roosters born in 1933 and 1993 are quick-witted and compassionate.

Roosters are resilient, brave, loyal, hard working, astute, charming, and witty. They are also complex, creative and artistic. Problem solving is their special talent. It's been suggested we make room for our Roosters as they will give us the fire we need to get through challenges and establish creative solutions.

May the coming New Year bring you joy, love and peace.

January 20, 2017

The Key Ingredient

Our world is overflowing with websites, books, videos, and lessons on business management. This is a science that is almost as impossible to master as parenting.

I'm an executive recruiter and on more than many occasions, people have said; "Oh, so you're in sales?" Ah, no, not even remotely close. I spend all day getting to know people. I need to find out what they enjoy most about their current role, what roles they may look at to advance their careers, their family dynamic, the list is quite long and very important.

You are not in sales.

In my career, I have had a couple of outstanding mentors who taught me the essence of management from a technical and strategic standpoint while continually reminded me the only element that will mark success or failure - people.

It is not enough to devise an over arching business plan, you need to cover each component in such a process. Those include an organizational map, financial preparation, marketing and media strategy and most importantly a people plan. People study human resources for years and still don’t master it. Top sales people crash and burn as sales managers. And right brain thinkers shrivel up and rot under the crushing avalanche of meetings and protocol.

So as you're looking at new markets, products, or strategic plans, please remember the one element that can crush your business faster than any competitive threat or make your company wildly successfully.

Your people.

January 18, 2017

Look Closer See Me

We live in a time when there could be 3-4 generations working together in the same department. My perspective may not be yours but we can certainly learn from each other to make it better if we open our hearts and minds.

This is a poem attributed to a man named Dave Griffith. Some have claimed a dying man in a nursing home wrote it. What's important is what we learn from it.

What do you see nurses? What do you see?
What are you thinking, when you're looking at me?
A cranky old man, not very wise
Uncertain of habit with faraway eyes
Who dribbles his food and makes no reply
When you say in a loud voice, I do wish you'd try

Who seems not to notice the things that you do
And forever is losing sock or shoe
Who, resisting or not, lets you do as you will
With bathing and feeding the long day to fill
Is that what you're thinking? Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes, nurse you're not looking at me

I'll tell you who I am as I sit here so still
As I do at your bidding as I eat at your will
I'm a small child of ten with a father and mother
Brothers and sisters who love one another
A young boy of sixteen with wings on his feet
Dreaming that soon now a lover he'll meet

A groom soon at twenty my heart gives a leap
Remembering the vows that I promised to keep
At twenty-five now I have young of my own
Who need me to guide and a secure happy home
A man of thirty my young now grown fast
Bound to each other with ties that should last

At forty, my young sons have grown and are gone
But my woman is beside me to see I don't mourn
At fifty, once more, babies play 'round my knee
Again, we know children my loved one and me
Dark days are upon me, my wife is now dead
I look at the future, I shudder with dread

For my young are all rearing young of their own
And I think of the years and the love that I've known
I'm now an old man and nature is cruel
It's jest to make old age look like a fool
The body, it crumbles, grace and vigour depart
There is now a stone where I once had a heart

But inside this old carcass a young man still dwells
And now and again my battered heart swells
I remember the joys I remember the pain
And I'm loving and living life over again
I think of the years, all too few gone too fast
And accept the stark fact that nothing can last

So open your eyes people, open and see
Not a cranky old man,

Look closer, see me

January 15, 2017

Pondering Probable Possibilities

You're faced with an issue or an opportunity. Your mind may immediately turn to the pros and cons of acting on it. What if you don't do it? What if someone isn't happy with your decision? What if you have to give up more than you'll gain?

If you ask the question – what if I get a worse job? – that could keep you where you are but if you ask the question – what if I open myself up to a whole new network of people and possibilities – the view changes dramatically.

Web comic and NASA roboticist Randall Munroe fields what if questions from visitors to his site. These may open up ideas for you or you may just find them interesting.

What if you watched this?


January 11, 2017

Where Do I Start?

Have you ever been in a situation where you have to tackle a new task or refine an idea or meet a deadline but been unsure where to begin? That’s obviously rhetorical because we all have but the trick is how we successfully get out of that first key step to move forward.

It’s often been said leadership is about results but those results have to begin with an idea that must be advanced and refined before we can deliver it. But how much think time do we allow in our day to even get any of done? Our biggest hurdle is often us and in our inability to get started.

Here are some ideas to get us moving forward.

The difference between perseverance and obstinacy is that one comes from a strong will, and the other from a strong won't.
Henry Ward Beecher

There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth;
not going all the way, and not starting.

Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after another.
Walter Elliott

Now is the operative word. Everything you put in your way is just a method of putting off the hour when you could actually be doing your dream.
Barbara Sher

The beginning is the most important part of the work.

Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today
and make a new ending.
Maria Robinson

The idea that wins is the one with the most fearless heretic behind it.
Seth Godin

The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.
Chinese Proverb

The starting point of all achievement is desire.
Napoleon Hill

I haven't failed. I've found 10,000 ways that don't work.
Thomas Edison

Even though the future seems far away, it is actually beginning right now.
Mattie Stepanek

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment
before starting to improve the world.
Anne Frank

Let's start!

January 6, 2017

Utilizing the Phone App

Since the dawn of human existence, we have been working to improve our lives. There are better tools, advanced medical procedures, cleaner water purification, improved supply lines, more advanced urban development, and enhanced communication tools.

We live in a time where there are more scientists alive than in any other time in history, combined. There are reports that the world’s population could reach 10-12 billion.

The Shrunken Globe

We can send complicated documents across the globe with the press of a thumb on our mobile device. Our ability to share ideas is now instantaneous. And we are attempting to digest more content every day than we can ever consume.

So it’s curious when we get stuck with how to reach new customers, find new collaborative partners, and share ideas with those who will want to work with us. It has become an embarrassment of riches in a time when patience is scarce. And perhaps that's what is causing more clutter than good?

The Best Social Network

We seem to be able to grow our personal and professional networks on the social web yet the question remains how much human connection is going on. One way is to utilize a handy app that is in every smartphone – the phone.

This may sound revolutionary but the more things get complicated the more we may need to simplify. And there is one way to make things far more simple.

Give them a call; you might be surprised what happens next.

January 1, 2017

MMXVII – Now What?

It's a new year, a fresh canvas, a new list, a potential re-set button. I don't know about you, but I'm reflective this time of year. 365 days ago, I had a list of 10 things I wanted to tackle or accomplish in 2016 and I was able to put a check mark beside 7 of them.

Why do we do that to ourselves? We make lists, resolutions, promises to ourselves for a better year than last. 2017 is gonna be the best year ever, man! 2016 sucked; 2015 was awful, this year is gonna rock, dude!

Ambitions and Resolutions

Is it a tad dramatic to sum up our lives in a chunk of time according to a calendar? Every year comes with challenges, unforeseen opportunities, dips, and pleasant surprises. Yes, it's important to have goal that we not only verbalize or write down; it's much more critical to actually accomplish them, isn't it?

Perhaps it's an age thing with me, but I still make my lists, and if I don't get to an item, I question why. Did I have it on the list because I thought I wanted it? Was it because I should have wanted it? Am I giving up too easily? Was I too ambitious?

I can only guarantee one thing about 2017; most of what will happen we cannot predict. The key, perhaps, will be to not dip too long if we hit a snag and ensure we pause and enjoy the good moments.

Cheers to you for a great year!
© Kneale Mann knealemann@gmail.com people + priority = profit
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