November 23, 2017

It Happens to All of Us

When I was 16, I was diagnosed with an overactive thyroid. It took the doctors 10 months to figure out the problem. I lost 40 pounds, missed most of the school year, and it felt like I had the flu for almost a year.

The treatment: removal of about 80% of my thyroid. If they had not taken enough, they would have had to operate again; if they had taken too much, I would have been on medication for the rest of my life. They nailed it. That story was probably marginally interesting. I had a medical condition and doctors treated it.

How about I tell you about the many days when I felt inferior, lost, sad, confused, or unsure what to do with my life? Or the days worrying about my career, finances, future, or self-worth?

Are you wincing a bit?

Why do we have no trouble talking about someone who has an organ malfunction or a broken limb but we get embarrassed to talk about mental illness? The stats say that 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men have a depressive episode in their lives. This does not mean can't get out of bed for months; it means an episode which is a range from a one time event to a lifetime and any increment in between.

It's as pervasive as the common cold and we'd rather ignore it, shy away from it, hope it's someone else's problem. I'm going to be bold and say every human on the planet has at least one episode in their lives and it's nothing to be ashamed about and we need to talk about it. I'm not ashamed I had thyroid disease or that I've had bad days

Neither should you!

November 18, 2017

Org Charts and Other Data

It’s simple to develop responsibilities, titles, direct reports and deliverables. But how will you allow a place of teamwork to resemble reality? The organizational chart is probably necessary for you to chunk up the work, responsibilities and strengths of your business but how you build a great, sustaining and successful company is through your people. There are no short cuts.

If you have ever experienced a true open environment it can be exciting - yet to some - chaotic. And because most don't want chaos, they choose to keep things nice and neat and departmentalized. They may like being a boss everyone obeys. But we know the flaws in that model are vast.

Human Supply Chain

The perception of losing focus or control can block potential for significant growth in your organization and the careers of each person inside it. If ideas aren't shared, department walls get higher and silos deepen.

The position of Chairperson, CEO or President may appear to be at the top of the company chart. But it's actually in the middle. This is the person who sets the tone; makes the big decisions that could affect the workload of everyone else. It can be a very busy place. She must answer to the owners, shareholders, investors, customers, employees and the public. If a company relies solely on her decisions, millions or even billions can hang in the balance.

Great Idea

A former boss taught me about reversed delegation. This is where someone suggests a half-baked idea and you try to run with it. This neither encourages their further thought nor helps you with what you want to accomplish. Push it back on their plate and see what happens.

For decades we have followed an enterprise model that resembled a flow chart. Nice and clean, easy to follow, department and leaders, directors and work flow. But without an unwavering commitment to the people in your company you may simply be sharing a parking lot and florescent lights for 1,800 hours a year. And the four most powerful words you can use are; “How can I help?” The challenge for leaders who want a successful business is to make their people their top priority.

For real.

November 14, 2017

Doing Our Happy Work

There aren’t usually many surprises in most employee surveys. We want to be compensated fairly, enjoy a collaborative work environment, and have the ability to advance within the organization.

Dan Ariely is a professor of psychology and behavioral economics who explains some of the elements that make us happy or unhappy at work.


November 10, 2017

Coffee and TV and Sleep

Here are some interesting facts about how we spend our lives from Distractify.

Twenty five years is for sleeping. We’ll work about 10-12 years in real time. This is discouraging, only 48 days having sex – keep in mind, it’s an average. We’ll watch about 9 years of television. Close to 3 years cooking, another year cleaning, and just over 4 years driving our cars.

We’ll drink 12,000 cups of coffee, 48 pounds of tea, and a measly 14 days kissing. Tack on another year of our lives deciding what to wear, 8 years shopping, 5 years sitting at a desk, and we’ll swear about 2 million times.

Life Gets in the Way

Interesting stats but if the average person in North America lives just over 78 years, it doesn’t leave us much time for reflection. But we’re far too busy for that. We have stuff to do, places to go.

When was the last time you gave your team a few minutes off, during the day, at work, to just clear their heads? Yes, quiet time at work. Life is an instant yet we take so little time for ourselves. You just spent about a minute reading this post.

Give yourself the next moment to reflect.

November 6, 2017

Cobbling Along

I've run into more and more people suffering the fate of the cobbler. Something we all have to manage. It's the story of the shoemaker who works hard but has no time to make shoes for his own children.

It's also the story of us. It's the story of how we feel the need to constantly keep up, have more meetings, be on more channels, do more stuff, tweet, meet, check email, and keep busy busy. One hundred years ago, there was the same number of hours in the calendar week yet we foolishly think we can cram more into it and still be efficient.

Take a Number

Customers were waiting for their orders so the cobbler will have to wait until tomorrow to fix his children's tattered boots. There's a meeting at 10 that conflicts with a conference call at 10:30, but you can't move it to 11 because there's a client coming in, so your 1:30 will have to be changed to tomorrow because the boss is going over every single client file which will take well over three hours to resolve nothing. But you answer four more emails on your way to grab a coffee before the meeting.

The shoemaker has one more order then he may finally make a pair for himself this time. But the familiar bell rings on the shop front door and those shoes will have to wait. You know indistinctly those meetings could be half as long to give you more time to help your team and clear your head yet you go headlong into another day full of them.

Let's try again tomorrow.
© Kneale Mann people + priority = profit
leadership development business culture talent development human capital