February 28, 2018

Is it All About Sales?

Over the years, I have heard versions of the same story from business owners, colleagues, clients, and friends. It’s sometimes a defensive remark, other times a plea for help, and often an automatic response to just about any question about their business. It's understandable because we are all impatient.

"We don’t need good people, we need revenue!"

Whether you're involved in a start-up or a global Fortune 100 enterprise, revenue health is important. No one expects companies to run at a loss but if people aren't important, poor morale and a shrinking bottom line will result.

"We don’t need culture, we need cash!"

Culture is not about high priced chairs and fresh pastries in the lunch room; it’s about open collaboration and clear leadership from everyone in the company. Simply yelling at sales people to make more calls won’t get it done.

"We don’t need leadership, we need sales!"

Engaging the team and involving them with decisions will help them understand what’s at stake. In the quest to make more money, companies need to remember the importance of their single most precious resource.

"We don’t need collaboration, we need profits!"

There are countless data outlining the chasm that exists between the terms “manager” and “leader” and you need the latter. Vision and focus are required and it takes leadership to get great work accomplished.

"We don’t need strategy, we need income!"

Customer service is critical but must begin inside the company. Yes we are all in sales but if you claim your company a "sales organization", it will seep into the culture and you won't have much more than a sales department.

Without strong leadership, a healthy culture, and cooperative collaboration, the chase for revenue remains long and painful.

February 21, 2018

Sixty Thousand

We have an average of 60,000 thoughts every day. Do we need milk? Should I call her? Did the presentation go well? Perhaps the parkway will be a better route? Thoughts after thoughts after thoughts that often overlap and drown us with indecision.

We have as many choices in a day as well. Yet we add more thoughts to our already busy brain hoping we can make the right decision each and every time. We don't listen to our intuition. We know what we want but we either don't think it'll work out or we continue to find reasons our logic may be flawed. Or worse, we try and predict the reaction of others.

Watch out for the Lizard

We call it a gut call. It comes from the reptilian complex in our brain; some call it the lizard brain. It's that burning feeling you get when you know you're right but then doubt creeps in. We may believe we're using logic but we're often not.

We get lost in the worry about judgement from others, concern of being ridiculed, or our own general hesitation. The late Alan Watts remarked on this in his lecture "Choices".

Watch, listen, then choose.


February 17, 2018

HBR – Leadership Mistakes

Being a leader has absolutely nothing to do what what it says on your business card or company org chart. A few years ago, the Harvard Business Review asked a simple question. Here are some valuable responses.


February 13, 2018

The Human Guest House

This was written by poet and theologian Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī (known as Rumi) 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.

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.

February 10, 2018

Unnecessary Noise

We all know we are flawed and make mistakes. We know we don’t have it all figured out. And we know there's work to do. But part of finding clarity is discovering the joy in work rather than the seemingly unattainable finish line.

Clutter makes us nervous and stressed. It can derail us from our goals. Clarity can help us find our baseline. To gain clarity, there are three questions you can ask yourself;

1. What do you stand for?
2. What will you not do?
3. Why do you do what you do?

February 7, 2018

Life is Risky Business

Manage risk, financial risk, reputation risk, market share risk, relationship risk, shareholder risk, the risks of risks, the risk of focusing on risks, the discussion of risks, the endless what if's that stall our journey risk.

Perhaps we perceive it will be difficult or worse, not successful. We often fear our own abilities and guts to take that ride. One of the worst emotions I think we can possess is regret. The idea we didn't act on can often be the one that stops the flow. The safety of inaction becomes our comfort zone.

Risk often focuses on what will, would, or could go wrong. It's a preemptive strike, a proactive measure, to protect the outcome. The biggest risk is when we use it to endorse inaction. I know of what I write only too well. Maybe you can relate.

The biggest risk is the bet we fail to make on ourselves.

February 3, 2018

Fearless Action

Much has been written and said about taking chances, failure, and ultimate success. If you were to ask any person who has attained any modicum of advancement, they would probably tell you about the many times it took to make it. The setbacks, roadblocks, and challenges were plentiful.

"Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others."
Jonathan Swift

You know that feeling you have right now in the pit of your stomach? That’s the voice you may not be listening to but you should, I should, we all should. Then act on it. Our fear stops us from moving. Our worry that it won’t work out makes us freeze.

"Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.
They somehow already know what you truly want to become."
Steve Jobs

Now think of a time you listened to your intuition and you started to move. Suddenly the doubts dissipated and things began to work out. Once you made the decision, it was clear what you needed to do. There were hiccups and twists, but you kept going.

"Vision with action can change the world."
Nelson Mandela

We need to remember that one step today toward our goals will take us one step away from our fears. The longer we wait, the more difficult it will be to move and the more our doubts will grow. Few among us are immune.

Your gut knows what to do.
© 2018 Kneale Mann | knealemann@gmail.com | people + priority = profit
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Leadership Development Business Culture Talent Development Human Capital