May 26, 2018

Apparently There is Math

Where I live, men live an average of 79 years and women 84. That translates to almost 29,000 days for guys and 30,600 for ladies. Those are averages so we may not even get that much time. Each year the US Board of Labor publishes how we spend our time and though some activities overlap, the numbers are quite startling.

Here's the number of days (24 hour periods) we spend on each activity throughout our lives;

Sleeping: 9,490 - Working: 4,132 - Housework: 1,950 - Online/Computer: 1,825
Eating: 1,583 - On the phone: 1,460 - Doing laundry: 963 - On smartphones: 882
Being sick: 366 - Watching TV: 264 - Waiting in line: 182 - Complaining: 152
Waiting on hold: 140 - Being romantic/intimate: 27

We spend about 100,000 hours in our lives at work yet only 648 hours being romantic. Is that a typo? Could it be? If so, that's sad. We spend almost seven times more time waiting in line, five times more time on hold, and six times more time complaining than finding time to be tender to the one person in our lives that means so much.

We work to make a living yet how much living are doing?

We certainly seem to be good at slicing up our limited time doing a lot of busy stuff that won't amount to much as we take our final breaths.

So, as we look at the math of life, how do we make time for the things we want to do around the stuff we need to do? We could put our phones down a few more times each day, create companies where collaboration is more important than meetings, stop complaining and give someone a hug, and save the laundry for later while we take our significant other out for date night.

In my opinion, we get caught up in what we want while missing what we can have if we want it. And if we pay closer attention each time, we might be able to complain and wait in line less while getting off our computers more often to enjoy life for a change.

Or we could always send another text.

May 22, 2018


It's often said when you're stuck or feel down, helping someone less fortunate can be the biggest gift for both of you. No matter your religion or cultural background, there are points in your life when you have felt beaten down and sad.

Those are the times to take out a piece of paper and a pen and write down all the things that are going well. You may not think it's a long list but if you let your mind go, be kind to you, and think deep, you will find it. And it might just change your life.

Here's my list for today.

I am grateful for my health and for my loving family.
I am grateful for wonderful friends who are family and for food in my belly.

I am grateful for the ability to help others and for collaboration.
I am grateful for a vast network of people to explore new and exciting ideas.

I am grateful for chocolate. and or all of my senses and physical abilities.

I am grateful for music and for the ability to live in a cool town.
I am grateful for a charmed life and for creativity.

I am grateful for the desire and chance to do something bigger than me.
I am grateful for a great home and for freedom.

I am grateful for my passion for cooking and for learning my lesson.

I am grateful for a remarkable group of colleagues around the world.
I am grateful for curiosity. I am grateful for sharing and for coffee.

I am grateful for being able to give back and for perspective.
I am grateful for possibilities and for the ability to share this with you.

I am grateful for the blessing of a clever mind and for compassion.

Now it's your turn.

May 19, 2018

We Will Never Be Ready

When I was a kid, my parents would try and tell me to enjoy life and not get too caught up in the minutiae, but they did all the time. Now that my mom is in her late 70's, we're able to have wicked discussions about life and her common message remains clear - don't live with regrets. If you want that relationship, go for it. If you want to try that new job, don't wait for an invitation.

This is not a new revelation; we've been saying and reading it our entire lives. The classic; no one will be on their death bed wishing they had spent more time at the office. But it's deeper than that. It's more than what we do for a paycheck or even better a passion that pays our bills. It's ubiquitous; it doesn't go away after work or on the weekends. It's with us always.

What are we gonna do about it?

I saw this wonderful quote recently from actor Hugh Laurie and it's been rattling around in my grey matter ever since and it sums it up nicely. The question isn't whether we have the guts or time or ability or talent or money to go for it. It's a much deeper yet simpler issue.

“It's a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you're ready. I have this feeling now that actually no one is ever ready to do anything. There is almost no such thing as ready. There is only now. And you may as well do it now. Generally speaking, now is as good a time as any.” Hugh Laurie

May 16, 2018

Use 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.

May 12, 2018

Don't Compare

Not many of us human types get up in the morning to focus on failing. We do our best, we learn each day, we try a little harder, we get a little smarter, and we focus a bit more on being successful. Whatever that means to each of us. One of our worst measurements of success is comparing ourselves to others.

She has a better gig, he has a nicer car, they have a better life. Most of us have fallen into the trap but the key is to stay focused on what success means to each of us. But we get stuck, meet resistance, and sometimes get in our own way.

Richard St. John has been teaching his principles since he learned the hard way. The concept may be simple but it requires determination and a lifetime of focus to execute.


May 8, 2018

Repairing the Windows

Years ago, I worked with an organization that did a company-wide survey on various issues such as compensation, benefits, ability to advance, collaboration, leadership, communication, and others. The item that was surprisingly high on the list was management’s inability to deal with non-performance.

Money is always high on the list, pay people properly. The ability to advance and grow is up there as well, offer an environment where people can thrive and improve. But what may have appeared to be a minor issue when they crafted the survey became a big topic of discussion.

Accepted Behavior

When we dug deeper, it was clear that employees wanted to be treated fairly which is no surprise but things that were tougher to measure like favoritism and compassion came to the forefront.

One stakeholder said she had grown tired of seeing others in her department being allowed to show up late for meetings, unprepared, miss deadlines, and nothing was done about it. Another mentioned he had cared less and less about his department because his boss was doing the same. In “The Tipping Point”, Malcolm Gladwell calls this the broken window hypothesis.

Gap Analysis

This is where something small turns into something that can paralyze your organization which is leadership’s inability to deal with people showing up late for meetings, not getting their work done, or playing favorites. Those little things can add up to a feeling or an attitude you can't quite describe and it can hurt a company at the core.

There are data that shows close to a trillion dollars in lost revenue just in North America each year is attributed to disengaged employees. The challenge is committing to engagement.

The cost of great people isn't only measured by competitive compensation and a good benefits package.

May 3, 2018

Humility and Humans

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.
© Kneale Mann people + priority = profit
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