Thursday, March 23, 2017

Set Yourself Apart as a Successful Speaker: Speaker Lab Podcast with Grant Baldwin



On today’s edition of The Speaker Lab, I’ve got a guest who has used her unique voice and stature to create a thriving speaking career. Neen James stands a petite 4’10 (and 1/2!) and hails from Australia. With her tiny height and self-professed Disney princess voice she was told by many no one was going to book her or take her seriously as speaker.


But with her undeniable sass, drive and determination she has proven them wrong! Listen to this episode to hear how she accidentally became a professional speaker, how she pivoted from productivity to her current topic today, and how she built her reputation in the corporate business world. You’ll hear that and more on episode 124 of The Speaker Lab.



  • What’s the trick to having a successful speaker career?
  • What are “telecoffees” and how did she build her business with them?
  • Why you should audit the things you are good at.
  • What are the things that make us “memorable”?
  • Why speakers have to establish credibility and do it quickly.
  • How she pivoted from productivity to attention.
  • Can you be a jack of all trades and be a successful speaker?
  • How can you become a great resource and trusted advisor to your clients?
  • And so much more!


Become a successful speaker by checking out more of Grant Baldwin’s Speaker Lab Podcasts by visiting The Speaker Lab.

The post Set Yourself Apart as a Successful Speaker: Speaker Lab Podcast with Grant Baldwin appeared first on Neen James.

Monday, March 20, 2017

ATTENTION to Rules, Regulations and Bureaucracy: When is it Time to Change?

BureaucracyAs a keynote speaker and executive mentor, I am frequently asked for ways to deal with rules and bureaucracy in the workplace. Especially when dealing with some large corporations with employee manuals the size of War and Peace.  Rules, regulations and bureaucracy are part of corporate culture, but, done right, they don’t have to adversely affect your morale and productivity.


Let me share five strategies for paying ATTENTION to what matters in a corporate environment rich with rules.  They are:


#1. Communicate the UNWRITTEN rules. While I’m certain all the big rules and expectations are spelled out in an employee policy manual, there are ALWAYS unwritten rules that can often trip people up. New team members and people who transfer between departments can be especially susceptible to this. From break-room etiquette to social interaction to managing the personality differences that keep everyone working well together – define what those underlying expectations are so that everyone is on a level playing field.

#2. Share Common Goals. One great way to clear some of the bureaucracy is to help every team member understand what their part in the goal is.  Make sure that whatever goal you commit to as a team is clear, communicated well and often, and visual. Put the goals where everyone can see them. They then become a filtering system to avoid unnecessary missteps.

#3. Empower decision-making. Here’s the thing – if team members must run to leadership for every single decision, productivity suffers and so does morale.  The flip side of that coin is you empower your employees to make decisions on their own, you give them the freedom to grow as leaders. That fuels innovation. Creativity. The sharing of ideas. Of course, there will be things that must be approved by leadership, so be crystal clear about those expectations. For the rest? Empower your team to be decisive. Offer new solutions and step up to leadership roles of their own. When they do you elevate your entire organization.

#4. Encourage collaboration. There’s nothing quite like a team that works well together is there?  You can help encourage that kind of collaboration by having an “open door” policy where people can come in and get clarification or share ideas.  Allocating time during meetings to brainstorm specific challenges or growth strategies is another great way.  Perhaps you can look at your organization as a whole and see if there are ways to break down some of the silos that get created between departments and divisions so that talent and innovative ideas can flow freely throughout the entire team.  That way everyone has a stronger opportunity to learn and the feeling of true teamwork is elevated.

#5. Decrease meetings and eliminate outdated or unnecessary rules. Don’t get me wrong – meetings done RIGHT can be amazing, collaborative and constructive. Too many times however they are meetings for meetings sake and can run counter to what you want to accomplish.  When it looks like your meetings have become time stealers and demotivators, then it’s time to revisit why and when you are having them. Can you change it up? Schedule less? Create shorter meetings for quick discussion opportunities and then break? Can you meet via online or conference platforms that don’t require everyone to physically be in the room?  One of my favorite books on this topic is Death by Meeting by Patrick Lencioni. If you haven’t read it, pick it up. It’s a keeper!


Rules are important to keep a smooth operation running certainly.  Just be careful your team isn’t so bogged down in the do’s and don’ts that they lose the ability or the desire to jump in and utilize their full potential. Empowering people to really be part of the process and developing that culture where they aren’t afraid to express their thoughts and share their ideas can be AH-MAZINGLY powerful for the growth of your company.


Looking for more ways to focus on reducing and simplifying rules, regulations and bureaucracy in your organization? Watch this video, full of ideas to help answer:
– How to reduce regulation headaches
– How to help others navigate rules to be more productive
– How to focus on what matters most


I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please feel free to share them with me here or on social media. I’d also love to help your leadership team cut through some of the red tape that may be holding your company back. Call me today to explore your options!




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How to Pay Attention to Reducing Rules and Bureaucracy

Watch video on YouTube here:

How to Pay Attention to Reducing Rules and Bureaucracy

Watch video on YouTube here:

Monday, March 13, 2017

How to Pay Attention and Create Employee Loyalty

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Attention to Employee Loyalty: The Inside Scoop on Creating and Keeping a Thriving Team


Employee LoyaltyHow do you create employee loyalty strategies that get your team to rise to the top and stay there both as individuals and as a whole?  How do you keep them from being recruited away, or experiencing burnout?


Start by paying ATTENTION to those key factors that drive THEIR attention to the employee loyalty outcome you want to create.


Let’s take a look at three powerful strategies for creating comprehensive employee loyalty:


  1. Map it Out. Create a roadmap that allows each member of your team to see the big picture goals you are striving for as an organization and the roles they play in it. Share with them how their “piece of the puzzle” fits into the success of the company and their success as well. Then hold them accountable for staying the course.
  2. Coach Them. What I mean by this is really being present with your employees to assess their strengths and areas of enhancement and invest in the training and development that will help them soar. That might mean brainstorming solutions. Scheduling one-on-ones with them. Disconnecting from devices and distractions when you are meeting with them so you get the scope of what they need to be their most successful. When your team members know that you are engaged in helping them thrive, their loyalty, job satisfaction and willingness to jump all soar.
  3. Motivate Them. They key to motivating anyone is the find out what motivates THEM as individuals. Surprisingly enough, money is NOT always the biggest factor in motivation. For some it may be giving them a stronger leadership role. For others, it might be shifting their work hours so they have more family time. For someone else it might be including them on specific teams, or sending them to a conference or training that will advance their knowledge and ability to hit goals. Spend some real time one on one with your employees and find out what sparks them to jump out of bed and hit the ground running every day. Once you know that, you can help guide and motivate them to discover their own greatness.


Being a leader who can bring people together, develop creative solutions, and knows each team member well enough to know what drives them and what will make them pull together will inspire loyalty and help your business thrive.  I hope you’ll take these strategies and put your own spin on them to make it an ah-mazing year for you and your organization.


Want more ideas and tips to create strong employee loyalty and drive motivated success throughout your team? Take a moment and watch this video.

This video will teach you:
– How to discover what motivates your employees
– How to reward and recognize hard work
– How to create programs that focus on employee culture


Want to learn what it takes to get team members to pay ATTENTION to the strategies that create unstoppable success? Call me today and receive my white paper filled with Tips to Help Leaders Pay More ATTENTION to Their Teams. 


The post Attention to Employee Loyalty: The Inside Scoop on Creating and Keeping a Thriving Team appeared first on Neen James.

How to Pay Attention and Create Employee Loyalty

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Thursday, March 09, 2017

Transform Your Meetings with 10 Productivity Hacks: Guest Blog on MeetingsNet


I’m obsessed with attention and teaching others to utilize their focus to create more significant, productive moments in life. When I came across this article and infographic on about using productivity hacks to maximize the output of meetings, I just knew I had to share. Hope you enjoy as much as I do!



We all go to meetings—a lot of meetings. But even meeting planning meetings can be less productive than everyone would like. Here are 10 ways to fix that, from our friends at

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Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Protected: Pay Attention: Productivity Strategies for Speakers

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Monday, March 06, 2017

How to Pay Attention to and Improve Your Company Culture

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How to Pay Attention to and Improve Your Company Culture

Watch video on YouTube here:

ATTENTION to Company Culture: Cultivating Success Throughout Your Organization

company cultureNot long ago, I had the opportunity to work with a large media organization who wanted to shift their company culture in ways that would drive bottom line results, but also produce an environment where employees and team members WANTED to come to work each day and give it their all.  Why? When organizations FOCUS on creating a better company culture where they pay ATTENTION to what really matters, productivity, profitability and accountability go through the roof!


To help illustrate the strategies I wanted to help them implement I asked them to visualize their action plan as a triangle.  Here’s what I shared:


Layer One:  A foundation of FOCUS. As the bottom layer, this is an important step to getting everything else right. It’s all about determining the focus, or top priorities for your organization. Is it productivity? Profitability? Service? Once you have a handle on this, you can start to build the culture you want to create.


Layer Two:  A core of creativity.  When you nurture an environment where team members feel they can be seen and heard, share ideas, innovate – everyone benefits.


Layer Three:  Make the decision.  This is where everyone decides on the goal – and goes all in to make it happen.  Everyone takes ownership of their part in the process and are held responsible and accountable for delivering results.


Layer Four:  Reward people for their commitment. Keep your momentum building by keeping team members engaged in the process. Rewarding them is a great way to do that, and we’re not talking financial rewards in most cases.  It can be simple things like a hand written thank you note on their desk. Recognizing someone with a shout out in a meeting. A plaque on the wall. A leader-board with results. A Friday night cookout for the staff to say thanks to everyone for jumping in.  Have fun with it – and continue to have fun with it.  Your team will too.


Layer Five:  Develop partnerships.  Partnerships help continuously share different perspectives which leads to creatively finding solutions. Can you partner with other organizations? Other departments?  Or partner team members together so they can learn from each other and act as accountability partners.


As leaders, it’s our job to help our teams grow, learn, and pay ATTENTION to those things that will drive them closer to realizing their goals and potential, and raising the company standards.  Often, that means we must lead by example and model a company culture of ownership as well as the behavior and action steps that we most want to see.


As leaders, it’s also vital to be crystal clear in communicating what you want your team to focus on. Break down the goals and objectives in such a way that everyone completely understands and is on the same page as you move forward.  This isn’t a one-and-done process. Stay forward and focused on those goals by consistent, clear communication as you go. Through email, meetings, video, goal charts – the works.  As people adapt to the shifts and get excited about realizing their goals for both reward and personal pride, you’ll see your organization grow in ways you never thought possible. It all just starts with paying ATTENTION to these valuable layers of culture and leadership.


Looking for more ways to improve your focus on improving company culture?

This video contains ideas to help answer:
– How to create ownership among employees
– Ideas to recognize employees and reward their efforts
– How to foster an environment of thinking and collaboration


I’d love to hear from you on the subject! I’d also like to help you create this kind of creative culture shift in your organization so that you too can see stronger bottom line results in profitability, productivity and accountability.  Call me today to learn how we can make that happen!


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