Monday, December 21, 2015

3 Strategies to Share Your Message for Attention

I believe businesses and professionals can profit from attention – not just getting it, but giving it. The next time you prepare for a presentation, business brief or sales pitch, pay attention to these three key factors. By doing so, you’ll ensure your message resonates with those you wish to receive attention from.


The post 3 Strategies to Share Your Message for Attention appeared first on Neen James.

Be Attentive: 3 Ways to Share Your Message for Attention

Watch video on YouTube here:

Be Attentive: 3 Ways to Share Your Message for Attention

Watch video on YouTube here:

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Good Manners – Guest Post by Candace Ellis

Candace EllisBelow is a blog by Candace Ellis, who loves surprising and delighting clients and sharing her sense of fun and wit through her writing. I truly love her pieces and felt compelled to share this one with you. Follow her on twitter @candellis.


When Clarence Thomas said “good manners will open doors that the best education can not.”, I wonder if he meant that literally?

As a an associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States he may have been referring to people he met in his courts when he said this.  But the way I look at it is this: good manners will get you places and will open doors.

I know this to be true because in my as a receptionist and executive assistant for one of the leading companies in Australia in research I constantly greet and welcome people from all walks of life.  Everyday we all meet people including sales reps, service engineers, patients couriers and even lost colleagues. While every visitor has different reasons for being there, one thing they all have in common is they must get past the gatekeeper – yep that’s me, the receptionist.

Some might say I am the bump in their road, the roadblock in their mission and some visitors want to bypass. As the gatekeeper, I am not trying to make your life more difficult or waste your time or distract you from your journey.  My mission ( and yours – should you choose to accept it) is to move you from reception to the right person at the right time.  Let me help you, help me, here’s how:

  1. Know whom you came for.  It saves us time-  know the full name and job title. In large organizations it’s challenging to know everyone’s name. Guess what, sometimes there are more than one “Sheila” or “Bruce” please know their last name. This also indicates you are prepared and organized.
  2. Know your reason for visiting. You may be a frequent visitor and tell me why you are back. I need to keep tabs on the visitors – let’s build a rapport.  Heck I don’t mind a little small talk! Yes I did watch Game of Thrones last night, wasn’t it brutal?
  3. Know your focus.  Eyes on the game and not on your phone. Give attention during your interaction- simple and effective. Talking on your phone while being helped is sinful and demonstrates a lack of respect. If you need to take the call, excuse yourself and return when you can give your full attention.
  4. Know the power of a smile, eye contact, and friendliness.  Sometimes you may not get this in return (unless you visit me of course). Some receptionists are distracted, under the pump and having a bad day – try not to take it personally. Everyone might be entitled to a bad day, however when you work in a service industry you waive that right. Receptionists are people too and sometimes bad days sneak up on you. Isn’t interesting when you surround yourself with positive people, it rubs off on you? It is contagious and I love being around positive people. You could be the turning point in someone’s bad day so flash ‘em your pearly whites, what have you got to lose?
  5. Know the Rules. This one is easy. Sign in, sign out and wear your nametag. Follow instructions, and use the visitor car parks designated to you. It’s simple people. Please pay attention.

Recently we had very important guests visiting our workplace.  My job was to ensure these guests we were well looked after and shown the highest hospitality.  At the end of the visit I commenced clean up, washing coffee cups in the too small, too hot kitchen behind the meeting rooms.  I was coming down with cold and feeling ill. Soldiering on I was standing over the sink in my tired, pre-cold haziness and heard a voice and a tap at the door.  As I turned I saw one our guest VIPs, smiling. He took the time to find me, extend his gratitude and smile.   He looked me in the eye, asked my name and thanked me.  Out of all the guests that day, he is the one I remember and one who I will gladly welcome back.

Good manners does open doors, and I will be happily waiting at that door for you.

The post Good Manners – Guest Post by Candace Ellis appeared first on Neen James.

Monday, December 14, 2015

3 Types of Thought Leaders - Which One Are You?

Watch video on YouTube here:

3 Types of Thought Leaders - Which One Are You?

Watch video on YouTube here:

3 Types of Thought Leaders – Which Are You?

Thought Leaders Ideas Profit SharingHave you ever heard the term ‘Thought Leader’ and wondered what it was and who gets to call themselves that? Those in thought leadership can shape and shift the ideas, perspectives and passion of others.

They don’t just know something, they are known for something.

When the term was first coined, it meant something different than it does today. Now it seems as though the phrase is used and abused in business today. I’m a partner in Thought Leaders Global and we have a definition of three types of Thought Leaders.

  1. Intrapreneur – Within a corporation, this person is the go-to resource within a company that best represents their brand, idea and thoughts.
  2. Entrepreneur – These are the people who like to start, grow and exit a fast growing business within about five years. They use thought leadership as a marketing strategy to operationalize their ideas.
  3. Infopreneur – Professionals that have information in their head they can capitalize on by sharing it with the world in a way that is uniquely theirs.

Often, what we see is that perceived Thought Leaders are actually just thought repeaters. If you really want to stand out, identify what type of Thought Leader do you want to be?

Are you an internal thought leader that is the go-to expert in your area of expertise. This is a fantastic strategy if you really want to attract, retain and develop top talent in your company.

If you’re an entrepreneurial thinker, you must have a clear strategy for the types of businesses you can rapidly grow, market and exit using your area of expertise and skills.

As an infopreneurial thought leader, consider those thoughts and ideas that are uniquely yours. What’s your context for the world and how do you see the world. My context is Attention. I want the world to give the gift of their undivided attention in order to better receive the attention they too desire.


What compels you? What is your passion? What is your unique experience? How can you honor that uniqueness to share thoughts and ideas with the world? Share your ideas with us!

The post 3 Types of Thought Leaders – Which Are You? appeared first on Neen James.

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

12 Best Apps for Busy Women – Guest Blog by Megan Kristel

productivity apps busy women save timeEvery woman I know is so busy they are overwhelmed, overstressed and overtired. When I read this blog at The Well Dressed Life by Meg Kristel, I knew the ah-mazing apps recommended were just thing to help women save time and energy to pay attention more to what mattered most.  I hope you enjoy this read and these apps as much as I did.


Attention Pays,



I do not have a techie bone in my body, yet I find myself relying more and more on my phone to keep me organized. With the New Year, and promises of better, more productive selves around the corner, I thought I would share the apps that make my hectic life run a little smoother.

12 Best Apps for Busy Women

1. Instacart: I started using Instacart a few months ago, and it is by far the best app/service I discovered all year. Instacart is a grocery delivery service that connects you to a personal shopper who goes to your favorite market (mine is Whole Foods). You order your groceries online, and they are delivered to your door within a few hours. I love to cook but hate grocery shopping, especially on the weekends when the stores are so overly crowded. With Instacart, I can sit at my desk, with my cookbooks and list and only order what I need. I paid an annual fee initially that has already paid for itself, and you tip the shopper. Even if I end up spending a little more than I would in the store, I save so much time and sanity. Plus, I get stuff done around the house or work while I wait, making me extra productive.

2. Open Table: I’m always surprised when someone doesn’t have Open Table on their phone. It makes grabbing dinner reservations anywhere in the country easy peasy. I use mine constantly, often within minutes of wanting to walk in somewhere.

3. TripItIf you travel frequently, TripIt is for you. TripIt allows you to keep your itinerary organized. It’s super easy to use. Once you make your hotel reservation, forward the email to Tripit, and it automatically updates your agenda. Do the same with your flight information, car service, etc. On the day of your trip, everything you need, from your reservations to your boarding pass, is in one place.

4. Uber: I use Uber all the time. From airport pick-ups to nights that go a little too late with a little too much wine, it makes getting safely from point A to point B easy.

5. Circle of 6: Circle of 6 was originally designed for college-aged women, to help keep them safe on campus. Essentially, it’s an app that lets you send a message to 6 individuals of your choosing. For example, one message reads, “Call and pretend you need me. I need an interruption.” It also sends your GPS coordinates. Every woman should have this on her phone. It’s a no-brainer.

6. Sleep Pillow: Having spent more time in hotels this year than I care to think about, one thing I know for sure is that hotels, for the most part, are noisy. You can be stuck by the elevator, the ice machine or just next a very rude and nocturnal neighbor. The Sleep Pillowapp is a white noise machine and alarm clock in one. My favorite sounds are beach waves and thunderstorm. While the free app is great, I upgraded to the paid version, which allows you to play the noise all night and be gently woken up by the app in the morning.

7. Sleep Cycle Power NapSpeaking of sleeping, I’m a big fan of napping. The Sleep Cycle Power Nap app guides you to sleep easily and wakes you gently before you fall into a deep sleep. It offers several different nap cycles, my favorite being the “recovery nap”. You get a solid 45 minutes and wake up feeling like the better version of you.

8. Evernote: The standard for note taking apps and for good reason. It’s intuitive, easy to use and cross-functional allowing you to use it on your phone and desktop. I need to write things down; it helps me process information and commit to it. However, once I vet out my to-do list, I write it in Evernote, because I will likely forget to pack my notebook, but I always remember my phone. It’s an extra step, but one I am happy to take to stay on top of my never-ending, always growing to-do list.

9. Last Pass Last Pass holds all of your passwords, keeping them secure. When you need to log into one of your accounts, it self-populates. Having been the person who kept all of my passwords written in the back of my day journal, this makes my life so much easier and safer.With Last Pass you’ll never have to remember your passwords again.

10. Mint: Mint helps keep your finances in order, so you never miss a bill, always know how much cash you have on hand and your current credit score. I know too many women, who are otherwise brilliant and accomplished, with no knowledge of their financial situation. With Mint, you can have all of your accounts linked together for a real-time snapshot of your money health. If being more financially savvy is on your list of New Year resolutions, get on Mint today.

11. Dropbox: If you own a business or work as a freelancer, Dropbox is a life saver. You can store all of your important documents, photos and share files. We use it all the time, across all of our businesses. For example, when a potential client requests additional information about our private services, we can very easily send them our information PDF from our phones. This cuts down the time it takes to convert a lead to a client.  Dropbox will help streamline your systems, keep your business organized and help you look organized.

12. ShutterflyWhile I use Dropbox to store pictures, I also use Shutterfly. I keep the Shutterfly app on my phone. When photos are uploaded, they are automatically time stamped to when they were originally taken. Then I can go in and sort them, create albums, even order custom books, all from my phone.

Let us know in the comments below your favorite apps and how you use them!

The post 12 Best Apps for Busy Women – Guest Blog by Megan Kristel appeared first on Neen James.

Sunday, December 06, 2015

3 Strategies for Ending Your Slump

Ever felt so overwhelmed, overstressed and overtired that you were exhausted – mentally, physically and emotionally? Perhaps you were in a perpetual slump, one you couldn’t see your way out of. I know I’ve been there, and most of us have. After recently experiencing a bit of a slump myself, I realized to turn to my ‘beacons – those people I trust implicitly to help give candid and honest feedback with my best interest in mind. How do you determine who these people are and allow them to guide you out of your slump? Who are those that are dragging you further into it?


Here are my 3 strategies for getting out of a slump and determining those ‘beacons’ who will help.

beacons, slump, overtired, stress management

The post 3 Strategies for Ending Your Slump appeared first on Neen James.

Thursday, December 03, 2015

Make Your 2016 More Profitable and Productive with Executive Exchange

Neen James Keynote Speaker Coach Mentor Executive Leadership ProfitabiliyWhen it comes to sharing your expertise, having a laser-focused ROI for your client or audience is often the key differentiator.  So many of us have extensive experience and considerable content, but no clear way to share what we do and how we do it.


In order to clearly identify your unique offering and to make more money from your ideas, spend 90 minutes in an Executive Exchange with Neen James.  Neen will bring clarity and contextual messaging to your brand, in order to help you articulate why you are the best expert to hire or best leader for your project or promotion. This will not only lead to brand cohesion and confidence, but also increased commercial success.


This three stage process will eliminate extraneous messaging and allow your true thought leadership to become focused and noteworthy.


A: Before your Executive Exchange, you will receive a series of activating questions to complete.  This exercise is incredibly grounding and begins the process of function through formulation.  The answers you share will also give Neen a brief summary of who you are and where you currently serve.


B: During your 90 minute Executive Exchange with Neen via phone or Skype you will receive:


  1. A clear positioning statement that you can use when someone ask ‘what do you do?’. This script is a powerful tool to be used on your website, LinkedIn profile, social media, in videos, during a speech and for your sales calls.


  1. A unique contextual model to clearly showcase your expertise in a way that is easy for your client / buyer to understand the value you add to their event and organization. This model can be used during your presentations, in sales calls and to elevate the scope of your next book project or project report.


  1. An intellectual property snapshot to help articulate one of your leading ideas that will include a contextual model, metaphor, statement and explanation and relevant data and stories to support it. This tool can be used in your presentations, blogs and sales conversations. This tool is especially helpful to distinguish you from other experts in your area and show depth of knowledge and expertise of why you are the best person to hire or partner with.


C: After your Executive Exchange you will be eligible to access Neen’s extensive Success Source Material including: templates, sample chapters of eBooks and recommendations of additional resources to grow your thought leadership and help you make more money from your ideas.


If you are ready to harness the power of your brilliant brain, schedule your private session with Neen today.


Three-part Executive Exchange Experience = $750

The post Make Your 2016 More Profitable and Productive with Executive Exchange appeared first on Neen James.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Pay Attention to Your Community

community influence people You know one of the things that I am truly obsessed about is helping leaders to truly pay attention to what matters. I was fascinated to hear that, based on a recent study from Scratch on the topic of attention, over 30% of people said community shapes the way they think.


I still found it hard to believe but then considered the whole idea of community attention. Who is in your community? What does your community believe and where are they located? Who are you paying attention to and who has permission to influence you?


It’s fascinating to also read that 50% of the people surveyed said they would give up social media for a week so they didn’t miss the finale of their favorite TV show! Sounds crazy, right! Social media, in fact, has become one of our communities. Consider who you are connected with and ask yourself if they add value to your thoughts and your progress. It’s interesting to me with social media how everyone has an opinion and they share that, but what do those in your social community stand for?


To understand who you should pay attention to and how to build on that community, you must recognize who shapes it. To identify your community and those that have influence in your life, ask yourself these three questions:


  • Who do I listen to? Who has permission to speak and has influence in my life, decisions and direction?


  • What does my community stand for? What are their values, their beliefs? Do I want to be associated to what they are known for?


  • Where does my community hangout? Where can I find more people who think, believe and behave accordingly?


You get 1,440 minutes in a day. How and with whom do you invest yours?


When it comes to community attention, think about where you need to spend more attention and maybe where you need to spend less. I know myself. I could certainly spend less time on social media and the online community.


What do you need to do this week to truly accelerate your attention with the community you’re a part of? I challenge you to find one place where you could give more attention and maybe one place you could give less attention.


What are your ideas for truly managing community attention? Share them in the comments below.


Today as a leader, you really do get a choice to be amazing every time you give someone the gift of your undivided attention, where you’re spending your attention, and in what communities are you part of today.

The post Pay Attention to Your Community appeared first on Neen James.

3 Strategies to Pay Attention this Holiday Season

Watch video on YouTube here:

3 Strategies to Pay Attention this Holiday Season

Watch video on YouTube here:

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

How Thanking Veterans Can Become a Great Tradition – Guest Blog by Mark Scharenbroich

You have seen us promote the brilliant book Nice Bike by Mark Scharenbroich and when I read this blog about thanking veterans, it provided a wonderful example of taking time to give someone the gift of your attention and be thankful. Enjoy this heart warming story of strangers showing their respect and admiration for a veteran. This time of year is a perfect time to regularly start paying attention and thanking people in service for all they do.

Happy Thanksgiving,



One day, I was catching a flight out of the Meadows Field Airport in Bakersfield, California. As I pulled up to the airport, I noticed a crowd of hundreds of people, news cameras, a fire truck with a huge American flag hanging from the ladder, several law enforcement vehicles, and at least thirty Harley-Davidson motorcycles parked nearby.

Corporal Wesley Barrientos

I walked over to the crowd to see what was going on. It was a homecoming for twenty-three-year-old Army Corporal Wesley Barrientos. Corporal Barrientos was returning home from his third tour in Iraq, this time on two prosthetic legs. He lost both of his legs riding in a Humvee in December 2007 when it was hit by an IED, an improvised explosive device.

Corporal Barrientos’s family had expected to see him get off the plane in a wheelchair since he had been fitted with the prosthetic legs only two weeks prior to his homecoming. But he proudly walked over to hug his family and friends.

As Corporal Barrientos walked through the rows of people welcoming him home and saluting him as he passed, a television crew approached, and the reporter asked him, “How does it feel to have a hero’s welcome home?” The corporal smiled and simply said, “I was just doing my job.”

The local American Legion and VFW members attended in order to offer a salute as he walked by. Cheerleaders and students from his alma mater, Ridgeview High School, turned out to support one of their own. There were also a bunch of Harley-Davidson motorcycle riders, complete with the leather jackets, bandannas, and tattoos, lined up to shout, “Welcome home, Wes!”

I walked over to some of the Harley guys and asked “Do you know this soldier?” “Nope,” was the answer. “We’re not even from Bakersfield.”

They told me that they were there to honor Corporal Barrientos. “I understand the local people, the law enforcement, and the veterans, but why the Harley riders? What’s the connection?” I asked.

“Well, this guy served our country, so the least we can do is ride over and welcome him home. A lot of us served in Vietnam, and we never had a welcome home. So, we do this a lot. I guess it’s kind of a tradition for us to be there for someone else.”

What an example of acknowledging those around you, honoring what’s important, and connecting to build community.

So, to make your ride more meaningful and emotion-filled, invest in traditions. Make a tradition of thanking a veteran whenever you see one.


Mark Scharenbroich is a hybrid speaker. Combine one part business speaker, one part pure entertainer, mix in a cast of characters, add a blend of motivational stories and actionable ideas and you have Mark Scharenbroich.

The post How Thanking Veterans Can Become a Great Tradition – Guest Blog by Mark Scharenbroich appeared first on Neen James.

Monday, November 23, 2015

How to build a strong personal brand that gets attention

Neen wins Presidents Award from NSA 2011

What a treat to get the NSA Presidents Award… a crystal shoe – how perfect!

Love the opening line in Sally Hogshead book Fascinate (a great read) ‘growing up in my family, earning attention wasn’t a recreational pursuit, it was survival’. She goes on to say fascination is a force of force of attraction. We are fascinated with people who are fascinating. You might enjoy this blog and video we did a while back, click here.

Some of the most significant and ah-mazing leaders you know are fascinating and they have built strong personal brands.

If you have ever interviewed for a new job, applied for a job promotion, started your own company, presented at a conference on a panel or served in your local community … you know the importance of a personal brand.

Your brand is what people say about you. Making your brand fascinating might require you read Sally’s book and also consider these strategies below:

Be aware – start with a brand audit. Simply ask five people you trust what three words they would use to describe you. That’s a great indication of how you are perceived. Start to monitor the articles people share with you through email and social media. There was an article published to state that if you drank champagne each week you could boost memory and prevent dementia… 15 people sent it to me (that makes me giggle as I am known for my love of champagne it’s my drink).

Be clear – know what you stand for, what is important to you and create your own brand guidelines. This includes; colors you choose, types of clients you serve, clothing you wear, people you surround yourself with and online platforms you participate in.

Be Selective – be very clear about the posts you create (my policy is only positive), the people you retweet and feature (our policy is only those with strong ethics I admire) and people you surround yourself with (I choose those who inspire and motivate me to do more and be more). This applies to people you are photographed, published and and presenting with.

Be Consistent – create your own style guidelines for your brand. We only use a special paper stock called shine for our thank you notes, letterhead and business cards. I have a deliberate consistent look and feel for my work outfits that is very different to my play outfits. Your clothing (and in my case, my shoe collection) is part of your personal brand.

Be Generous – constantly be promoting others you support, with messages you agree with and brands aligned with yours e.g. I share posts by Mark Sanborn, Megan Kristel, Connie Podesta, Mark Scharenbroich – I believe in their messages. At every speaking engagement, I provide the meeting planner two names of possible speakers they can hire for their event next year. It promotes the best speakers I know and makes their job easier. You become known as a resource.

Be Socialsocial media is a part of your personal brand. Share generously of other’s brilliance, be consistent in your messages and choose the platforms and groups that best serve your brand. Be responsive to conversations and ensure messages are a reflection of your personality.

Today as a leader in your industry, could you spend a few minutes paying attention to your personal brand? Invest 15 minutes:

  1. Do a brand audit.
  2. Create brand guidelines.
  3. Create an action plan for actions outside your desired brand.

To build a fascinating brand you need to be aware, clear, consistent and selective, what can you do to build your personal brand today?


The post How to build a strong personal brand that gets attention appeared first on Neen James.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Pay Attention: Community Attention

According to Scratch Attention survey of Millenials ‘30% of people said their community shapes the way they think. Who influences how you think?


As leaders if we want to have more impact we need to pay attention to what matters.


In that same survey 50% of people said they’d give up a week of social media NOT to miss the finale of their favorite tv show! Incredible.


Social media has become a community attention strategy.


Here are strategies to manage community attention. 

community attention

Who is in your community? Determine who you do you pay attention to and then deleate thoses that don’t add value to you and your life. Yep that means unfriending someone or unfollowing.

The post Pay Attention: Community Attention appeared first on Neen James.

Monday, November 16, 2015

3 Ways to Give Attention, Appreciation & Affection

Watch video on YouTube here:

3 Ways to Give Attention, Appreciation & Affection

Watch video on YouTube here:

Be Attentive: Nice Bike, by Mark Scharenbroich, Book Review

Watch video on YouTube here:

Be Attentive: Nice Bike, by Mark Scharenbroich, Book Review

Watch video on YouTube here:

3 Strategies for Leaders: Accelerate Attention, Appreciation and Affection

leaders pay attentionLeaders profit by paying attention.

Paying attention increases productivity, profitability and accountability.


If you want to strengthen your relationships at work and home with your team, your clients and your family these will be helpful to you:


Attention – when you pay attention to people around you people feel seen and heard. That’s what we all want. A simple strategy is using people’s names in conversations. Dale Carnegie wrote a great book called How to Win Friends and Influence People. In the book he says ‘a person’s name is the sweetest sound’. Use team members names in meetings, on teleconferences, in emails and when you meet someone in service ask them their name and use it during your time together. So many ways to make others feel valued.


Appreciation – show someone you saw their contribution with a handwritten note, a complimentary email or a shout out during a team meeting. The simple art of thanking someone for a contribution is an important leadership skill. It also translates in our lives at home, thank your family for helping with the dishes, putting out the trash and not bringing their cell phones to the meal table. Call up a client and thank them for their business, send a holiday note thanking someone for their role in the project. So many ways to show others they are valued.


Affection – I am a hugger. If you have met me, you know that I am affectionate. While you may not be able to hug (or want to hug those you work with) affection can be a kind word or a helpful gesture. Be generous with your praise, affection and kindness each day. This week look for ways to show affection at home and kindness at work.


Leaders profit by paying attention, showing appreciation and extending affection and in a world that sometimes feels crazy, it’s the little things we do that make the biggest impact.

The post 3 Strategies for Leaders: Accelerate Attention, Appreciation and Affection appeared first on Neen James.

Attention Pays: Screen to Screen Selling Book Review

Watch video on YouTube here:

Attention Pays: Screen to Screen Selling Book Review

Watch video on YouTube here:

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Do You Suffer Facebook Fatigue?

I do! I don’t need to feed my crazy by reading other people’s crazy.

Managing Facebook Social Media

We’ve lost count of how many times I’ve wanted to delete my Facebook account.

Not sure if it’s just when I’m overtired, or someone says something that drives me crazy … But there am have been many times – do you ever feel like that?

I won’t delete it … Facebook is the easiest and cheapest way for me to stay in touch with my wonderful Australian family who I miss daily and my awesome friends who are spread across the globe.

Seeing little things that happen in their lives i.e. a new haircut, their kids Halloween costume or an anniversary they are celebrating makes me feel closer and more connected to them despite my choice to live on the other side of the world. It’s easy to see what’s important to people through their posts.

If it wasn’t for Facebook I’d actually have to remember people’s birthdays …does anyone remember those days?

And yet I still find it exhausting.

Here’s how I manage my love/hate relationship with Facebook, manage my own fatigue and hope it’s helpful for you:

Decide – Who do you want to follow? Who do you want to be connected to? Who do you want to fill up your Facebook feed daily? These are important questions because the groups you subscribe to, publications and companies you ‘like’, will influence your time and attention daily. Realizing this when training for a marathon last year, I only had running groups/blogs/magazines and in the feed … time to get additional interests.  When heading out on Harley trips or vacations with my honey I occasionally post (rarely read) because it’s nice to take a break. Protect your time and attention.


Discipline – set yourself limits of how much time you will review, engage and comment. It’s easy to spend hours … how do I know… because I have wasted way too much time online! It’s easy to get involved in a chat or read multiple posts and 20 minutes goes by … and you never get that time back. Reading it with morning coffee or while at the airport or on a plane is easy. Also have discipline and decide you won’t check every time someone tags you or writes on your timeline. We have a rule set up to approve every posts or picture on my timeline, otherwise it’s easy to become cluttered. Most of my friends post cool things. Recently an article was published about the ‘health’ benefits of champagne … we lost count of how many people tagged me (and that made me giggle).

It still takes discipline and I haven’t mastered it yet. Maybe it’s time for another Facebook diet?


Delete – remove yourself from groups that don’t inspire you (or you exhaust you). I have been added to groups over the years that start out great, then at some point become crazy or I become less tolerant (or maybe a combination of both)? I was once involved in a group that became unprofessional and unkind and it was an easy decision to leave (quietly and without telling anyone). Leave groups you don’t like; unfollow people you don’t want to see and unfriend those who aren’t friends… easy peasy! What (or who) do you need to delete in Facebook?


A few examples of Facebook used well include The Well Dressed Life by Megan Kristel, Mark Sanborn and On Air with Ella. Check them out if you aren’t following them.

What do you do to manage your Facebook fatigue? I’d love to hear from you.

The post Do You Suffer Facebook Fatigue? appeared first on Neen James.

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Featured Blog: The Five Building Blocks of A Successful Speaking Career

Below is a brilliant featured blog by Public Words that demonstrates the importance of why professional speakers must PAY attention to what matters most. I hope you enjoy this a much as I did. – Neen

This post is the second in an occasional series about professional speaking careers.

I often get asked about how to become a successful (i.e. sustained) professional (i.e., paid) speaker. My response, from many years of working with people to establish, to ramp up, and to sustain professional speaking careers, is that there are five essential building blocks. People try to get by without one of the five, and inevitably suffer as a result. Don’t imagine that you can beat the odds – embrace all five or labor endlessly in obscurity.

Here’s what you’ll need:

1.Your Idea

I occasionally get inquiries from people who are motivated by money, or the desire for fame, or the thrill of speaking in front of an audience. Perhaps they’ve received early success and praise for speaking, and they want more of the same. The adrenaline rush – if you like that sort of thing – you get in front of an audience is similar to the feeling of starting down a double black diamond run with a slope full of untouched powder in front of you. So you might want more of the same.

But thought leadership – which is what we’re talking about – begins with a thought, an idea, a passionate desire to change the world in some way. That passion is important because it will sustain you through the hard work and slow times that everyone works through before you get to the fun part – the speaking invites, the fan emails, the accolades from around the world. No one escapes paying their dues in one way or another. It’s just that if you really care about the idea, you’ll enjoy paying those dues rather than resenting the cost.

2.Your Speech

Why give a speech? Because the in-person, move-the-audience-to-action speech is still the most powerful way to get people actually, really doing something different. It’s not the most efficient; a viral video reaches many more people faster. But most of us watch that video and then forget it. We rarely change our lives because of something like that. A speech, on the other hand, can lead to action and life-changing consequences. So speeches have a kind of power that the written word alone – or even the filmed word – doesn’t have. It’s why we still go to musical performances even though it’s arguably much easier to download the music and listen to it on earbuds.

But you need to think of that speech not as your information but rather as a solution for a problem the audience has. It’s the audience that will own (your) speech ultimately, and that shift in thinking begins the serious creation of a powerful keynote speech that moves (individual) mountains.

3.Your Presence

Once you’ve written a powerful speech, you need to learn how to deliver it powerfully. A great message alone is not enough to make a great communicator. Non-verbal communication is just as important — particularly when you’re delivering a speech. When you get up on that stage, you’re competing for every audience member’s attention with the person sitting next to them, the breakfast buffet down the hall, and worst of all, the smart phone in their pocket.

Welcome to a lifetime of work on personal stagecraft, presence, and authenticity.

4.Your Book

A well-written book published by a traditional publishing house is still the required entrance ticket to the professional public speaking business, and the publishing process is mysterious and tricky to navigate. You’re in for a one- to two-year journey at the least. Writing a book is a lot of work; selling a book is even harder. For that, see building block number five.

5.Your Community

Just because you’ve got a good idea, a book as proof that you’re serious, a well-written speech, and the charisma to deliver your speech well, doesn’t mean the world will necessarily pay attention. In order to build a sustainable business as a speaker, you need an active community of fans and fellow enthusiasts. Nowadays, the good news is that you get to use social media to start building that community. That’s also the bad news, because that work never ends. But making a name for yourself this way will create ongoing, organic demand for you as a speaker.

Those are the five building blocks of a successful public speaking career. You need them all; skipping any single one will leave you in the cold, nose against the windowpane, envying the successful speakers, wondering what’s wrong. So get started on your journey, knowing all the stops you’re going to need to make along the way.

And good luck!

The post Featured Blog: The Five Building Blocks of A Successful Speaking Career appeared first on Neen James.

Monday, November 02, 2015

3 Strategies to Pay Attention to Our Existing Clients

Your existing clients chose you.

Delight Your ClientsThank Them – people want to be seen and heard. Make sure they know you appreciate them.

Surprise Them – send them notes, give them phone calls, send them emails, send them little gifts. Make them advocates.

Delight Them – suggest a new service, let them know in advance if your price will change.


Legendary Customer Service expert and speaker, Shep Hyken said recently ‘customers love to be contacted by the senior leader or executive level’ – it got me thinking. Our customers like attention … especially from those in seniority. When is the last time you gave them your attention?

Here are 8 strategies for managing attention:

Good attention

Be proactive – spend time proactively thanking your clients for doing business with you and your team for their constant performance. People want to be seen and they want to be heard – recognize someone today.


Have integrity – do what you say you will do. Be a person of your word. People notice when you do what you promise.


Deliver constantly – always be researching ways to provide exceptional customer service to your external and internal clients.


Share good news – provide testimonials from clients to the team and remind them of the great work they do, share team member achievements at meetings to inspire success. Always look for opportunities to shine attention on positive results.


Stay congruent with your brand – your personal brand as a leader and the brand of your company are reliant on staying consistently congruent with your values and beliefs – stay on point.


Bad attention

Think before you post – if you don’t want your grandma to see it or you don’t want it on the front page of the New York Times … don’t post it! I’m astounded at the crazy comments people post – don’t be that person!


Think before you press send – don’t fill in the TO field on email until you are 100% sure it is right, not emotional and can’t be misunderstood. Never send an email in anger, frustration or confusion – it doesn’t make you look like a strong leader and attracts bad attention.


Apply the bottom drawer technique – one of my bosses Barb, used to say ‘let’s apply the bottom drawer technique’ meaning put it in the bottom drawer of a desk, sleep on it and see how you feel in the morning. In today’s world of constant connectedness it’s easy to make rash decisions or respond inappropriately – don’t do it – it’s not good for your reputation.


Today focus on strategies to get GREAT attention and avoid activities that lead to BAD attention – when you do this you will be even more ah-mazing and be a leader with much stronger impact and influence.


The post 3 Strategies to Pay Attention to Our Existing Clients appeared first on Neen James.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

‘Elon Musk’ Book Review: Driving Home Success

Elon Musk Biography

The new biography, ‘Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX and the Quest for a Fantastic Future’ is a brilliant journey sharing the passion and work ethic that comes with success, world changing success. Here is my review of the book and an invitation to check it out yourself.

What motivates you to succeed? Where and with whom do you share your attention and focus? How can you leverage your vision to drive success, shift thinking and change the world?

After reading this book about Elon Musk’s journey, I encourage you to share your thoughts and how you may gift the world with your great ideas, unique thinking and undivided attention.

After watching my review, subscribe to Attention Zone TV and learn how Attention Pays.

The post ‘Elon Musk’ Book Review: Driving Home Success appeared first on Neen James.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Be AhMazing Community Attention

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Be AhMazing Community Attention

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3 Strategies for Open Plan Productivity

open office workspaceDepending on who you listen to, open plan environments either dramatically increase your collaboration and creativity… or decrease your effectiveness and health… Hmmm who to listen to!

There are many statistics I found on the good (and bad effects) of open plan, I chose to take the positive side (you know me, glass is always not only half full, but overflowing and waiting for more water to be poured in!).

When leading a team; wanting to maximize their productivity and manage their attention, here are three strategies to assist make the most of this growing trend:



Know the do’s and don’ts – We have made a list for you and a few common do’s are: invest in headphones for the team to block out distraction, keep your space clear and tidy and items securely locked away and respect others privacy.  A few don’ts include: never use speaker phone (so thoughtless), don’t heat up smelly lunch in the microwave, never intrude on others conversations or provide unsolicited advice. Creating a simple operating agreement with your team is a great strategy to foster collaboration.


Know your style – If you are an introvert you may need quiet thinking time (book a conference room to complete strategic work) or you may be an extrovert and constantly seeking input of others (you may also like to book a room for brainstorming). I loved Susan Cain’s TED talk and also her book Quiet: Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking.  A great read if you manage introverts, if you are an extrovert… or if you just want to know how to get the most out of your talented team.


Know the culture –are your team constantly collaborating on big sales deals, new marketing promotions or solving customer issues? They might require more collaborative spaces, include couches, conference rooms and breakouts. If they like to work alone and require strategic thinking time consider less meetings, more use of headphones and do not disturb signs.


Open plan environments can be highly productive, or massively disruptive – you decide. Allow your team to pay attention to what really matters and create guidelines for managing their focus during the day and achieving their results.

The post 3 Strategies for Open Plan Productivity appeared first on Neen James.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Who are your beacons?


Have you ever felt like you are in a fog?

It might be an overwhelming project where you can’t see the end, or maybe a relationship that isn’t serving you and you’re not sure how to set it free? Maybe you focused your attention on the negative aspect of something instead of seeing the positives?

I know I have done this.

Recently I was in a fog. With a major project and so much going on, I didn’t know where to focus first (not good when a so-called productivity expert is overwhelmed… it happens).

I realized my beacons rescued me and helped me refocus my attention on what really matters.

Here’s how I got out of my fog or as my friend Ella from On Air with Ella calls it … a slump!

Be selective – I sought advice of 5 people I trust and respect, asked for input and listened to their advice. After processing their feedback I made most of the changes. Who do you listen to? Be REALLY selective of who you let speak into your life.

Be ruthless – once the strategy was created I made massive changes clearing out distractions, removing overwhelm and being hyper focused on the end goal. What do you need to eliminate from your responsibilities or obligations. Be REALLY ruthless with your time and attention.

Be quiet – listen to others, create a strategy and then sit quietly and process all you need to do or think to move forward. This is hard for me. I am noisy. My headspace is noisy. My honey will tell you I am noisy. So quiet is not normal and yet so powerful. Where do you need to be REALLY quiet so you can focus your attention on what really matters?

My beacons include my best friend, my ah-mazing mastermind, friends in my industry and of course, my honey. Who are your beacons?

Who are the people that you look to when you are in a fog or struggling to know where to focus first? This week, find a beacon and tell them you appreciate them. That’s how to be ah-mazing.

The post Who are your beacons? appeared first on Neen James.

Monday, October 05, 2015

3 Tips to Manage Technical Distractions

Attention pays, but how do we manage our attention when every technical gadget we own is attempting to steal our focus? Manage your technical distractions with these three tips. Get focused, pay attention and get productive.

Manage distractions, technical gadgets




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Neen encourages you to meet with your accountability partner

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Neen encourages you to meet with your accountability partner

Watch video on YouTube here:

3 Ways to Manage Technical Distractions

Watch video on YouTube here:

3 Ways to Manage Technical Distractions

Watch video on YouTube here:

Neen James shares thought leadership at NSA New Jersey

Watch video on YouTube here:

Neen James shares thought leadership at NSA New Jersey

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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Attention! Hear My DEEP Voice – Just for Laughs

Steve Spangler, Ellen DeGeneres, Spangler Science, Deep VoiceCan you imagine me with a deep voice? Just for fun today’s edition will grab your attention and make you laugh… hopefully out loud.

If we’ve met, you’ll know one of my unique characteristics is this voice.

It’s true… I sound like I am 5 years old… some might even say I sound like one of the chipmunks, so when I visited the team at Steve Spangler Science you can imagine the fun he had giving me a deep voice.


If you’ve ever wondered what I would sound like with a deep voice – click here:



Steve and his team have the most awesome science of the month kits so if you have someone you love who is also into science; consider one of these insanely fun gifts.


Halloween is a perfect time to explore all of the crazy fun things they have too – click here.


Every leader has unique gifts (and characteristics) that grab attention, what are yours?


Feel free to post your comments here on what you think of this fun video!


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Fun with Steve Spangler - America's Science Teacher

Watch video on YouTube here:

Fun with Steve Spangler - America's Science Teacher

Watch video on YouTube here:

Monday, September 21, 2015

5 Strategies to be Well Read

Do you ever notice successful people when interviewed often share how they read wide and deep? Some people quote favorite books, leaders and share how other’s story has inspired them.

Professional Reading Learning

Some of the most significant and ah-mazing leaders I know are well read and constantly review information to keep their leadership current and relevant.


Here are five of my favorite strategies to be well read:



Read Biographies – I am currently enjoying Elon Musk which shares his adventures with SpaceX, Tesla and Solar City. I believe he is a modern day genius and admire his brilliant mind.  Stories of others success always inspire me.


Subscribe to magazines – it’s no secret I still love physical paper magazines (even with so many electronic versions available). I noticed in my office we subscribe to Success Magazine, Entrepreneur, Inc, Speaker Magazine, O, Shape, Women’s Health and Running World. It’s easy to see what’s important to me. What are the inputs in your life? What are you reading?


Read executive summaries – so many services are available that provide cliff notes of significant books, maybe that’s a great solution if you don’t have huge amounts of time to read (or maybe you don’t enjoy it)?


Subscribe to blogs – my inbox receives the Well Dressed Life, Seth Godin, Matt Church and Peter Cook’s blogs regularly and read every one! These are my faves – what are yours? Unsubscribe to anything you won’t read.


Ask for recommendations – my friends and colleagues are a great source of inspiration and I’m constantly asking what they are reading and why. Can you ask around of those you admire what they are reading right now?


Reading allows you to enter other worlds, increase creativity and grow imagination, learn new skills, remind you of information you know and strengthens your leadership style.


Today as a leader, could you squeeze in a little more time for reading and a little less time for distractions?


You will have more impact and influence at work, at home and in your community when you choose to be ah-mazing!

The post 5 Strategies to be Well Read appeared first on Neen James.

Be Ah-Mazing - Be Well Read

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Be Ah-Mazing - Be Well Read

Watch video on YouTube here:

Tuesday, September 15, 2015