Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Mini Gift Guide For The Tech Traveller Business Person In Your Life

tech travellerNormally, I shy away from gift guides. This year is different.

I consider myself a tech traveller. I travel about 150,000 miles per year (for some that’s insane, for other that’s called “February”). With that, I am always super specific about the gear that I travel with. Because I never check bags, everything must be super lightweight, ultra durable, multi-purpose and truly functional for heavy usage. Over the years, I’ve often had the question: “Where did you get that?,” while sitting in airports, hotel lobby’s or just over lunch with a friend. I quickly realized that I, in fact, am a huge nerd and love scouting out the latest and greatest in tech and travel gadgets that can make your business trip that much more pleasant.

Let’s level set first.

Before rattling off some of the best gadgets for the tech traveller in your life, it’s important to note that I travel with a MacBook Pro (the new one that is USB C only) and the iPhone X. I travel, mostly, domestically in North America and I have a physical aversion to checking any luggage. So, I pack light and wear similar clothes (black only!).

With that, here’s my mini gift guide for the tech traveller your life…

  • Anker PowerCore Fusion 5000 2-in-1 Portable Charger and Wall Charger. A killer little travel device that enables me to leave all of the Apple charger bricks at home for the smartphones and tablets and — at the same time — this also double as a portable charger for your smartphone. I can’t thank Scott Stratten enough for introducing me to this device. I also love how it plugs directly into the wall and recharges the battery, while being able to handle two USB devices. Simply brilliant. This literally took me from four separate charging devices/portable batteries down to just one.
  • Poweradd 2-Outlet Mini Travel Surge Protector. This is another “must have” device. I picked up a portable and mini travel size power bar at a trade show booth for free. I loved it. It eventually died, and I replaced it with this one… and I am glad that I did. This has room for a few devices to plug in, plus two USB ports. If you have ever been to a hotel, airport lounge or airport lobby, you know how scare, hard to find and tight the spaces are to actually plug anything in. This one is so well designed, that it even plugs perfectly into that pesky little outlet that are in the base of hotel room lamps on the night table. Frequent flyers also know how tough it can be to get those Apple chargers into in the in-seat plugs (if you’re lucky enough to have one). This cures all. I love the way the chord wraps and hides itself, and I’m a huge fan of the little green power light as well. You have no idea how often I plug something into a random wall on the road, and I don’t know if the socket is dead, if it’s the charger, etc… This lets you know when it’s actually getting power. This gets you from one plug to two plus two USB ports.
  • Anble 4-in-1 USB Type C to HDMI, DVI and VGA Converter. If you have to give a business presentation, you need to have one of these. While my primary dongles to attach my laptop to projectors are the official ones from Apple, I always want to have a back up (especially because these new MacBook’s are using USB C, and very few AV teams carry this new format/dongle). With that, I always want a backup. This is it. It’s an all-in-one, so I would not trust it as the only solution, but it’s great for a backup. The bonus of this one is that it also has DVI. DVI is a format I don’t see often (and Apple doesn’t even have a USB C to DVI dongle), but just in case I always keep this one handy. So, you can connect to VGA, HDMI and DVI all from this one dongle.
  • 2 in 1 Lightning iPhone 7 Adapter for iPhone. If you use headphones, one of the biggest adjustments that must be made as you transition over to the newer iPhones, is the lack of a headphone jack. I’ll recommend some great Bluetooth headsets for being on-the-go next, but it’s a shame to waste the headphones that you already have. This would be a solution. The ability to plug into a corded headphone while also being able to charge your device at the same time (a must for being on the go with these battery draining smartphones). Candidly, I’m not sold on these adapters, but they are essential. The challenge (as I have discovered) is that while these do the trick of allowing you to listen to audio while charging your device at the same time (something, the official Apple adapter does not allow), it does render the buttons on your headphones useless. So, if you want to jump tracks, raise/lower the volume or even use the microphone on your headset for a call, these adapters don’t always allow for that functionality. Buyer beware. I’m hopeful that Apple creates an official version of this, at some point soon.
  • Bose QuietControl 30 Wireless Headphones. These are my wireless/bluetooth headphones of choice for travel. Bose is a brand that many know and love. I’ve gone through the lot of their headphones (and other brands as well). There is no doubt that the sound quality and true noise cancelling is much better on the Bose QuietComfort 35 Wireless Bluetooth Headphones, but I am a stickler on a few points that the 30 delivers on over the 35. First, if you ever have to sleep on a plane, I find it much more comfortable to have the in-ear option. The over-the-ears don’t allow you to move your head around as much, and if you’re lucky enough to get a lie-flat seat on an overseas flight, you can forget about sleeping on your side with the 35. I also much prefer the slim form factor of the 30 over the 35. The 35 has a much bulkier packaging, which makes it harder to slip into your briefcase. These are both expensive headphones. Both work great. I choose the 30 over the 35.
  • eBags Professional Slim Laptop Backpack. This is my backpack/briefcase. I could not be happier with it, and I have bought — literally — hundreds of briefcases and backpacks over the years. I’m always looking for something light, durable, black, professional and with enough pockets and areas that I can zip through security and customs without having to fumble around too much. The good people at eBags really have something with this bag. I can’t think of one thing that I would want to add/remove. This one is so smart — from the front pocket for emptying your pockets at security to the base at the bottom of the bag that will hold all external chargers, to the smaller top compartment especially built for your tablet (or Kindle or whatever) and the separate area for your laptop. If you’re looking for a professional bag that does it all… you can’t go wrong with this one.
  • Briggs & Riley Baseline Rolling Cabin Bag. Another area where I have spent way too much time, money and effort on is the ideal carry-on. This is the one. By far. Many airlines are now forcing gate check for carry-on bags that are too big. I went in the opposite direction, and I will never turn back. I often find myself on smaller planes, where all bags must be gate checked. This has stressed me out for connections and created delays. This is the best solution. It’s small enough that it can fit in many of the smaller aircrafts overhead bins. And, if it doesn’t, I slip my eBags briefcase (above) in the overhead bin, and this bad boy can go under any seat. I can’t express how much love I have for never ever having to gate check a bag. The trick with this bag, is that you have to pack light. I recommend rolling (tight) all of your clothing and coupling this with Eagle Creek’s Pack-It Specter Garment Folder Small (make sure you get the small version or it will not fit in this bag) for articles that you do not want to wrinkle (dress shirts, sport coats, dresses, etc…) — see below for that product. I’ve been able to use this cabin bag for two nights and three days on the road, though it is more ideal for a quick overnight trip.
  • Eagle Creek’s Pack-It Specter Garment Folder Small. I do not know how I ever lived without this product. Remember, if you are going to go with the Briggs & Riley Cabin Bag above, make sure you get the “small” version of this magic little packing solution. This garment folder claims to be able to hold up seven items (according to their website), but from my experience, it really hold two dress shirts and one sport coat tightly. Still, it compresses the clothes and keeps them wrinkle free — and it works like a charm. If you travel, you must try these out. They’re the best at space saving for packing.
  • RuMe Bags Baggie All Zippered Organizer. Last (but not least) is this little charmer. Cables, dongles, headphones, adapters, presentation remotes, etc… can quickly turn the inside of your bag into something that resembles a pit of tangled snakes. For years, this bag has been my go-to organizer. I put my two remote presenters in the front pocket with my USB stick of backup files. The middle section gets all of the dongles that I need to connect to random projectors and AV set-ups, and the main compartment gets everything else. These bags are simply awesome and will keep every small-ish piece of tech and accessory organized and never to be lost again. For those who live in Canada, Dollorama has a similar bag in their stores, that I think are actually better (thicker material and slightly bigger) for under $4, so go and hunt it out in the office/school supply section.

Those are my top tech traveller’s business person gifts… what are yours?

note: all of the links above are affiliate links on Amazon. My intent is to donate whatever money is generated by the links to a local woman’s shelter. Hoping that you’re cool with that? And, yes, I really do use each and every one of these gadgets almost every day. If it’s in this list, it’s because I love it and use it.

Mitch Joel is President of Mirum — a global digital marketing agency operating in close to 20 countries. His first book, Six Pixels of Separation, named after his successful blog and podcast is a business and marketing bestseller. His second book, CTRL ALT Delete, was named one of the best business books of 2013 by Amazon. Learn more at: www.mitchjoel.com.

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Monday, November 27, 2017

Make Time to Pay Attention to What Matters Most During the Holidays

how to pay attention during the holidays

Holidays have you feeling stressed for time and attention? Do you feel pushed, pulled and pressured to participate in every request for your time?

I know. It may be the most magical time of year for some but for many in today’s 24/7 world there’s a whole lot of stress served up along with those holiday trimmings.

The holidays can be a challenge as you attempt to balance obligations, family, friends and experiences all while trying to pay attention to what matters most. Here are 10 ways you can prioritize your efforts, simplify your life and make the most of these holidays.

  1. 15 Minute Mental List Release: Give your memory a break during the hustle and bustle. Take 15 minutes each morning to just do download your “mental list” of everything on your work/home to-do list and create a plan. Take tip from sales training pro and author Brian Tracy who shared, “It takes only about 10 to 12 minutes for you to plan out your day, but this small investment of time will save you up to two hours (100 to 120 minutes) in wasted time and diffused effort through the day.” We could all use time savings like that!
  2. One stop shopping: No time for mall madness or dashing through the snow?  Let your fingers do the walking.  Shopping online is perfect for knocking out your gift list on a deadline, having everything delivered timely, and many stores offer gift wrapping options. You can even “gift” Amazon Prime memberships now – how about that?
  3. Give experiences. Instead of a candle, wine or standard gift – you may consider giving an “experience” instead.  “The reason experiential gifts are more socially connecting is that they tend to be more emotionally evocative,” says Cindy Chan, an expert on consumer relationships. Have fun with it. Gift cards are also now available in wide varieties. One fun idea for couples or families are gift cards for the movies. It’s a luxury for a lot of people now and they’ll think of you fondly when they get to go on date night or have a night out for fun with the kids! Put a bag of popcorn in a padded envelope with the movie gift cards and you’ve got an awesome gift. Restaurants, spas, or gift certificates to an interactive experience like the Escape Rooms or Rock Climbing places that are cropping up everywhere are terrific ideas as well.
  4. Help with the clean sweep: Book a cleaning service to do some of your heavy lifting this season. Think of it as a gift you give yourself, your business, and your family. According to Meagan Francis, author of thehappiesthome.com, hiring someone to clean your home, especially during stressful times, is a smart management decision – it allows you to focus on bottom line production. It’s also good for the health of your family (be gone dust mites), and wonderful for your mental well-being.
  5. Put your VIPs on the top of your list: While you’re filling your calendar, be sure that high achieving team members are made to feel special with some one-on-one time and reward high performers with an early afternoon.  Time off is a hot commodity this time of year!
  6. Ring-a-ling: Be sure you are setting aside a solid 15 minutes every day to call clients with warm holiday wishes.  I love the advice Fordyce Letter of Recruiting Straight Talk shares, “For certain clients and prospects, a quick telephone call to wish them a happy holiday goes a long way to separating yourself from the competition. If you get their voicemail simply offer your best wishes and let them know you will follow-up in the New Year. Too many rule out the telephone at this time of year when it should be your first choice.”
  7. Gifting inspired action: Want a great gift idea? Think powerful productivity, communication or success books for your team that will fire them up for the new year. I recommend Folding Time  (of course because this is my book!), Steal the Show (Michael Port’s great book makes a great gift for anyone in your life), and Fascinate (Sally Hogshead is a great speaker and friend and this book is awesome) … if you need more recommendations check out our blog.
  8. Delegate: More than almost any other time, delegate all the little things you can so you can stay focused on achieving your highest priority items. From family members to assistants, to virtual assistants to the neighbor’s college kid that is home on break and needs some cash for the holidays.  Take those pesky items on your to do list that you don’t want or need to do and delegate! When it comes to deadlines, many hands make light work.
  9. Exercise: I said it. I know no one wants to think about it when there’s Christmas cookies to nibble and nog to sip.  Without keeping our health and body on the list, we won’t have the energy we need to be our most productive selves.  Might it require a little earlier rise in the morning or a shift in schedule? Probably. But you’ll feel better and you can try that slice of pie guilt-free!
  10. Make family and friends a priority: If you’re like most top producers, the holidays are times of year your family thinks you might be in stealth mode. Be sure this isn’t that time.  Schedule in fun. Decorating. Laughing. Holiday movie watching. Down time.  All work and no play never made anyone happier.  Find the balance. Calm the chaos, stop and enjoy being in the present with everyone you meet today. And give generously of your time, smiles, hugs and encouragement.

Now, go out there and love every minute of the this sensational season.  Breathe deep. Smile big. Get the most out of each day paying attention to what, and who, matters most!

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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Get Others to Pay Attention to Your Thought Leadership

Have you ever heard the term ‘Thought Leadership’ and wondered what it was and who gets to call themselves a ‘Thought Leader?’ True thought leaderships shapes and shifts ideas, perspectives and focus in others.

 

Thought leaders don’t just know something, they are known for something. People often consider themselves Thought Leaders and yet are actually just thought repeaters. If you really want to stand out as a unique leader who drives passion and focus in others, you must know with conviction, or be willing to develop the skills that meet the following Thought Leadership criteria:

 

  • Within your business or corporation, you are the go-to resource that best represents your brand, idea and thoughts.
  • You can quickly strategize using thought leadership as a marketing strategy to operationalize your unique ideas.
  • Create ideas and information your business and department can capitalize on by sharing it with the world in a way that is unique and one-of-a-kind.

 

Utilizing your unique talent and ideas in Thought Leadership can help you inspire and develop top talent within your company. It can also help you attract and retain a larger client base with great connection, engagement and partnership with your brand.

Question is, once you’ve identified your inner thought leader, how can you share your insightfulness to those around you?

  1. Capture what you know: You must take the ideas from your head and create ways to communicate them to the marketplace. Thought Leaderscan be found in any existing field of work imaginable; however, having a thorough knowledge and unique insights into a topic is only the beginning. Document what you know, your intellectual property. Become a subject-matter expert with unique insights and perspectives to share in your area of expertise. Communicate them in a way that demonstrates value, with language that is uniquely yours.
  2. Make your ideas known by others: Of equal importance is the Thought Leader’s ability to educate others on their ideas. It is critical to to share ideas in such a way that you inspire others to want to pass the information along to those in their inner circle. So, package your ideas in an accessible and attractive format to distribute to a market hungry for insights and solutions to problems, and those hearing your message will be eager to distribute it accordingly.
  3. Communicate with other Thought Leaders: Communicate with other industry thought leaders, those that are shaking up the way their industry operates. Those with unique insights and ideas often value like-mindedness. They will embrace your approach and engage others willing to listen and learn.
  4. Concentrate your messages to the markets that will value your expertise: Your ideas offered must be powerful enough to shift, or contribute to the future direction of an industry, community or even a whole way of thinking. If your thought leadership ideas focus on customer engagement, focus on developing relationships and creating connections with those whose interests concur. If technological ideas are what you’re known for, engage with other like-minded industry thinkers that will see the value in your message and understand the long-term impact your ideas will have.

Thought leadership is a unique skillset and way of packaging solutions to problems others may not consider. Once you’ve identified this talent within yourself, or developed the skills to be known for what you know, move forward with the communication strategy presented so you can spread your knowledge and ideas successfully.

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Sunday, November 05, 2017

PROJECTIFY Your Life – Pay Attention to Project Management Principles

“The project is 10 months behind, you need to deliver it in two months and raise $10 million dollars. Can you do it?” That’s the questions my boss Phil asked me. This was totally outside the scope of my existing role in the oil industry, but I had developed a reputation as someone who could get things done. Oscillating between excitement and terror that I’d been selected for the challenge, of course I said, ‘YES!”

Admittedly, I didn’t sleep for two months but I did deliver the project, on time, and within the budget with 100% compliance from the stakeholders.  It was one of my career highlights and it reminded me project management principles could be applied to every aspect of your life.

 

Project management has been around for thousands of years. I’m picturing some fabulous Egyptian leaders standing around debating the process for delivering stone blocks for the pyramids. Can’t you just see that?

 

Let’s take a look at nine project management principles that will help you in business, and in life.

 

  1. Have a project management mindset. Start with that 30,000-foot view. Evaluate what you need by way of budget, time, milestones and deliverables for every project.
  2. Be budget smart. How much time and money does your project require?
  3. Timing is everything. Put a timeline in place from start to finish.
  4. Put it in writing. Outline your milestones and mission plans and write them down.
  5. Organize and order. Create the checklist and timeline for the progression of tasks.
  6. List the stakeholders. This helps keep you focused and on task.
  7. Appoint a project sponsor. This might be your mentor, your boss, or colleague.

This person will assist you progress the project, help handle any challenges you might face, and help you be accountable for deliverables

  1. Create a folder for every project with the following structure:
    1. Project chassis (overview)
    2. Budget
    3. Communications
    4. Meeting Notes
    5. Miscellaneous
  2. Focus on the outcome. Keeping your eye on the prize helps drive personal energy. Especially when you are in the thick of things, tired, and need to be inspired!

 

Putting project management principles in place is a great way to ensure that there is attention to all those little details that can slip through the cracks without them. If you’d like to learn more about helping your team sharpen these skills, give me a call. I’d love to share the ways I can help.

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Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Ignore the Trolls – Pay Attention to Whose Opinion Matters Most

trolls

Trolling.  A fishing term for trailing bait and hoping for a bite. In today’s world? The idea of trolls frequently conjures up ugly and distasteful online comments, often left by anonymous sources. These sources are looking for a bite as well, and an opportunity to engage.

 

 

When I think of the word troll? I think of the big ugly monster covered in warts and grumpy that sits under the bridge.  Or in modern society – a mean bully behind a computer screen, eager to inflame, incite, and get under someone’s skin. So, what can you do about the modern-day troll? I’ve got six strategies to share:

 

  1. Don’t feed them. This is my favorite way to handle their nonsense. Don’t give them the attention they crave. Trolling is really only sport for people when they get the bite they are looking for. Without it? The troll becomes bored and goes away.
  2. Set policy and safeguards. If you have an organization that has an online presence and an opportunity for trolls to stumble across your “bridge” and bait your team, set a standard policy in place for how to handle it and let every team member understand that policy. Your blog and online forums can also be locked so that comments need approval before going “live”. Or shut down commentary altogether on your site. A Psychology Today article on the topic shared, “Reuters, Popular Science, ESPN, Huffington Post, The Week, USA Today, The Chicago Sun-Times, and National Public Radio have eliminated reader commentary in the past few years, in favor of moving commentaries to platforms like Facebook and Twitter where users are less anonymous and more accountable for their words.
  3. Use your principles as a guide. A self-proclaimed “former troll”, Paul Jun, shared this in an enlightened post, “The reason why abiding to principles is so helpful is because they tell us how to act. ‘Do this, not this.’ It focuses on the long-term outcome, whereas acting on our impulses creates many possible—and unfavorable—results. If there is one thing I learned both in psychology and philosophy, it’s this: No one can hurt you. It is what we tell ourselves about the specific event or person that creates the feeling. In the words of Marcus Aurelius, ‘It can ruin your life only if it ruins your character. Otherwise trolls cannot harm you — inside or out.’
  4. Create a community. When you’ve got a great name and reputation going for yourself and your business, and you’ve got the support of the community members around you – they’ll help take care of the problem. It’s wonderful to see those stories that come out where communities rise up in defense of someone who has taken an online hit.
  5. Laugh. Consider the source and keep your sense of humor. The bottom line is that bullies are often attention seekers who have too much time on their hands and too much ill will in their lives. As long as you have systems in place to protect your reputation and shut down unprovoked and unkind commentary and you know that your integrity and character are above reproach? Just laugh it off and walk away. Take the high road and leave them to their low one.
  6. Make corrections. Sometimes, commentary is based in a legitimate complaint or issue. If that’s the case, take the advice of renowned author, speaker and TV personality Jeffrey Hayzlett, who said in an interview for Forbes, “Let the person who wrote the complaint know you have corrected an error and explain what you did. Most times you’ll never hear from the person again, but I can guarantee the individual will appreciate that he heard directly from a company representative and didn’t have to navigate an endless phone tree.” Everyone makes mistakes. Every company can find areas of improvement. If someone points something out, and it’s a concern – fix it, and move on.

 

In a world that sometimes hosts trolls and bullies of both the cyber variety and in real life (that’s IRL in troll-speak), it’s good to pay attention to what matters. Your word. Your reality. Your integrity. Your character. What someone says to bait a person for bullying purposes is almost always not based in reality. Protect your reputation – but let those words roll off. In the end, they are not worth your valuable ATTENTION.

 

I’d love to hear your thoughts! Find me on Facebook and share your experience with managing trolls. If you’d like to learn more about paying attention to what really DOES matter and how that can dramatically increase your bottom line, contact me today to see how I can help your organization.

 

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Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Accomplish Tasks and Avoid Distractions with Focused Strategies

accomplish tasksOne of the biggest challenges for today’s business leaders is staying focused and productive. Distractions such as social media and email can prevent us from accomplishing our most important goals. This is one reason I was thrilled when Julie Ann Sullivan, host of the podcast Mere Mortals Unite, invited me to speak to her leadership audience on how they can focus their attention to accomplish tasks and goals in a world full of distractions. I hope you enjoy this podcast as much as I did. Thanks for tuning in! Neen

I’m thrilled to introduce you to Neen James. She’s a smart and sassy business leader who has the vitality of the Energizer Bunny. Neen reveals lots of practical productivity strategies you can put into practice today. Her advice applies to everyone who wants to be more successful and accomplish tasks, from the stay-at-home parent to the CEO. No matter your business, you’ll benefit from Neen’s wisdom and insight on productivity.

Neen’s bio: Neen James is a leadership and attention expert focused on productivity and obsessed with helping leaders get more done so they can create more significant moments in life. She is the kind of speaker who engages, educates and entertains. Neen delivers the real-world solutions and results that apply in your organization, your home and your community. Neen also provides one-on-one consulting on a variety of leadership topics.

You’ll discover:

  • Why Neen describes herself as an “energizer bunny.”
  • The benefits of bringing more energy and paying attention to what matters.
  • How Neen stays accountable in her life and business.
  • They keys to developing a successful accountability relationship.folding time
  • Why publicly declaring your goals will help you accomplish them.
  • Several ways Neen stays focused and avoids distraction.
  • The benefits of working in 15-minute blocks of time.
  • Neen’s morning and evening routines that help her stay focused and productive.
  • The time boundaries she has in place, and how she gets so much done.
  • Why you should look for opportunities to honor people and their time.

Interview Links & Other Resources

NeenJames.com
Neen’s blog
Folding Time by Neen James
Follow Neen on Twitter
Connect with Neen on LinkedIn
Connect with Neen on Facebook
Mere Mortals Unite on C-Suite Radio
iTunes – Subscribe, Rate and Review

 

On this episode, @NeenJames reveals how to increase your energy, focus and #productivity.…CLICK TO TWEET

If you want to accelerate your #accountability, declare publicly what you want to do. @NeenJames…CLICK TO TWEET

How do you make a great impact on the world? Be a person of #integrity. @NeenJames…CLICK TO TWEET

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Monday, October 16, 2017

Focus on Accomplishing Your Annual Goals this Fourth Quarter

fourth quarterBefore we knew it, we blinked and fourth quarter is upon us. Summer’s in the wind, and autumn is in already heading into full swing.  Calendars are changing. Next year’s plans are being made. And people are paying attention to what it’s going to take to achieve the end of year goals. Did you do what you wanted to do?  Did you achieve your milestones? Or do you still have miles to go?

It’s about that time.  Leaders are in full scale acceleration mode to pull out the stops and screech into the new year with kudos all around.  I’ve got you covered to help make it AH-Mazing – with a side order of fun.

 

First, do yourself and your team a favor:  Watch this (old) interview with the fabulous News at Sunrise Anchor Eve Tannery where we shared fourth quarter strategies on her show. It’s on the money.

 

Second, take a few minutes to watch my video on the 10 ways you can make the most of the remainder of the year.

 

This video will help answer:

  • How do I make my fourth quarter the most productive of the year?
  • How can I reach my annual goals with only a few months left?
  • How do I keep my team focused during fourth quarter?

 

Lastly, implement these steps to ensure absolute focus and attention is paid to those goals and priorities you wish to accomplish throughout the remainder of the year.

 

1. Monday Makeover: Give yourself a 15-minute head start on this week’s activities, so your I’s are dotted and T’s are crossed and you’re absolutely ready for anything. Meetings?  Totally cool.  Performance reviews? You’ve got this. Appointments?  Locked and focused.  Deadlines and deliverables?  You’re a master.  Next take a glance at the month ahead and prioritize your pipeline.  Might it take more than 15 minutes? Maybe. Once this is a habit?  You’ll breeze through with ease.

 

2. Money talks: Here’s to conquering the Achilles’s heel of many business professionals. Watch those financial targets and keep them in your sites to remind yourself weekly of the last quarter results that are your responsibility. Mine are printed above my desk and on my phone for daily accountability!

 

3. Gaps & Goals: Now’s the perfect time to rock a gap analysis of where you are vs. where your GOALS said you’d be at this time. Deep dive to see and understand what’s necessary to bridge that gap if your revenue, productivity, prospecting or sales aren’t where you want or need them to be.  THAT will become the foundation of your plan of action for the next three months.

 

4. Hustle & Grit. Ever hear that saying, “No grit—no pearl?” Now’s the time to hunker in and fire up your internal urgency to close deals, follow up on proposals, add value to clients and make hit the phones and connect with that client base.  Watch goals daily, weekly and monthly and monitor them like your business depends on it.  Because it does.

 

5. Less is MORE.  Meetings are necessary, check! But time? Is of the absolute essence. So pare down. Make sure they are time-efficient team meetings that are NO longer than 20-40 minutes, tops, with agendas and clear objectives.

 

It’s never too late to focus on this year’s objectives and pay attention to what matters most. Grab the most from this quarter and tap into these power strategies and focus your attention on what really matters to you and your success.

 

The post Focus on Accomplishing Your Annual Goals this Fourth Quarter appeared first on Neen James.

Monday, October 09, 2017

Maximize Productivity with Join Up Dots Podcast Interview

If you seek ways to educate yourself, improve your business, maximize productivity and learn from leading industry experts on ways to enhance your confidence in business, tune into Join Up Dots. In this episode, I help share my secrets for focusing attention on tasks to achieve maximum productivity. Listen in for my secrets, then check out Join Up Dots for more tips from the pros.

Today’s guest, joining us on the Join Up Dots podcast interview, is a lady who can get more done in a day than most people get done in a week.

Actually Neen James can get more done in a hour than others do in a week.

She is a master at productivity and blitzing though piles of work at a rate of knots, and ensuring she gains maximum results from her work too.

But don’t think that this a lady who burns the candle at both ends, and just works harder than most.

Neen James looks amazing, seems to have more energy than most, and can often be seen whizzing around on her Harley Davison, or searching for another pair of shoes for her expanding collection.

She loves her life, she loves her job, and she loves getting out in front of people and presenting her time saving strategies to the world

With a strong background in learning and development and managing large teams at various corporations, Neen is the perfect fit for organizations wanting a presenter and keynote speaker to provide implementable strategies to maximize productivity, save time, increase focus and help their people get more done.

Not the kind of stuff that you might have seen time and time again, when the work management takes as long as doing the job in the first place.

But practical stuff that can make a huge difference.

Neen James is the author of eight business books including “Folding Time, Secrets of Super-Productivity, Strategic Networking and Network or Perish” to name just a few.

So what is about this Australian lady, that has made her see that there is so much wasted time in life, and for the most we are simply doing the wrong things at the wrong time?

And why has she left her home in Australia, which is one these places that so many would die to live in, and now has two homes, the other being in America.

Well let’s bring onto the show to start joining up dots, as we discuss the words of Steve Jobs with the one and only Neen James.

 

Show Highlights

During the episode we discussed such weighty topics such as:

How many people told her that she had to get voice training when she first started out, and she ignored them all to remain authentic to herself.

How she watched Forrest Gump on a plane, and still thought “Can I invest enough time in this…or should I be doing something more productive?”

Why it is so important to have a plan going into each job, and why she shares how important the 3,6,9,12 system has been to her success.

How she would interview people in her office over a cup of coffee to ask them what she needs to do to get a certain role, or many times their role!

And lastly…..

Why she feels a huge belief when she goes into anything that she is going to be successful in life, and loves the belief that she has in herself.

The post Maximize Productivity with Join Up Dots Podcast Interview appeared first on Neen James.

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Your Attention Please… Who Should You Listen To?

Sometimes it can feel like you are surrounded by people eager to give advice, feedback and input. I think it’s that way for a lot of people, and it can be hard to sort out WHICH source is best to listen to.

 

Today I received a sweet email that surprised me. I attended a program to develop my speaking skills, and this person commented about my investment in myself, given my current speaking business. That really got me thinking.

 

I invest in my speaking skills every year. Whether by attending a program like Red Thread Retreat, by TEDx Cambridge producer and really cool chick Tamsen Webster, or attending conferences and events hosted by the National Speakers Association, or learning from other professionals in the industry. Continuous learning is something I crave.

 

However, I’m VERY selective of who I let speak into my life. And you may want to be as well. Here’s why… Feedback in our world today is constant, but for those thinking that ANYONE can, or should give you feedback? I disagree.

 

When asked, “Can I give you some feedback?”, my response is often, “Not today”. Not because I don’t care, not because I don’t want to improve, but because that person hasn’t earned the right to give me feedback. I know who is and isn’t qualified to speak into my life. I regularly seek them out. They are experts in their field. People who know me. People I trust to have my best interests at heart. Some I hire when requiring specific expertise. Others I listen to on podcasts, read their books and even a few I have on speed dial. I’ll let you wonder as to who is who!

 

Here are some of my favorite people to pay attention to when tuning my skills:

 

For my speaking practice:

  • Michael and Amy Port – founders of Heroic Public Speaking and great performance coaches.
  • Lou Heckler – a great speech coach and friend. An annual visit to Lou is a treat to immerse myself in getting better at my craft and creating new stories for my audiences.
  • Nick Morgan – another great speaking coach and I read his blog Public Words
  • Scott Stratten – great friend whose speaking model I greatly admire. I especially love the passion he has for his wife and family in our sometimes-challenging business.

 

For my fitness:

  • On Air with Ella – her podcast is my most favorite for health and wellness and mental wellbeing. Oh, and she makes me laugh. (What a bonus that is!)
  • Jennifer Jacobs – owner of JMethod Fitness and instructor with Peloton. She’s also my personal trainer. Her kind spirit and her fierce body are an inspiration to me. She’s part drill sergeant and part the glamorous BFF you just want to sip champagne with!
  • Coach Dave – owner of Road2Running who taught me how to run and sends me weekly mileage challenges to keep training. I am currently training for a hilly Half marathon in Napa (#traininghalfcrazy).

 

For style and all things well dressed:

 

I trust these people to give me input. To share their insights. To tell me what I need to hear… not just what I want to hear. I’m hoping you have some crazily amazing people like them in your life too. The kind that can be straight with you and who lift you higher while they’re at it.  Ask yourself, “Who do I listen to? Who are my favorite sources of advice and inspiration?” Make sure whoever has your ear also has your back. When you find those kind of people, keep them close and nurture that relationship with all you have. They are keepers.

 

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Oh, and if your team needs a champion to help give the kind of feedback and tools they need to sharpen their own skills and move to the next level? Give me a call. Let’s see where I can help.

The post Your Attention Please… Who Should You Listen To? appeared first on Neen James.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

What a 5-Year Old Can Teach You About Listening and Why You Must Pay Attention

We’re told from a very young age to pay attention. From our parents. Teachers. Then bosses and gurus.  But I don’t think it means what we think it means. At least I don’t after a very smart lesson from my young friend Donovan.

 

I was sitting in the kitchen having coffee with my next-door neighbor Eileen, while her 5-year-old son Donovan, dressed courageously in his Superman costume was engaged in quite a heated debate about why he couldn’t wear his costume to school.

 

He kept inserting himself into our conversation. He was continually asking me questions:

 

“Neen do you like to play outside or in?”  OUTSIDE. “Neen, cats or dogs?” CATS! “Neen, Obi Wan or Yoda?” YODA of course!

 

Then he said, “Neen you’re not listening to me!” I replied, “YES, I AM, HONEY.” He assured me I was not, then jumped in my lap, grabbed my face in his tiny little hands, turned it towards him, and with great Superhero passion and intensity, he said the words I will never forget.

 

‘NEEN, LISTEN WITH YOUR EYES!”

 

He was FIVE. It took a 5-year-old to remind me, that we don’t listen with our ears, we listen with our eyes, our hearts, and our souls — and I think that’s what it truly means to pay attention.

 

It’s a combination of all these things.

 

Too often, we pay attention to the to-do lists in our head.  Or we’re waiting to respond.
Or trying to work out what to say in response to someone, instead of listening intently.

 

To truly pay attention — or as Donovan says, listening with our eyes, — is being intentional. It’s holding our own agenda at bay. It’s looking someone in the eye. It’s being fully and absolutely present.

 

In that precious moment, Donovan helped me realize why it’s so important that we pay attention, and why our parents and our teachers and everyone, kept reminding us of this valuable life lesson. Intentional attention is a gift. One you give the people in your world, and one you give yourself.

 

It’s a game-changer in your relationships. From your friends and family to the people you work with, to the teams you lead, to the customers you support. Make the shift to be more INTENTIONALLY attentive. And watch as your business and life become much more AH-MAZING. Thanks Donovan!

 

Want to learn more about how ATTENTION PAYS? Give us a call today to learn how we can help your team pay attention to what REALLY matters – and how that will help your business skyrocket.

 

The post What a 5-Year Old Can Teach You About Listening and Why You Must Pay Attention appeared first on Neen James.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Achieve Maximum Output – Learn the Best Times of Day to Pay Attention

Maximize OutputNeed to maximize output each day? Start by identifying the times of day it might be easier for your brain to make decisions, maximize output and be more productive by leveraging your undivided attention.

 

 

 

In our book Folding Time™, we share people have premium productivity work times. For morning birds you are most productive between 7 am – 1 pm, for hummingbirds you are 10.30 am – 3 pm and for night owls 2 pm – 8 pm. See there’s a really a time for everyone to focus their attention and maximize output!

 

Strategize in your most productive time – if you have decisions to make choose your most productive time. If you have a big project to do or a presentation to prepare for, choose the time your brain is most engaged.

 

Do routine activities in your least productive time – do you have maintenance type activities i.e. returning email, updating status reports that don’t require as much strategic thought? Leave those for another time of day.

 

Make your big decisions earlier in the day – Michael Breus, author of The Power of When, suggests saving big choices for one to three hours after you wake up. By then, you have shaken off any sleep inertia you might have. A study by Shai Danziger summarizes the results of 1,112 parole decisions heard over a 10 month period resulted in 65% more successfully paroled in the morning hours. Choose your best time to make important decisions.

 

Convert sales calls before the weekend and holidays – if you are working with a buyer to get decisions made on important deals consider Friday afternoons and also before major holidays. I have found the week before Thanksgiving is a great time to finalize outstanding speaking engagements for the following year and people pick up the phone on Friday afternoons. Hustle when others are relaxing.

 

We all get 1,440 minutes in a day. There is no such thing as time-management. It’s not about time management; it’s about attention management and strategizing ways to maximize output.

 

If you are a leader in your organization, provide employees an agile work environment that allows them to maximize output by working during the times of day they are able to focus most. Need ideas on how to create an effective, focused workforce? Watch this video and learn:

  • How to give employees freedom to create their workday structure
  • Allow employees to work in their most productive spaces and places
  • Provide flexibility to employees to work during their most productive hours

 

Know your best time of day to pay attention to what really matters.

The post Achieve Maximum Output – Learn the Best Times of Day to Pay Attention appeared first on Neen James.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Maximize Joy in Others Giving Attention When it Counts

maximize joy

 

On Air with Ella is an ah-mazing podcast full of ideas to maximize joy in life by paying attention to what matters most. An inspiration for fitness, happiness and well-being, Ella interviews many professionals and uncovers the secret to success in business and life. Listen in to our interview and subscribe to her podcast. You won’t be disappointed.

Champagne Wishes,

Neen

What’s 4’10”, Australian, fiery in pink heels? My friend Neen James, most days.

We first heard from Neen in episode 008 where she shared work/life productivity strategies from her Folding Time series with us. She’s back in this bonus episode to share more quick, actionable tips to create connections that matter, deepen our relationships, maximize joy and make the most out of the limited time that we have.

In This Episode:

  • Click Here to Download the Life Balance Wheel Worksheet
  • Neen’s tips for “systemized thoughtfulness” and how we can associate activities with time blocks
  • Simple but powerful tips for letting people know you care – and that you’re PAYING ATTENTION! including…
    • hand written thank you notes
    • making eye contact
    • using people’s names
    • leaving notes for your loved ones
    • hanging up the phone before you walk into your home
    • “listening with your eyes”
    • weekly round-ups for your boss that promote you and your team
    • finding an accountability partner for any habit you’re trying to develop / improve
  • Neen’s been happily married for 27 years. She shares some of her secrets for making it work amidst a busy lifestyle
  • FREE DOWNLOAD! Get a sneak peek at Neen’s upcoming book content: Attention Pays! by Neen James

Additional Resources

  • I mention (again) Gretchen Rubin‘s fabulous book “Better Than Before” for finding out what style works best for you when you’re trying to form new habits
  • Want to work with Neen? She’s a powerful keynote speaker – you can learn more here
  • Neen has a book coming out in 2018! For now, you can get her best strategies on NeenTV

The post Maximize Joy in Others Giving Attention When it Counts appeared first on Neen James.

Monday, September 04, 2017

Stop and Give Yourself 30 – Maximize Productivity with Early Morning Focused Attention

Maximize ProductivityHow do you set the tone and maximize productivity at the beginning of each day? Do you give yourself space to map things out or are you more of a wing-it kind of person? I believe how you START your day, sets the intention and momentum for how the rest of the day’s will transpire. When you begin with 30-minutes of focused attention to what really matters most –  that time will pay generous dividends by the end of the day.  

 

Here are strategies maximize productivity and ensure a successful day in the first 30 minutes:

  1. Turn OFF your phonesIt’s all right. That magical device that is glued to hands seemingly every waking minute of the day, delivering phone calls, chats, text messages and emails at an often-alarming rate does turn off. So does the desk phone! Take 30 minutes to create space for focus. It will all be there when you turn it back on. It’s just an hour. And there’s voicemail! If it’s important, they’ll leave a message or call back.  If you want to maximize productivity – turn off your phones. 
  2. Close your door. If you’ve got one. This sends a signal to your team (or your family if you are a work-from-home entrepreneur) that you are unavailable unless there is an emergency. If you are new to the practice, educate your team what procedures you want to have in place when your door is closed. Once everyone is on board that this is your time to create, get strategic, work a business plan, and map out your day, they’ll recognize the importance. Especially when they see the RESULTS.  If you are forced to work in an open environment, consider headphones. I used this technique in one organization, and people eventually got the idea that when your headphones are in, it’s the equivalent of a do-not-disturb sign.  
  3. Use smart time-blocking. My recommendations? Book all meetings to start after 9.00 am. If you’ve always had early morning meetings, this might be a tough change, but if needed, can you start your “clock” an hour earlier to ensure that you have a full 30 minutes to complete your planning?  
  4. Start off-site if possible.  Can you complete your 30-minute mindset and strategy session BEFORE you walk through your office doors? That way when you are actually in office – you hit the ground running. Once you’ve mastered this, teach your team. Once they’ve mastered it – your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) will go through the roof. A study done by Ctrip shared that remote workers are able to complete 13.5% more than their comparable office workers. How’s that for food for thought. 
  5. Quit the clutter. Seriously. Inboxes. Coffee cups. Paperwork piles. These distractions are stealing brain bandwidth and steering your attention away from streamlining your day. Out with them!  Maximize productivity by decreasing visual distractions.
  6. Check off that early morning workout. If you can muster it, get your exercise out of the way first thing. Start small if you have (15-30-minute increments) but do start. You’ll feel like you’ve already checked one big daily goal off your to-do list! Cheers!  
  7. Nix the gossip in the bud. Honestly, gossip is one of the biggest time, energy, and productivity drains an organization can have. We Aussies call a gossip a “flibbertigibbet”. Studies show that 39% of workers admit that gossip and workplace chat are their biggest productivity killers. Another study conducted by Equisys also shared that the average employee spends 65 hours a year gossiping in the workplace! Cull this invasive “thief” from your company if you truly want to maximize productivity.  

 

Starting your day in planning mode will help you stay focused, on track, and set the right tone for not just your day – but that of those around you. Lead by example. Pay ATTENTION to the INTENTION you set for each day. Your productivity, profitability, and bottom-line results will reflect your efforts!  

 

Want to learn more about doing more in less time? Using time more efficiently? Boosting the productivity of your team? Invite me in to share some game-changing strategies, or take a look at my book Folding Time for more inspiration!

The post Stop and Give Yourself 30 – Maximize Productivity with Early Morning Focused Attention appeared first on Neen James.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Achieve Peak Performance – Pay Attention to YOUR Well-Being

Peak PerformanceSome of the smartest and most successful people I know understand in order to have the ability to work at peak performance levels requires incredible energy and stamina. To have that consistently, one has to schedule recovery time. It’s as important to your bottom line as landing that big client or making the next sale. Let this sink in:  According to SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management, 85% of talent managers agree employees who use most (or all) of their vacation time are more productive and focused.  

 

See, part of taking care of yourself is being a champion for your own physical and mental well-being. That’s why you’ll see extraordinary leaders plan and take vacation down time. That means disconnection from responsibility, technology, and even emails! (That last one scared you a little, didn’t it? Studies show that over 50% of employees check work-related emails after hours, on vacation and during holidays. STOP.) While it’s not always possible to completely “unplug”, it should be a goal to use your down time as true time away. To replenish the mind and spirit. To shake out the cobwebs. Find new perspective. Renew energy levels. And make quality time to pay ATTENTION to loved ones the top priority.  

 

I read an article not long ago in Fortune Magazine that shared how Europeans think Americans are crazy because while they take up to six weeks of vacation per year, statistics show that US employees leave 429 million vacation days on the table annually. Interestingly 40% of executives think employees would be more productive if they took vacations. Yet among those same senior managers, 72% said if offered unlimited vacation time they wouldn’t take it! What’ THAT about?  

 

If what you REALLY want is to be better at what you do, and have a better life while you’re doing it – try these three strategies for scheduling recovery and downtime:  

 

Plan early: One thing we do as a team, is review calendars at the first part of the year and plan a variety of trips during that year and might include cars, bikes, pool time or trips back to Australia to see family and friends. It’s a practice we have followed for many years to ensure the majority of vacations are scheduled to give us experiences to look forward to. Can you review your calendar and book time to enjoy something that you love to do with people you love being with? 

 

Create varietyLook for ways you can mix it up – with a variety of destinations, adventures and times of year based on your needs and budgets. I’m not a stay-cation kind of gal. My office is in my home (maybe you have one there too.) That means I would just work the whole time, so that doesn’t work for me. For some people, it works. Consider visiting a new spot, driving instead of flying, build in adventure, art galleries visits, or a walking tour of a city. With so many online tools to help plan your visit, you can leverage community events, support local initiatives and experience cities and towns in a completely new way. We often use the site HomeAway.com, as I prefer an apartment or a house than a hotel when traveling for extended stays. We have used this service around the world and have loved it every time. My career allows me the luxury of travel to incredible places staying in lovely hotels and yet some vacations the idea of getting on another plane or staying in another hotel. Can you and your family choose a new adventure in the next twelve months that everyone can help plan to enjoy a trip together? 

 

Go offline: This is the toughest ask for many of our clients (and me) but it’s not impossible! Can you create an out of office message that bounces back to manage email providing an alternative person to help while you are away? Can you stay off social media and instead focus all that time and attention on creating memories with those you love? I am a huge fan of a digital detox; your vacation is a great time to do that. 

 

Get outside.There’s something incredibly life-affirming about getting outdoors in beautiful new space. Think mountain hikes, a walk on a nature path, collecting shells on a beach, or catching fish on a lake. Have you ever noticed how much better you feel, how much deeper you sleep and how much healthier you feel on vacation when you invest time to be active while you are relaxing? 

 

Create memories: Truly, isn’t one of the biggest reasons we work so hard is to create a lifestyle for our loved ones? Keep this in mind – recovery time is not always just about your taking a break, it’s about taking the time to create special experiences with family and friends. It’s about connection. It’s also NOT negotiable for any leader who wants to excel. If you want to accelerate your leadership and be a productive contributor on your team? Take time off. You will be more fun to work with, more focused and energized and you will create memories with people you care about, and isn’t that the reason many of us work? 

 

Here’s my challenge to you: Pay attention to what matters. You, your health, and your loved ones all benefit from scheduled recovery, book yours today.  Need more convincing or ideas how you can achieve peak performance through regularly scheduled recovery time? Check out this video and learn how professionals can achieve maximum productivity results, focus and dedicated attention to goals and priorities through recovery time. 

 

Want to learn more about making the most of your time? Take a look at my book Folding Time. It’s a game changer!  

The post Achieve Peak Performance – Pay Attention to YOUR Well-Being appeared first on Neen James.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Multitasking is a Productivity Lie - How to Boost Productivity by Paying Attention


Watch video on YouTube here: https://youtu.be/oIBrLdC3Gfs
via CHANNEL TITLE

Multitasking is a Productivity Lie - How to Boost Productivity by Paying Attention


Watch video on YouTube here: https://youtu.be/oIBrLdC3Gfs
via CHANNEL TITLE

Book Review: HR on Purpose – 4 Ideas to Implement Immediately for Human Resources

Human ResourcesSHRM (Society for Human Resource Management), a brilliant organization contributing to the training and development of Human Resources, is fortunate to have Steve Browne in their membership. He is one of their most beloved members, generous, knowledgeable, and welcoming to anyone. If you have ever met him, you will agree with me.

 

 

Imagine my delight when I found his book, HR on Purpose: Developing Deliberate People Passion in the SHRM bookstore while speaking at their annual eventHuman Resources

 

If you are in Human Resources, or manage people, this is a must-read. In it, Steve makes the powerful point that most companies struggle with communication and training. That’s SO true. In my work with media companies, credit unions, hospitals, pharmaceutical organizations and corporations of all sizes, I have seen and heard firsthand how these two elements can create chaos. Steve expertly addresses both and shares ah-mazing strategies for handling them and more.

 

It was a page-turner! Filled with funny stories, great examples, and practical solutions. I promise you will find it an easy read. If you are like me, you will probably dog-ear the pages so you can reference to come back later.

 

He makes so many great points it’s hard to list them all! Here a few of my favorites that are in line with our thinking about paying attention to what REALLY matters. See if you agree.

 

  • Culture is the number one reason employees stay or leave your company. He’s absolutely right.  To attract and keep great talent, you’ve got to get the culture part of the equation right.

 

  • Stop being transactional and start being strategic. This is one of my favorite Human Resources strategies. You have heard me often share that leaders to focus on strategy and help define a road map for their team to implement tactics. Sometimes tactics are more fun. Easier. Quicker to feel like you are crossing something off your list. Leaders need to focus on strategy first.

 

  • Surround yourself with positive people. In our book Folding Time we talk about VIPs (very inspiring people) versus VDPs (very draining people). We all need more VIPs in our life to help inspire and motivate us, especially on those hard days.  Leadership is lonely, having your own cheer squad or people that inspire you can make your days more productive.

 

  • Don’t say you are busy. I hate that phrase, so does Steve. Hate is a strong word (mine, not his). When I ask people how they are and they reply, “So busy”… they often don’t see my massive eyeroll. Everyone is busy. That’s life. That’s adult-ing. When I am asked that question I’d rather say, “Life is very full”. The brilliant Steve Browne agrees, he says, “I’m full”! I love that.

Need more convincing: watch my video to learn how this book can elevate your Human Resources organization or personal interaction with people in your department.

 

Human ResourcesIf you want to be more purposeful in the way you manage people, or if you are in Human Resources in any responsibility in any size company, this is a great resource for you. Buy it. Enjoy it and share it with your team.  Follow Steve and his great advice on Twitter.

 

I’d love to hear your thoughts! Share them with me here on the blog, or find me on social media as well.

The post Book Review: HR on Purpose – 4 Ideas to Implement Immediately for Human Resources appeared first on Neen James.

Monday, August 21, 2017

SHRM Annual Conference Paycom Break Room Podcast

SHRM Annual ConferenceEvery year, the Society of Human Resource Management SHRM annual conference is held so that HR professionals from around the world can gather and learn from industry experts, and share their experiences. Paycom attended the 2017 SHRM annual conference in New Orleans to meet with industry thought leaders, SHRM volunteers and conference attendees, and learn more about the latest workforce trends.

In this special SHRM Annual Conference HR Break Room conversation, Caleb talks with keynote speaker and author of Folding Time, Neen James, and the Oklahoma HR State Council Director-Elect, Mike Shaw. In this episode, we break down the SHRM annual conference different sessions and networking opportunities. Also, Neen talks about the premise of her book, and discusses why time management is out and attention management is in.

Paycom 2017 SHRM HR Break Room

In this special HR Break Room talk, the panel will discuss:

  • SHRM’s different sessions
  • the rich networking opportunities the SHRM conference offers attendees
  • the important distinction between managing time and managing attention

The post SHRM Annual Conference Paycom Break Room Podcast appeared first on Neen James.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Who is Your Pete? B Cellars Attention to Customers

B Cellars Extraordinary Customer Experience“Welcome to B Cellars,” she said with a huge smile.

 

It was one of those insanely hot days in Napa, in the middle of summer, and we were greeted with her kindness and a cold drink and informed our guide Pete would be with us shortly.

 

This relatively new vineyard and winery is a little oasis, located in Oakville, it was one of my favorites on our last trip. I love Napa. I love Sonoma. I love champagne… you could see how a weekend here is my perfect getaway.B Cellars Extraordinary Customer Experience

What struck me about the B Cellars vineyard was the level of attention they paid from the moment we arrived until we left with our delicious wines.

 

Not only were we greeted with the phrase, “Are you Mr. and Mrs. James?”… wait was I wearing a nametag? No. They were just that good.

 

Our tour guide Pete, came out to greet us and share the overview of the afternoon ‘experience’ as he called it. We were waiting for one other couple to join us, but let’s enjoy a nice Rosé while we wait! Yes, let’s.

 

When we entered this gorgeous glass and brick modern building it was complete with an open kitchen, elegantly placed merchandise, white linens, and multiple sparkling glasses on each table. While we were standing sipping our Rosé, the chef whipped up us a little morsel of fabulousness for each of us to try, I was sold!

 

 

B Cellars Extraordinary Customer Experience

Next, quick introductions, a refill of the Rosé, and then off to the gardens we went. Pete was enthusiastic as he explained the vines (all lovingly dedicated to different family members marked by plaques at the end of each row) and surrounded by olive trees for a little shade, it really is a pretty vineyard. Then he lovingly showed us their garden, so proud of growing a wide variety of herbs and vegetables used by the Chef to delight the taste buds of their guests.

 

As we walked towards the caves I was a little apprehensive (you may not know I am claustrophobic) but as the doors opened to the dark room filled with wine barrels, I felt totally at ease and even more adventurous. Wandering through the elegant space, it’s easy to be captivated. They had created special entertaining rooms for parties and events and Pete even opened a barrel for us to taste (clearly this is smart marketing–but I didn’t care, I loved it). We later purchased some of that same wine for when it is to be released later this year.

 

B Cellars Extraordinary Customer ExperienceWhen we returned to the main building we were seated to find menus customized with our names, and a series of great wine selections each accompanied by a handmade treat from the chef in the open kitchen. I was in heaven. I even commented that the crispy chicken leg might have been the best thing I tasted all day. Note: Not even a week later a thoughtful note was received from Pete that also included the recipe, he was definitely paying attention.

 

I love to travel. You could even say I travel like a brat. I love nice things. The thoughtfulness of the plating, the decision of which wine would best accompany what flavors, and then to have it all listed out for us to remember were just some of the thoughtful touches of this winery, B Cellars.

 

Did we join their wine club? Of course. I would put it up there in my top five places in the Napa area. If you are planning a trip, connect with Pete, book the wine and food pairing… you can thank me later.

 

It’s the little things that make a big impact. Knowing someone’s name (and using it throughout our visit), printing our name on a menu (no cost but big touch), creating an environment that felt relaxing and elegant all at the same time, having a passion for not only the wine, but also the story, the family, the grounds and the food. Pete created this experience. It only takes one person to make an impression.

 

In your business, who is your Pete? Who is your ambassador that makes your customers, clients, members feel like they are the most important person who has visited today.

 

Remember, attention pays.

 

If you’ve ever had a similar extraordinary experience as I did at B Cellars, I’d love to hear about it. Share it with me on social media or here on the blog!  If you’re eager to transform your own team into powerful ambassadors that create the conditions for customers to not only do repeat business with you – but leave glowing reviews such as this one, call me. Giving organizations the tools they need to make ATTENTION pay is exactly what I do.

The post Who is Your Pete? B Cellars Attention to Customers appeared first on Neen James.