One of the risks we face in leadership roles is assuming that we will get more
attention than we’re actually likely to get.
Attention is vital. Without it, people may hear what we say but are they taking
And it’s easy to assume that we’ll get more because the more powerful we
are, the more we are likely to assume that others will want to hear what we’ve
got to say.
I work in the commercial world. I know how hard it is to get any kind of
attention at all. We know more about attention now than we ever did. Why?
One word: analytics.
Here at Jobsgopublic, we know where candidates are (both passive and
active!), when people are looking at adverts online, how long for and we also know whether they click through to key content.
And you won’t be surprised to hear that there are thousands of cursory
browsers and few real readers. In other words, we can create passing
attention – through grabbing headlines, clever copy and arresting images.
But to convert that to the stuff that matters – action – we need to look at the
analytics. We seek to understand what drives “traffic” and what keeps
And as we’re in the attention-seeking business – on behalf of our clients
whom we are supporting to get the best hires – we don’t assume too much.
Hence ten seconds. If we only get ten seconds of attention from a senior
leader or a job seeker, we don’t want to waste it. We will do all we can to
convert that into a minute and then into ten.
So we think long and hard about what we say first, the actual words, and at
what people will look at. Picking the right image – based on analytics – is an
art and a science.
As a leader, you too need to get and maximise attention. Every utterance, if it
is to be effective in inspiring your teams to give their maximum, to improve
and to feel engaged, has to be considered.
At broadcast speed, ten seconds is 30 words.
So if only 30 of your words are going to get through this week, what will you
say? Pick the right thirty and people may listen to the next 300.
Pick the wrong ones and they’ll mentally reach for their phone, think about
what they had for breakfast or remember that they’ve forgotten to do
Worth thinking about? I hope so. I’ve used up enough of your time
already…..but I’d love to know what your 30 words might be?