Attention

Pretty interesting panel talk on “attention” moderated by Steve Gillmor at Supernova in San Francisco. I had never heard of Linda Stone, but she’s certainly worth listening to if you have the opportunity to. It’s all about all the noise and all the technology out there competing for our attention, forcing us to multi-task (which I hate). I love this issue these days because I’m determined to focus on the important things and cut the garbage out of my work life.

Speaking of “attention” …

At the conference I’m listening to Greg Glaros, a fighter pilot in the US Navy, talk about technology and communications issues that the U.S. military is struggling with right now. He has my full attention. He has the remarkable ability to cut through all the bullshit with laser precision. As a speaker he’s the best so far, and it’s so not even close. He’s off the stage and down on our level. He gives every appearance of being approachable and friendly. He’s walking back and forth. He’s looking people right in their eyes and clearly connecting. He has someone else click through his slides (at his gentle but rather direct command). He’s direct. He moves and talks fast but with absolute clarity. He’s obviously extremely intelligent and rhetorically skilled. He’s illustrating his slides and points (some of which are life and death) with hard data and personal stories. So, he’s been there. His best quote (and I’m paraphrasing): “I just got back from Iraq, and I feel more comfortable there than I do when I’m in Washington on this tour because at least in Iraq I know who’s shooting at me.” And wanna know how he just ended his talk? “And that’s all I got.” Love it. Attention. He’s got my attention. It’s all about focus and discipline.

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