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You can attend business school, receive an MBA, and then read thick textbooks on advanced management techniques. But you will seldom encounter this critical element of the Attention-Deficit Workplace, you must be adept at telling people what you are going to do and then actually do what you say. It’s doubly important that you track and communicate what you are doing. Why? Given the high incidence of blame-placing and credit taking present within corporate culture, you must make sure the organization gives you credit when that credit is due.

Managers have just enough time to check what they are expecting from you. Beyond that, they don't really want to interact. This is also why, when you enter into any situation with a manger, do not simply outline a problem without suggesting two or three solutions. People don't want to hear about problems without solutions.

The real secret to managing expectations? You set other people’s expectations. So set them correctly, without breathing room. At the end of the meetings when colleagues are expected to take action steps, ask them to repeat their “deliverables,” or what is expected of them and when.

I’ll never forget one of the most effective phone calls I ever received. It was from Scott Lange, a superb manager and sales executive in New York City. He was working with the New York Marathon on a detailed proposal from Active. At one point in the conversation, he said, “Mitch, just to be sure,

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