Neen James: I grew up in corporate business in Australia. I worked in retail, banking, telecommunications, and the oil industry. And let me tell you, there’s not a lot of chicks in oil. And when I was really doing the most project management was when I was in oil and I had an all-male team. I love working with men, and when I was in banking, I had an all-male branch. I think attention, these days, Laura, gets a bad rap. We go, “Oh, she just wants attention.” Social media has changed that. But the truth remains that attention, is about connection. As PMOs, we need to be able to connect with the people we serve in order for us to advance the projects that we are leading, the team that we’re developing, the stakeholders that we’re serving. I want people to look at attention differently. You see, I believe it is the intention that makes attention valuable. And what I learned especially early in my career is that I had to have the right intention behind my desire for attention. One particular strategy that I developed early in my career that I encourage every PMO to consider is you need to be your own publicist. Here’s what I mean by that. Now, we know what a publicist does. Often we hear about them in the press, when someone does something wrong. A celebrity does something really bad and then in steps their publicist. But you can use publicity in a really powerful way. I believed early in my career that I had to be my own publicist. The way that that turned up was every Friday I would send my boss five bullet points. I would send my boss five things the team and I achieved that week. Whether my boss read them or not, I really didn’t care. But what I did discover is often my bosses would cut and paste those five bullet points into their status report for their boss, and we all know that part of our job is to make our boss look good, right? So we need to think about the attention that we want to give to our projects, to our people, and our passions. As a PMO, how you would do it is every day you look for one very good news story. Did you hear a great client testimonial? Do you have a budget that you exceeded? A timeframe that you were able to develop? A new contingency path that you were able to create? Now, what I have encouraged executives that I work with all over the world, it doesn’t matter if it’s the CEO of a Fortune 100 company or a leader on the frontline, or a project manager I’m talking to at PMI. I believe we all have to be our own publicist. Now you said don’t sell, drive people to you, and here’s what happened with all my bullet points. I always got headcount. I always got extensions when I needed them. I got extra funding when I required it, because I proactively communicated. As PMOs, we have a responsibility to manage the brand that we have in our organization. And you want to establish a brand where you are the go-to person, that you are the resource, that you are the center of the entire universe that can make things happen. And the way to do that is to build it before you need it. Here’s what I mean by that. By proactively communicating your successes and the team’s successes, when you do need help, when you do need an extension, when you do need someone to troubleshoot for you, when you need stakeholder buy-in that maybe you’re not having success with, because you have put in the work before, you can get stuff done. You do this by being your own publicist. Which brings us back to attention is about connection. Are you connecting the dots for people? Are you connecting in relationships with people? Are you connecting people with other people so they can help advance their projects?As a PMO we have so many roles that we juggle, but one of our vital roles is we are absolutely the connector in our organization because we can connect thinking, we can connect talent, we can connect resources. One of my most popular programs in companies, is called Systems Thinking because it’s the way I look at the world. You mentioned, I grew up as a project manager. I always look at things in deliverables, and I believe systems create freedom. And so, we need to think about how can we create more systems as PMOs for the kind of attention we want. We are our own project. We are our own product. We are the brand. And we have to be able to invest time, attention, and energy in growing that brand so we have a really strong personal brand in our role, so people look to us with high regard, as someone they trust, as someone of integrity who does what they say they’re going to do. And it all starts with being your own publicist.