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Can I Have Your Attention? by Jonathan McKee, Curt Steinhorst

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Chapter 2It's Not Their Fault

Today's employees aren't lazy, entitled, belligerent, unethical, or incompetent. (Although there are always exceptions.) Many of them simply haven't known a world in which they weren't chronically busy and connected—and the rest are forgetting what this seemingly mythical world looked like.

Historically, employees have never had so much within immediate reach…while being so immediately reachable.

They've never processed so much information…while retaining so little.

They've never been more connected…while facing so many interruptions.

They've never been so distracted.

Distracted (dis'traktəd), adjective: unable to concentrate because one's attention is diverted by something that amuses or entertains.

Our devices and the constant connection they bring keep us in a perpetual state of distraction. The amusing consequences of distraction have become distractions themselves: a viral video of a woman at an NBA game smacked in the face by a basketball, another of a woman falling into a mall fountain, still another of a man strolling straight up to a bear. (Bonus points if you make it through this chapter without looking them up.)

And then there are the seriously tragic stories: a woman hit by a bus, a hiker walking off a cliff, a driver veering into a semi—all while staring at a phone, oblivious to the world around them.

Sometimes the device is a pair of headphones and the casualty someone's career. A chief financial officer of a publicly traded investment ...

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