10 people who get my attention everyday. Do you know how hard it is to make a list of just 10? There are many who get my attention, but these ten can stop me in my tracks. Now I talk often about attention, it can determine your success in business, who you give your time to. But the deeper question is, why do these individuals or companies get your attention. I find, as I look down my list, it’s because they make me think…not about what they are talking about, but how the topic applies to my business, maybe even my day-to-day life. But mostly, these individuals do a number of things, they affirm me, are extremely interesting, really make me stop and go Hmmmmmm, and the bonus, they seem to be very genuine people. I’ll qualify that with, I have only met 2 from this list face-to-face, my bucket list just got longer : )

These people can disrupt my day very easily, especially when they hail me on Twitter or write a blog post. You may already know these individuals, and maybe you don’t, but I think they are worth your time. These 10 people do have one thing in common, they see the world, and want to make that world a better place, no matter how abstract and disturbing it might be. I learn much from each of them, and I know you will to if you take the time to follow their work. More importantly, they are all much smarter than I, and deserve a tip of the hat for the work they do.

Gerd Leonhard – I tell the story of how I came across Gerd and his work, I thought long and hard, wondering if I was the only one that saw the world of business the way I do, until I found Gerd. He is much smarter than I, much more connected, and he is a machine when it comes to producing content. The thing that gets me, is his desire to share what he believes, he is a like-minded friend I hope to meet one day. – http://mediafuturist.com

Chris Brogan – I have chatted, was on one of his Kitchen Table Talk Online TV Show, promoted some of his posts, and he has done so of mine, but we have never met. I don’t always agree with Chris, but most of the time I do. I’m a fan of his because he is real, he is what he preaches, a human business. – http://chrisbrogan.com

Jim Connolly – This UK marketer is not only a cool character, he is smart. I’ve know Jim for 4 years now, and he gets better each and every blog post, thought provoking, and makes you think about how you are marketing. – http://jimsmarketingblog.com

Rick Rake – Now I’m biased with this person, why? Rick is a huge promoter of my work here where I live, he was the very 1st person to attend my workshops, and he gets it. Rick & his wife Kathleen come from the older generation, but practice a lot of the new ways of doing business online. I have come to love & appreciate both of them, and can’t thank them enough for all that they do for me and the business community we live in. – http://clickmediaworks.typepad.com/click_media_works_blog/

Seth Godin – I have to admit I feel pretty stupid after listening to him, but I’ll get over that : ) Seth keeps things simple in my head, he makes me think about the world as it really is, and he teaches me far more than I can put into action at any given time. I love his keynotes, and can’t get enough of the Linchpin & Poke The Box, because those two books show you how I feel and think, without the smarts. I fly at 50,000 feet most of the time, and then Seth will bring me back down to earth for a street level view. I thank you. – http://sethgodin.typepad.com/

Brian Solis – He is much like Seth Godin to me, but different. I’m not even sure how to describe him, he just resonates with me from a business perspective. He is intelligent, and one of the best interviews I’ve ever known in this new digital world, asks some the smartest questions, and shares the answer equally as good. – http://www.briansolis.com/

Glen Hiemstra – I had the privilege of meeting Glen last year, he drove up to Vancouver for the World Futurist Society Conference I was speaking at, he attended my session. Probably wishes he could get that 90 minutes back : ) Glen does some very interesting work as a Futurist, I read his work and bookmark it regularly, he probably doesn’t know that, but he does now. Not only is he a smart man, he is so down to earth and a joy be around. I thank you Glen for being so gracious with me, and for taking the time to come my session. – http://www.futurist.com/

Olivier Blanchard – The Brand Builder – We go back a few years, but only online. Olivier has done something that no one else seems to have figured out yet, he knows how to derive an ROI out Social Media (Networks). He has gone so far as to write a book on the topic, to show you how simple and yet how hard it is to stay committed to the endeavour. Plus, he is damn funny! I cherish every opportunity to chat with Olivier, I learn so much, and I constantly challenge him on the value of a follower, a fan, and or a like. – http://thebrandbuilder.wordpress.com/

Ray Kurzweil – Probably the nuttiest person I pay attention to. I don’t mean that in a sarcastic way, or disrespectful way, he is amazing to listen to. He is very star warzy to me, and yet, scares the crap out of me at the same time. He sees technology embedded in humans, which shows him a world run by machines, but mostly to improve our ability, our way of life, and to create a healthy world. – http://www.kurzweilai.net/

Tom Peters – I have followed Tom’s work for many years, he wrote the famous book called, In Search Of Excellence, just in case you don’t know who he is. His work gets me on trouble all the time, because he talks about doing business better, shares stories and examples of businesses actually doing what he talks about. If you haven’t read any of his books, I challenge you to go out right now and do so. – http://www.tompeters.com/

An honourable mention:

John Morgan – He recently released his first book called, Brand Against The Machine, his work helps you look at how and what your up against in the marketing world. Again, keeping things simple, why? Because simple is hard enough. John has a special way of communicating his message, very direct, and very helpful. – http://johnmichaelmorgan.com/

So there’s my list, it was hard to narrow down, there are many more whom deserve to be on this list, but for the purposes of this post, I’m keeping it down to ten. Many of these people have written books, I highly recommend you read them, and better yet, follow their work here online.

I hope these individuals help you in better ways than they help me, I just wanted to share them with you, and give you some insight to who I pay attention to. After all, attention is the currency we are all trying to acquire.

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About Owen Greaves

I'm a Futurist, I write, speak, and teach the open & free business model, the future of business. Create. Differentiate. Deliver.  


  1. John Morgan on May 2, 2012 at 9:45 AM

    Thanks Owen! I’m thrilled to make the honorable mention list because it kind of makes me stand out 🙂 I’m beyond humbled to be included with such great people. Thanks!!!

    • owengreaves on May 2, 2012 at 10:18 AM

      Hi John, Thanks for coming to my Blog. You & your book are speaking loud and clearly to me these days, it would be wrong of me not to mention you in the list. I like the way you think, as you know, I have been taken by your words, that’s what hits myTwitter stream, well, the words that will fit.

      I look forward to more of your work, and maybe, someday we will meet face-to-face.

      Thanks for paying attention : )

      • Jenneil Peters on May 3, 2012 at 10:14 PM

        Great post! I will be sure to look up John Morgan his book sounds great.

      • owengreaves on May 4, 2012 at 6:01 AM

        Thanks Jenneil, I’m glad you found it useful. John’s book is very good and I highly recommend it. Thanks for coming to my Blog, without you, there is no reason to write : )

  2. Jim Connolly on May 5, 2012 at 10:39 AM

    Hi Owen. I just wanted to say “Thanks You” for the kind words and for including me in such good company.

    You’re a star!

    • owengreaves on May 5, 2012 at 10:51 AM

      Hi Jim,

      Firstly, you are most welcome, I believe you belong in that group of 10. The company may be good, but your work is better, stay the course, you are making the world a better place because youb are doing what you were meant to do.

      It is an honour to know you (digitally), and someday, I hope we get to meet face-to-face.

      Many Blessings

  3. Rob Cairns on May 5, 2012 at 10:43 AM

    Great post Owen. I agree with most of them with the exception of Chris Brogan, Personally I think he is less real today then he was 2 years ago and a lot of what he says he does not do. Different types for different people.

    • owengreaves on May 5, 2012 at 10:59 AM

      Hi Rob,

      Thanks for your input, having said that, I don’t judge people that way, I tend to error on the side of grace.

      I find Chris mostly the same, the biggest difference for me with Chris, is his religious beliefs, if anything, that’s where he has changed the most for me.

      I find him just as real as he was 5 years ago, what’s changed, to me, the demand on his time. Therefore, he can’t be all things to everyone, I’m sure he feels like he is being pecked to death by chicken most days.

      I can’t or will not defend how you feel about Chris, that’s something for you to own and you to work out with Chris. I try to give everyone the equal amount of grace, because we all have different ways of filtering and percieving.

      In the end, he is human, and he happens to be one with a higher profile than you and I, that means it’s harder for him than it is us. More is expected of him, right or wrong, that’s the truth. You and I have the same issues, just different, don’t get stuck on how he acts because you changed.

      Anyway, I appreciate you Rob, always have, I’m suggesting his life may not be as good as yours, so don’t throw stones at glass houses.


      • Rob Cairns on May 5, 2012 at 11:07 AM

         Hi Owen,  I would agree the demand on his time has changed no question. It changes on all of us:) We all have different ways of filtering and perceiving. That is why Top lists are always interesting:) I agree people with higher profiles can have a tough time to manage. No question about that.  One I have also long realized is everyone is not meant for everyone. There are different stores, brands, cars, hotels etc for that same reason. In my case this is the case.

        This does not make Chris Brogan any less of a person or not good at what he does – what it means is he is not the fit for me. One of the things I have learned over the years.

        I appreciate you too Owen and thanks for the comment.

      • owengreaves on May 5, 2012 at 11:48 AM

        Hi Again,

        I wasn’t trying be a jerk, just sharing a different perspective. I have never met Chris in person so I won’t or can’t say he isn’t for me personally. I can say that his blog content is in line with my thinking most of the time, my interactions with him online have been positive, and he has shared my content as well, that makes him a like-minded person and at this point I don’t have a good reason to not like him.

        Top lists are for the person that wrote the list, it wasn’t meant to convert you or convince you your top 10 should be the same as mine, I was just sharing who at this point gets my attention when I wake up in the morning. I should also mention, that list changes almost daily, and I could put 30 more on it, but I have to be honest with myself as to whom truly grabs me each day consistantly.

        Anyway, the list makes for good conversation, and I’m sure your list would look much different than mine : )

        Talk to you soon, and yes, I’m out and about most of the weekend, Emcee tomorrow morning for Walk for Kids Help Phone.


      • Rob Cairns on May 6, 2012 at 3:07 AM

         Hi Owen, You were not being a jerk. I enjoyed your view point and your perspective.  I also always learn something every time you post something.:) You are right in saying our top 10 lists would look different. Part of the reason for that is we are often looking for different types of information.

        Have a great weekend and talk soon:)