The Change RevolutionTweet
Posted 5/23/13 at 11:08 AM | Phil Cooke
Great leaders expect the best in people and bad leaders expect the worst. Rinse and repeat. Over the years I’ve worked with a number of leaders who think leadership means constant criticism, ordering people around, snarky comments, and humiliation.
Those leaders (although I don’t think they’re real leaders at all) actually expect the worst in people, and that’s why they treat their teams so badly. These leaders respond to everything as if you’re trying to cheat them. They use exclamation marks in all their communication. They’re always upset about something.
But guess what? You get back what you put out and your team will start responding in the same way. You’re actually creating a culture of distrust and deception. FULL POST
Posted 5/20/13 at 11:22 AM | Phil Cooke |
I asked a distinguished panel of donor development and fundraising experts about the advice they would give churches and ministries during a financial crisis. The panel included Mary Hutchinson, Mark Dreistadt, Dale Berkey, and David Holland. I asked them to send me a couple of suggestions that could help a church or ministry get through a tough financial time. Here’s their suggestions:
1. Know who your donors are–and target appeals to them that is within their own personal interests and within their means. Blanket appeals with high reaching ask amounts will fail –especially now–and drive them away from your church/ministry forever. The right database is key to making these appeals targeted and the ask amount within reason for each donor.
2. Keep focused on the Lord being the source–not the people. He is not in a financial depression, the gas prices are no issue to Him. He can and will bless us according to His Word when we do as He calls us to do. FULL POST
Posted 5/15/13 at 11:47 AM | Phil Cooke
You may have the greatest idea in the world for a book, movie, business, or nonprofit. But when writing my book “Unique: Telling Your Story in the Age of Brands and Social Media,” I discovered that today, living in the most cluttered culture in history, you also have to consider how to cut through all the competition and get noticed. Want to publish a book? In 2011, 300,000 books were published by traditional publishers, and that doesn’t count the additional 3 million that were self-published.
How about producing a feature film? During the same period, 1,000 movies were released in the United States.
Maybe you could start with a YouTube video? According to their own statistics, 60 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute.
Television isn’t any better. The average cable TV system in America now has 160 channels, with some satellite systems boasting as many as 500 channels.
What about a great business idea? The U.S. government’s own statistics reveal that in spite of today’s tough economy, 500,000 businesses were opened in 2011, all competing for the same investor money. FULL POST
Posted 5/10/13 at 6:16 PM | Phil Cooke
What are the most important attributes you need as a leader? The Creative Group did a poll that indicated that 34% of executives felt strategic vision is the most essential quality for successful leadership. That poll was taken a few years ago, but I think it’s still worth thinking about today. In the poll, advertising and marketing executives were asked, “In your opinion, which single quality among the following is the most essential for effective leadership?” Their responses:
1. Strategic vision 34%
2. Strong interpersonal skills 29%
3. Integrity 29%
4. Creativity 3%
5. Intelligence 3%
6. Don’t know/other 2%
Turner goes on to describe the four most common mistakes that can undermine a manager’s credibility with employees:
• Deserting your team. Managers who fail to stand up for staff members when they’re unfairly criticized or when times are tough lose their employees’ trust.
• Sending mixed signals. If you’re receiving contradictory messages from a client or senior executives, you may be passing this confusion on to your team. Make sure you have all the facts, and be consistent in the direction you give. If parameters or goals change, explain why.
• Not giving credit where it’s due. Acknowledge employee contributions on projects, and never take credit for someone else’s ideas or efforts. Shining the spotlight on your team makes everyone look good.
• Breaking promises. Only promise what you know you can deliver to your staff. If, for example, employees have been told they will receive a promotion, raise or bonus when company profits improve, follow through on your word as soon as feasible. FULL POST
Posted 5/8/13 at 10:25 AM | Phil Cooke |
A few years ago, I was confronted with that question while I was speaking to the International Mission Board media team in Richmond, Virginia. They’re the men and women responsible for documenting, filming, and creating media for and about the more than 5,000 Southern Baptist missionaries in the field throughout the world. They also have the significant responsibility of creating media that local churches can use to generate financial support for the cooperative missions program of the denomination.
I was talking about branding, perception, and similar issues, and I had mentioned that in a media-driven culture we’ve discovered that there are multiple steps people take toward becoming a believer. Therefore, not everything has to have an invitation for salvation, or an “altar call moment.” We also discussed that sometimes, it’s just important to “be” a Christian rather than “proclaim” your faith. Let your “deeds” draw people – not just your words. As Rick Warren said, “We live in an age of “deeds” not just “creeds.” FULL POST
Posted 5/7/13 at 2:35 PM | Phil Cooke
I thought I’d bring this one back from when I originally posted it in 2009 – because I think it’s worth re-considering. I know I’ll get some hate mail with this one, and certainly don’t want to be offensive. But it’s been said that from production and storytelling perspectives, many “Christian” movies of the past years are not that different from porn movies. Here’s why:
1. They’re both usually ultra-low budget.
2. The stories are not well developed (Because that’s not the point of the films).
3. The characters are usually shallow and poorly crafted. (Again, not the point of the films).
4. The acting is pretty terrible – usually way over done.
5. It’s all about the money shot – in Christian movies, it’s about the salvation moment or altar call, and in porn, well, you know… FULL POST
Posted 5/2/13 at 4:49 PM | Phil Cooke |
Perhaps it’s because I work in a creative business, the idea of "place" has always been important to me. Where I find inspiration, where I write, or where I take time off, matters because I’ve discovered that where I create is the key to what I create. You may have experienced something similar. I’m very specific about the role of a place in my life. That’s why I enjoyed Frank Viola’s new book “God’s Favorite Place on Earth.” I don’t normally review or promote books on this blog, but he helped me understand why that one location meant so much to Jesus’ life and ministry – and why a loved and valued place can transform your work.
In this case, Frank focused on the town of Bethany and the role it played in the life of Jesus. And in an original twist, he tells the story from the viewpoint of Lazarus. Here’s a video trailer of the book: FULL POST
Posted 5/2/13 at 1:38 PM | Phil Cooke
Direct mail and fundraising consultant Dale Berkey talked to me recently about how ministries and the marketing of ministries need to be intertwined. Many Christian organizations have a kind of ministry/marketing schizophrenia. Which symptoms from this list can you identify in your church or ministry?
1. Detached Donor Syndrome: Review your communications with your donors: appeal letters, emails, phone scripts, videos — the works. Do they reflect the concept of “You give me money so I can do ministry”? Look for phrases like “help us accomplish,” “we need,” “if you … then we can.” Schizophrenia! If your donor communications express the idea of “Let’s do ministry together” … with phrases like “you can accomplish,” “you’ll make,” “you’ll touch,” “together, we will,” and the like … you’re reflecting an attitude that the donor is part of the team, that God is going to work through the entire ministry family to accomplish His plan. That’s biblical. That’s healthy. FULL POST
Posted 5/1/13 at 10:29 AM | Phil Cooke |
The title of this post is an old adage – probably one you’ve heard a hundred times. But I was reminded of it’s importance last week when I visited Canada to speak at a private, nonprofit event. I arrived into the Calgary airport a few hours before the event, and with some time to kill I noticed there was an outlet mall near the airport. So I pulled in, and went to the local coffee shop to check my email and catch up on work. After an hour or so I decided to take a walk around the indoor mall. Now here’s the scenario:
I was more than a thousand miles from home.
I’m outside the United States.
I don’t know anyone in Calgary.
I’m not famous, so I’m walking around in total anonymity.
It’s exactly at this point that all those stories of executives, pastors, nonprofit leaders, politicians, and others crossing the moral line begin. Hitting on a woman, having an affair, making a fool of yourself at the bar, picking up a pornographic magazine – whatever. FULL POST
Posted 4/30/13 at 2:17 PM | Phil Cooke
Research from the Change Anything organization indicates that motivating people to change their habits or behavior is a real challenge, but there are two important keys. If you’re leading a team, or influencing someone (or some group), genuine, lasting change happens when:
1) They think it’s worth it. In other words, the benefits of change outweigh not changing. Remember, they assume change is a painful process and they need to know there will be a significant benefit on the other side.
2) They can actually do what’s required. Most people are unsure they have the skills or knowledge to change, so they give up or don’t start.
So the lesson for leaders is two fold – You have to pitch the case for the change so people see the value and want to get onboard. Then, make sure they have the skill set to make it happen.
Provide the vision and teach the skills. That’s the keys to being a real change agent.
Are there people or groups you could apply this thinking to today?>