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Posted 12/12/13 at 1:35 PM | Phil Cooke
More and more evidence is coming in that leadership style and behavior trickle down. I once had a client who’s leadership style was to lead by threat. Instead of inspiring and motivating his team, his constant mantra was, “If you can’t do it, I’ll find someone who can.” Before long, his subordinates followed his lead and began their own reign of terror with co-workers and vendors. For leaders, the bottom line is the team follows your lead, so you should be very careful about the “vibes” you’re sending out. Now, The Wall Street Journal says that it’s the same way with stress. If your leadership style is to rush around, barking orders, run late for meetings, and be overly intense, those stress signals will impact the people around you. FULL POST
Posted 12/11/13 at 10:40 AM | Phil Cooke
Get a tissue, expand this to fullscreen, and check out this 5 minute short film. One of the most creative campaigns I’ve ever seen…
Posted 12/10/13 at 9:52 AM | Phil Cooke |
The Los Angeles Times reports a new study by the American Academy of Pediatrics that reveals violence in PG-13 movies is skyrocketing and almost 90% of the highest-grossing recent movies have violent characters, more than three-quarters of which also engage in drinking, smoking or sex. The study goes on to say that these PG-13 movies make violence look “as acceptable as these other behaviors.” The Times reports, “The study also found that the mixture of violence and at least one other “risk behavior” such as alcohol or tobacco use was nearly as common in films rated PG-13 as it was in movies rated R.” FULL POST
Posted 12/10/13 at 9:38 AM | Phil Cooke
As the Obamacare website continues it’s botched roll-out (in November HHS reported that 30-40% of the back end isn’t even built yet), I’m reminded of the massive gulf between what we see of government agencies on prime time TV and the apparent reality. Just watch a few episodes of “CSI,” “NCIS,” “The Blacklist,” or “Hawaii 5-0” to see just how sophisticated the government computer systems are portrayed. Distorted, massively out of focus pictures can be instantly corrected, the most trivial personal information from decades ago can be found, and the location of government operatives can be pinpointed within a few inches anywhere in the world. Background information, police reports – just about anything can be accessed at the touch of a button. In fact, I believe one of the reasons Americans are so shocked at the HHS website disaster (It’s cost more than $1 billion so far), is what they see in prime time. The media has far more influence than we think, so it is realistic to think the viewing public assumes that although these drama shows are fiction, they’re at least showing us what the government is capable of doing with technology? FULL POST
Posted 12/9/13 at 9:27 AM | Phil Cooke
In my books I write frequently about making sure that in our scripts and programming, we stop the “Christian Lingo” and speak in a language and style the culture understands. As an example, a few years ago I received this e-mail from a media executive that brilliantly illustrates the point:
This month in your newsletter you mentioned how sometimes we as Christians don’t communicate very well with non-believers. My wife and I bought a radio station in a small market several years ago in rural Indiana. We decided on a positive country format, and included select Christian artists that fit that format. One DJ was given a Christian CD and told to listen to a particular song. In a few minutes he came out of the studio and announced that that was a gross and disgusting song. We were surprised and asked him why. His statement was “That song talks about being washed in the blood”. FULL POST
Posted 12/6/13 at 10:06 AM | Phil Cooke
No matter what video projects you produce, sooner or later you’ll shoot someone’s testimony about how their life was changed. It might be due to God, an experience at church, being the recipient of a nonprofit’s work, or even a consumer product – but whatever it is, it can be a powerful moment on camera. If you’re shooting videos like this for a church, nonprofit, or business, here’s the most important keys to making it work:
1) To make them most natural, ease into rolling video. Once you sit them down to shoot, whatever you do, don’t let anyone yell “Rolling!” or “Action!” They’ll immediately clam up and get nervous. With my crew, we’ve created some nonverbal signs that let me know they’re ready and rolling, and we just transition into the interview. I’ve actually finished some interviews where the people had no idea we’d been rolling.
2) Make sure the interviewer sits as close to the camera lens as possible. You want the interviewee looking as directly at the camera as possible. Profiles have no power. Make sure you’re seeing their entire face. FULL POST
Posted 12/4/13 at 9:09 AM | Phil Cooke
During the last week, the media has been obsessed with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ announcement that within 4-5 years he wants to start delivering products directly to our homes via drones. It’s a wild idea, and yet Bezos has proven himself on so many levels, the idea can’t be discounted. More important, when it comes to getting your big ideas noticed, there’s some valuable lessons to be learned from the announcement:
1) The sheer audacity of the idea got people’s attention. It’s been in the news for an entire week with few signs of letting up. However, for big ideas to get attention, they have to be announced from someone with past credibility. From someone other than a credible leader like Bezos, it would just be considered another crazy idea.
2) A big, audacious announcement is designed for more than just customers. His claim also put the word out to federal regulators like the FAA that they’d better get ready for business to start using drones. Big announcements can put a lot of people on notice. FULL POST
Posted 12/3/13 at 11:28 AM | Phil Cooke
If I’m not careful, at any given moment I could have a stack of unread scripts or book manuscripts on my desk waiting to be read. In fact, it’s been that way too many times in the past. Many well-intentioned, passionate, and sometimes desperate writers (I’ve been there) are eager to get someone they respect read their work and give them thoughts and feedback. But the fact is, if I said yes to everyone that asks, I’d have little time to accomplish anything of my own.
It’s a numbers question really. Producer Ralph Winter (Wolverine, Planet of the Apes, X-Men) and I figured that it would take him an hour or so to read your script, then an hour or more to think about it and write down his thoughts and reactions. Then you’ll need a phone call to discuss it, which is 30 minutes to an hour. Before long, he’d have half a day invested in reading and responding to every script (and much longer with book manuscripts). FULL POST
Posted 12/2/13 at 9:22 AM | Phil Cooke
Whenever I speak on this subject I always get a positive response from the audience. We all know that we get pulled into more things than we can possibly do, and most of the time it’s because we just can’t say “no.” And especially as Christians, we feel the obligation to be nice all the time, so we really hate to turn people down. But the bottom line is that until we start staying no to some things, we’ll never have time to pursue the really important things. We never want to be a jerk about it, so if you suffer from the inability to turn people down, here’s some things to say:
1) “Let me check my schedule first.” This implies you have other things on your plate (which you do), and keeps you from answering on the spot. Take some time, check your calendar and to-do list, think about your priorities and get back to them later. In many cases, by that time, they’ll find somebody else.
2) “That’s not a priority for me right now.” Yes, you DO have other priorities, and they matter. It’s always good to remind people what you’re focused on in your life and career, and in many cases, what they want you to do isn’t on that list. FULL POST
Posted 11/27/13 at 2:43 PM | Phil Cooke
I was quite honored recently to be invited to speak and participate in the first Lausanne Movement Consultation on Global Media. It was a group of about 50 representatives from around the world working in media. The meeting was an extension of the famous Lausanne Movement launched by Evangelist Billy Graham. In 1966 he partnered with Christianity Today magazine, and sponsored the World Congress on Evangelism in Berlin. This gathering drew 1,200 delegates from over 100 countries, and inspired further conferences in Singapore (1968), Minneapolis and Bogotá (1969), and Australia (1971). Shortly afterwards, Graham perceived the need for a larger, more diverse congress to re-frame Christian mission in a world of social, political, economic, and religious upheaval.
So in July 1974 some 2,700 participants and guests from over 150 nations gathered in Lausanne, Switzerland, and created the “Lausanne Covenant.” This was to be a Covenant with God, publicly declared, and a Covenant with one another; it has proved to be one of most widely-used documents in modern church history. The Covenant has helped to define evangelical theology and practice, and has set the stage for many new partnerships and alliances. FULL POST