The Power of Using Action Words

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Action words inspire. Action words motivate. Action words get things done. So why don’t we use them more? Long ago I discovered the power of using action words in my email correspondence, meeting notes, to-do lists, and more, and it’s not only made me more productive, it’s streamlined my life. Here’s a few places where you should consider inserting action words into your daily routine:

Creatives: Do You Struggle With The Question: “So, What Do YOU Do?”

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At parties or other social events you get the question all the time:  “So, what do YOU do?”  If you’re an struggling actor, producer, director, or other media professional, it’s an awkward moment.  Even after decades of making TV programs, documentary films, online media, and consulting with large organizations, it’s still tough for me.  It’s called “Status Anxiety.”  It comes from discomfort or fear when a person is in a social interaction that involves being judged or evaluated by others.  If you’ve struggled in your career, and have trouble with the “So what do YOU do?” question, you need to watch this video:

Writing A Screenplay? It’s Tougher Than You Think. Here’s Why:

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Although we don’t ask for them, hardly a week goes by that we don’t receive a movie script, reality show concept, or other media project at our offices in Los Angeles. When it comes to screenplays, it seems everyone is writing them, and most are convinced their first one will be a box office success. But the truth is – rarely are they worth reading at all.  That’s why I was fascinated with Steven Shapin’s comment while reviewing a book on the history of science:

Rebranding Your Church, Ministry, or Nonprofit? Here’s Five Questions To Ask First

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At times, we all get frustrated or just plain tired of the way we do things.  Maybe it’s repetition, maybe it’s competition, or maybe the culture or markets have changed.  But chances are, as I discuss at length in my book, “Unique: Telling Your Story in the Age of Brands and Social Media,” you’re simply not telling your story well.  In that case, a “re-brand” or “brand refresh” might be in order.  But don’t just leap off the branding cliff or hire a costly agency.  Before you do anything drastic, start with these five questions.  They’ll help you determine if it’s really time for a re-brand, or if you just need a vacation:

The Perils and Prize of Leadership: An Interview with Dr. Sam Chand

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One of the most respected voices on church and ministry leadership today is Dr. Sam Chand.  On his website his tag line is “My Life’s Vision is Helping Others Succeed” - and he’s good at it.  Sam and I have shared a number of clients over the years and time and time again, I’ve seen him turn around struggling churches, inspire frustrated leaders, and transform the culture at failing organizations.  Recently, I did an interview with Dr. Chand because I wanted to share some of his experience,  wisdom, and insight on church and ministry leadership.  Take notes.  Share it.  This is powerful stuff:

Your Ability To Influence Depends On Your Personal Style

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The truth is, change happens because of influence.  My wife Kathleen and I created The Influence Lab because if we’re going to change the culture, we need to influence it in a positive way. That’s why I was intrigued when I discovered that in 2009 and 2010, Discovery Learning, Inc. and Innovative Pathways conducted research to identify and measure styles of influencers. They created five categories. See which one is your style:

How To Reach Younger Donors

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I was invited to be a keynote speaker at the Salvation Army Southern Territory’s Community Relations and Development Conference in Atlanta recently. One of the other speakers was Penelope Burk from Cygnus Applied Research. During her talk, she revealed the results of an extensive survey of younger donors to nonprofit organizations. Since most nonprofit leaders are concerned about developing next generation donors, her findings are important news. Here’s some highlights:

Why Your Organization Needs A Spokesperson

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Whatever the size of your church, nonprofit, or business, you need a spokesperson. Hopefully, you’ll never have to deal with a crisis or disaster, but my advice is to always be ready. The question isn’t “if” a crisis will happen, but “when.” Even if you’re involved in assisting after natural disasters you’ll encounter the media on many levels, so it’s always good to put your best foot forward. So what makes a good spokesperson? Here’s what you need to consider:

Leadership Lessons From A Super Bowl Coach

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He took a lot of crazy heat over “Deflategate,” but New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick has left his mark. After six Super Bowls, he’s doing something right. And if you take the time to study his coaching techniques, you’ll find a significant number of areas that would easily transfer to leadership in any organization. Writing in the Wall Street Journal this week, Christopher Caldwell pointed out some key areas that make him a great leader: