Taking Initiative: The Difference Between Success and Failure

My wife Kathleen and I had the opportunity to meet with Tina Konkin recently. She’s an internationally known speaker, counselor, and coach on the subject of relationships. As a result, she’s been on major networks, spoken at national conferences, and helped thousands of couples heal broken relationships. We were discussing some potential television projects with Tina, when she said something that I realized applies to so many other areas of life – including

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Is it Safe For Young People to Come to Hollywood?

Today's Headlines are Making Parent's Concerned

As the headlines continue to be filled with horror stories of sexual harassment at film studios and TV networks, I’m getting more questions from concerned parents – especially Christian parents – about their children who want to pursue a career in Hollywood. Is it safe? Particularly for a daughter? There’s no question that some of the accused were respected icons in the industry, and yet at least one had a special lock on his door he could quickly activate from his desk. The speculations range from

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How Well Do You Do Your Job?

I Mean, Really?

Sometimes blogs don’t have to be long. When I met Seth Godin, and he gave me a wonderful endorsement for one of my books, I learned from Seth just how short – but powerful – his blog posts can be. Books, speeches, advertising copy, sermons, and other writing are similar – length doesn’t necessarily mean insight, creativity, or depth. In fact, Mark Twain was quoted saying,

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How To Sharpen Your People Skills When Working From Home

In my opinion, “people skills” are just (if not more) important than the skills it takes to do your job. Colleges and universities are filled with brilliant scholars who can’t get along with their peers, I find business leaders who are remarkably gifted, but make enemies at every turn. And even in churches, ministries, and nonprofits, if you can’t engage positively with your co-workers, things won’t end well. And it’s particularly difficult for freelancers and those working from home.  I worked for many years from my home, and know that social contact can get very sparse. We need to keep up our people skills no matter what our situation, so I asked freelance writer Jenny Holt’s advice, and here’s her thoughts:

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Remove Risk, and You Remove Great Performance

Stop Worrying About Risk and Start Embracing It

We hear a lot about “safe spaces” today, but the desire to avoid risk in life is found just about everywhere.  For university faculty members, “tenure” usually refers to job security.  Essentially, it’s about a senior professor’s contractual right not to be fired without just cause.  More directly, it’s a guarantee that a teacher won’t be fired for speaking out or teaching controversial ideas.  Essentially, the core values of tenure are academic freedom, and it’s supposed to give teachers an incentive to stretch their thinking.  However,

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A Template for Launching Your Mission and Message

Our team at Cooke Pictures does an enormous amount of coaching and advising leaders on expanding their mission and message. Our motto is “Our Mission is to Accelerate Yours” and that’s a significant part of what we do as a team. Many of those leaders are understandably curious about how to launch a new nonprofit, book, ministry, church campus, rebrand, or other initiative, so in my study of how others get their message out there, today’s post is an one example that worked very well:

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By The Time You See the Threat, It’s Already Too Late

There's a career killing bullet out there with your name on it.

You can take this to the bank: Far too many ideas, organizations, and personal careers fail because they didn’t see the threats coming in time. For example, the Wall Street Journal reported recently that big food brands are in trouble. “For over a century, brands such as Kellogg’s cereal, Campbell ’s soup and Aunt Jemima pancake mix filled pantries of American households that wanted safe, affordable and convenient food. They provided companies with reliable revenue growth from grocery shelves, and there was

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